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As Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 draws to a close, Star Trek fans can take solace in the fact that much more Star Trek is coming in the near future. This includes the upcoming spinoff based on Jean-Luc Picard, which one Star Trek vet is feeling very optimistic about. Trek actor and long-time franchise director Jonathan Frakes recently spoke about his involvement in the upcoming CBS All Access series, and how he thinks fans will respond to it:
I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised. I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It’s wonderful. It’s smart. I’m excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas—which I believe was his idea—was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.
Those "considerable shoulders" will carry the Picard series through Season 1, which Jonathan Frakes revealed to Trekmovie.com is going to be a "ten-episode movie." Frakes is on board to direct Episodes 3 and 4 of Season 1, which follows Hanelle Culpepper's first two episodes of the series. Frakes explained the series is being shot in five blocks, although added he doesn't believe it's due to the story's structure.
Beyond the behind-the-scenes information he always seems to be good for, Jonathan Frakes also shared a bit about what the upcoming Picard series means to him. The director expressed his excitement in seeing the inspirational Patrick Stewart back in the saddle and his thanks to be included in yet another Star Trek project:
I’m excited for him and personally, I feel so blessed to back. It’s so ironic that I spent so many years trying to expand where I was working and I was lucky enough to get onto other types of shows. The directing has been a mitzvah for me—to learn another craft. And now I am deeply ensconced in the world I was in 31 years ago—and I’ve got to say—incredibly grateful for it, between The Orville, and Discovery and Picard. And hopefully the Empress Georgiou show.
Unfortunately, Jonathan Frakes was guarded about how or if the Picard series tied to Star Trek: The Next Generation in any way. He did mention fans being "thrilled" and "excited" and "surprised," though, so don't be too sure there's no chance of seeing Worf, Dr. Crusher, or even Wesley appear for an episode or two. Hell, Frakes might even return as Riker if we're lucky, and with Frakes directing two episodes, it wouldn't be hard to do.
Even so, there's plenty of reason to suspect there's little connection at all, as past statements on the show have implied this show will find Jean-Luc Picard as a different person than he was during Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's also being said the character is somewhat influenced by the events that led to the 2009 Star Trek movie. Is it possible there's more links in this show to the Kelvin timeline than TNG?
We'll see how much of Star Trek: The Next Generation appears in the still untitled Picard series, which is set to arrive on CBS All Access sometime before the end of 2019.