"Oh, the incredible skepticism" Jonathan Frakes Reflects On the Launch Of Star Trek: The Next Generation
It blows my mind to think that Star Trek: The Next Generation's pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" debuted nearly 25 years ago. I can vividly remember watching it Saturday night on a console TV in our game room. Everyone else in my family wanted to watch 227 or some other 80's sitcom abomination, so I was relegated to our old TV next to the ping pong table. I was fascinated by "Farpoint" and was quickly hooked on the new series. Sure, it was a little rough the first few seasons, but there were still gem episodes that captured my young imagination.
Jonathan Frakes recently talked to Newsday.com and recalls the cast as being green: "We were so green and tentative in terms of our interrelationships. . . . I was told by "Star Trek" creator Gene] Roddenberry that he wanted Riker to be like Gary Cooper -- a Midwestern glint, no smiling, all about honor and duty. That was fine for the character, but it was a strange, limiting box for me as an actor because I'm a little more flamboyant "
He also vividly remembers the fan reaction to TNG: "Oh, the incredible skepticism. I was not aware of the cultural phenomenon that "Star Trek" was when I first got the job. I quickly learned because the Kirk-Spock-and-Bones "Star Trek," and that triangle, the magic of that ironic, sarcastic relationship that developed on that show" Jonathan continues: " When we were finally on our third or fourth season, when we'd found our rhythm, the audience began to find room in their hearts for both shows."
We're looking forward to hearing more about the launch of TNG from the rest of the cast at Austin Comic Con later this year. Hopefully the 25th anniversary will jog memories and reveal unheard stories of the early days on the Enterprise-D. In the meantime, you can check out Jonathan's full interview over at Newsday.com.