Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes on why the franchise should stick to TV not movies

Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: CBS)

Star Trek legend Jonathan Frakes has opened up about why he thinks the franchise’s future is firmly on television.

In an interview in the latest issue of SFX magazine – out now and featuring Picard on the cover – Frakes explains why Star Trek’s recent stop-start history with movies means it should stick to TV.

"Movies are tough! Even JJ [Abrams] can’t get this fourth movie off the ground,” Frakes says. “All those wonderful rumours? Noah Hawley was attached to a Star Trek movie, and Quentin [Tarantino] was toying with people’s emotions about doing a movie. If those two names can’t get a fucking movie made, I don’t know. TV is the future, it seems to me."

As Frakes alludes to, the current slate of Star Trek’s movie future is very much up in the air. An initial Star Trek 4 announcement reportedly surprised even its stars, while director Matt Shakman departed the project in mid-2022. Noah Hawley and Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movies have been dropped for the time being.

On television, meanwhile, Star Trek is in rude health: Picard season 3 is out in February, while Star Trek Discovery is beaming up for a fifth season. Elsewhere, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks, and Prodigy are showing off the flexibility of the series in a wide array of adventures, both in live-action and in animation.

That's just a taste of our interview with Frakes: you can read the full conversation in the latest issue of SFX Magazine with Picard on the cover, available on newsstands now! For even more from SFX, sign up for the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Star Trek: Picard season three is on Prime Video in the UK and Paramount Plus in the US from 16 February.

I'm the Editor of SFX, the world's number one sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – available digitally and in print every four weeks since 1995. I've been editing magazines, and writing for numerous publications since before the Time War. Obviously SFX is the best one. I knew being a geek would work out fine.

With contributions from