Joanathan Frakes: on Roswell’s success and the surprises in store
By Melissa Perenson
He’ll forever be known as Number One to generations of Star Trek: The Next Generation viewers–but actor Jonathan Frakes has branched out to other genre franchises. His successful post-Trek directing and producing career now includes the WB’s Roswell, which returns for its sophomore season this fall. The series explores the angst and antics of three survivors of the Roswell, N.M. crash of ’47. When we last saw local Roswell high-schooler Liz (Shiri Appleby) and aliens Max (Jason Behr), Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and Michael (Brendan Fehr), the group had opened up a Pandora’s box on the aliens’ past. That’s something Frakes promises will be explored in more detail this coming season.
Meanwhile, even as Frakes continues as an executive producer on Roswell’s second season, he’s readying a genre feature film, Clockstoppers, that he’ll direct for Paramount. His duties on that film may limit his opportunities to direct future episodes of Roswell (he directed three in the series’ first season). Plus, Frakes is closely following the talks for a tenth Star Trek movie, which he says could be ready by winter 2001.
Were you taken aback by the support Roswell received from the fans at the end of the season, right down to the Tabasco sauce campaign?
Frakes: I thought that was great. I wasn’t surprised, because I know that there’s been that kind of loyalty about Star Trek, historically, certainly in the original seasons; the original series was picked up partially because of fan support. So I was a cousin to that kind of phenomenon. I must say I was thrilled that that happened for Roswell; that was kind of a treat.
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