“We Didn’t Know It Was The End”: Jonathan Frakes On Directing Star Trek Discovery Series Finale


  • Star Trek: Discovery’s season 5 finale became the series finale after Paramount+ canceled the show, leaving fans emotionally shocked.
  • Jonathan Frakes, a beloved Star Trek director, directed the first half of the finale and expressed his surprise at the show’s abrupt end.
  • Reshoots were done to transform the finale into a definitive ending for the series, but ongoing strikes may delay the release of season 5 on Paramount+.

Star Trek legend Jonathan Frakes discusses directing the season 5 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, which later became the series finale. Frakes is perhaps the most beloved of Star Trek’s directors, especially among the actors. Jonathan helped some of the most intense and emotionally resonant episodes of Star Trek: Discovery since joining the show’s roster of directors, and he still considers Discovery his “home” series of the Star Trek on Paramount+ shows.

In an interview with Variety conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strikes, Jonathan Frakes explained how he came aboard to direct the first half of Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 5 finale, only to later learn that Paramount+ canceled the show, which made season 5 the final season. Read his quote below:

“I directed the first half of the finale of Season 5, which turned out to be the real finale. So that was a very emotional end as well. When we did it, we didn’t know it was the end. And then [‘Discovery’ executive producer and director] Olatunde Osunsanmi had to go back up and do two or three days of new stuff to actually make the finale the finale.”

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Is Still Scheduled For 2024 On Paramount Plus

Star Trek: Discovery‘s cancelation in March 2023 came as a surprise, but is a reflection of the changing state of the industry with streaming services like Paramount+ struggling to be profitable. Presumably, Star Trek: Prodigy was canceled by Paramount+ for the same financial reasons. Paramount+s original plan for Star Trek: Discovery was to use 2023 to build hype for the final season with a series of publicity events, but the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes prevent writers and actors from publicizing their work for the studios and streamers they are striking against. This included Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 5 hype at San Diego Comic-Con, which was reduced to a release of a 5-minute clip from a season 5 episode.

As Jonathan Frakes noted, reshoots took place in Toronto months ago to turn the Star Trek: Discovery season 5 finale episode into a capper for the entire series. It’s unclear if this affects the “emotional” hour Frakes directed, which would be episode 9 of season 5, or if the reshoots are only for episode 10. Unfortunately, the longer the strikes go on and the studios and streamers refuse to negotiate a fair deal with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, it could mean Star Trek: Discovery season 5’s release could be pushed back by Paramount+ until the actors and creatives can join in promoting the final season. Otherwise, it would be a shame to release Star Trek: Discovery season 5 without their support, but that could also happen.

Source: Variety

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