"Frame of Mind" wowed Star Trek: The Next Generation fans when it debuted on May 3, 1993 -- or 25 years ago today. Yes, by year six, TNG had really found its groove and was delivering strong episode after strong episode, but this episode was also arguably Jonathan Frakes’ finest hour as Riker. He delivered a stunning dramatic performance as Number One, who’s playing a mentally ill patient/prisoner in a play called “Frame of Mind” when he starts to find himself shifting back and forth between different realities, bleeding temple and all.
A few interesting facts to keep in mind about “Frame of Mind”:
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James L. Conway directed “Frame of Mind.” Though he ultimately many directed episodes of TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise, he'd not helmed a TNG episode since the first-season entry, “The Neutral Zone.”
Brannon Braga, who wrote the teleplay, was desperate for stories when came up with the idea for the episode. The bare bones idea he built upon was “What if Riker wakes up in an insane asylum?”
Guest star Andrew Prine, who played Suna, returned to the Trek fold to appear Legate Turrel in the DS9 episode “Life Support.” Prine, now in his early 80s, remained a busy character actor, turning up most recently in the 2015 family drama Beyond the Farthest Star.
Conway has fond memories of “Frame of Mind,” telling StarTrek.com that “It was a great script because most of it, as we learned at the end, was in Jonathan Frakes’ imagination. He had this wonderful scene at the beginning where he went on for about a page and a half. It was just one shot where we started tight on him and then pulled back to reveal that he was sitting in this room surrounded by all these people staring at him.”
Two of Four
Jaya was the second of the four roles that Susanna Thompson embodied on Star Trek. Prior to Jaya, she portrayed the Romulan scientist Veral in the TNG episode “The Next Phase.” Post-Jaya, Thompson memorably guest starred as the Trill scientist Lenara Kahn in the DS9 episode “Rejoined,” and perhaps even more memorably assumed the role of the Borg Queen in the Voyager episodes "Dark Frontier," "Unimatrix Zero” and "Unimatrix Zero, Part II." Her most recent credits include Arrow, on which she recurred as Oliver Queen’s mother, Moira, NCIS and Timeless.
Paging Dr. Syrus
David Selburg, who played Dr. Syrus, had previously guest starred on TNG, appearing as Whalen in “The Big Goodbye” back in season one. He later played Toscat in the Voyager pilot “Caretaker” and a Vulcan captain in the Enterprise hour “Carbon Creek.” Enterprise was one of his last TV credits, as he only appeared thereafter in one episode each of CSI and American Dreams before retiring from the business.