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"Frame of Mind"... 21 Years Later

"Frame of Mind"... 21 Years Later

Star Trek fans were blown away when the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Frame of Mind” debuted on May 3, 1993. Sure, by the sixth season, TNG had really found its groove and was delivering strong episode after strong episode, but the 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.

Some interesting facts about “Frame of Mind”:

-- 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?”

-- James L. Conway directed “Frame of Mind.” Though he ultimately directed episodes of TNG, DS9, Voyagerand Enterprise, Conway hadn’t directed a TNG episode since the first-season entry, “The Neutral Zone.”

-- Conway has fond memories of “Frame of Mind,” telling 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. It was fun to come back to the show after so many years. By then it was an absolute great-running machine.”

-- 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.”

-- Andrew Prine, who guest starred as Sura, ventured back to the Trek fold to appear Legate Turrel in the DS9 episode “Life Support.” Prine remains a busy character actor, turning up most recently in the horror film Lords of Salem.

-- Jaya was the second of the four roles that Susanna Thompson tackled 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,” "Unimatrix Zero, Part II." The actress was most recently seen on Arrow, playing the recurring role of Oliver Queen’s mother, Moira.