'Castle' scoop: Rick and Kate take romance to 'another level ... the final frontier,' teases director Jonathan Frakes
And who better to steer them there than Jonathan Frakes? Directing this episode is the former star of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," on which he played Commander Will Riker.
When Zap2it chatted with Frakes about "Final Frontier," he set his phasers to stun -- and fun: In addition to behind-the-scenes scoop, he hinted at a surprising new development in Castle and Beckett's relationship.
PHOTO GALLERY: "Castle" visits the final frontier
"I'm a huge fan of the show," shared Frakes, "and I had the privilege of directing Stana in a TV movie just before she got 'Castle.' "It's a brilliant cast, especially with the comedy -- it's a comedy that just happens to be a cop show."
And in "Final Frontier," the cop comedy also embraces the sci-fi, with a basket full of Easter eggs to please genre fans.
"There's a Browncoat in the show," Frakes reveals (referring of course to "Firefly," starring Fillion). "Nathan does a Shatner impersonation that is absolutely killer. Armin Shimerman, who was a Ferengi from our show [Quark in several "Star Trek" series], plays a mad scientist, and [Ed Quinn] from "Eureka" -- the cast is filled with sci-fi actors.
"And there are moments in the writing that are winks to "Next Gen," "Firefly," "Star Wars" -- all kinds of double entendres. Fans that enjoy the genre will be highly entertained."
Frakes' favorite nod, though, happens at a sci-fi convention: "There is a moment at the convention where Richard Castle is signing autographs on his newest 'Castle' graphic novel," he explains. "And someone makes an appearance who looks a lot like me and says, 'I am your No. 1 fan.'"
( Patrick Stewart's Captain Picard refers to Riker as "No. 1" in "TNG.") "There are Easter eggs throughout, and if you listen closely you'll hear some voices you may recognize and you'll see some moments that will make you smile," the director continued. "It's one for the fans of the genre to watch closely!"
It's the last scene, however, "Castle" fans will appreciate most of all.
"I like the fact that there's this undercurrent of this love, this affair," Frakes enthuses about Rick and Kate's romance. "The last scene in my mind at the 'Final Frontier' convention is something that will take their relationship to another level -- if you'll pardon the expression, the final frontier."
Make it so!
"Castle" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.