Picardo on Voyager Role, Roddenberry’s Vision, & New Trek Movie

In a couple new interviews Star Trek: Voyager star Robert Picardo talks on his time with Trek, his future projects and his thoughts on the new Star Trek feature. Picardo tells Seb’s Raw Takes that he initially did not have high expectations for his role as the Emergency Medical Hologram on Voyager, saying "when you accept a role that is described as ‘colorless, humorless, a computer program of a doctor’ you don’t necessarily have great expectations for how the character will develop.” The Doctor eventually became one of the break-out characters on the series and Picardo notes his thanks for how the show’s writers gave him "wonderful things to do” as his character grew and became more popular. The actor also endorsed Gene Roddenberry’s more optimistic view of the future, noting “we need more than ever to focus on the kind of hope and positive vision that Star Trek represents.”

Regarding the new Star Trek feature film Picardo seems very positive, saying “I think [Abrams is] a great talent and a really good choice to reboot the franchise. [Having] Kirk and Spock as younger men just completing their Starfleet training … is a very good notion to do with the franchise.” He went on to add that, although the characters will be recast, “if it revitalizes the franchise all of the Star Trek family will benefit from it.”

Future projects
Picardo reveals to Slice of SciFi that he has recently finished shooting for the live action film Ben 10: Race Against Time which will be on the Cartoon Network and will also appear in the new season of Stargate Atlantis as his recurring character Woolsey (pictured above). Picardo tells Seb’s Raw Takes that shooting on Stargate is “more relaxed” and “mellower” than his work on Trek.

For much more…

Slice of SciFi interview

Seb’s Raw Takes

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I thought Picardo was one of the funnier things in “Innerspace” a movie that I admit to having enjoyed.

And I won’t even say it.

Re 1:

I also enjoyed Innerspace, and was sad it didn’t become a big hit like other Spielberg produced films like Back to the Future.

I didn’t realize Picardo was in that movie. I’ll have to go back and watch it again…

THX he’s had some amusing movie parts. He also did the voice for the Jonny-Cab in the Schwarzenegger movie title escapes me at the moment.

I’ve seen him live. Class act. Very funny man.

he played a middle eastern arms dealer who was obsessed with western culture named ‘the cowboy’…very funny. Innerspace is a good film IMHO. Picardo is one of the more talented actors in Trek, and in my view the best actor on VOY.

I don’t know if he was the best actor on Voyager, but his was certainly the best character–which tells you everything you need to know about where that series went wrong. (And compared to the dullards on Enterprise, the Voyager crew were virtually Shakespearean.)

Picardo is right on about Trek’s essential optimism regarding the future. If Abrams manages to capture that aspect of the show’s vibe on film or HD video, he’ll already be halfway home.

I like Picardo. I still see Picardo as Johnny Cab in Total Recall (or at least the robotic face was modeled on him) every time I see him. I asked him if at the Star Trek 40th in Chicago last year. He admitted it was true.

I mispoke,….or mis typed. I asked him if my assumption was true. He said it was.

Robert Picardo was the best thing about Voyager.

Bla bla bla, positive future, Roddenberry’s vision, bla bla bla….

Action, Adventure, Excitement, Womanizing Captain! WHOOT! That’s what I want!

Trek has a fairly good record on casting. (I have one exception that I’ll skip here.)
Piccardo was excellent in China Beach. I think he said in another interview that that was the role that drew the Trek casting people to him for the EMH Doctor.
I’m trying to think whether any of the other characters on Voyager actually developed during the run of the series. Everyone else was pretty much the same from pilot to finale. Chakotay went through hell in the first two seasons (which was good writing) but then kinda settled down.
Anyway, I like Picardo wherever he pops up. (pun intended)

I had completely forgotten about Picardo in Total Recall. Yes, yes, I can see the resemblance. It all makes sense.

And I’m glad to make contact with other people who admit to liking Innerspace. So many years in hiding. Most people who watch it have no idea that Picardo is the cowboy, one of the funnier villians put on film. Martin Short was rather charming in it, too. I was also a big Fantastic Voyage fan, so this was right up my alley.

Innerspace fans (or appreciaters) unite!

yes, funny movie. Martin Short was on the cusp of being a main stream star back then.

#9… Yeah!

I think all the VOY characters and actors started out interesting, but the only one who seemed able to maintain that til the end was Picardo. Even through the crappy writing he still managed to bring a lot of life and energy to the show.

I believe that he also played the alien charactor and his dad in the movie The Explorers. :-)

Very talented character-actor. He was especially creepy in THE HOWLING.

He’s good on stage too. A quick wit. Fast on his feet at the Trek conventions I’ve seen him at.

Expect to find Robert Picardo in most of Joe Dante’s cinematic efforts. He and Dick Miller are like Donte’s “Mercury Theatre Players.”

Is it any wonder why they had him appear in First Contact? I remember when he appeared on the screen, and the whole audience started cheering! I don’t ever remember that happening for Janeway in Nemesis…

The one thing I didn’t like about the EMH was how the writers always cheated their way out of plot problems with him by some piece of “tech” like the mobile emitter…

He’s funny in Dante’s “Matinee” which you should see!

Btw… The Doctor is one character they could easily bring back (in a DVD movie or what have you, thanks to his mobile emitter). Make that TITAN / Riker DVD movie and get Picardo on board!

I always was impressed with his performance in China Beach. Underappreciated actor.

20… It was a few years before they gave the Doctor the mobile emitter. I felt it actually enriched the character, as it allowed him to see the outside world first hand. It helped him in his development as a sentient being. I never felt that was a cheat.

I just want to give my thumbs up to James R Kirk for entry # 9. I agree completely!

…Even though my favorite Star Trek captain of all time is Kirk, one of my favorite episodes was “The Cage” because of the ” Action, Adventure, Excitement, Womanizing Captain! ” I think that show represents the heart of Star Trek.

I think that I’m probably alone on this one…??

Sorry I got off-topic but I just had to say it.

yea, off topic… wrong ship this time

I liked the idea of a (kinda) non-machine, non-organic crew member. The Doctor’s slightly wimpy, very sarcastic persona was a fun addition. more so than say… Neelix

The Doctor was and (is) a good character in Star Trek. Wasn’t he called up – his program for Star Trek – First Contact when the Borg were breaking through the door or was that a episode on Voyager?
Also….Trek fans I need your help. I use to watch the updated Star Trek episodes out of KWGN from Denver….but for some reason I don’t see them listed anymore at 12 Midnight
Were they pulled off due to reruns or sent to a different night? I went to their site but I couldn’t find any information. I’d appreciate any info on this as KWGN was my prime source when it came to Star Trek. Thank You!

Innerspace was funny and Picardo part was just as funny as Martin Short. Of course he had more hair back then which is why many people didn’t realize Picardo was in that movie.

27 –

You are correct, he had a rather humorous cameo in FC.

I agree that he was the best character on Voyager, if only because I think he grew the most, going from a simple holographic program to, well, a crew member like anyone else. He had a lot of funny moments, but could be serious and believable about issues like medial ethics, historical integrity, and even falling in love (with a former Borg, no doubt!). ‘Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy’ was a hilarious episode IMHO.

And, Picardo was quite funny on The Wonder Years as well as the P.E. coach…

I can remember seeing Picardo on TV in the early 80’s in a “Taxi” episode and I think he played a part in “All In The Family” maybe someone can help me remember, gosh its been so long.

# 31: No…..I just checked – Mr. Picardo wasn’t ever in All In The Family…I did a Wikipedia
check to confirm it. I think he stood out in The Wonder Years. Can’t wait till that comes out on DVD.


Who’s the guy who was the gun dealer in the first Terminator? I see him in everything Joe Dante directs. Including the Police Squad episode he did.

Re: Picardo – YES, The HOWLING. Great movie, great performance by Picardo. Patrick Macnee, John Carradine, Dick Miller, Kevin McCarthy, Dee Wallace, Forrie J. Ackerman, Roger Corman, Slim Pickens (!!!) … what’s not to like?

Is The Wonder Years coming out on DVD? I figured clearing the music rights would have priced that series out of DVD.

Fox is currently working on getting it out on DVD but like you mentioned the high costs of securing the rights is what is holding up the release now and delayed it in the past.

Robert Picardo’s acting made the Doctor come to life in Voyager, the highlight of the show for me in many ways. Don’t see any reason why he couldn’t be brought back for a potential Star Trek Titan movie.

I can’t see why Paramount doesn’t open its eyes and develop a new Star Trek series with Captain Riker. You would think that they could come up as some decent storylines as that seems to be a major hurdling block for any NEW Star Trek whether its a film or series.
The same thing goes with a series with Sulu – that could be still be done but you can 100% certain that Paramount will let that opportunity get away too. Its too bad that they don’t take the time to develop it – Lord Knows they have the money.
They should film either series ASAP and upon the success of the next movie release or put up for bid their latest show. I think its a great idea myself.
Does anyone have info on TOS-Remastered out of Denver – KWGN? Did they drop it from their Saturday night (12 Midnight) lineup? Or was it moved? I went to their site to look for info but I didn’t (couldn’t) find any information regarding the show. Can someone help me in this area? I’m asking only because its my prime source for viewing.

A Captain Sulu series could have been great. Would have been a great series, I think.

yea a sulu series would have been good. but i say they could get away with riker , i mean the titan novels are good , and i like thats its just set after the tng movies, i mean i dont mind the moves going back a bit , and enterprise was good for the most part , but i hope they dont start a new series in the 26th century or something , just have it with rikers . or some other captain after nemsis , the feds and klingon and even the roms all fairly at peace , i mean we still have th borg , the domiainon and other “evil” races, plus with all the tech voyager brought back , they could start putting slip stream on ships and having them crossing the galaxey sooner . i would love tha series

Yeh!! Captain Sulu…get’s the man in every episode! Sorry couldn’t help myself!!

Good Lord, since when did a “positive view of the future” become something negative or mock worthy??

What the hell is wrong with people today anyway? Are people so despondent and unhappy in their miserable little existence that they react negatively when someone dares to hope for something better for the future of humanity?

What especially kills me is the “Gene Roddenberry and his social utopia” qoutes condemning the man for daring to envision a united humanity not limited to petty squabbles over God damn natural resources or politics, or religion. And thats a BAD thing? There sure as hell must be alot of warmongers and bigots running around today because I can’t for the life of me figure out how people getting along could remotely be considered a BAD thing or something worthy of mocking. The only remote way I can envision anyone having ANYTHING remotely negative or condescending to say about a positive future or a united mankind, or social utopia, is if you are some sort of leech profiteer that BENEFITS from human death, disease, plague, famine, or peace.

Cowboy diplomacy and “action, adventure, excitement” etc is good in MOVIES and fiction, not real life when real peoples lives are involved and there are real risks. It’s real easy to celebrate “action,adventure, death, destruction, and war” from your God damn couch in your living room.

Gene Roddenberry, or hell anyone, that dares to dream of a positive future for humanity needs to be EXALTED and have statues erected to them. Who gives a shit whether they themselves lived their dream, they had hope and dreamed it and included everyone, yes even warmongers would fit into the equation, only I suspect they wouldn’t in such an era profit very much from conflict.

Hmm……Ok – Where are the listings for each State – regarding the updated program schedule for TOS? I looked and couldn’t find that either. I must be having a bad day.
Thanks for all the help….and have a nice weekend.

As someone who first got into Trek by watching Voyager, I have a particular affinity for those characters. Robert Picardo was one of the best things about the show. His role as the EMH would have been pretty thankless, but the Doctor enjoyed the most growth as a character, which Picardo must have found particularly satisfying. I’m also glad to see that he recognizes how important the new movie is to the franchise; any new viewers the movie draws in might be motivated to see what else Trek has to offer.
Also, I would like to point out that I too have seen Innerspace and enjoyed it.
This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written on this site, and, ironically, I had to type it out using the stylus on the Nintendo DS web browser.

#41, No kidding! Some of the Roddenberry comments I’ve noticed on the site are borderline BASHING.

The positive future for an improved humanity is the keystone of Trek. It’s okay to appreciate all of the more badass elements of the franchise more than the fact that there’s a shrink in TNG, but for pete’s sake, either lay off the guy or trade in your tricorder for a lightsaber.

A captain riker series would be awesome. I’m sure Frakes would do it, and characters from TNG, DS9, and VOY could guest star once in awhile…..I’d definitely go for it.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz is it dec 08 yet?

I always thought Picardo was too talented for Trek, great actor

The problems with voyager for me, was, 1. too many main characters. Nine to be exact. TNG has the same problem originally, but finally worked it’s way down to seven, much like TOS.
Too many main characters for the shows setup, “lost in space”.
2. It never lived up to the potential it set up for itself in the pilot. The culture clash between The Federation officers and the Maquis rebells; There should have been constant clashes for at least the fist few years. But instead, almost immediately, everybody was “old friends”. We should have seen sparks between Chakotay and Paris, as it was set up in the first episode, but never followed through on. Those two should have been at each others throats for a few years, then gradually become the best of friends. We also should have seen more sparks between Janeway and B’Elanna. Granted we got that kind of relationship later between Janeway and Seven of Nine. It provided a dynamic much needed to a show which fell into a comfortable groove far to early.
The show should have featured Janeway, The Doctor, B’Elanna, Chakotay and Seven of Nine (yeah I know, but cat suit aside, that character was one of the most interesting to watch in Trekdom.) The other characters should have been kept in the periphery to augment the story lines. That can be done, and still allow for character development of periphery characters.
Too many chefs in the kitchen….
3. Where was the threat? They were far, far away from home and out of their comfort zone, yet you never really sensed a life and death situation. All the aliens they encountered were really no different than the ones you could run into a Quarks bar, and most were technologically inferior to Voyager. That, to me, was a disappointment. Every week should have been, “New Worlds”…”New Aliens”…”New Threats”. There should have been a sense of, “will they make it this time!”, but there wasn’t. Rambo broke a sweat more often than these guys did!
The show should have been; “A culture clash between former enemies (the maqui and starfleet), forced to work together in a fight for survival in an unknown part of the universe, as they attempt an impossible journey back home!”

Rant over.

I think the Doctor, Seven of Nine, Tom Paris, B’Lanna were develope well. Robert Picardo was an excellent actor. I think the whole cast of Voyager was excellent. Even when the episode was bad they made the show worth watching.

Robert Picardo was great in ‘The Wonder Years’ as Coach Cutlip. In fact he was one of the best parts of that show in the early seasons. To wax nostalgic…