If you are a fan of Star Trek Voyager, you will want to pick up the new issue (#16) of the official Star Trek Magazine. There is an extensive set of articles and interviews looking back at Trek’s fourth series. We have extended interview excerpts below from Jeri Ryan (7of 9) and Robert Picardo (The Doctor), plus preview images from the issue.
Jeri Ryan: 7of 9 looks back to Voyager
(interview excerpts from from Star Trek Magazine #16)
Star Trek Magazine: Your first science fiction series was Dark Skies, where you played an extraterrestrial investigator. How different was it to go from Dark Skies to Voyager?
Jeri Ryan: Well, Dark Skies, I look back on as a glowing, wonderful moment because that was my first series. It wasn’t given a fair shake by the network. But it was, I think, very good writing and incredible acting. But it was very, very brief. I was only on the last seven episodes before the show was canceled. Then I went straight from that into Star Trek. Kind of a tough leap for me to make because I’m not a science fiction person myself. Never have been. And Dark Skies was a little easier because it was a period piece, was set in the 1960s, was pretty cool, and while it was about aliens and wasn’t reality, it was still a little more realistic and a little more palatable for someone to do who was not a Star Trek or science fiction fan.
What did you like most about playing Seven of Nine?
She was a great character to play. She was so beautifully written. And it was fun watching her grow and change, become more human and learn about all those things. It was a great role for an actor.
Looking back on Voyager, was there anything you would have liked to have done as Seven of Nine that you never had a chance to?
No, I really don’t think there was anything that I wanted to do that didn’t get done with that character. We did everything we could do. And I think it was a good time to say good-bye and move on. I don’t know how much longer it would have been interesting.
If we caught up with characters 10 years after Voyager returned to Earth, what do you think Seven of Nine would be doing?
Well, from what they showed us in the last episode, I assume she’s married to Chakotay. And she’s living with humans. So who knows?
Overall, how would you sum up your time on Voyager?
In a lot of ways, it was a great four years. It was tough. But it was really great. She was a wonderful, rich character that I got to play. It was great working with the people I got to work with. It was a hoot. It was fun raising my son in space for four years. He came on the set all the time. He loved it.
…more from Ryan in Star Trek Magazine #16, on newsstands Feb. 10
Jeri Ryan and 7of9 on Star Trek Voyager
Picardo reflects on his time in the Delta Qudrant
(interview excerpts from from Star Trek Magazine #16)
Star Trek Magazine: The Doctor was so much more than a collection of ones and zeroes. He started out as a computer program, but ended up a sentient being. How do you believe that difference in his origin contributed to his development over the years?
Robert Picardo: The Doctor was programmed with the capacity to learn, and to modify his behavior with new information. He was given primitive emotional subroutines, supposedly so that he would have empathy for his patients – a bedside manner, so to speak – so he could adapt and learn.
I think his most redeeming quality as a hologram, which is, frankly, probably the most redeeming quality any human could have, is that he truly desired to expand his own horizons, to learn more, and to make himself a more valuable member of the Voyager crew. Those were his most shining qualities.
It was fun for me as an actor, because he also had a great deal of negative qualities. The Doctor could be very self-centered, arrogant, petulant, and cowardly. These were all great fun to play. I did not have to be heroic, brave and true the way most Starfleet officers have to be, because my original design was strictly for emergency medical situations. When I was placed in another situation, I didn’t have to respond in the most heroic way. That kind of latitude and freedom made the character a great deal of fun to play.
You mentioned some of the changes that came with Seven joining the crew. How do you think Seven changed the Doctor?
Obviously, it gave me a great character arc. In another way, though, Seven of Nine took some of the Doctor’s storylines. The first three seasons, the Doctor had all of these entitlement issues: I’d like to have a name, I’d like my own personal space, I’d like the respect of the crew as if I were a unique individual and not just a piece of technology.
When Seven came on, as a human who had been assimilated and was now trying to reclaim her humanity, all of those discussions about what constitutes an individual and an individual’s rights became fodder for her storyline. I surrendered some stories as a character when Seven came aboard, but I got so much more in our relationship stories.
I didn’t want to do individual entitlement stories for seven years because, let’s face it, they mined that ground with Data on The Next Generation very successfully. My whole effort with the character was to make him seem as different as possible from Data because Brent Spiner was so indelible in that role that there was no point trying to compete. I think it was a great thing that Seven of Nine’s character started carrying those storylines and the Doctor was often spun in different directions.
He went from being the student to the mentor.
Exactly. He went to being kind of a bumbling mentor, which is fun. A mentor who doesn’t quite know as much as he thinks he does.
Where would you like to have seen the Doctor go once he got back to Earth?
It’s funny, Ethan Phillips and I have a play that we authored with Ted Kopulos called “House Call” which deals with what happened to all of the Voyager crew members after we came back. It’s a great fan favorite at conventions.
It made us actually think about what happened to everybody once they got home. I think the Doctor is a lecturer at Starfleet Academy, that he does speaking engagements all over the universe. He’s an occasional guest vocalist with symphony orchestras – although he still hasn’t been asked by the San Francisco Symphony which galls him!
…more from Picardo in Star Trek Magazine #16, on newsstands Feb. 10
Robert Picardo as The Doctor on Star Trek Voyager
Remembering Voyager in Star Trek Mag # 16
In addition to the Ryan and Picardo interviews, Star Trek Magazine #16 has a feature focus on Star Trek Voyager. The guide to the fourth Star Trek series examines the potential for conflict, the power of the characters, the use of computer generated effects and the leadership style of Captain Janeway. Plus an exclusive and eye-opening interview with co-producer Bryan Fuller, and the never before revealed history of Captain Proton.
Cover for STM #16
There is a tribute to Majel Barrett Roddenberry, including a "Trek Life" styled art tribute by Dave Reddick. Star Trek Magazine #16 arrives on newsstands February 10th. More on STM at their Facebook page.
Star Trek Monthly back issues on CD-ROM
Titan started publishing Star Trek magazines in 1995 (then titled Star Trek Monthly and available only for UK markets). There were 127 issues before the magazine was offered to the United States and rebranded as Star Trek Magazine in 2006. Now, Titan is starting to make the previous issues available on a CDROM, starting with Volume 1 for £19.99 (around $30). Volume 1 collects issues 1 to 24 of the original Star Trek Monthly, and the CDROM is fully searchable and includes exclusive interviews with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, and James Doohan. For more information or to order, visit the Titan site.
Star Trek Magazine Archives CD-ROM #1
Star Trek Magazine going to 8 issues/year + Special Movie Issues coming
Star Trek Magazine is increasing its frequency from six issues per year to eight, which is another sign of renewed interest in Star Trek. The next three issues of Star Trek Magazine will have a special focus on the new Star Trek movie. These issues will have exclusive new information and images from Star Trek. There will be two movie-focused issues before Star Trek is released (# 17 on sale March 24th & #18 on sale May 5th), plus an additional movie-focused issue (#19) on sale June 9th. CLICK HERE to subscribe to get all those issues and more.
The first movie-themed issue (Star Trek Magazine #17) can be pre-ordered at tfaw.com (note the covers shown are ‘dummy covers’) and the final covers will likely have some new imagery on them .