Robert Duncan McNeill Talks Voyager Humor & Paris/Kim Bromance

Since ending his stint in the Delta Quadrant aboard the USS Voyager, Robert Duncan McNeill has moved behind the camera. He is now a director and executive producer on the light-hearted NBC spy show Chuck. In a new interview McNeill compares the comedy and "bromances" of Chuck and Voyager.


Robert Duncan McNeill on Voyager Humor + Kim/Paris Bromance

Although Chuck is a show about spies, it has a lot of humor (especially geek humor). In an interview with io9, McNeill was asked about how he has handled humor directing both Voyager and Chuck:

McNeill:The comedy in Star Trek is always very subtle, if it’s there at all. You know, Paramount would always tell us that on Star Trek, they wanted to protect their franchise during those years, by keeping it very regal. There was almost this royalty quality felt, like Patrick Stewart or Scott Bakula or Kate Mulgrew. There was this regal aspect that they thought was very important to the show and [that meant] not making fun of it.

Particulary on Voyager, we tried very hard to get light comedy into the performances, even if it wasn’t scripted, to find the humor in the characters. We had a lot of funny actors, and so yeah, it was important to try and bring the comedy. And one thing [that was similar to Chuck was that] one week you could do a murder mystery on Star Trek, and the next week you could do a light comedy, and the next week you could do a romance and action adventure. And that’s one thing we’re also able to do on Chuck. One week, you can have a real heavy romance Chuck episode, and the next week it can be some kind of murdery mystery. It’s not like doing a procedural.

io9 also asked McNeill to contrast the Chuck/Morgan "bromance" with the relationship between Tom Paris and Harry Kim. McNeill stated:

McNeill: Zach Levi has a huge heart. Zach really cares deeply about the other actors on the show, and he takes his position as the title character on the show really seriously, as far as wanting people to be happy and fulfilled. And I think that translates, in the scenes you see with Morgan and any of the actors. Zach [and Joshua Gomez] bring a lot of their offscreen personalities into the show.

Garrett [Wang] and I worked the first scene of the show together, and we immediately bonded. He was a young actor, and in a few ways I was a few years older. I was taking Garrett under my wing in the same way that Tom was taking Harry under his wing. A lot of the off-screen relationship translates [onto the screen].

Much more from McNeill on Star Trek and Chuck at io9.

McNeill & Wang in "Bride of Chaotica" one of the more humorous episodes of Voyager

Chuck returns Monday

Here is a promo.


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LOVE Bride of Chaotica!

I think that there was alot of good humor in voyager, not as much as in DS9 though.

I mean this with all due respect, but I thought the Tom Paris/Harry Kim thing was almost more than just a bromance.

You know, Voyager’s version of slash.

It was the humor and chemistry between the characters and actors that really drew me to love the show. I also loved how McNeil’s character Paris really evolved. It was beautiful

Paris/Kim were featured in an episode called “The Chute.” I think at that point, the show took a right turn past “bromance” and set a course directly towards “Brokeback Voyager.”

I always preferred Bashir and O’Brien’s friendship more. DS9 has been portrayed as the darkest series, but it had a lot of humor in it as well.

#5 LOL! I agree – Brokeback Voyager. Those two were setting off each others gadar.


Needs more Satan’s Robot. :D

@ 5 and 7. Tom and Harry were close friends, but not Gay. They were true friends, as shown in “the Chute” But they were not in love with each other. Harry was allways falling for the wrong gal, and Tom married B’lana. I allways like both those characters. As well as Chuck and Morgan in “Chuck”

@10: You say that as though I’ve never watched this show. I suffered through all seven, tepid, reset buttoned seasons. Part of the fun in suffering through the show was analyzing/making fun of the subtext (in other words, just ’cause it was on the screen, it doesn’t mean that we can’t read a ton of homoeroticism into what’s behind the screen). And that’s why there’s a cargo hold full of Harry/Tom slashfic on the net.

they were so gay but thats ok “10 just got the facts wrong it like this kim and paris never face up to the gayness but deep down they know so that eplains kim going out with the wrong girl and paris marrying someone well more male than him

Uggh Harry Kim alone is worse enough but with Tom Paris together….unbearable combo. like a lot of Voyager waste of time and money. and one of the reasons Trek on TV died…

It seems you cannot have a post about Voyager without having some haters pop up. I’m almost tempted to believe that they sit around like landmines waiting to be stepped on. I guess we Voyager fans have to walk on eggshells with these types of particular disgrunted fans! Too bad how people can have such feelings about a show that ended a long time ago. Maybe its time you moved on and let the air clear. What is the point in besmirching this board with pointless comments that do not add anything. Anyway, I have enjoyed TNG, DS9, VOYAGER AND ENTERPISE. Each one is interesting in their own way and I love the ideas that were explored therein. I do not look to them to solve my life’s problems though. They are merely comfort food for a rainy day. As for Tom and Harry, it was a given that they would be paired up as friends. I never got the bromance thing from them and my gaydar is working just fine.

I always love how some people try to find homosexual relationships in characters where there is none. I understand those in the gay and lesbian community want to be accepted in society, and that may be a legitimate debate. But to try to invent those relationships where none exists does not help your cause. To me it is clear that Kim and Paris were the best of friends. But today, if you have best friends who are the same sex, all of a sudden they are harboring secret, homoerotic fantasies about each other. Can’t they just be friends without any sexual or romantic attraction. It reminds me of a debate on another board where some fans were trying to find some gay attraction between Kirk and Spock. To say Kirk has any secret gay longings is like saying James Bond has a gay attraction to Felix Leiter. I mean, you can’t get any more hetero than Kirk.

#14–I too enjoyed all Star Trek. Yes some episodes could have been better, but lets face it, there was even a few episodes in the original series that sometimes make you cringe. So nothing in life is perfect. But the overall series were still great.

#15- Don’t worry, it’s a joke. The idea of Tom and Harry being gay lovers is funny. There’s a good debate to be had about WHY it’s funny, but it is funny in a surreal and subversive way. IMHO

Um, no. It’s just sophomoric and yet another example of mainstream homophobia in society, even among Star Trek fans.

A Paris/Kim homerotic subtext?

Great, and I was thinking of giving Voyager another chance…


so they liked to play with each others no-no’s…get over it.