Star Trek Voyager has been off the air for a decade, but actor Garrett Wang still has some issues with how the show was run, and how it was ended. In a new interview the Ensign Kim actor reveals how he feels about decisions made by show producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman, including not getting a chance to be on the big screen.
Wang on Berman, Braga and no Voyager feature film
Garrett Wang spoke to the official Star Trek site about his life today and his life on board the USS Voyager for seven seasons as Ensign Harry Kim. He was very candid about some of his issues with the show, starting off with the whole perpetual Ensign thing, saying:
Kim was probed, beaten, tortured and held the distinction of being the first Voyager crew member to die and come back to life. What more does a guy have to do to get promoted to Lieutenant for frak’s sake? To add further insult to injury, other crew members such as Tuvok (Russ) and Paris were being promoted, demoted and then re- promoted throughout the seven-year run of Voyager.
I’m not trying to be negative here; just saying it like it is. During the fourth season, I called writer/producer Brannon Braga and asked him why my character hadn’t received a promotion yet. His response? “Well, somebody’s gotta be the ensign.” Geez, thanks. Thanks for nothing.
But Wang doesn’t just have a bone to pick with Brannon Braga, the actor also recalls a strange direction he received from show producer Rick Berman, saying:
When casting ended on Voyager, all the actors were invited by executive producer Rick Berman to attend a congratulatory luncheon. It was during this lunch that Berman informed us that he expected all actors portraying human roles to follow his decree. He told us that we were to underplay our human characters. He wanted our line delivery to be as military — and subsequently devoid of emotion — as possible, since this, in his opinion, was the only way to make the aliens look real.
My first thought was, “That’s not right! What the heck was Berman talking about? Was he pulling our legs? The human characters shouldn’t be forced to muffle their emotions. We were human, not androids!”
Wang goes on to say that he believes his revealing some of his concerns to a TV Guide reporter early in Voyager’s run "sealed the death" of any chance of him getting to direct an episode, noting "I was the first actor in Star Trek history to be denied the chance to direct."
Garrett Wang wishes Kim got promoted from Ensign (L), but he did get to be a captain in an alternate time line (R) at least
Like some actors from Star Trek: Enterprise, Wang seems to have issues with Voyager’s crew not getting the chance to get to the big screen (like the original Star Trek and Next Generation before). Here is Wang’s suggestion for a better version of Voyager’s finale:
If I was running Star Trek: Voyager, what I would have done is keep the first hour exactly the way it was and, the second hour, I would have taken the same kind of pacing as the first hour and then ended it with a caption on screen saying, “To be continued at a theater near you.” Then I would have done a two-hour feature film.
And for even more Wang, Syfy.de has released another clip of Wang from Fedcon XX, this time talking about lessons learned on location for Star Trek: Voyager.