Yesterday Star Trek: Voyager stars Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang participated in a virtual panel where they discussed their upcoming podcast, memories of their years on Voyager, and more. We have gathered some highlights, including the pair proposing bringing back characters they played on Voyager, but not Tom Paris and Harry Kim.
Captain Proton to the rescue!
In response to a fan question on if the actors felt there was more story to tell for their Voyager characters Robbie said he did believe that Star Trek allows for characters to evolve and grow and it would be “interesting to see” and “really fun.” Garrett Wang agreed he would “love to see a continuation of Kim.”
Wang then brought up how at a recent convention McNeill floated the idea of a Captain Proton web series, based on the campy sci-fi adventures Tom Paris and Harry Kim would play out in the U.S.S. Voyager holodeck. Robbie enthusiastically picked up on the idea, saying:
McNeill: I loved the Captain Proton holodeck stories. I thought there should have been a lot more of that, partially because I liked the character I got to play. That could have been an amazing thing to explore the story within the story. And it was such a great echo where we could make fun of ourselves; we could reference old Star Trek plotlines. We could have done so many things in the Captain Proton holodeck story. So yeah, I think there is a great opportunity to go revisit that.
McNeill, who has transitioned to producing and directing for television, revealed this isn’t just wishful thinking. He has actually put some thought into a Captain Proton show.
McNeill: I have talked seriously about that with David Goodman, who worked on Enterprise as a writer but is also on The Orville, where I got to direct a couple of episodes. I talked to Goodman about maybe writing that serial. I don’t know if it would be a CBS All Access thing or something that we could do that would be fun and silly and we can get our cast back together, which would be a blast.
Garrett Wang was also eager about pursuing the idea and suggested that they may just want to do it on their own:
Wang: Even if we went the crowd-funding route, similar to Alan Tudyk who you have been working with on Con Man. I think they received their funding within two days. It just flowed in. Millions of dollars. I do feel we would get the same reaction if we were to crowd-fund.
The Captain Proton show-within-a-show was introduced in the fifth season Star Trek: Voyager episode “Night.” The black-and-white holodeck adventures stylized like classic Flash Gordon serials had McNeill’s Tom Paris playing the role of Captain Proton with Wang’s Harry Kim playing his sidekick Buster Kincaid. Captain Proton segments appeared in a total of nine episodes of Voyager, including “Bride of Chaotica!” where it became part of the main story and other members of the cast participated including Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Janeway playing Queen Arachnia, and Robert Picardo’s Doctor playing the President of Earth.
CBS All Access has been developing a number of Star Trek series spanning different tones and sub-genres, so a Captain Proton show isn’t totally out of the question. The Star Trek: Short Treks series could also be a possibility as it has experimented with a number of different formats including comedy and animation.
Don’t expect to show up on Picard
The first season of Star Trek: Picard featured a recurring role for Voyager star Jeri Ryan and there is a possibility that Robert Picardo might show up in season two. However, when McNeill and Wang were asked if they expected to reprise their roles on Picard, neither seemed to feel it was going to happen. The pair did talk a bit about their Voyager co-stars on Picard:
Wang: Unless we were to try to lobby ourselves on our behalf, I would doubt it. If I pushed hard. I always say the ultimate networker is Robert Picardo because he is on everything. He is supposed to be on Picard, he is on Orville twice, he has done so many things. That is due to his diligence of constantly talking to people and whispering in their ear. I have never been the guy to network with so much intensity. If I chanelled my inner Bob Picardo, maybe I will be on Picard.
McNeill: I love that Jeri is on the show, I am really happy for her. As Seven and as an actress she has got this opportunity to swing at it in a whole new way. I think it is cool. It is awesome.
Responding to a later follow up question, both actors did have some thoughts on where their characters were during the events of Picard.
McNeill: [Paris] is a spy. He is undercover. He is some kind of spy. He is pretending to be a bad guy, but that is his cover.
Wang: Ensign Kim quit Starfleet because he never gets promoted, yet out of anger he rents the retail space right next to Starfleet Headquarters and opens Admiral Kim’s Bar and Grill where only ensigns and lower in rank get discounts.
Berman shot down Wang’s Voyager movie pitch
When asked if there was ever any talk about a Voyager feature film both actors said they never heard any. However, Wang did reveal that he pitched a Voyager movie idea to the executive producer in charge of Star Trek, Rick Berman:
Wang: When I read the finale script for Voyager, the two-parter “Endgame,” the first hour I thought was brilliant. It was well-written. The tone was right. And the second hour tied everything up way too quickly. We end the show in orbit of Earth. We don’t even set foot on Earth. It was kind of a let down.
I actually went to the production offices and talked to Berman and said, “This is my idea. Film the first hour and put it on TV as the final episode and at the end say ‘To be continued in a theater near you.'” And then spend your time to film a 2 1/2 hour movie getting back home and have us land on Earth, have a parade, and deal with all the relationships. And then, just like Gilligan’s Island, we get lost again at the end of that movie and go back into space, so we could have had a whole slate of films.
And it would have been perfect as it would have replaced the god-awful [Star Trek: Nemesis] that was filming right when we were ending our show. The last two TNG movies were god-awful. I really felt a Voyager film would have been amazing and the right move to do, but Berman looks at me like, “What do you know, you are the kid on the show.”
Next Creation virtual panel: Chase Masterson
The Voyager chat was Creation Entertainment’s first virtual panel with Star Trek celebrities, but they have already lined up another. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Chase Masterson will have a virtual panel on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 AM PT. The live event will again use StageIt, with tickets priced as “pay what you can.”
Chase will also be doing a limited meet and greet on May 14th, with 10 slots being auctioned off. Wang and McNeill’s limited meet and greet will be on Wednesday, May 7th. You can bid on either virtual event at auctions.creation.com.
Keep up with all the Star Trek event news at TrekMovie.com.