‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Star Robert Duncan McNeill Lobbies Paramount+ For ‘Captain Proton’ Series

Last May, TrekMovie first reported that Star Trek: Voyager actors Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang were hoping to bring the Voyager holodeck adventures of Captain Proton back, possibly as part of the new Star Trek: Short Treks on Paramount+. McNeill hasn’t given up on the idea and has spent the last few days lobbying for it on Twitter.

McNeill gets #CaptainProtonSeries trending

It all started last week when Kate Mulgrew jumped on a Twitter trend of posting pictures of yourself as the final boss from a video game. She chose a pose as Queen Arachnia from the episode “Bride of Chaotica!” which garnered tens of thousands of likes.

That popular tweet got people talking about Captain Proton and tagging various Voyager actors including Robert Duncan McNeill, leading him to create a new #CaptainProtonSeries hashtag, saying “Let’s get this trending!!! More adventures!!!” He tagged some of his fellow Voyager co-stars along with executive producer Alex Kurtzman and Paramount+.

As fans started jumping on the trend, McNeill amplified them with RTs, like the one below.

And he has continued with a number of his own over the last few days.

He has also made more direct appeals to Kurtzman, including quoting a tweet from co-star Garrett Wang.

McNeill has a plan

Robert Duncan McNeill isn’t just an actor looking for more work. In the two decades since returning home from the Delta Quadrant, he has spent most of his time behind the camera as a director on shows like Chuck, Dawson’s CreekChuckSupernaturalThe Orville, and others. He’s been an executive producer on a number of shows including Chuck, Resident Alien, and The Gifted. Late last year he was tapped by Disney+ for a new Turner & Hooch TV series.

But he still seems to want to carve out some time to get together with his old Voyager friends and bring back the campy black and white sci-fi holodeck adventures of Captain Proton. Even though his hashtag is for “Captain Proton Series,” he has previously said he sees it as a series of shorts, which could fit into the Short Treks format.

In addition to Garrett Wang, other Voyager actors have expressed interest in the project. In her most recent TrekMovie interview, Kate Mulgrew said she thought it “could be fun” to reprise her Proton role of Queen Arachnia. The actress added that playing Arachnia was “probably the greatest fun I had in the seven years on Star Trek.”

McNeill said he has spoken briefly with The Orville writer/executive producer David A. Goodman about the project. Goodman is a big Star Trek fan who worked as a writer/producer on Star Trek: Enterprise and has written a number of Star Trek books. Goodman told TrekMovie that he would love to pitch the series to Kurtzman, but he did have some issues with still being under contract with Fox at the time. He said once he was done at Fox, he would make pitching Trek ideas to CBS a priority.

While there was no mention of more Short Treks at the Paramount+ event last week, Kurtzman has said he wants to continue with the series which garnered him an Emmy-nomination in 2020. He has cited it as a good place for experimentation with different formats and creatives. He has even already expressed interest in doing something with black and white, which would fit the bill.

Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill in a Captain Proton adventure on Star Trek: Voyager

There is some precedent

There has been no response yet on McNeill’s Proton campaign from Paramount+ or Kurtzman, but it’s likely they are aware of the calls on social media. They have responded to fan feedback before when considering what to do with their Star Trek portfolio. After Pike, Spock, and Number One (and the USS Enterprise) were popular features in season two of Discovery, there were calls from fans for them to get their own show. Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn were brought back to reprise their roles for three Short Treks in late 2019. In May 2020—citing fan interest—Kurtzman and CBS announced the Strange New Worlds series, and reported that it would launch ahead of their planned Section 31 show with Michelle Yeoh, which was still in development. So there is some hope for Captain Proton if the people in charge of the Star Trek Universe at Paramount+ see it as something that will fit their plans and please the fans.

Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Pike, and Rebecca Romijn as Number One are getting their own series thanks to popular demand


Keep up with the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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It’s gotta be worth at least one Short Trek.

Maybe they could do a short trek season where each episode touches on each series.

I like the idea of Short Treks that go beyond the series currently in production.

Bring them on!

The only problem I can see with doing short treks beyond the current productions is the cost would go up. That being said, a Captain Proton Short Trek would be relatively cheap to do, one set, couple of actors. Should be fun!

You may be on to something. Captain Proton could play out like a 1930s serial with 10 10 minute episodes, each week ending with a cliffhanger.

I love if they could do something like that. I recently watched those classic 1930s serials and I enjoyed them immensely.

It would get old. It’s a cute idea, but not one I want to commit to for weeks

This is at very best, a one and done project. On a budget that covers renting a lab at JPL, a couple gallons of paint and a few sheets of plywood…and shooting it on a couple of iPhones.

If Robbie or Garrett are reading this, cold call us in Pasadena. Seriously. You’ll get routed to one of many JPLers who love Trek — and would work pro-bono to get some non-restricted lab space if you want to shoot a proof-of-concept home video for Mr. Kurtzman and CBS consideration…

We want to see you guys return. Captain Proton would be GREAT! A serialized event. Make it happen!

The Captain Proton scenes on Voyager were fun, but I don’t think it could carry a whole show. Maybe a single Short Trek, but not much more than that.

Yeah one 15 minute episode is about all this idea has in it. Best not to overkill.

Ugh. No.

To the people who dismiss this idea offhand, I think you guys are taking this way more seriously than needed. Just relax and try to see this as a fun offshoot of Trek. Not everything needs to be ultra serious all the time. Sometimes you gotta enjoy the cheesiness.

Agreed, It could be a lot of fun.

Yeah, they are talking about a few 10-15 minute shorts, not making a full on show out of if. Would not like the latter at all, but completely fine with the former.

Case in point, the campy Batman series with Adam West. From what I could tell, they never took themselves seriously, and yet the show was quite fun to watch.

oh dear god no.

Was never a huge fan of the Captain Proton stuff, but I did really love Bride of Chaotica! That is such a fun episode and I truly miss just seeing purely comedic episodes the new shows don’t have the time or desire to do.

Anyway, obviously I know a lot of fans would love to see this happen judging by how many likes its gotten and Kurtzman does seem to listen to the fanbase a lot, so you never know? Fans help make a Pike show happen, got hair put on the Klingons again, Discovery thrown into out of the TOS timeline into the far future and Section 31 put on the backburner, so maybe this can happen too if they make enough noise! :)

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Is not my favorite. But I know it is popular for many STV fans. There are so many ways to pull this off. Short Treks are the best option. Or in one Discovery episode, they can even have any character going to the Voyager J Holodeck and pull out Captain Proton, from the ship’s archives. A Moriarty or Vic Fontaine episode. An episode that Discovery characters can’t turn it off.

They can even have The Doctor returning from the Delta Quadrant, wishing badly to see his old crew.

LOL….oh, I think I need to go to bed soon, total non-sense. :P

Last edited 1 month ago by Jay

Oh for the love of God no more Vic Fontaine! He was of the weaker aspects of DS9 for sure. I couldn’t stand the character and premise. I wanted to vomit when Odo went to him for advice about love. Season 7 also had that weird tie in with Sisko’s mother being a wormhole alien. And they turned Gal-Dukat from a 3 Dimensional character into a crazed cultist!

I have zero interest in Captain Proton. I just don’t see how it would work. Hate to break it to Wang and McNeill but they are just too old now to pull of their characters convincingly.

Let’s learn from Wandavision! A Captain Proton series might be fun but at the same time it means something. Maybe a miniseries with 10 short episodes with Tom and Harry trapped in the simulation who have lost their memory.

COULD mean something…

Yes please csn even stsrt with people on a mining colony tuning to watch. Hey its tine for….Captiam Proton!!!!!

Bring it on.

Come on dude, have you agent work harder. LOL

If that’s directed at Robert Duncan McNeil, then you didn’t read the article.

That’s what I thought every time Dorn started talking about Captain Worf. Or, in the 90s, every time Takei started talking about Captain Sulu.

Hmm, it would definitely fit within Kurtzman’s wheelhouse- you know, risible melodrama, cornball villains, dastardly super-weapons. RDM might be onto something…

Ha. I try to be supportive, but yeah.

I still wonder how big a culprit CBS is in all this expensive mediocrity, though.

All the new Trek shows really feel like CBS procedurals.

The network doesn’t really do nuance (ex CBS’s standard Clarice vs NBC’s late, incredible Hannibal).

Taking an appeal “directly to someone on Twitter” really is the height of sadness. Either that or he’s just having a laugh.

I think an animated Short Trek mini series of Captain Proton could work possibly.

But Garratt Wang and Robert McNeil are hardly as young as they were in the late 90s to make a live action sequel be viable.

It would be a 15 minute short, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Tom Cruise is older than both of them and still jumping off of buildings.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise. Garrett Wang is… well Garrett Wang.

Well, what does Kurtzman like to say? It takes two years from idea to release. That should give Garrett Wang enough time to get ready.

LOL

Exactly. They can pull it off if they make it right.

I like the idea of doing an animated Short Trek with Captain Proton. One of Dixon Hill would be fun too.

You list Chuck twice under his directing credits and refer to Fox as “fix” at one point. You might want to fox those 😉

Well, Robert Duncan McNeill directed many more episodes than any other director on Chuck, almost 3 times as many episodes as the second most prolific director of that show. So it’s only fair to list it twice ;-)

I would watch that. Bound to be fun.

Why stop at Captain Proton?

There could also be a Dixon Hill series with a new cast.
Or even a Vic Fontaine series.

Why?

I understand some Short Treks or a made-for-streaming movie for some of these, but even a 6 hour limited series seems to be an incredibly small niche of fan service.

Not everything needs to be a series in itself. Sincerely.

Pass… The only good thing about Captain Proton were Kate Mulgrew scenes. A show on it’s own – not interested.

A single Short Treks episode, definitely. A show? No. No.

I’d love to see a one-off series of The Adventures of Captain Proton staring Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang, with the cast of Star Trek Voyager either returning to the roles the crew played like Kate Mulgrew as Queen Arachnia and Robert Picardo as The President of Earth, create new villains and heroes that Captain Proton would meet each episode that other cast members like Tim Russ could play, or could recast already existing characters, like Roxann Dawson could play Constance Goodheart, Ethan Phillips would make a great Lonzak, I’d love to see Robert Beltran as Doctor Chaotica and Jeri Ryan play as Satan’s Robot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Captain Link8909

I’m sorry, but I just don’t see this working out.

Maybe as a short 10 minute add on to a series episode. So say, each episode of SNW begins or ends with a Captain Proton. But on its own? No.

Michael Dorn has been pitching his Captain Worf series to anyone who will listen. How’s that worked out, guys?

I love the idea of a Captain Proton Series! It would be just perfect as Short Treks or a mini series. And it would be really cheap to produce in terms of production value and specual effects. So it would be perfect for the streaming services to bridge some weeks between the high value tentpole series. Let’s do it! :-)

A short form series!? I think it’s brilliant.

There’s a finite amount of Star Trek TV series that CBS can make and this would be an absolute waste of one of them. One shot Short Trek at best.

A Short Trek wold be nice.

It would be nice if Short Treks were used in greater frequency to fill in narrative spaces (like Marvel is using Wandavision to flesh out smaller plot threads that the movies have no time for). Or to tell cool side stories such as Proton.

You know…. it might be a cool thing (or not), if for a strange reason Captain Proton appeared in Zora’s film library as a cheezy Earth Sci-Fi show, rather than in Federation / Voyager archives as the holodeck glitch or mis-hap that it was. The focus of that episode of DISCO could be a supposed glitch in Zora that oddly starts running unending streams of Proton. But it could turn out that the Proton show hides some encoded data within the video that connects back to Voyager’s RELATIVITY, TIMELESS or LIVING WITNESS or SHATTERED episodes.

If it was played but for real drama and Trek-universe interconnectivity, that could be good.

Probably the last thing the franchise needs.

Do a limited series, 8 to 10 episodes. I think it would be totally ‘ awesome to watch.

What if Paramount throws a boatload of cash to someone like Quintin Tarrintino and says Quintin We are still interested in doing this R rated Star Trek, but we want a test run. We are not sure if an R Rated Star Trek is going to work, so we want you to do a test run. You make this one and only mini movie of a character from Voyager called “Captain Proton”, but we want it for you to do it with you R Rated style with language and violence and the whole nine yards. A one shot deal. Perhaps an hour. We will see if it works. Could be a complete disaster, but it could really interesting and then we will know if an R rated Star Trek can work. What do you think? You throw enough money at someone and you could almost get almost any director.

Who’s the “we” here? :)

Personally, I had only mild curiosity in QT Trek – I think it was good for hype, but I wasn’t sure it would work, or even happen (it’s not just the violence – his style is just too distinct/artificial).

I don’t mind recent QT films (Inglorious Basterds and the Sharon Tate one were especially okay), but I don’t know if I want to see his Trek.

And a “short” (one-hour) Trek film would still cost A LOT of money.

Given how few movies Quentin Tarantino does in general he’s not going to commit to a “test run” before maybe committing to a full movie. Either Paramount is serious about asking him to do a Trek movie in his specific style and or they are not. Tarantino doesn’t sound like a director desperately waiting for any studio to call and offer him any kind of movie.