Robert Duncan McNeill Was Asked To Reprise Tom Paris For ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 1 (and 2)

Star Trek: Picard has featured a number of franchise vets joining Sir Patrick Stewart, with more on the way in season two. But it looks like one Voyager star got away from them.

We almost had Paris

Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan was one of the Trek vets to join Star Trek: Picard in season one and she is back in season two as Seven. Now her Voyager co-star Robert Duncan McNeill is revealing that he almost joined her, telling the Primitive Culture podcast he has been talking to producers of the show about appearing in both seasons:

I did talk to [showurnner] Terry Matalas about Picard season two. And he and I’ve had a few conversations recently, and we kind of reconnected which has been great. And Terry had talked about bringing me over there as a director or as an actor bringing Tom Paris. But it’s really been about schedule. So I’d love to do Picard. I actually loved I loved that first season. And they asked me to do an episode of Picard [in] the first season as an actor to play Tom Paris… I wasn’t available.

McNeill also talked about how we would have seen Paris in Picard in season one:

It wasn’t a big sequence of scenes. It was a couple of scenes with Patrick. I think it was just like viewscreen or maybe it was in his office or something. It wasn’t a lot. They were trying to work it out so it wasn’t a lot so the schedule might work, but it didn’t pan out.

And apparently, talks have continued with the new showrunner, but McNeill’s schedule continues to get in the way:

Terry’s brought that up as well on Picard season two. They’ve been trying to figure that out. I just finished up on Turner & Hooch and I’m right back into Resident Alien, so probably won’t happen… I’d love it.

Robert Duncan McNeill playing older Tom Paris in Voyager series finale “Endgame”

Would really like to direct new Trek

As noted by McNeill, he is currently an executive producer and director for Syfy’s Resident Alien and the Disney+ series Turner & Hooch, so he is quite busy. He got his start working behind the camera on Star Trek, directing eight episodes across Voyager and Enterprise. And McNeill did say that he would be interested in finding a way to direct one of the Paramount+ Star Trek series:

I would love to get involved. When Discovery was first coming together, I know there was some conversations about me directing on that show early on, but I tend to spend most of my time producing now. And when I’m producing I’m on a show kind of full-time. And I wasn’t available when they were figuring out their first round of directors. And ever since then the stars haven’t aligned.

These days Robert Duncan McNeill spends his time behind the camera


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I’d rather it be a meaningful appearance than a stunt-casting cameo; that being said, there are such things as meaningful cameos. Let’s hope for more from McNeill & Paris.

My guess is that prior to Raffi contracting Rios Picard might have tried to recruit Paris as a pilot for his mission but for whatever reason Tom had to decline.

Yes, that sounds like the most likely scenario.

More likely Raffi was just buying drugs off him.

I was also thinking Tom Paris may have been the pilot instead of Rios.

Perhaps Paris declined on the grounds of having happy life on a successful marriage with children. It sure seems that not being scarred for life or broken psychologically to some degree might mean you’re not qualified to be on “Picard”.

The only scenes in Season 1 that I can think of that would be meaningful for Paris to appear would be in anything related to Icheb’s death and/or Seven’s mission to avenge him.

I think it’s great that Voyager characters are appearing on Picard and Prodigy, but….let’s not forget our Deep Space Nine crew.

DS9 has so much reboot potential. Bring a few characters back as regulars, maybe Bashir, Dax and Quark alongside a new cast with other legacy characters appearing on a recurring basis.

Reboot? No. Continuation? Definitely.

By reboot I mean a relaunch as it would obviously be within continuity. In terms of a continuation that stories been told but we were left with lots of new questions that could be a springboard for new adventures, what happened to the Sisko being chief amongst them. As much as I’d love to see them bring back everybody I don’t think this is a realistic expectation, much like they have with Picard, I’m sure they’d want to refresh the cast. However, recurring characters played a huge role in DS9 so there’d be plenty of opportunity to bring in legacy characters without it seeming forced.

Agree as well Corinthian7,

Would love to see ANY DS9 character on any of the new shows frankly, especially Bashir, O’Brien, Dax or Kira. But I think we will see some of them sooner than later. even in Lower Decks.

But with all these shows happening and so many of them taking place in the 24th century it’s only a matter of when IMO. I was the guy who was saying that about Q for the last two years. ;)

I still think Jake Sisko would make most sense. First they are now both non Starfleet and second they allready have a strong connection and most important Jake could serve as an antagonist with whom we could sympathize.

I admit, for some reason I always forget about Jake. No particular reason, I guess because he was never part of Starfleet. But yeah would love to see him back too. I just rewatched The Visitor about 2 weeks ago. Still his best episode hands down.

You did and I’m thrilled that Q is back, I just hope that with this being a different Q we still get to see some humour! I’ve got no doubt that we will see some DS9 characters appear. Almost by of them could show up in Picard or Lower Decks, and they were to introduce a new host for Daz in Discovery there’d be potential for both Jadzia and Ezri to appear. I’d even be down with Emony Dax showing up in SNW.

There’s just something about that station that I love though and I would be stoked if ever they made a new show set on it. Like I said I could live with the fact that they’d probably want to populate it with a mostly new crew because the nature of the show would allow original characters to still become involved in the story. I also think that of all the Berman series it had a look that could easily fit in with the newer aesthetic. I imagine they could really do an updated ‘HD’ version of the station interiors that really honours the legacy and looks beautiful.

I just spent the last 8 hours watching season 4 of DS9 through the season finale and yes in 100% agreement with you of course. I would give anything to make another show with that station and obviously some of the characters again. I’m not holding my breath but it would be nice if we even a small TV movie or mini-series, but yeah pipe dream. But DS9 has been my favorite Trek show for the last 20 years and at this rate it looks like it will be for the next 20 as well.

And they know how much fans want DS9 characters back so as said it will happen. One thing I give Kurtzman a lot of credit on, he seems to really listen to the fans and knows those characters are still very beloved 20+ years on, hence Q’s return.

Agreed, this is more of pipe dream really but it’s not completely out of the question so I live in hope!

Kira Neys has to be back as well, she is the commander of DS9.

yes! I really think the preliminary idea they ran with in the DS9 documentary could be perfect. I’d hope Sisko would come back, but I think he could even work just as a guest star or something. We could have more shayd buisness with the wormhole, Bashir doing stuff with Section 31 and he may even be a villain now, who knows? Same with Kira. If she is a vedek or something she may have drifted away from alinging herself too closely with Starfleet. We could find a lot of our favorite characters in really gray places. It would be sad Odo couldn’t return, but we did get closure on his character.

I’d love any of them to come back QuirrelOverCharmed, I just don’t think that we’d have the same primary cast and given how much time would have passed since the finale that would be fine.

There is something related to DS9 that will be dealt with on Picard. The reckoning tablet is seen in Picard’s living room set. I don’t think that’s incidental.

I’m really interested to see where they’re going with that.

If he appears, they should finally adress that Nick Locarno was an alter ego he created to distance himself from his estranged dad…

That would make zero sense.

Sure it does. It’s like Emelio Estevez changing his name to distance himself from Martin and Charlie Sheen. If you mean story-wise it makes zero sense on Picard to work it in, you’re probably right.

I mean that Locarno was expelled from the Academy but Paris graduated and became an officer. So no, it doesn’t.

Ummm, Emilio Estevez IS his name.
You meant to say that Ramón Estevez and Carlos Estevez use stage names, and Emilio didn’t.
(Martin graduated from Chaminade (Dayton, O.) H.S. in 1958, and created his Sheen stage name in NYC to help get roles.)

I’d rather see McNeill break character, look into the camera and say: “Hi, I played Nick Locarno and Tom Paris, two similar but different characters. This wasn’t a creative decision but rather the suits screwing a writer out of royalties. That’s right. You think the Borg are bad. Try Hollywood. Now back to the show…”

I liked the idea of them both being later clones of George Kirk. :D

Let’s not bury the lede here… they brought back Turner & Hooch?!

I’d kinda like to see ‘The Rockford Files’ come back….

They made attempts twice, first with Dermot Mulroney on TV and later Vince Vaughn for a movie. The Mulroney pilot was not picked up and the Vaughn movie apparently died and went to development hell.

The problem with Rockford Files is that the original was created specifically as a vehicle for James Garner who was one of a kind. I don’t think there is anyone around today who could pull it off, although Vaughn is much closer to Garner than Mulroney is.

Yeah, I got to thinking about who’d play Jim Rockford after I put up the post. Maybe Ryan Reynolds, but he’s too young. Bryan Cranston or Hugh Laurie are too old.

On Disney+, it started yesterday (7/21). It appears to be a continuation or semi-continuation of the Tom Hanks movie, from the commercials. A young, green, detective’s (implied) legendary detective father dies and wills him a slobbering, destructive, disobedient dog from hell; who the kid doesn’t want, but he starts to learn lessons from, including how to be a better cop, while funny situations occur. It is an “hour long” show, so it is a “dramady”, as opposed to a full out comedy from what I’ve heard from the promotion stuff on my local ABC station.

I assume it’s in the same dramedy/mystery category as a show like Monk or Psych.

I would assume. It looks that way from the promos. I haven’t watched it. Before “peak TV” I would have checked it out, but there are shows on streaming platforms that I said looked interesting three years ago that I haven’t watched yet. I just don’t get around to the “that looks cute category”. Cute being my point of view, not a judgement on the show itself. I’m sure it is well done, and it will have its diehard fans. Even if it somehow isn’t good, I’m sure it will have diehard fans because the lead is Josh Peck, who had come out of the Nickelodeon ecosystem well after I had aged out of the network.

There is a new interview with Robert McNeil on the Inglorious Treksperts where he talks about the new show in detail (without spoilers). He talked about how they filmed the dog (mostly real dogs with an animatronic for tricky shots and a little CGI), and how the show connects with the movie (which I have not seen).

I’ve never seen it either.

Another nail in the coffin of the myth that on screen Trek talent “isn’t busy”…..

I would say a handful are busy but the majority aren’t!

I’ve been following his work since I caught his name associated with Chuck some years back. That man found some work after Paris! Between him and Dawson and Frakes, I became quite the opening credit scene reader of any shows I watch.

Trek really got a lot of people into writing and directing jobs when they likely would never have gotten a chance otherwise. The TV landscape would be quite different without it!

I would LOVE to see Paris back on Picard! It sounds like McNeill is open to it, just busy. Didn’t happen for season 1 or 2 but there is also season 3. ;)

He looks very happy in that last image

Whichever Voyager characters they brink back, Neelix or whomever, just make sure they’ve become haunted, hard-drinking, badass asskickers firing two guns simultaneously. It’s one small way to honor the legacy of Jeri Taylor.

Bah humbug. I gave up on Picard ages ago. Terrible show. I don’t watch episodic TV so some actor can run a glorified actors camp. It may have Trek in the name and they may drop Trek names and lingo, but the stories are hogwash. I know actors always want to act, but sometimes you just need to say no.

Warning for gatekeeping trolling. Closed

It does not have to be Picard but I would love to see them bring back the daughter of Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres . The one scene they showed of her she had real Klingon fire but by all means make her much taller than her mother . And let her kick some ass .

In keeping with the themes of Picard S1, I would bet that Paris was probably going to be the Admiral played by Ann Magnussen – the one who dresses down Picard with profanity. This would be a reversal of Tom Paris’ personality, but then also… following in his father’s footsteps.

I don’t know if it would be completely. Tom is a hothead. he even got demoted AGAIN while on Voyager. I don’t think he would have had the same vitriol as Ann Magnussen’s version though. For example, even with the same dialogue, she bit out “Sheer f-ing hubris!” but Paris would have probably said it quieter behind a wry, “why am I not surprised” sort of chuckle.

Personally, we’d better get a Captain or Admiral Kim to show up on this show at some point and interact with Annika (yes, Annika. the villain lady, and even Annika herself as queen used that name. Picard is the only one who called her Seven of Nine in the show.) I took that to mean she prefers her human name, although it was subtle for the people who prefer to continue using Seven. Personally, I waited 20 years to see her act more human so I’ve been very happy with this progression

Eh I doubt it. I thought it was said somewhere that she might have originally been Janeway? Maybe that was a rumour.

I met him at a comic convention once. He was quietly walking the aisles of the Artist Alley. He stopped, took a picture with me and bought the comic that I created. It was awesome.

Its a TNG sequel where was the USS Enterprise E, or Worf or Geordi. There was a bunch of things they didn’t tell us or show us. Instead they showed us the Enterprise D which blew up in Generations, for some reason.