Picardo: I Think I’ve Got The Worst Part


Star Trek: Voyager‘s Robert Picardo shared his memories of joining Voyager and of the first episode, Caretaker.

Picardo was the last actor to work on the pilot which was a bit daunting. “I was the last guy to come in, and everybody else had already established relationships,” he said. “So I come in and say ‘Hello,’ and everyone knew each other already. That meant that there was that little feeling of I had to prove myself.”

Initially, Picardo believed that while working on Voyager would be good for his wallet, his role as the EMH would not be very satisfying emotionally. “I just had so little to do in the pilot,” he said. “I remember, when I first got the role, I was telling everybody, ‘I got the new Star Trek pilot. I’m sure it’ll run. I’m sure it’ll put my kids through college. But I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got the worst part on the show.’ That was an irony that I’ve lived with ever since. I thought I’d gotten the dull role in the show and that made the experience so much fun for me.”

Picardo assumed at first that Tim Russ would be playing the outsider character, played by Spock, Data and Odo on the other Trek televised series. “…I’d gotten the outsider character without being smart enough to realize it,” he said. “I assumed the Spock character on our show would be the Vulcan, would be Tim Russ. I didn’t know enough to realize that the artificial intelligence character, at least on Voyager, was the heir, the successor to that kind of role on our show. And that was very cool.”

Although years have passed since Picardo did Caretaker, the memories are fresh because of his convention appearances over the years. “…With Star Trek, we’re still constantly in the world,” he said. “We’re not making Voyager anymore, but we’re still making personal appearances. People are still watching it. The fans still even review the work. It seems a little bit more present in my memory than, say, China Beach, which was a show I did until just a couple of years before Voyager started. China Beach, though, seems like something I haven’t been a part of for a very long time, because we don’t have conventions for it, I haven’t really seen or talked about it in a long time. So that feels like more of a distant memory to me than Voyager.”

Source: StarTrek.com

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  • Mike

    Hmmmmm… how does that jibe with Janeway being recast midway through said pilot? One would think Picardo was there before that…

  • Guest

    That is, in fact, briefly discussed in the interview.

  • Mike

    I hadn’t read the whole interview previously… now I have, and indeed, they do address it… at which point the assertion that he was the last one is made untrue moments after it was raised… weird.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    *Cough* Well no one really counts Genevieve Bujold. They just mentally retcon Kate Mulgrew in there. It’s how the mind defends itself against the insanity of really bad casting.

  • Mike

    Yeah, it was just an odd thing to say that wasn’t remotely true.

  • Polaris01313-1

    Robert Picardo was certainly cool in First Contact. Too bad his role wasn’t longer in the 1996 production.

    I don’t blame Genevieve Bujold for leaving Voyager. That spin-off certainly contributed to Star Trek’s near downfall.