Fun And Practical Jokes On The Voyager SetBy Lisa
August 6, 2001 - 10:58 AM
According to Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), pulling pranks on the set of a Star Trek show are the way the actors keep from going insane. As various members of the Voyager cast revealed at the recent Voyager: The Return convention in the UK, filming on Star Trek: Voyager was rarely a dull experience.
Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) told the audience about the interesting way he was able to utilise a particularly bad cold. A visit to the make-up room provided some glue and other materials for him to create a rather large and gory trail of mucus protruding from his nose. He duly wore this prosthetic to the filming of a scene in the Briefing Room, and awaited the reaction of his fellow cast members. Their reaction was rather unexpected. It seems that the prosthetic was so large, disgusting and realistic looking, that everyone on set was to embarrassed to tell him about it.
Another McNeill prank involved making Harry Kim actor Garret Wang the butt of the joke. McNeill explained to the audience that Wang had a particular way of saying his lines. He spoke them very slowly and stretched out his words, ending his sentences on a much higher pitch - "There's-aaa-ship-on-sensors-CaaaaaptAAAIN!."
During a particularly intensive scene on the bridge, McNeill made a $50 bet with Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) that he could mimic Wang's way of delivering lines. He promised to mimic Wang throughout the entire filming of his close-up, without cracking up with laughter. He made it through the entire scene speaking 'Wang-Style,' and related how the rest of the Bridge crew was doubled up with laughter; Kate Mulgrew hanging out of her chair and Garret Wang looking ready to murder him. "Don't make a bet with Kate!" McNeill advised the audience, because she still owes him the $50.
Several of the actors related the story revolving around Mr Tuvok and the filming of a scene in the fourth season episode 'Waking Moments.' In the scene, Tuvok appeared on the bridge naked in order to illustrate his worst nightmare. To prepare for the scene, Tim Russ (Tuvok) visited the props department and procured a very large and realistic looking prosthetic, which he affixed to the lower part of his anatomy. His appearance on the bridge had the desired effect on the rest of the cast, who lasted around five seconds on camera before falling about with laughter.
Robert Picardo (The EMH) told the audience that the reaction of the crew seen in the episode is their reaction to Russ's 'attatchment.' "When he came out onto the Bridge, I didn't bat an eyelid," he explained. "I figured that as his physician, I'd already seen it."
Kate Mulgrew told the story of her practical joke war with Tim Russ. Filming had stretched on very late into the night, and Russ was bored. He began to amuse himself by throwing spitballs at Mulgrew, who was involved in the filming of a very intensive closeup. "You do that one more time and you're a dead man," Mulgrew warned him after several ruined takes. Russ did not disappoint her, and the actress began to plot revenge.
A visit to an on-set assistant and a $50 bill ensured access to Russ's trailer. She asked her collaborator to go to his trailer and remove all items of clothing. "You may leave one sock," she instructed. Mulgrew completed her revenge by stealing Russ's car keys and keeping them throughout the weekend.
When she returned to the set the following Monday, Mulgrew was in for a surprise. Russ had managed to gain access to her own trailer, and had taken his own revenge. Posted on the walls were several large images of Tim Russ naked, bending over and pointing to his bare behind. The legend on the photographs said: 'You will kiss this!'
At this point in Mulgrew's talk to the convention audience, Tim Russ appeared on the balcony overlooking the main stage. Mulgrew successfully extracted a confession from him, that over the past seven years, he put her through complete hell on the set. "Something very strange happens to men late at night after a long day of filming," Mulgrew mused.