Huge Robert Beltran UK Tour Report

By Christian
July 7, 2000 - 10:09 PM

The Official Robert Beltran Homepage has put up a series of reports about the recent UK tour by Robert Beltran (Chakotay), during which he visited several cons and other fan events. As usual, he apparently spent most of the tour criticising Star Trek. Here's a short list of highlights, assembled from the several reports:

  • "I would have to say that Robbie, Garrett, Tim and myself are very close. Just because we spend so much time on the bridge doing nothing."

  • "I don't mean to denigrate my work in Voyager and I'm not saying anything that probably the rest of the cast wouldn't say either, but you know Star Trek is pretty much a formula show, and the episodes that we've seen on Voyager are pretty mush variations of the same episodes from Deep Space Nine or the Next Generation. And so it's limiting in some ways. I appreciate the fact that people appreciate the show and that's the main thing, it doesn't matter what we think about it."

  • "So I would have to say honestly that for probably the last two or two and a half years I haven't quite read a full Voyager script. It's not necessary because I already know what's going to happen. I don't want to put myself to the aggravation. But then again it's not my show, so they can do whatever they want, but that doesn't mean that I have to be enthusiastic about it."
  • "I think our writers are that far from brain damaged. I don't get them. "

  • [On watching Star Trek:] "Not on my life! No, I didn't, because when the original show came on, I always thought they were kind of goofy. Those ugly yellow shirts, and those boots. And William Shatner, when they were attacked and the ship was rocked, the way he used to react. It just seemed a little too phoney for me. And I never watched any of the Star Trek movies because I knew they came from the Star Trek series. So I wasn't going to go out and buy a ticket. The first Star Trek movie that I saw was "Generations." I liked it, and everybody said (incredulous voice) "You like THAT one? There are five or six that are much better than that." And since then I've seen a few "Next Generation" episodes that I liked, and a couple of "Deep Space Nine". I'm waiting for good Voyager episode. I hope one comes up soon."

  • "I have a sneaking suspicion they'll end up killing me off. [...] I think they will, I think they'll do something drastic to push the ratings because it's going to take something drastic. I won't be sorry. I think they could very well kill off one or two of us, maybe Neelix and me, I think it's a distinct possibility, because we seem to be superfluous to the show."

  • "To be honest with you, I haven't read a Voyager script all the way through for about two years now. I read my scenes. And unless they tell me I'm going to die in this particular episode, then I don't see any big change I need to know about. [...] I think the only one who reads the scripts any more is Kate. I'm sure she does (Janeway voice) "There's not enough lines in here for me. What's that Seven of Nine line doing there. That's my line!" Picardo does, because he's the same way. (Picardo voice) "That's a funny line but its not mine." Garrett probably does too because he's always trying to ingratiate himself with the producers. You all look so lovely and fun, having fun. It's great to see all of you. So I don't read the scripts any more very often because I know what's going to happen. It's all been done before. It's a variation on a variation on a variation, so consequently when I show up on the set I know my lines just long enough to say them and forget them immediately. So if we need one or two takes more that I'd planned for I'm in trouble, and the other actors know this and they're like, (agonized voice) "Oh, say the lines perfectly or they'll make us do it again!" But what can I say? If you're not inspired to learn the lines, it doesn't matter. Because you can't tell from the final product--I don't think--because eventually they get a tape they can use, and you've said your lines right. Eventually everybody's happy. I'm sure there's some guy in a factory in Detroit whose sees a little nick on the bolt and goes "Shall we start the car all over again?" It's the same thing. It's a factory. "

  • [On what he will do once Voyager ends] "Celebrate. Celebrate long and hard. As soon as they say "That's a wrap," off with the uniform, open a big bottle of some kind of spirits. If you're in town you can join me. I'm just looking forward to getting on to...something. I enjoyed the first three, maybe four years, but the last two have been pretty tedious for everyone except... you fill in the blanks."

  • [On whether he feels relief or pleasure when an episode wraps.] "It's both. The attention span on the show is about that big (indicates about a millimetre) and Kate gets pretty fed up about it, but she can't do anything about it, because she doesn't scare me...So, yes my attention span is about that long and anything will set me off. There's an outtake reel that's going to be very valuable some day of all the sort of crazy stuff that happens. "

  • "It went wrong almost immediately when Genevieve Bujold left the show. I really wanted to work with her. I had a small crush on her, from "Anne of the Thousand Days". She's such a terrific actress. It would have been fun being her First Officer. Then I could have looked at her like Nancy Reagan at Ronnie all those years. So when Genevieve left we were wondering who was going to be the Captain, and they came up with Kate, which worked out well. You see, they panicked because Genevieve is an actress that doesn't do the obvious thing. So it came to a head when there was a scene where she had to give the word to destroy something, and she didn't really want to do it but she had to, so the way Genevieve did it was that she was standing on the bridge looking at the view screen (agonized look) and she did something like (sigh, pained whisper) "Fire", and they're used to the Captains going "FIRE!" A sensitive captain? No, can't have that. So now they're stuck with Janeway, who cries..... "

As usual, it's nice to see Beltran so thoroughly enjoying his job. The full report consists of transcripts of an appearance at a con in Norwich and two appearances in Page's Bar in London, and is one of the lengthiest to appear on the net in a while. You can find it by following this link.

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