Picardo On 'Stargate: Atlantis' And 'Voyager'By T'Bonz
July 9, 2008 - 8:31 PM
Robert Picardo is again playing a character who is evolving over time and becoming a character with depth.
As reported by TrekMovie.com, Picardo has a chance to explore another character that is more than just a quick guest star role. He explained how he felt that Richard Woolsey has moved beyond just being a heavy and a foil to Richard Dean Anderson. "I think what ended up helping me is when I did the first guest star the writers and producers, specifically Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, just decided they kind of liked me and kind of wanted me to hang around," he explained. "The luckiest aspect was they introduced me as a heavy and then they thought about how to bring me back and they made the decision to make me kind of an unwitting heavy for the evil senator played by Ronnie Cox. And once I realized I was being manipulated, the audience was shown I had the best intentions. And then after that in subsequent episodes, for example 'The Scourge', you got to see that my character even had the beginnings of some humorous foibles too."
Woolsey isn't the first character of Picardo's who has developed along the course of a show. In playing the EMH, Picardo had help from the writers who became enthusiastic about writing for the character, but he also made sure to make his own suggestions for the EMH. "Once we got into the third or fourth episode writers who were pitching the show got a sense of The Doctor's possibilities, and so they got a lot of stories pitched for me," explained Picardo. "But also I went frequently to the writer's office. Brannon Braga does a great impersonation of me hiding in the bushes outside the writer's office so when he came out for a smoke I would jump him and say 'You know, Brannon, I was thinking, dot dot dot'. In retrospect, the best suggestion I made was how The Doctor related to Seven of Nine. I was quite concerned when Kes left the show because her character was The Doctor's confidant and he revealed himself in a way to her that he didn't with anyone else. I was concerned that The Doctor would no longer have his sounding board. When I mentioned this to Brannon he asked that I come up with a way I could related to the new character, so I went off and thought about it and decided to turn the dynamic around. Because Kes had basically tutored The Doctor in his developing humanity, I thought wouldn’t be wonderful if The Doctor thought he was more suited than a human to teach Seven how to reclaim her humanity. So I proposed the whole thing of the role playing and the social appropriateness lessons. I didn't know they would carry that arc for four years."
When asked where he thought the EMH would be seven years after Voyager had returned from the Delta Quadrant, Picardo said, "I think of him lecturing at Starfleet Academy and traveling all over the galaxy for guest speakerships. He is a major proponent of hologram rights. He has written several treatises on Holopology, which of course is the study of hologram culture and art. I think he has been a guest soloist with the San Francisco Symphony singing some of his favorite arias. I would like to think he and Seven have gotten together for the occasional, um, warm reminiscence. Remember The Doctor doesn’t age, so I figure after ten or twelve years The Doctor is starting to look good."
To read more, head to the article located here.