Picardo: 'Remarkable Coincidence' in 'Enterprise' StoryBy Michelle
July 16, 2004 - 9:39 PM
Robert Picardo, who played the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager for seven years and who has both written and directed episodes for the franchise, said he was surprised to hear from his friend Brent Spiner (Data) that Rick Berman and Brannon Braga were developing a storyline for Spiner on Star Trek: Enterprise very similar to one that he had pitched himself.
"Late last August, I stopped in to see Brannon and told him I'd enjoy doing the show but I wanted to try to avoid heavy rubber," he said in a chat at StarTrek.com. He suggested that perhaps he could play "a great-great-great-ancestor of the Doctor's programmer, Lewis Zimmerman, who was vigorously opposed to the development of artificial intelligence." Picardo found it "a remarkable coincidence" when he learned from Spiner that "they're doing exactly the same story with Data in a three-part episode."
Picardo kept his sense of humour, saying that it would be remarkable as well if Braga telephoned him about the coincidence, and saying that he had had an offer already to appear on Enterprise but his shooting schedule for Lyon's Den had interfered.
Asked what he and the Doctor had in common, Picardo replied, "A large forehead. A dry wit. And affection for women in catsuits," and as for working with Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), "Once I broke the habit of staring at her between shots, it became extremely comfortable and a great deal of fun. Jeri has a very goofy streak, and loves to laugh." As for the pitfalls of playing a hologram, he said he regretted it "whenever we had a scene with real food in it, and the food smelled good."
In the near future Picardo said he would be appearing in Mame at the Hollywood Bowl before creating a role in a new musical opening in Philadelphia this October, based upon a Broadway show in which he appeared in his early 20s, entitled Gemini. "This time I will play my father," he laughed, explaining that he would play the part played by Danny Aiello in the Broadway production years earlier." He also noted that he sees his Voyager castmates regularly, particularly Ethan Phillips (Neelix) who is a good friend.
As for other actors he enjoyed working with, "I found it a great pleasure to work with myself," Picardo said of the episode "Life Line", in which he appeared as both the Doctor and his creator. "I found myself to be demanding, enthusiastic, generous of spirit, and of unfailing good humor...I had to give myself very high marks, and I would recommend working with me to anyone."
The full chat, in which Picardo talks about his children, his previous work and his surprise at the Doctor's popularity, is at StarTrek.com.