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TrekToday - Robert Picardo Q&A Session

Robert Picardo Q&A Session

By Amy
November 18, 2000 - 8:47 AM

The official site has posted the first half of their question and answer session with Robert Picardo, who plays Voyager's holographic Doctor. Picardo fields questions in his typically irreverent manner on a variety of subjects, including 'Body and Soul', the Doctor's love of opera and his life and character in general.

Neil S.: Are there any aspects of the Doctor that you wanted to bring to the role, but never got the chance?

Robert Picardo: His irresistible sexuality!
There was one story idea that I brought up years ago, and they've taken a lot of my notions about the character seriously, so I certainly can't complain that the writers have not listened to my suggestions. They have, and often took off with them. For example, my relationship with Seven developing through my coaching her on the social graces was an idea of mine that ended up going farther and being richer than I'd ever imagined. But, I've always wanted to do a show about possessions, and having the Doctor being given his first possession, a gift from someone, a little token of someone's esteem, and his entire life on Voyager unravels because he has no place to put it. He has no personal space at all. I always felt it would be fun if the Doctor went from getting permission from Janeway to have a little personal space in Sickbay, a little personal corner dedicated to himself that he then became obsessed with collecting things and defining himself through his possessions. I thought it would be an interesting parallel for human life where we arrive, obviously with nothing, and then, depending on the type of person we are and what our talents and abilities are, we begin accumulating things and wealth and how people define themselves through everything that they surround themselves with. I thought it would be a fun story idea that was never done. And it looks like it ain't gonna be done this year. I would say that was my only disappointment with the Doctor, to examine the whole notion of 'You can't take it with you.'

Jon B.: How much vocal and/or musical training have you actually had? And what is your favorite music to sing?

RP: I had very little formal training. I studied voice for a few months in college and I've sung on stage a few times. I enjoy singing in my personal life and have been delighted with the opportunities I've had to do it on Voyager. Another one of my ideas that I went to [Voyager co-creator] Jeri Taylor with back in season one was that I would like the Doctor to be an opera fan. It just struck me as so ridiculous that a computer generated personality, that at that time was relatively rigid and not terribly colorful in his own personality, would choose to be a fan of the most emotional and expressive form of human performance. It just seemed to be a funny irony.
I enjoy all kinds of music. I love to sing in the shower, I love to sing karaoke and I love to sing in the car, to the humiliation and embarrassment of my two daughters. I have very broad tastes.

Robert: What would you say if you met your character?

RP: "God you're cute!" Or "Lighten up once in awhile" or "What is the holographic equivalent of Viagra?"

You can read the full Q&A session here.

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