Today, Star Trek Online‘s Victory is Life expansion for Star Trek Online makes its debut, and one of the actors voicing a character in the new episode, René Auberjonois, discusses reprising his popular character Odo.
Playing Odo again is “not quite as strange as one might imagine it, because, you know, Deep Space Nine — and all of the Star Trek franchises — have lived on,” said Auberjonois. “The joke in our community is, ‘when you get the Star Trek universe, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.’
“In the last five weeks I did a convention in Washington and then in Dortmund, Germany. I do the conventions entirely to raise money for Doctors Without Borders…but not totally altruistically, I also get to see old friends. On top of that, there’s a sense that it never really ended, in a way. Without the episodes every week, as we did, when we were doing it originally. But it’s not, like, out of sight and out of mind. Frankly, it wasn’t a big bump to put on Odo’s voice and start in…that was the case. In that sense, I’m sure if I’d done a show that started twenty-five years ago as Deep Space Nine did, and I return to it, if it were another kind of TV show it would probably be very strange. But I say, because we encounter our cast and colleagues and cast members again and again over the years…”
Fans will “notice a big difference in terms of the last time we saw Odo returning to the Great Link in order to begin the healing that was necessary,” said Auberjonois. “The person as we knew him joined — he was like, a Pinocchio character in the sense of the fact that he changes, and not knowing who he was. And then there was his love for Kira — and all of that developed, but he was a pretty unformed character when we last saw him. Now, in terms of the game, he has matured incredibly. [He] has taken a kind of leadership role that in the original series evolved to the point that it has in the online game.”
What about Odo meeting Kira again? “You know, I don’t want to give away any of the joys of discovering the game,” said Auberjonois. “It’s very complex. And to encounter Kira — both of them have gone through a lot of changes. Part of the game is seeing how they encounter each other…the way it’s been imagined, the complexity of how they encounter and how they work through them. So I don’t want to give anything away.”
When asked how Deep Space Nine has influenced the sci-fi world, Auberjonois said, “Deep Space Nine dwelt on a darker plane than the previous, wonderful versions…wonderful series without which we could have never existed. Deep Space Nine had a darker, more neurotic kind of outlook in the characters. The characters had darker sides to them…It was really a forerunner — I won’t say it was the only one — but I think it was a major forerunner conceptually of a continuing story like this — being final and complete. There was a continuing arc to it, the seven years that I think has served it well. People can stream it and each episode after episode… that has influenced television in general, but primarily also in science fiction.”