Three New Interviews

By Amy
November 26, 2000 - 5:17 PM

The Trek Galaxy has posted transcripts of three interviews taken from the December 200 edition of Star Trek Monthly magazine. In the first interview, David Bassom spoke to the man who plays the characters we love to hate, Jeffrey Combs, most famous for playing DS9's Weyoun and Brunt, while in the second Paul Simpson talks to Robert Picardo on the darker side of the Doctor. Finally, interview number three is with Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) who talks about plans for his character in season seven – and reveals some information on the end of the series.

Jeffrey Combs has played a number of villains throughout his career, including four alone on Star Trek. Most famous of these, of course, are Brunt and Weyoun from Deep Space Nine, the former described byt the actor as the Ferengi IRS while the latter as "the middle management, who comes to the field office and says, 'Hello, I'm here. Please don't be threatened, I just want to look over your books, see how it operates." Combs, who "sort of [specializes] in playing the people you hate to love" find villains to be more interesting to play "I've played the good guys and it's not nearly as interesting." In the full interview, Combs talks more on how he wound up playing first Brunt and then Weyoun, the characters themselves – in particular Weyoun, whom he believes could be resurrected some day. -"I said, 'Ira, you can write that the cloning facility for all Weyouns was destroyed, but really if you think the Vorta are so silly as to literally put all their eggs in one basket, you're sadly mistaken. I assure you that there are one or two caves somewhere filled with little Weyoun embryos." "That's the way I played it," he said, "And that's the way I think of it, The door for Weyoun should always be open."

The second interview is of course with Robert Picardo who has been called upon to play his character's alter ego in several epsidoes – 'Living Witness', 'Darkling' and 'Equinox' to name a few. He also enjoys playing the bad guy – "The evil Data! That was kind of cool," he remarks, talking about 'Living Witness'. "That was a relatively small part of the story, but yes, I was pretty cold in that, now that I come to think about it. That was fun. I actually wanted to be more like Brent Spiner. I thought it would be curious to combine our two characters and be evil, and yet have that almost child-like upbeat delivery that he has. However, Tim Russ, who directed it, opted for a more kind of cool and steely holographic, android Clint Eastwood, I think, which was also interesting. I remember bringing up whether I should speak somewhat like Data. I think that evil in a kind of chipper and friendly way is equally creepy." However, more of the interview is actually taken up with what the actor plans on doing with himself after shooting finishes. Apparently he has a number of projects in the works. He told the magazine that "I have specific ideas about what I want to do. I'm developing a movie project that I'm going to take to the Sci-Fi channel, possibly the Family Channel and the Disney Channel […] It's a family movie idea with a science fiction twist, which curiously features another hologram. I also have a couple of other projects I'm working on - including a half hour comedy idea - which would not be with immediate effect." He's also working on a "pilot for a science and technology magazine show that could play in Europe, produced by a German company." Back to Star Trek again, he seems to agree with the popular consensus that Trek should take a short break - "I think that perhaps taking six months to a year with no new Star Trek will help stimulate interest again" – but goes on to add that "I also think that our exciting finale this season is going to bring extra interest to the Star Trek franchise."

Finally, we come to the interview with Robert Duncan McNeill which, despite being shorter than the previous two, reveals the most spoilers – including the current wrap-up date for Voyager and some tidbits both on Series V and Voyager's final episode.

Firstly, on his character, he reveals that "[he has] actually been told some specific ideas they have for Tom this season." He then goes on to add that "I think if everything works out you're going to see a lot of him this final season, particularly with him and B'Elanna. [The producers have] got some very exciting things planned for that relationship. Those two become very critical to the story of us working our way to the end of the season. For the first time, I'm really excited because I've heard some real, concrete, specific ideas on what they're planning to do, and I'm excited to see it all unfold this next year. It's going to be very different from anything they've ever done with Tom and B'Elanna before. "

To the future, he denies that he's a definite director for Series V - "Someone mentioned to me that I'm listed on the Internet as directing for the new series. I don't know who gives that information. I'm happy to hear someone thinks I'm going to be a staff director on the next series, but there's nothing official that way. Sure, I'll direct some! The Internet is wonderful that way - it's all rumors and speculation." Also according to him, the series is also still waiting to get the green light and doesn't know if a scenario has even been set, but thinks that "it'll start filming within a year of the time we wrap" and that "they may take a little time off so they're not overlapping things as they have in the past [as] they've found that to be kind of difficult."

Voyager will apparently finish shooting on the 10th of April, and he has this to say about the final episode: "The final episode is going to be a two-hour movie - lots of excitement with us trying to get home. We've been trying for seven years so I'm sure we'll continue to try until the last moment."

Thanks go out to Nikolas Haynes for the heads up!

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