Wacky Robert Picardo has an intriguing new co-star on an upcoming episode of Star Trek: Voyager himself! What's more, he came up with story idea. "It was a thrill to get a writing credit," he says. "I think that's a first for any actor on a Star Trek series. My next goal is to take over the catering on the set; I know I'd be great at craft services!"
Before that, Picardo has to explain the specifics of the dual role. "The Doctor is a hologram, but he had to be programmed by somebody. So I came up with the idea of playing both the doctor and his human creator. It's sort of a father-son drama with that classic gulf between them because 'dad' was a little disappointed in the way his 'son' turned out."
Does Picardo get along with his new co-star? "I love working with myself. I finally found somebody I really respect and admire that I'm willing to share the stage with."
In a bit of dramatic irony, Picardo admits he majored in premed before catching the acting bug. Art imitated life when he played a doc on China Beach and won the role as Voyager's holographic Doctor. "I think I'm due for an honorary degree," he says. "People say, 'What are you going to do when Star Trek is over?' I think I'll practice futuristic medicine. People will come in and I'll wave some futuristic-looking flashlight over them and say, 'You're fine.' Then, I'll double the bill to their insurance carrier."