Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo Weighs In on Picard's Use of Holograms

Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo approves fo the use of emergency hologram technology in Star Trek: Picard. Picardo played the Doctor in Voyager and may reprise the role in Picard. He appeared on an episode of GalaxyCon Live with some other Star Trek medical officers. He says he's impressed with what the first season of Picard did with the hologram aboard the La Sirena. "I thought it was particularly clever that they not only do they have an Emergency Medical Hologram, they have an Emergency Engineering Hologram, Emergency Navigational Hologram, and it’s all played by Santiago [Cabrera], by this same actor," Picardo says. "It’s very clever notion and a tremendous showcase for him as an actor. But just the very funny idea that the technology of the hologram on his ship, if you don't select a screensaver face for that technology the default face will be his own is a very funny notion and it really makes sense, right? If they're simply tools, if an engineering hologram is basically a Roomba that vacuums the ship while you're doing something else, it would have no facial characteristics except the ones you assigned it, and if you didn't assign it any the default would be the guy who owned the ship, or piloted the ship. So I just thought that was a very clever kind of a wink at technology.

He also expressed a general satisfaction with the first season of Star Trek: Picard. "It was a shock to hear the f-bomb on Star Trek­­­­­. That surprised me, but it’s not like I don’t hear the f-bomb on a number of off-network shows," he said. "For Next Generation and Voyager, most of the storytelling was self-contained in a single hour. Each individual 43-minute episode had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Deep Space Nine did a lot of experimenting with long story arcs, but Picard is very much like modern television shows that tell an entire story arc over a season and often over multiple seasons. I think if they had done the classic structure of a beginning, a middle, an end in a self-contained episode, it would have seemed extremely old-fashioned.

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"I feel the new show is great. I think the storytelling... is very well-plotted and thought out. I love the way they've have incorporated the characters from Next Generation and my beloved colleague Jeri Ryan, from Voyager, and Jonathan Del Arco sort of from the Borg side of the storytelling. And I also love Marina [Sirtis] and Jonathan [Frakes]’s presence in the show. It gives a sort of gravity and history base that I think the fans find gratifying. And, of course, seeing Patrick Stewart, seeing Picard back, it’s like The Lion in Winter in science fiction. I just think the show is doing a really great job of bringing Star Trek, the 24th century into the 21st century, if that makes sense."

The first season of Star Trek: Picard is now streaming on CBS All Access. The show's second season is now in pre-production.

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