Star Trek: Voyager’s Robert Picardo has a great idea for how he could make his return to the sci-fi series franchise. Picardo played the EMH, the holographic doctor aboard the USS Voyager, for all seven seasons of Star Treks series Voyager.
Alongside Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway and Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Picardo (not to be confused with Star Trek captain Picard) gave one of the best – if not the best – performances in the whole TV series. His character’s prickly nature, combined with his sense of self-importance, ensure that the EMH will go down as one of the most beloved Star Trek character’s of all time.
The EMH also had one of the strongest arcs throughout Voyager’s seven seasons. He gained the ability to move around the ship outside of sickbay thanks to his mobile emitter, developed strong (if difficult) relationships with the rest of the crew, and began to campaign for the rights of sentient holograms, much like Data’s journey in the The Next Generation.
Now, Picardo has spoken about how the EMH might return in a context where many classic Star Trek actors are coming back to the franchise, especially with Star Trek: Picard season 3. Speaking to The Companion, Picardo said “I could easily play Doc Zimmerman again because Zimmerman is in the same timeline as certain of those Star Trek series. To me, it’s a funny idea. What I would find very funny is to have The Doctor and Zimmerman working together.”
He expanded on the idea further, saying “Let’s say you’re a 40-year-old person, imagine your 18-year-old self-working side by side with you during the day on some very critical or important mission. Wouldn’t that annoy the hell out of you? I think there are a lot of comic possibilities if you can age down the Doctor to do a scene, now that there’s a giant age gap between the Doctor who’s 41 or 42 and his late 60s creator.”
The reason why Picardo’s idea for his return to Star Trek focusses on Doctor Zimmerman, the human creator of the EMH who Picardo also played on Voyager, is because (like any human) he has aged in the time since Voyager ended. However, as a hologram the character of the EMH himself wouldn’t have aged, hence why Picardo believes it would make more sense for him to play the creator.
Either way, it’s not too hard to see the way in which Picardo could return to Star Trek. It’s unlikely that he will be in the upcoming season of Star Trek: Picard, but like Kate Mulgrew as Janeway he could reprise his role in the two Star Trek animated series Prodigy, or Lower Decks. For more Starfleet fun, check out the Star Trek movies (in which Picardo makes a cameo as the EMH) ranked.