Star Trek: Voyager attracted many huge names in the world of entertainment, but one of the biggest, Robin Williams, wanted to beam up.
The world of Star Trek has been one of the best at attracting guest stars. With it being a show that has stretched across families, decades, and generations, it’s no wonder that there are many guest stars who have wanted to be part of the universe and many more who never had the chance. That’s the situation famed actor Robin Williams had found himself in according to Robert Duncan McNeill.
McNeill, as many will know, played Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager, and according to him during the virtual GalaxyCon pannel, Williams wanted to join the cast of Voyager for an episode.
Robin came by and he loved the show. He was like, “Oh, I love your show.” And he loved Neelix. He really knew the show. Robin Williams was a fan and I remember him expressing that he wanted to be on the show.
Fellow Voyager cast member Ethan Phillips, who played Neelix, also had an encounter with the famed actor, detailing an impromptu comedy act.
It was about the third season. They finished my makeup around 7. I was going over to Stage 16 where we shot the cave scenes. I walked down the long alley between the stages. As I turned the corner I could see way up the other end of the alley another person walking towards me. It was just sunrise. We got closer and closer. We’re about 10 feet from each other, and I realize it’s Robin Williams, who was on the lot doing The Birdcage. He sees me and goes, ‘Oh my God, Mr. Neelix!’ Then he does this whole routine about what it’s like to be a chef in outer space. ‘The eggs are floating, the pancakes are getting too big!’, a Robin Williams schtick. I had a private performance for like a minute and it was really funny. Then he came up, gave me a big hug, and said, ‘I love your character, sir.’ Such a sweet, sweet man. I’ll never forget that.
Williams had a fondness for Star Trek, stretching all the way back to his Mork and Mindy days. Walter Koening wrote about how Wiliams would bike from his studio to the studio that hosted Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Williams would apparently stand on the soundstage and walk up and down the bridge set.
So it’s no surprise that he wanted to do a guest spot on Star Trek: The Next Generation as well. He was set to appear on the “A Matter of Time” episode, that famed character actor Matt Frewer ended up replaced Williams on. Williams was supposed to play Frewer’s character Berlinghoff Rasmussen, but scheduling issues and his wife’s pregnancy prohibited him from fulfilling his desire to appear on the show.
Williams is one of the most beloved actors of all time, and his talent was on another level. It’s a shame that Williams was never in a Star Trek episode, but at least we have these little stories of the man.