Star Trek: Voyager actor Robert Picardo would be interested in a return to the franchise.
Star Trek: Voyager actor Robert Picardo won fans over during the show’s run in the late 1990s, with Picardo playing the iconic (the) Doctor. The Doctor was an emergency medical hologram, designed after his creator Lewis Zimmerman, to serve as an interim medical expert in the event of a catastrophe that left the ship without a doctor.
The Doctor never found a name during his time on the ship, but he did find so much more; art, love, free will, and many other very human traits. His concept was similar to that of Data but taken to a further degree. Data was an android devoid of any real emotion until the film franchise. The Doctor, very early on, had code implanted into his system to mimic emotions, giving him a more human touch.
So they took the concept of Data and pushed it further, sooner. The character is beloved by many, even those who don’t like Voyager as much, as he was such a delightful character. His best episode may have been, “Real Life” from season three, where he has to deal with the very real emotion of having a family and possibly losing one at the end.
So when he was interviewed by the Companion (subscription required), as part of the To Boldy Ask… podcast, the topic of his return to Star Trek came up, and he rightfully noted that fans want to see him and other Legacy characters return;
"I’m really happy that Kate [Mulgrew] is now talking openly about it now. That they’ve established the precedent with Star Trek: Picard, there’s a passion in the audience out there to see the legacy actors again in new stories mixed with wonderful, younger, new actors. So, it’s certainly something I’m open to and the character lives on inside me."
As for what Picardo would like to do if he came back, it would be a scene (or arc) where Lewis Zimmerman and The Doctor were forced to work together on a problem. As both characters were played by Picardo, it would be easy enough to pull off, as long as they could de-age Picardo enough to make The Doctor look as he did, not as he would be if Picardo just played him today.
"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… 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 and his late 60s creator."
The Doctor is a character fans would love to see a return
Picardo and The Doctor are among the best actor/character combinations in the history of the show. Some actors excel on the show but aren’t great talents, while some great actors are given very stunted roles. Yet, Picardo was both a fine talent and an equally as fine character.
It would be wonderful to see, not only a young EMH and Zimmerman return, but maybe see if The Doctor’s future self, as seen in Voyager’s series finale, were anything close to what was expected.
There could even be a way, similar to Jean-Luc Picard becoming an android (never not hate that), that maybe The Doctor could become corporeal thanks to similar technology.