Robert Picardo joins the cast of Stargate Atlantis full-time this season, and he spoke exclusively with GateWorld on the set of the show this spring. Picardo discussed his work in the two venerable science fiction franchises, including his fondness for playing characters who discover a need to reinvent themselves.
“It was one of the challenges, and one of the fun parts, of playing the character that I played on Star Trek — that he was designed for one purpose, but aspired to have usefulness in so many other areas,” Picardo told GateWorld. “I think that’s an appealing thing for an audience to see a character who wants to reinvent himself, [who] realizes what his character flaws are, what his weaknesses are, and wants to try to overcome them. So, that’s the part that I’m most enjoying.”
While of course there are plenty of cross-over fans, Picardo specifically encouraged Star Trek fans who haven’t watched Stargate to give him a chance to convert them.
“There are a few Star Trek fans out there — and I’m going to find out who you are and where you live — who don’t watch Stargate now,” he said. “And what I want to say now is … I welcome you.
Picardo played the holographic Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.
“You have to step out of the shadows, and turn on Stargate Atlantis. And give me three episodes. Watch me in three episodes, and I challenge you not to become a Stargate fan.”
“And if you don’t become a Stargate fan … then I don’t want to hear about it,” the actor joked.
“This is a very comfortable set,” Picardo said of Atlantis. “You know, Star Trek felt more like a feudal system. It was like this old, kind of entrenched empire. And there was good and bad about the feudal system. You were rewarded if you served well! But because it had been around a while, and because there were so many shows and movies happening at the same time, this feels looser and kind of more democratic.
“I had a great time doing my old show. [But] the perception is that it’s a little bit more relaxed around here.”
Tune in to GateWorld for our complete, 30-minute audio interview with Robert Picardo this week! A preview clip is already available as part of this week’s premiere episode of the GateWorld Podcast. Picardo stars in a new episode of Stargate Atlantis, “The Seed,” this Friday at 10 p.m. (9 Central) on SCI FI Channel.