It's Robert Duncan McNeill's birthday today and, to celebrate, StarTrek.com thought we'd revisit some of the actor's greatest Trek moments. So, first, happy birthday, Robbie. And, second, here are some of those greatest moments:
"Caretaker" -- The Voyager pilot gave McNeill and Tom Paris plenty to do -- and lots to build on. Paris was down and nearly out, but gets a second chance courtesy of Janeway and the Voyager. Bonus points for the emerging Paris-Kim friendship that gets started here, so early on in the series.
"Non Sequitur" -- What if Paris did NOT receive his shot at redemption aboard the Voyager? What if the events of "Caretaker" never occurred. Welcome to "Non Sequitur," which features a top-notch performance from McNeill, a borderline "mirror"-style story and the sight of McNeill/Paris in just about the ugliest shirt ever seen in any Star Trek production, and that's really saying something taking into account the 1960s and also Neelix's wardrobe...
"The First Duty" -- McNeill made his Trek debut as Cadet Nicholas Locarno in this Star Trek: The Next Generation hour. The producers obviously liked what they saw in his dramatic, Paris-esque performance here, as it paved the way for McNeill's Voyager audition.
"Threshold" -- Lousy episode, one of Voyager's worst. But, that face. That face!
"Sacred Ground" -- McNeill is, these days, a respected veteran television director (and producer), but it all started with this Janeway-heavy Voyager episode, which marked his first time behind the camera (after a couple of short films that starred... Ethan Phillips). Viewers can spot McNeill's burgeoning visual touch quite clearly, as he heightens the talky, thinking-person's story with some intriguing camera moves and angles.
"Day of Honor" -- Floating through space together, fairly certain that he and B'Elanna are both going to die, Paris professes his love to her. Major feels, right? The scene still plays beautifully today, a combination of strong writing, convincing visual effects and the natural chemistry between McNeill and Roxann Dawson.
"Thirty Days" -- One of the best Paris episodes. After ignoring direct orders, he's tossed in the brig, demoted down to ensign and uses the alone time to contemplate his actions and reach out to dad. McNeill delivers a nuanced performance and looks like hell, too. Bonus points: a few moments of Captain Proton and, finally, an appearance by the Delaney sisters!
And what are YOUR favorite McNeill moments?