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Six of Robert Duncan McNeill's Greatest Star Trek Moments

Celebrate the star's birthday with a few excellent moments from across the franchise.

Illustrated banner of Robert Duncan McNeil as Star Trek: Voyager's Tom Paris / Rob DeHart

It's Robert Duncan McNeill's birthday today and so, to celebrate, thought we'd revisit some of the actor's greatest Star Trek moments. As both a star of Star Trek: Voyagerand as a director who's work has been seen across the franchise, McNeill has been a valuable part of the Star Trek family.

So, first, happy birthday, Robbie! And second, here are some of his greatest moments:

Tom Paris smirks up at Captain Janeway.

"Caretaker" — The Voyager pilot gave McNeill and Tom Paris plenty to do, and even more to build his character on. Paris was down and nearly out when we first meet him, but gets a second chance courtesy of Janeway and the Voyager. Bonus points for the emerging Paris-Kim friendship, which is beloved by fans, that gets started in this episode and lasts throughout the series.

Tom Paris looks away from Harry Kim.

"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 in a borderline Mirror Universe-style story. Plus, Paris' wardrobe in this episode sees him leaving behind the uniform in favor of a decidedly sci-fi vest and shirt combo. We do love 90s era Trek fashion!

"The First Duty" — Before the creation of Tom Paris, 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 later on.

"Sacred Ground" — These days, McNeill is 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 his Voyager co-star, Ethan Phillips). Viewers can spot McNeill's burgeoning visual touch quite clearly, as he heightens the story's tension with a flair that keeps viewers deeply invested.

Star Trek: Voyager -

"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. It gave us all major feels, and launched even more Tom/B'Elanna fanfic! The scene still plays beautifully today, due to a combination of strong writing, convincing visual effects and the natural chemistry between McNeill and Roxann Dawson.

"Thirty Days" — This character study is 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 his dad. McNeill delivers a nuanced performance that rings true to his character's journey. Bonus points — a few moments of Captain Proton and, finally, an appearance by the Delaney sisters!

And what are YOUR favorite McNeill moments? Let us know on social!

This article was originally published on November 9, 2019.

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