The current slate of Star Trek TV is at a rather unusual crossroads. On one hand, Star Trek: Discovery is (finally) taking the series in a new direction. On the other, Picard is a series designed around nostalgia bait. At least they're not milking Voyager, right?
Well, as it turns out, the first season of Picard was set to include a cameo from a beloved Voyager character: Tom Paris. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the character didn't return for the ongoing series.
Tom Paris in Star Trek: Picard
On an overview with the Primitive Culture Podcast, via TrekMovie, Paris' actor Robert McNeill explained the situation. The actor said that he had been approached multiple times regarding the opportunity to return to Trek, but both times fell through.
The Voyager star was asked to return for both seasons of the show. While not a big role, it would've seen Tom Paris and Jean-Luc Picard interact on screen. McNeill explained:
“I did talk to Terry Matalas about Picard season two… And Terry had talked about bringing me over there as a director or as an actor bringing Tom Paris. But it’s really been about schedule. So I’d love to do Picard…They asked me to do an episode of Picard (in) the first season as an actor to play Tom Paris… I wasn’t available… It wasn’t a big sequence of scenes. It was a couple of scenes with Patrick. I think it was just like viewscreen or maybe it was in his office or something. It wasn’t a lot. They were trying to work it out so it wasn’t a lot so the schedule might work, but it didn’t pan out.”
Tom Paris isn't the only member of the USS Voyager that Paramount wants to bring back. In fact, the ship's captain, Kathryn Janeway, is returning in an all-new series, Star Trek: Prodigy. However, that series is animated instead of live-action.
In Prodigy, Janeway will be the mentor of a group of children who steal a Federation vessel. Designed for children and fans of the older shows, the series is offering one of the most unique views on the Trek universe yet. Furthermore, the show will even feature non-humanoid Aliens as main characters for the first time.