Robert Duncan McNeill

Robert Duncan McNeill, who played Tom Paris on ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ is a graduate of ‘Star Trek’s’ “director’s school.” The self-named school has turned several actors from the ‘Star Trek’ franchise into accomplished directors. McNeill will showcase his directing skills on an episode of ‘The Orville’ for Season 2 but won’t be directing for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ anytime soon!

In a recent interview with the official ‘Star Trek’ website, McNeill explained his reasoning behind not directing an episode of ‘Discovery,’ saying:

“I wanted to direct ‘Discovery.’ I met with their producing director. I didn’t know the show that well, but I met with him on their last hiatus to talk about season two. I also produce now. So, I hire a lot of directors. The last few years, there’s been a seismic shift in terms of the priorities toward female and diverse directors. That reality now has meant that what used to be normal, which was a lot of white guys, to be quite honest, has changed. Some shows are mostly women directing. I think Jessica Jones, last year, had all female directors. ‘Handmaid’s Tale.’ A woman may direct the next ‘Star Trek’ movie.”

McNeill goes on to clarify that he supports attempts from shows like ‘Discovery’ to give opportunities to directors that are otherwise underrepresented. He assures fans that he is not put out by having to wait his turn, and he hopes to direct an episode of ‘Discovery’ at some point. McNeill explained:

“Most importantly, it’s a wonderful thing that’s happening. I’m proud that on other shows I’ve produced – ‘The Gifted,’ ‘The Arrangement,’ ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’ — I’ve brought in female directors. But, to answer your question, ‘Discovery’ does a limited number of episodes and a priority there is to get female and diverse directors, so there are fewer opportunities for people like me, which is a great thing. But, yeah, if the opportunity arose to direct ‘Discovery’ and I fit what they needed and it fit my schedule, I’d love to do it.”

‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ had a 15-episode first season, and four of those were directed by either a female or minority director. Two were directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, one by Hanelle Culpepper, and one by Lee Rose.

The second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ is currently filming in Toronto. You can get caught up on the first season on the CBS All Access app in the United States, CraveTV in Canada, and Netflix in other international markets.