Since the ST-UK-page is currently offline I pasted the interview on a new page. It is still Startrekuk.com, though!

We caught up with Tim again, this time at the Voyager: The Return convention in Blackpool. To celebrate the Voyager crew's return to the Alpha Quadrant, Wolf Events organised this con - perhaps one of Europe's biggest to date to show case the Voyager stars.

Tim very kindly came down from autographing especially for us to interview him, we didn't have time to answer everyone's questions. But thanks to everyone for sending in a question.

Before you read the interview, i will just explain a bit about how the interview was set up: I was directed upstairs to the interview room, there were two couches or sofas in the room, and I was told to sit there and that Tim would be along shortly. As I went in through one door, I noticed another door on the left but noticed it was closed so I didn't pay anymore attention to it.

Then, after about 5 minutes there was a knock at the door. The situation felt very much like I was taking part in one of those Candid Camera situations. I decided not to answer it because I wasn't sure whether I was allowed to open that particular door, as I assumed that Tim would come in through the same door that I came through. Anyway, the knocking started again, in the end I decided to open the door - and it was luckily I did because it was Tim and his guest liaison who were wating to enter the room. I explained why I didn't open the door and we started the interview, I hope you enjoy reading:

Author: Neil Bradley [STARTREKUK.COM]
Date: July 29th, 2001

At last, after interviewing Tim Russ previously via email, we finally get to meet.

Q.
Was it hard at first to play a character such as a Vulcan that has no emotions?

"Was it hard? No, piece of cake, easy it really was. When your cast in a role, your cast based on a certain personality trait or demeanour, a physicallity that works for you and the character without having to think twice about it. If you want someone to play an 80-year old man, you should hire someone that's close to 80-years old or atleast looks that way, otherwise that character is not going to be carried off as well. It's just being able to identify quickly with the character and I had a basic understanding about what the character was going to be, so it wasn't like I was going to be flying it blind."

Q.
Did you feel that having to follow Leonard (Spock) Nimoy that you had a lot to live upto?

"No, well I had to make this character believable as a Vulcan, because I had to do it with so much established by Leonard Nimoy's character prior, and obviously I had to sell him as a Vulcan - otherwise it wouldn't have worked. So that was a priority, once that was in place I could try and move on and find out who he [Tuvok] was. I wasn't going to try and surpass his popularity, I just wanted people to believe who he was."

Q.
How many sets of ears did you use during the series run?

"Hundreds, on average we used new ones almost every day for the first 3 years, which worked out at about 2 or 3 days for each episode. Then, later on we started re-using ears. It depends on the make-up artists, they all like to do things differently, and I had 3 different make-up artists over the years."

Q.
Looking back over the past 7 years, which episodes particularly stand out for you for being the most challenging and why?

"The only shows that were challenging were the shows that I wasn't playing Tuvok's character, particularly 'Riddles' and 'Meld.' Those were the two that were the most difficult shows. There was another episode, in which a thought had been given to me under hypnosis and I was on a ship and I tried to take over the ship."

Q.

How true to the characters did you find 'Endgame?'

I first of all mentioned to Tim that in one of Robert Picardo's talks over the course of the weekend he had mentioned that he wasn't too happy with how his character ended up.

"Oh, well my character suffers from dementia in that alternate future. And that's something that we more-or-less had to create and portray, having not seen it before. What we did was assume that his logic would no-longer work, his logic would be flawed, his logic would be twisted around so that it wouldn't make any sense - so that's how we decided to play it. Plus, there's a bit of me [Tuvok] knowing that the Captain [Janeway] isn't going to return, she was going."

"I think the dementia was a very interesting plot point, it wasn't something that could not have happened, it was something that was created for the story. It gives her [Janeway] another reason to go back to try to prevent that particular future from occurring, to save 16 years of time and getting home."

Q.
If you could do one final episode of Voyager strictly about Tuvok, what would you as an actor want it to be about?

"I really have no idea, having one show that I would want to do. In more general terms, I liked episodes in which he was challenged by things that he was not used to doing, things that had a very high emotional content from other people or situations in which his logic is not going to get him out of trouble."

Q.
Some years ago there was a short story that said William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley were actually transported to the real Enterprise while filming. They were able to bluff their way out and were also able to save the day.

If such a thing ever happened to you:

a) Who would you want to be transported with?
b) During which episode or other situation?
c) and How would you have saved the day?

"Wow, that question just isn't long enough!"

I told Tim what Ethan Phillips had suggested as an answer to this question, Tim's reply was

"He would, not surprisingly. I'm surprised he didn't suggest being transported with himself!"

"That's a good question, because Tuvok is a loner. There was Kes whom he was mentoring at that particular time before she left, he might find that interesting - only because he was trying to train and discipline here, that's a possibility. I think maybe a couple of the characters that he met along the way could have been interesting. He doesn't like The Doctor very much, they never got along that well. The Captain might be interesting to go with, because he's had a good long working relationship with her."

Q.
Do you think that there will be a Star Trek: Voyager feature film? and if so how do you think the characters would or could be developed further in particular, Tuvok?

"My specualtion is as good as anybody elses. No-one has said a single phrase or utterance about any feature film to do with Star Trek: Voyager. My projection would be a composite feature film, that would include characters from all the series."

I informed Tim of the fact that Kate Mulgrew's character Janeway will be introduced in the next feature film, here's what Tim had to say on that:

"Not surprising, if she's being introduced then we're back home, and if we're back home then the story of Voyager for all intents and purposes is not the same, that's the whole thing. It can't be the same if we've already got back home. I don't think they'd want to stick us back in the Delta Quadrant after the knowledge that we've already come back home. I just doesn't work, sort of like the prequel of Star Wars."

I told Tim that I thought personally, Voyager should have stayed in the Delta Quadrant and to have been brought back in a feature film. Here's what Tim had to say:

"It's interesting, that by the end of the series you leave them still in the Delta Quadrant, still trying to get back home. They were getting closer, but that is interesting that they can almost get there and then at the end they don't get there and the hour is up and we're still out in space. I thought that they might do that myself. That's typical of the writers, they tend to do things that we don't expect."

"It's a balance of fan pressure and it's a balance of putting the whole thing on ice until perhaps a movie. In that case, you'd still do a composite but you would use characters from the other series to bring them back home. You would integrate

two stories, you'd have one hell of a big feature film there."

I told Tim that I recalled a story where Voyager would get back to Earth and meet the Enterprise E. Here's what Tim had to say:

"Sure, that's the way I would do it. The question is, based on how you make your story and whether you incorporate it into the feature film they're trying to do now, or try to do it in the feature film that follows it. Because, ultimately this cast of 'The Next Generation' would have to be featured in that film, and if you add them and all nine of us from Voyager - then that film is gonna get kind of expensive to produce, and I think that the only problem with what I was suggesting in terms of cameo's - there would be a lot shorter working days. They would only get the people that were available at the time to do it, and then accommodate the story accordingly. It's a situation that didn't exist five or six years ago, it was not a big deal. You haven't seen anybody speak about 'Deep Space Nine,' there's a whole cast of people right there."

"There was a lot of recurring characters, the situation the story was in. Whether you have recurring characters or principles, you still may need a key character, a lead, a Captain that can lead the whole nine-yards. And there's only a handful of those to pick from, unless you promote somebody below them upto their level. Whether you use Sulu as a Captain, whether you use one of the other series characters as a Captain."

"They may want to have either Patrick, Avery or Kate as an anchor character for these films."

I told Tim of the fact that George [Sulu] Takei had been quite public about wanting a series based on his character, here's what Tim had to say:

"That ain't gonna happen, they're already shoting the other one, so it's too late for that. George has gotta wait until the time is right."

Q.
Do you have any advice fo Jolene Blalock who will be playing Sub-Commander T'Pol in the new UPN series ENTERPRISE?

I think Tim misheard my pronunciation of 'Blalock' in this question :)

"For who? Oh the 'Tuvok' lady, the Vulcan character. Well, buckle up, you're heading for a long ride. No, she's probably seen hours of my stuff and Leonard Nimoy's stuff, and if she wasn't ready for it by now she would have a stack of tapes to watch to get a bearing on it. She doesn't need much to get a bearing on the character, we're not all going to be exactly the same, it would be silly, so long as she has the basic Vulcan traits. So long as she doesn't do a lot of chuckling and laughing to herself, she'll be fine, it should be pretty easy."

Q.
Do you have any up and coming projects that we should keep an eye out for?

"I may do another CD in the next year, i'm not too sure because I have to gather the material, and it's not easy to do that, it takes a little time. Because either you have to write the material yourself and then to like it enough to put it on the CD, or you have to listen to somebody elses material and see if there's something I like and say well i'd like to take that and then re-arrange it and do it the way I want to do it - and that takes some time too."

"I've also got a sci-fi project called "Metal War," which is based on an old video-game which was never released. Some people will know about it, they'll be familiar with it, but it's a sci-fi, action-adventure thriller, it's CGI and live-action, so it's real actors with CGI backgrounds, it's called "Robot Untouchables." We're working on it now, trying to get it produced as a series and possibly a feature film in LA."

"I've also got a project called 'Bugsters,' which is an animated children's show, it's already an audio book now, it will have a website eventually - which will be linked to my own. It features seven insect characters that live in a swamp, we tell some stories that sort of help children, they sort of have lessons that the children can learn about and understand and also laugh at. It has music in it, there's always a song in each of the stories."

I asked Tim if the songs we're his own (you can probably gather that I really like Tim's music):

"They're put together and co-written. The other project I have got is another feature film, it's called 'Last of the One Night Stands' - so plenty of irons in the fire right now. Hopefully some directing opportunities down the line also."

STARTREKUK.COM would once again like to thank Mr. Tim Russ for taking the time to answer our questions. 

You can visit Tim's Web Site with the following link: http://www.timrusswebpage.com/

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