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Star Trek Just Brought Back a TNG Character the Franchise Originally Wanted Us to Forget


With the reveal that Robert Duncan McNeill’s Nick Locarno is season 4’s big bad, Star Trek: Lower Decks recovers an intentionally forgotten character from The Next Generation.

Enterprise-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Photo: CBS via Getty Images

This Star Trek: Lower Decks article contains spoilers.

In “The Inner Fight,” the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks‘s fourth season, the big bad is revealed to be someone we haven’t seen in a long time. Once a promising Starfleet Cadet and talented pilot, he let his youthful arrogance get the better of him, ending his career in disgrace. Even before Beckett Mariner opened a bunker door and the shadowy figure emerged, we heard the smarmy voice of Robert Duncan McNeill and realized who was back.

No, not Tom Paris. It’s Nick Locarno!

Yes, McNeill (or B-Duncs, in the parlance of the hit podcast The Greatest Generation) did play Lt. JG./Ensign./Lt. JG. Tom Paris for seven seasons on Star Trek: Voyager. And yes, he was a gifted pilot whose career ended in disgrace due to his arrogance. And Star Trek producers would have us believe that McNeill never appeared as a member of Starfleet before the Voyager premiere “Caretaker.”

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