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TSO goes galactic with Star Trek

Q and Dr. Zimmerman are helping the Toronto Symphony Orchestra go intergalactic.

Q and Dr. Zimmerman are helping the Toronto Symphony Orchestra go intergalactic.

Led by distinguished conductor Erich Kunzel of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra — who guest-helmed the TSO when it played the Star Wars Concert about three years ago — the orchestra will play selections from the science fiction phenomenon’s bellicose television and movie themes.

Music will include Alexander Courage’s theme from the original series, the opening theme from Star Trek: Voyager and Dennis McCarthy’s scores from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Both John de Lancie (famous for his role as Q in Star Trek: TNG, DS9 and Voyager) and Robert Picardo (who played The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager) will be on hand to co-host the show, which runs tonight and tomorrow at 8.

“The audience will at least be intimidated into having a splendid time by Q, the most powerful being in the universe,” laughs Picardo. “It is a particular delight for Star Trek fans, but the music is a standalone delight whether you’re a Trek fan or not. And you don’t often get to see a hologram in a tuxedo.”

Picardo and de Lancie (himself the son of a composer and classical music buff) will narrate the concert, recounting the stories behind the music.

“People who aren’t fans of the show will say, ‘I recognize the music, but I had no idea about all these other things that took place,” says de Lancie. “And the people who know it, they’re going to listen to this music not out of a little speaker, but in a big symphony hall with a 100-piece orchestra.”
A bonus for Trek fans — the pair will share personal anecdotes (some of them may even be blue, but you’ll have to wait and see, Picardo warns) from life on the shows. Both actors have much in common, playing non-human roles on the series — Picardo as a medical hologram in search of its own humanity and de Lancie as an all-powerful trickster forming part of the god-like Q Continuum.
“All you have to worry about, when you’re spewing information, you cannot say any of the following: Um, well, uh, or y’know?” says Picardo of his role on set. “You speak in complete paragraphs, which as you might notice I already do. So it wasn’t as difficult for me in some ways.”

To prepare for his role as an omnipotent and sinister cosmic being, de Lancie took another approach.
“There’s no better job on Earth. I regularly walk on water and jump buildings in a single bound,” he laughs. “I played Q as omnipotent, but with feet of clay: He can easily be toppled over. On one episode the Q Continuum took my powers away. I’m glad they gave them back because playing a human was no fun at all.”

 
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