In Episode 2 of Star Trek: Picard, we meet Picard’s doctor during a serious discussion. Have we ever seen the character before? No, this character has not been on Star Trek. If he looks familiar, it’s because David Paymer has a successful history in TV and film.
This article will have major spoilers for Star Trek: Picard Episode 2, through the scene with the doctor.
The Character Is Picard’s Doctor, Not the Traveler
In Episode 2, Picard invites an old friend to visit his Chateau Picard in France. The man’s name is Dr. Benayoun, and it looks like they have a long history together. But like many people that Picard has met since The Next Generation and the movies, he’s a character that viewers haven’t seen before.
Dr. Benayoun may look familiar because the actor who portrays him has had many TV and movie appearances. When he showed up in the trailer, however, some people thought he looked a lot like the Traveler from The Next Generation. He’s not, but here’s a refresher about the Traveler.
The Traveler was portrayed by Eric Menyuk (and also Tom Jackson in a later episode.)
Many people speculated when Paymer appeared in the NYCC trailer in October that he might be the Traveler or one of his species. ScreenRant talked about it here, noting his forehead, grey hair, and words: “you really want to go back out into the cold?”
There was even a discussion on Reddit about it.
But no, Dr. Benayoun from Episode 2 is not the Traveler, he’s simply a different species who has a long history with Picard.
Paymer also looks familiar because of his many other TV and movie appearances. He’s never been on Star Trek, however, and his character has never been on Trek either.
Paymer’s many previous credits include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Harry Drake), Room 104, Where’d You Go Bernadette, Fanboy, The Conners, I’m Dying Up Here (Ernie Falk), Accident Man, Lemon, The Good Wife (Judge Richard Cuesta), The Pickle Recipe, Perception (Rueben), Two-Bit Waltz, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Five Year Engagement, Bad Teacher, Drag Me To Hell, Law & Order: SVU, Ocean’s Thirteen, Brothers & Sisters, Entourage, Line of Fire (Jonah), Checking Out, Crazy for Love, School of Life, Jack & Bobby, Century City (this was another sci-fi series where he appeared in the pilot), Capital City, Alex & Emma, Justice League, Focus, Destiny, Bounce, Partners, Dash and Lilly, Chill Factor, The Larry Sanders Show (Norman), Godzilla: The Series, Gang Related, Amistad, Crime of the Century, The American President (Leon), and more.
He was in a lot of older series too, like 21 Jumpstreet.
He was also on Cagney & Lacey (Feldberg), The Commish (Arnie), City Slickers, Murphy Brown, Equal Justice, Sunset Beat, LA Law, Matlock, Duet, Who’s the Boss, St. Elsewhere, Downtown (David Kiner), Cheers (Phil), Different Strokes, Family Ties, The Greatest American Hero, Taxi, and much, much more.