In a new interview, Kate Mulgrew was asked about returning to the role of Captain Janeway and the legacy of Star Trek: Voyager.
Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek: Voyager and already fans are starting to work themselves into a frenzy. Over the decades the show’s following has only grown and much like Deep Space Nine, it has only become more popular with age.
Much of that can be attributed to Kate Mulgrew and her portrayal of Captain Kathryn Janeway. Since Voyager first aired, Janeway has become one of the most iconic characters Star Trek ever produced. Long before the days when women were better represented in genre fiction, Mulgrew led the charge, the first woman to sit in the captain’s chair and play the lead in a Star Trek series.
It’s not an exaggeration to think that without Kathryn Janeway, there might not have been a Captain Marvel or Rey or even Michael Burnham.
In recent years Mulgrew has become an author and her new book, How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir has just been published. In it she talks unflinchingly about caring for her aging parents and the toll it took on her and her family.
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Mulgrew recently spoke to Trek Movie.com about the book and of course, the subject of Star Trek and Voyager‘s place in the history of the franchise came up. When asked about if Mulgrew felt Voyager was perpetually in the shadow of The Next Generation, she says that she never really thought about it, instead focusing on turning in the best performance she could.
"No. I don’t think that ever occurred to me. I was aware of Next Generation being wonderfully received, and Patrick Stewart’s great popularity and success as a captain, but I was absolutely immersed in the business of making Star Trek: Voyager my imprint, and of value in and of itself.I was determined to make Janeway the best captain I could make her, and not for any real feminist reasons—because I wanted as an actress and as a human being to put my stamp on that beautifully written woman. And I thought around me was a very, very good group. I’ve remained very close friends with Bob Picardo, Ethan Phillips. I mean, these guys were pretty terrific, so, no. And I’m aware of the competitive nature of it all. I’m a deeply competitive person myself, or have been in my life as an actress. It always pisses me off when people say that Voyager was less than Next Generation, and Janeway was less than Picard, or less than Kirk. And it’s all so silly, isn’t it?"
In addition, Mulgrew was asked if she would be interested in returning to the role of Janeway in a similar way to what Patrick Stewart is doing in Star Trek: Picard. Her answer was unexpected.
"I don’t know. It surprised me when Patrick came out on the stage—I was there that day—and announced it. It surprised me that he wanted to. But I think he knows it will probably have a shot at being quite a hit. And there’s no one who likes to work as much as Patrick Stewart. And for him it will probably be very successful. Picard was beloved. Yeah, it’ll be interesting. I don’t know what to say about Janeway. Seven years is a long time to play a character. I’m not sure that she would enjoy resuscitation. She was a very, very vibrant person, while she was."
I think it’s safe to say that if Mulgrew ever did want to return to the role, Trek Nation would be pretty excited to see it. When fans talk about what character they really want to see in Picard, Janeway’s name almost always comes up. She has a devoted fan following who would likely love nothing more than to see the further adventures of the former captain of Voyager.
Kate Mulgrew’s novel How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir is in bookstores now.