Kate Mulgrew returns to her iconic role on October 28th.
It’s been twenty-six years since Kate Mulgrew began her journey into Star Trek playing the first female captain of a Federation Starship on Star Trek: Voyager. For seven seasons, she portrayed Captain Kathryn Janeway, leading her crew through the Delta Quadrant as they attempted to find their way home. And now, Mulgrew has returned to the role when Star Trek: Prodigy debuts on October 28th on Paramount+, and it’s not a role she takes lightly.
In interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Mulgrew discussed the responsibility of playing Janeway. She understood that she was playing someone who was truly significant. And she was. To thousands upon thousands of young girls and women in the nineties, she was a hero. In a franchise where the captains were all male and most decisions were made by men, Mulgrew had to make her mark as a level-headed, dedicated captain who didn’t allow emotion or sentiment to overrule her common sense.
The role of Captain Janeway matters to Kate Mulgrew
Mulgrew told Weintraub that she understood there was an accountability in the role while also saying she hoped she’d “stepped up to the plate” because playing Janeway matters to her. As it does to the countless fans who are eager for her return this week.
It’s not surprising that Captain Janeway has left a lasting impression on Mulgrew. I imagine it would be difficult to play such a dynamic character, one that speaks to women still struggling to find their own voice. Though Janeway was a fictional character, she was one that left a mark, one that proved that women could lead starships into battle and take on villainous aliens just as well as Captain Kirk and Captain Picard.
Though Captain Janeway was a character created by the producers of Star Trek: Voyager, it took Kate Mulgrew to shape her into a woman that would be remembered throughout Star Trek history.