Star Trek: Voyager would've failed without Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew carried Star Trek: Voyager.
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Kate Mulgrew was consistently one of the best actresses on Star Trek: Voyager from start to finish. She was someone who was frequently shown bright, carrying many difficult scenes throughout the franchise. Constantly splitting the difference between a firm hand, a guiding leader, and a woman with a whimsical spirit.

She was so impressive, and many saw her true talents during the show's run. Yet, she wasn't the first choice, as many now know. Once upon a time, a different woman, Genevieve Bujold, was Kathryne Janeway. Yes, Mulgrew wasn't the first woman to sit in the captain's chair on the U.S.S. Voyager, as Bujold showed up to work for two full days to play Janeway.

Then, on day three, Mulgrew was brought in to replace her. Bujold ended up leaving the show due to the demands of a television series being too much on her at the time. Mulgrew was then brought in as the new Janeway. It's not that she had no issues whatsoever, as she's been very open about in the past that filming was hard on her as she was a mother to young children at the time. Being away from them was hard. Yet, she was able to pull off some of the best performances of her career on Voyager.

It became evident very early on that Janeway had a presence about herself that Bujold just didn't. While Bujold was a talent in her own right, she wasn't the right talent for a show like Voyager. She didn't have the ability to command the audience the same way Mulgrew did. That ability made her not only a star when the show first aired but for years after.

Now, 23 years after the show ended, Mulgrew and Janeway are Star Trek icons. So much so, that Mulgrew's Janeway had a statue built in her honor a few years ago in Janeway's birth town of Bloomington, IN. That's a pretty strong indication that Janeway and by proxy Mulgrew, made a huge impression on the Star Trek fandom. An impression we can't say would've been the same had Bujold stayed on with the project.

Without Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager likely won't make it seven seasons and the series probably goes down as a missed opportunity.