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Kate Mulgrew Talks Voyager v. TNG, Jeri Ryan & Why She Hasn’t Seen Star Trek 2009 January 20, 2011

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Celebrity,VOY , trackback

This week marks the 16th anniversary of the launch of Star Trek Voyager on UPN. Marking the occasion, Kate Mulgrew is talking about her time as Captain Janeway, and also about what’s new in Star Trek, including explaining why she hasn’t seen the latest Star Trek movie. .

 

Mulgrew talks Voyager v TNG, Jeri Ryan joining VOY + why hasn’t seen Star Trek 2009

Star Trek Voyager has a loyal fanbase, but the show is often ranked in fan polls behind other series. Talking to the official Star Trek site, Mulgrew discussed this status as being the "other show":

How overlooked and/or underestimated did you feel Voyager was back when it was on the air?

Mulgrew: When we were doing it? That’s a hard one to answer, honestly. I was so busy and I was just so immersed in the show. But I know what you’re asking. There’s a perception about Voyager. I guess, comparatively speaking, we didn’t get the same attention that Next Gen got. But I thought that was just a product of the beginning of what might be called saturation (of the Star Trek franchise). In terms of quality comparisons? Who cares? I did the best I could. We all did the best we could.

Mulgrew also talked about how producers introduced the sexy Borg character Seven of Nine for Voyager’s fourth season:

How hard was it for you, personally, when, in the middle of the show’s run, Jeri Ryan arrived on the set to play Seven of Nine?

Mulgrew: I found that that was hard, Jeri notwithstanding. Certainly, I could see with my own eyes that she was a va-va-va-voom and beautiful-beautiful bombshell of a girl. Sexuality was brought into Voyager, and that’s what I resented. I chose not to use sexuality. I thought that if Paramount and UPN and Rick (Berman) were being exceptionally prescient and brave, they would give a woman a shot at commanding without sex. “Can we do this without sex?” There are always other ways. So I resented that and I was hurt by the immediate, extraordinary attention given to this character. The numbers went up. And I thought, “Ah, you can’t argue with a business decision and you can’t argue with sex.” That’s just part of life, but all of that is very difficult for a woman, particularly an actress like me. But it had nothing to do with Jeri.

Mulgrew also revealed that she has yet to see the 2009 Star Trek movie. She explained her reasons:

Was that on purpose or do you just not see many movies?

Mulgrew: I think both. I think both. I think I just kept saying, “I will, I will,” and I didn’t. And there’s a reason why. I guess I just didn’t want to. Everyone said it was great and I’m sure it was. But… it’s a huge thing to be the captain in the Star Trek franchise. You get saturated. There’s a part of me that just wants to hold that in my memory, and it’s enough.

For more from Mulgrew see both parts of her interview: Part 1 & Part 2.

POLL: Ranking Voyager

How does Voyager rank for you?

 

 

[poll=630]

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
keachick
January 21, 2011 12:56 am
She never played captain of the Enterprise. She played the captain of a smaller starship, in a different time period, called Voyager. So she can’t watch a reboot of the original series (which she ows much) because she is still immersed in her actually being, well… ONE of the many captains in the Star Trek franchise. Talk about taking herself way too seriously. Get a life, lady. This really is a head scratcher… As far as this sexuality thing goes, it is totally stupid, almost inhuman, to ignore sexuality. What – is she saying that because she is captain, if… Read more »
John
January 21, 2011 1:02 am

You missed her whole point keachick. Even Majel Barrett had a problem with Seven of Nine.

John
January 21, 2011 1:02 am

You missed her whole point keachick. Even Majel Barrett had a problem with Seven of Nine.

January 21, 2011 1:04 am
I think fans (and new audiences) need to see every show in it’s own period. TOS was great, but got cancelled and got cult status with the fans. You can’t beat that. But most of the TOS fans now have grandchildren and when théy watch TOS, it’s a whole new ballgame. That also goes for TNG; they got (in the late 80’s & early 90’s) a huge new fanbase, with very loyal fans. The ‘saturation’ story begins in 1994: DS9 wasn’t picing up great in the beginning and VOY was created to let the TNG fans hang on to Star… Read more »
January 21, 2011 1:40 am
Kate Mulgrew sounds a litlle jealous when she talks about bringing Seven (Jerri Ryan) in the show. Yet she acknowledges that it worked. Look they treated the Seven character with respect and intelligence. There was always plotlines about Seven searching for her humanity. We also learned more about the Borg. So it was successful decision by the much maligned Rick Berman.. As far as introducing sex into Star Trek, well from the original series and on, Star Trek has had a lot of sex in it.. That does not demean women. Star Trek blazed paths for women in television. You… Read more »
AwesomeJohn
January 21, 2011 1:52 am
voyager is ties with DS9 as my favorite series, with TNG being the first, simply because of the extraordinary care that went into it (after season 2). i love voyager, but there will always be things about it that bother me. TNG was the “continuing mission” of a ship named Enterprise, as i think trek should be whenever possible. DS9 was different but it had its purpose in the star trek universe. it brought the topics of race and religion and war and peace into the franchise like no other series could have. what did voyager do? it began as… Read more »
Aurore
January 21, 2011 1:53 am

I was never interested in any of the series that followed The Original Series.

But, curiously enough, my not watching them didn’t prevent some of them from thriving.

Fascinating.

keachick
January 21, 2011 2:02 am
So what if Majel Barrett also had a problem with Seven of Nine. The fact that these two OLDER women had a problem with this beautiful YOUNG woman who happened to ooze sensuality is surely their problem. I’m afraid Kate Mulgrew has left me with a quite a sour taste in my mouth, for more than one reason. The fact is that people like Jeri Ryan’s character have always had to put up with the envy/jealously of other women. Seven of Nine was simply born that way. So Jeri Ryan should not have been cast because she was too attractive… Read more »
Pah Wraith
January 21, 2011 2:44 am

4. assimilator47
>>And where VOY got Seven of Nine, to combat with series like Xena, Hercules etc., DS9 had to fight against Babylon 5. DS9 threw in lots and lots of battle-action with the Dominion and got better from thát.

How interesting a comparison you just drew. VOY battling trashy fantasy action series and DS9 against one of the thoughtful and well constructed SF sagas. This, I guess, tells us everything about the quality of both shows :)

Aurore
January 21, 2011 2:56 am

@ 7

“I was never interested in any of the series that followed The Original Series.”

You are not a real fan. Period.

:)

January 21, 2011 3:39 am

I resent that we never saw the dream movie featuring the cast of TNG, DS9 and Voyager in a big crossover movie.

Instead of “Star Trek Insurrection” we should have had the end of the Dominion war in the big screen in a big Star Trek party.

Guess i had to settle down of seeing situations like this only in the pocket books and comics. C´est la vie.

John
January 21, 2011 3:58 am
@keachick, See a lot of women feel degraded when they are treated as just sex objects, for women to be hired solely on their looks is highly degrading and disrespectful. It’s hard for them to be taken seriously in their line of work, when they only get hired because of their looks. As Jeri Ryan’s hiring on the show, she was just a piece of ass to the executives she was hired for no other reason. You could see how hard she worked to try to be taken seriously as a real actor on the show. The way they didn’t… Read more »
El Chup
January 21, 2011 4:01 am
I actually agree with Mulgrew. I am a red blooded male and I was around 20 years old when Ryan was hired. I was the target audience, but I hated the character. Growing up I got to like ST because it seemed more intelligent and moral than other show on Tv at the time. It had a respect for itself, a dignity. I felt that was dumped when Seven of Nine came on that show. I am not a big fan of Voyager. I think it suffered from poor writing and weak characters despite having a wonderful premise. It failed… Read more »
Pierss
January 21, 2011 4:02 am

@ 8 keachick

Terry Farrell oozed sexuality and she was just wearing a standard uniform.

no offense to Jeri, but her character was boobs on legs in skin tight Lycra but missing a personality.

El Chup
January 21, 2011 4:03 am

@ 12

Agreed

John
January 21, 2011 4:08 am

Women want to be taken seriously for their brains not for their boobs!

Dan
January 21, 2011 4:11 am

To make Jane way into a captain was a big step for women in the Star Trek franchise respectfully, to add Seven of Nine after the fact was a big FU!

January 21, 2011 4:23 am

I will probably get a lashing for this, but oh, well…

Kate Mulgrew may have intentionally played her without sexuality, but it is because she knows that she is in no way able to pull that off. There is nothing sexual about her in anything else she’s played, either. It’s too bad she’s a horrible actress as well.

KirksBrother
January 21, 2011 4:25 am

For centuries women have been fighting so as to being treated equal to men, than just being depicted as sex objects and good little girls, nowadays everything is going completely in the opposite direction. Violence and war is being herald as good, as well as hate and bigotry all is under the guise of morality. So how are we going to get to the stars?

KirksBrother
January 21, 2011 4:29 am

@David C. Roberson I always thought of Kate as being very attractive, she had to play it strait, she’s a captain none the less. The captain has a responsibility to hold up the highest level of morality and self control, and respectability.

Iluvalltrek
January 21, 2011 4:43 am
I love it all. I also wish sex had never been used in a negative way. Because of the objectifying nature of sex, strong and beautiful women get recognized for thewrong thing. It’s like being rich and never k owing if you are loved for you or your money. A beautiful woman never knows if she is being recognized for her intellect or just because the guy is patronizing her to get in her pants. Some women don’t care and use it to their advantage, but many are not willing to prostitute themselves. I don’t know what the answer is.
RedShirtWalking
January 21, 2011 5:08 am

There needs to be one other poll option that says, “Wish I Never Watched Voyager.”

Worst. Trek. EVER. SO many wasted opportunities with that series.

Davorn
January 21, 2011 5:46 am

Hmmm.

for me:

1. Star Trek TNG
2. Star Trek TOS
3. Enterprise
4. Voyager
5. Deep Space 9

CmdrR
January 21, 2011 5:49 am

Hasn’t seen the movie? She should be pecked to death by ducks!

4 8 15 16 23 42
January 21, 2011 6:25 am

I actually like Seven of Nine, the character, as played by Jeri Ryan. I agree that her unitard outfit is lame and too revealing not to be seen as purely gratuitous. However, I thought the stories built around Seven of Nine were WAY more interesting than those built around Kes.

4 8 15 16 23 42
January 21, 2011 6:26 am

Seven of Nine should have looked just like she did in Scorpion, all the way through the end of the series.

Phobos
January 21, 2011 7:15 am

So both Shatner and Mulgrew refuse to watch ST09. I find that revealing.
That aside, I absolutely loved Voyager.

miguelito1701
January 21, 2011 8:05 am

I liked 7 of nine and of course they put her in because of her looks . All those that rant about that though, should really rewatch TOS or any other series with mini skirts or all aliens wearing even less.
I liked the character also because of the fact that she is a member of the arch enemie. She was part of the always present enemy/outsider looking into the general society of the franchise.

January 21, 2011 8:16 am

I only discovered voyager and seven of nine a couple of months ago and have been kicking myself for not getting into it years ago.

Jeri Ryan is jaw droppingly good looking and to me that didn’t interfere with the show feeling like star trek. In fact i think the new level of tension added to it.

Alec
January 21, 2011 8:28 am
Each to his own, I suppose. And no disrespect to Kate, as an actress, or a lady. But I really couldn’t stand Voyager. After DS9, which was itself a step down from TNG, the quality of Trek reached a nadir. Voyager was unoriginal. The characters were recycled and generic. There was little connection between Voyager and prior Trek; and, I felt, little love of prior Trek. The stories were, again, rehashed, worse versions of what came before. They ruined the Borg. Worse of all, the dialogue was awful: replete with technobable. The only novel feature of Voyager was that the… Read more »
Rah
January 21, 2011 8:32 am

It keeps suprising me that so many Star Trek Fans are so full of anger, i thought the theory of IDIC or whatever would get through to more. of course those who squeak the loudest are not always representative of the true population…
Nonetheless, personally I have problems with the writing of Voyager, yet I have friends who think it is the best show.
The point is we get along.
Can’t we all live and let live?

Alec
January 21, 2011 8:35 am
27. Phobos – January 21, 2011 Shatner has said he’s seen the film and that he liked it. He also went about as far as Shatner does in complementing another actor: here, Pine. And you can understand why he was reluctant to see the film. He’s been this character for four decades; in many ways, he is Star Trek. No disrespect to Kate, but the same is not true for her. I don’t think Kate wants to see it because she knows it will be good and put her Trek to shame. (Though, little if any of the blame for… Read more »
njdss4
January 21, 2011 8:54 am

@ #23:

I feel bad for you. If you dislike DS9 that much, you’re missing out. It’s part of the best of Trek, with far better character development and arcing storylines that get you invested more than an episodic show ever could.

CmdrR
January 21, 2011 8:54 am

Voyager strayed more from other Treks not so much for having a sexy Borgette… but, for aiming squarely for a Star Wars audience. Gee, what a sin. Same as the Trek movies STILL do. In truth, the writing was not much less good that TOS, but it hit more dull eps than any series before. Enterprise hit “high action/ low interest” eps a lot more.

Why all the anger and cheap shots at the lady? The thing many Trek fans here seem not to grasp is that Trek is not the center of life for every actor that participated in its production. Voyager was something Mulgrew did in her career, she likes what she did, she resented the intrusion of pointless, sensationalist sexuality merely for the sake of ratings into the work she offered, and now all of that is in her past. She hasn’t seen the reboot. So what? That’s her prerogative. The characters in the Trek universe mean a great deal more to… Read more »
4 8 15 16 23 42
January 21, 2011 9:35 am

#33 — What about all the dreadfully dull Ferengi family episodes, or the ones about Odo’s uninteresting struggles to fit in, or the yawn-worthy Bajoran religious/political issues. I like certain DS9 episodes well enough, but I too have to rank it lowest of the 5. No need to get all patronizing about it. DS9 is still Star Trek, I watched all of it, and I’d rather see it than any crappy Babylon 5 episode….

Dr. Image
January 21, 2011 9:55 am

Voyager- BAD WRITING.
DS9- good writing.
TNG- a mix. (And when the camps split, it resulted in the above.)
Like it or not, that sums it all up.

John from Cincinnati
January 21, 2011 9:58 am

Ha Ha!!!

Vindication for Mr. Shatner!!

Everyone blasted him for not seeing the movie for so long and the gracious Kate Mulgrew has now explained why as a Captain in a franchise it was so hard to do. Plus, Shatner is THE Captain of the Star trek franchise.

I don’t want to hear one more negative comment about Bill Shatner ever again!

The Geek that Gets Laid Often
January 21, 2011 10:15 am

Bill is a blowhard, but a lovable blowhard.

Anywho, I understand Mulgrew’s point of view. They should have let Seven gradually become human in the physical sense at the same time that she asserted her personality over a period spanning two seasons or so and nixed the catsuit. Seeing her skin become pink, her hair grow and her implants slowly being removed would have been cooler (and made more sense) than ”HEY, I’M A BABE!”

January 21, 2011 10:16 am

Favorite series? Let the dollar speak:
I own every Star Trek series on DVD, including both Original and Remastered versions of TOS, all the movies, and a host of documentaries and ephemera. This even includes double dipping in VHS and LaserDisc. Paramount has made ALOT of money off of me over the years…

But I don’t own a single episode of “Star Trek: Voyager”.

Chadwick
January 21, 2011 10:26 am

I loved Enterprise far more than Voyager. I love Voyager but its the most bubblegummy, and with the Doctor and Neelix I almost threw up in my mouth a bit. DS9 was far better.

It has become rather upsetting how many Star Trek actors do no care for Star Trek beyond their acting in it. My favorite Star Trek actor is still Levar Burton, because he was a Star Trek fan before TNG, he was a fan during TNG, and he is a fan now, bless him.

Polly
January 21, 2011 10:29 am

Voyager wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t my favorite either.

Robman007
January 21, 2011 10:32 am
Voyager had a great idea, just poorly written. By the end of the show, Voyager should have looked just like the Battlestar Galactica…beaten to junk ready to fall apart. No building Delta Fliers, etc. The Borg were turned into ding dongs, which was lame too. Biggest POOR writing issue….7 year ENSIGN Harry Kim. Nuff said. DS9 was amazing, but I’m pretty sure that B5 creator JMS could have gone on with his lawsuit against Paramount (being that he pitched his B5 bible to Paramount way before DS9, and they were very similar). Still, what an amazing ride of a show…just… Read more »
Robman007
January 21, 2011 10:39 am
@ 40: I hear ya. I have all three seasons of TOS (Original DVD/Remastered DVD/Blu-Ray), all the Motion Pictures, and all 7 Seasons of DS9. I have not bought any TNG because they are hard to find in stores for a good price. I thought about going online, but I”m waiting for the blu-ray “remastered” release when it happens. I will not buy a single season of Voyager or Enterprise. I liked some season 4 episodes of Enterprise, but the show just bugged me from day one. If you are going to have a TOS prequel with a ship called… Read more »
Nick Cook
January 21, 2011 10:50 am

Mulgrew’s an actress, Voyager was a job. Why the heck should she have to watch the movie if she’s not interested in doing so?

Dorotea
January 21, 2011 10:55 am

VOY (10/10. One of the best TV shows ever)

TOS (9/10 Cult series.)

DS9 (7/10 Average)

ENT (3/10 not that good)

TNG (2/10 most boring Star Trek series, in my opinion)

Seany-Wan
January 21, 2011 10:55 am

I agree with Mulgrew: Voyager was the just saturating the “Star Trek” brand and the point of its arrival. Jane way was a good role model, but 7 of 9 was a throwback for women. Yes, she was eye candy, but her outfits left very little to the imagination.

Danpaine
January 21, 2011 11:26 am
40. My Best Fiend – January 21, 2011 Good point. I own all of TOS, all the movies, some of TNG, both on VHS and DVD, over the years. No Voyager, no Enterprise. Pretty much speaks for itself. As for Voyager on TV, I watched, but wished they’d given Janeway a bit more of a warmth, a personal side – they did an episode where she and Chakotay had a fling, but it didn’t go anywhere. I for one would have liked her to have a relationship or two. Would have made her more relatable, and added more tension to… Read more »
Danpaine
January 21, 2011 11:29 am

…and of course Jeri Ryan was hot, but I don’t look to Star Trek for my sexual thrills, frankly.

Anthony Thompson
January 21, 2011 11:48 am

Jeri was sexy??? I thought she looked positively anorexic. No thanks!

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