Interview: Kate Mulgrew On The Legacy Of ‘Voyager,’ ‘Star Trek: Picard,’ AOC, And More

O Captain! My Captain! (Part Two)

After Kate Mulgrew and I talked about her new book, How to Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir, we moved on to more Star Trek-related topics. With the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager coming next year plus Star Trek: Picard on the horizon, it seemed like the perfect time to talk about Janeway’s legacy.

You’ve written two very honest memoirs now. Would you ever consider doing what Shatner’s done, and write a book about your experiences on Voyager?

If I did, it wouldn’t be as Shatner’s done, I don’t think. I haven’t read his book. And I like Bill and I’m sure that it’s very enjoyable.

If I write about what happened to me on Star Trek: Voyager, I’m going to write the truth, and it’s probably going to come from an unexpected place. So, I would write about what it’s like to take that kind of an arduous journey in a period of great change in one’s life. My sons were young, I was newly divorced. By the time Voyager had finished, my mother had Alzheimer’s. Everything happened in those seven years, and I was not given a great deal of time to assimilate everything because my usual day was a 16-hour day.

I don’t know that the fan base would want to know everything that I would want to share, which is the deeply private feelings of an actress under the gun. The first rule of being a captain is to set the tone on the set, so I didn’t reveal any of what I was ever really feeling. Or if I did, it was only in the very wee hours of the morning, when I was so exhausted I couldn’t do otherwise.

So if I write it, it won’t be, “And this is what happened, and then I met Jeri Ryan, and we were upset,” blah, blah, blah. It’s not going to be any of that … that doesn’t interest me, at all. It would be the examination of who Kate was at that time.

The Voyager cast celebrating their 100th episode

The Voyager cast celebrating their 100th episode (“Timeless”) in 1998

Patrick Stewart’s doing a new show, playing Picard 20 years after the events of the movie, Nemesis, which you were also in. And what interested him about it was that it was this exploration of what he’s done and who he is 20 years after all of this. So, if someone pitched to you, “The character of Janeway 20 years later,” what about that character would you want to explore and where do you think she would be?

I did it on Voyager. I played at the admiral, I did it. I think I did it.

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.

So that doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, particularly?

I would have to cross that bridge when I got there. It’s nothing that I have entertained.

Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager - Endgame

Vice Admiral Janeway, years after Voyager’s return to the Alpha Quadrant

They just released a documentary on Deep Space Nine, done by Ira Steven Behr. A big theme of that documentary was that they felt like they were the middle child, less important than the other Star Trek shows—and that time has validated them. Did you, and did your group on Voyager, feel any of that?

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.

Being the first female captain was seismic, there were tidal waves of publicity and reaction and response because a girl had been put in command. And I had to wrestle with that for at least a season, maybe a season and a half.

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?

Five Star Trek captains

Five non-competitive captains together:  William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, and Scott Bakula

It is silly. I grew up a fan, since I was 10, and it was in the ’70s, so there was no Voyager coming for a long time. And I loved every single Trek, every captain. But when Janeway came along … for me, just starting leadership positions in my own life, it was huge.

Well, not only because you’re a woman, but because you’re smart enough to realize that if television is willing to sink millions of dollars into the representation of a woman in command, in one of the most successful franchises in the history of television, then it’s to be taken seriously. It’s a harbinger of things to come culturally, societally, and politically. And that’s exactly what happened.

There’s a lot of talk about Janeway’s impact on STEM and women of science, but right now, there are women in politics who are talking about you. Stacey Abrams, and particularly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Well, I’m a great fan of hers, and she of me. So I went out to her at one of her rallies in Queens, and I surprised her. Whoever was introducing her said, “And now, a person who Alexandria has known since she was a little girl, Captain Kathryn Janeway, Kate Mulgrew.” And she gasped, she turned.

And when I approached her, I think she kind of fell. It was one of those moments. And then when she said that when they lost their screen—they had bad reception in their house, and often the television was just black and white—she’d listen to it, like a radio show. And that was enough. I mean, the whole thing is marvelous.

And look what she’s doing. I doubt that I had anything to do with that spirit, which is a remarkable one. But there is something about her confidence, the way she is scorching that indifferent earth that makes me think, “I wonder… I wonder if she plucked some of this from Voyager?” And I hope she did.

She was six when Voyager premiered, so now she has a wealth–not as many as there should be—but a wealth of pop culture with women in strong roles. So why do you think it was still, for her, Janeway?

You know why. Lost in space, alone. Got to get ’em home. Got to get ’em home. It’s the epic journey of the single female. And look what she’s doing in the House. It’s unprecedented, we have not seen this before in a woman of her youth. She’s untried, and she is stomping at the ground. I am electrified by this performance. May she maintain it.

And she’s giving energy to a lot of the others, the Katie Porters, and the Abby Finkenauers of Iowa, she’s giving energy, she’s giving courage, she’s inspiring all of them. I think she’s probably even getting under Pelosi’s skin, do you know?

Time to show everybody what we’ve got. And it’s so extravagant, isn’t it? I mean, I love men. I love them, and I wouldn’t want to live without them, but we have more than they have.

Once we open that door and we admit that, and we let that stuff go, watch out!

Kate Mulgrew and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Kate Mulgrew and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both wearing com badges

Are you watching any TV these days? Binging anything?

Because I’m down here in Charleston shooting a new series, no, I’m not. I’m immersed in Mr. Mercedes.

If you could guest star on any show that’s current, is there one that you would love to be on?

Yes, I’d love to be on The Crown now, with Olivia Colman. They’re shooting it right now, I’d love to have a part on that. But I’m American as apple pie, so probably not going to happen. And I’d love to do something on Ozark, but guesting on Mr. Mercedes would’ve been among my first choices, and here I am doing it. I’m playing a psychopath, an absolute psychopath. The complete opposite of Kathryn Janeway. And it’s fun.

I’ve had some great shots. I had Mary Ryan, I had Mrs. Columbo, I had Kathryn Janeway, Red, and now Alma Lane. It’s been a great ride.

Kate Mulgrew as Mary Ryan on Ryan’s Hope, Mrs. Columbo, Captain Janeway, and Red on Orange Is the New Black

Kate Mulgrew on her new memoir

Read part one of our interview with Kate Mulgrew about her new book, How To Forget: A Daughter’s Memoir.

How to Forget: A Daughter's Memoir by Kate Mulgrew

Buy the book

Buy your copy at Amazon, in hardcover, e-book, or audiobook (narrated by Kate Mulgrew).

Audiobook excerpt

With a message to listeners from Kate Mulgrew.

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Blah

So Kate Mulgrew is an absolute idiot. Not surprised.

Thomas W.

Why?

MysticalDigtial

Likely Blah is not a fan of AOC

Don’t feed the trolls, people…

GQMF

I appreciate that while shooting Voyager was a difficult time for her due to the schedule, she is still respectful when talking about the show. I think it’s very unlikely we will see her as Janeway again bar a small cameo. Much as I love Janeway, I’m ok with this considering the circumstances.

dennycranium

Being the star of any show is difficult under the best of circumstances. She stepped in after the first choice bowed out. Voyager isn’t my fav Trek but it had its great moments, like the other shows before and after.
Ms. Mulgrew always did a great job in her performance.

Michael Hall

Agreed. My least favorite of the shows after Enterprise, but it did have its moments, and Mulgrew always gave it her best.

Danpaine

Yes she did. And some people act like Burnham is so groundbreaking. No. Ms. Mulgrew/Janeway was groundbreaking over two decades before, and her character was leagues better, imo.

Michael Hall

I don’t agree at all about the character being better, but to each his own.

Mulgrew lost me in the first couple paragraphs of this interview when she panned Shatner’s (ghost written book) that she did not even read!

What is it they say about actors and prostitutes again?

IMO, after how treasonius Obama became president – with 7 O’s help, and now Mulgrew is helping Ocational Cortex, Trek could single handedly be responsible for the destruction of our Constitution!

Hope you Dems all wake up in the coming weeks.

DON’T LITTER!
(– click the link for real entertainment.

Tiger2

LOL, WOW! Tell us how you really feel.

Aside from my comments above, To be fare. I did REALLY ENJOY Ms. Mulgrew’s acting and the character she portrayed on Voyager and her support of woman and Trek.

More Troubles More Dribbles

(Applause)

Afterburn

Oh! Let’s get political! Not a smart move.

martin mcqueen

you mean mr.trek made me wonder. when pres. Donald trump got up on stage in front of the Russia dictator and called our cia a liar who risk their life everyday to protect this country.who really committed treason?

martin mcqueen

You are oblivious to the threat to our constitution from the CIA deep state and its infiltration in our media. You may be a victim of propaganda, Martin. A threat to our country by too few controlling the narrative in our news. I see that threat, I believe Trump sees that threat, and hopefully that threat will be contained.

It amazes me that you think the Russians tampered with our elections. How did they do that? Facebook ads? Or, was it by hacking Hellary’s and Podesta’s and the DNC’s emails? The Russian hacking is STILL an UNPROVEN allegation. More likely it was SETH RICH who transferred and exposed most of those emails and data to Wikileaks. It is proven that Hellary and Podesta sloppily used personal email servers and poor internet security, and their criminal avoidance in abiding with laws that demand the use of government secure servers for email communications exposed their crimes further.

Even so, the Dems never deny what information was revealed with the exposing of their [unsecured] emails. You should take a look at WIKILEAKS and what they revealed and get back to me. Some of the info is pretty damning, and DOES indicate some serious crimes on the part of those top Dems.

But, if you think the Russians were a major influence for people not voting for the highly UNLIKABLE Hellary, then you DID NOT watch those Trump/Hellary debates. As I recall Trump pointed out quite clearly that Bill was a RAPIST and Trump even had four of Bill’s RAPE victims present. Victims that Hellary AND THE CONTROLLED MEDIA, time and again, tried to ignore and delegitimize. I expect you to do the same here soon. More likely you will avoid that issue completely.

Those women who were victims of a Bill’s sick sexual attacks stood for Trump before a national audience – and in my opinion are HEROES.

In the spirit of the ME TOO movement, You and many other “liberals” should count your blessings and celebrate how Trump and the patriots who stand with him, saved – and are still saving – our country from the likes of those liberal criminals – the Clintons and the horrible DNC.

I expect you won’t. But if you read and research you just may come around to the fact that a VERY GOOD decision was reached in 2016.

dennycranium

If one hasn’t seen Voyager then it makes sense they would consider Burnham groundbreaking. I do enjoy Discovery over Voyager.

Tiger2

Janeway paved the way for characters like Burnham. I remember ALL the talk at the time where Star Trek fans out of all people were upset they had the nerve to give the captain chair to a woman. Mulgrew had a lot to prove to people and thankfully she did because even if people didn’t like the show that much Janeway herself became a huge fan favorite, especially for young girls at the time.

I’m happy we do have a new woman lead for a Star Trek show again with Discovery. And as a person of color myself who actually has family from the same city Martin Green is from, my cousin even graduated from the same university she did, University of Alabama, its nice to see another black lead in a franchise I worship. I’m proud of that in fact.

But both Mulgrew and Brooks set those standards literally decades ago now. And its probably why I don’t have the disdain and hate of Rick Berman like many seem to do because he was the one who pushed those characters forward and risking a LOT on these huge multi-million dollar franchise shows. He could’ve went safe and got another middle age white guy and everyone would’ve just shrugged but he believed in Roddenberry’s edict and that Star Trek can’t just be about diversity in the stories, but also the production itself.

And Mulgrew set a standard that 25 years later is one that is still important today.

albatrosity

Love everything you said, Tiger. I do wonder however about Berman “pushing those characters forward,” because like of course they came about under his watch, but I just feel like Trek in the 90s necessitated those kinds of chances to be taken. What were they gonna do, just keep putting white guys in the chair? They had to mix it up in round 3 and 4, so I wouldn’t say it was all Berman; I think the conditions were right for it to happen anyway, and Berman happened to be at the helm at the time.

Tiger2

Well with Sisko, I think it kind of was an ‘about time’ attitude. He didn’t get any real push back from what I recall and watching the DS9 documentary last week confirmed it. But it was Piller and Berman who made the conscious choice to do it, but no one at the studio had any problems with it either.

BUT with Janeway, there was actually concern about it in Paramount. This has been cited many times in the past, but Paramount wanted a male captain and even forced them to audition men for the role. They did it but stuck to their guns they wanted a woman and the studio basically gave in.

And I think the difference was DS9 was still syndicated so it just had a lot more leeway in everything from casting to the stories it told. Voyager was the big flag ship show on a new network so they were just a lot more cautious about everything with it.

I think it was kind of like NBC was when Star Trek originally launched, they were personally onboard with the diverse characters, but its still about money at the end of the day and both couldn’t risk alienating both audiences and advertisers, which Voyager depended on way more than TNG and DS9 did.

I don’t think it was THAT serious with Janeway, but it was certainly a concern at least. They just went away once the audience showed up and accepted her.

Wunjee

Janeway was a character that was relatable. Burnham is a walking, talking deus ex machina. Discovery is a trainwreck intersecting a dumpster fire. Burnham is part of the reason it is so. She is completely unrelatable and unlikeable as a character.

Eleanor Sledgewick

Discovery is a five-alarm fire in a dumpster factory.

Afterburn

So what you’re saying is that DSC is hot hot hot!

Muse

In your opinion. In my opinion she is a complex and compelling lead.

kmart

Don’t confuse contradictory behavior with complexity. You should only invoke Whitman’s ‘multitudes’ quote when there’s evidence of sophistication, and Burnham doesn’t reflect that so much as she does a missed opportunity of sophistication.

I guess there IS a connection between Burnham and Janeway — because that Captain came off much more intelligent and engaging in early interviews than Janeway did with her scripted dialogue, at least in the shows I was able to watch before giving up on it. Both represent missed opportunities, but at least in the case of VOYAGER the actress really had the skills to do much better with good material. I had thought that was true of this actress based on her TWD role, but after sitting through DSC s1, have since rescinded that opinion.

Corylea

*applauds* ♥ ♥ ♥

ML31

I think the most controversial thing in Trek was putting a British sounding FRENCHMAN in the captain’s chair! The backlash that got was incredible! More so that anything Sisko or Janeway got. ;)

Georgiou’s Sass.

I’m not really sure what good it serves to compare two very, very different characters but I love both of them for very different reasons.

I also happen to love both actresses. Both so very intelligent and insightful.

Jack

Agreed. I don’t get the disdain for Burnham or Martin Green. I think she’s a potentially interesting character (played by a good actress).

I’m not sure I would have saddled Burnham with being the daughter of Sarek, had I been creating the character. Even having her been raised by other Vulcans — or not by Vulcans at all, could have been a lot more interesting.

I also don’t think she’s a deus ex machina or a Mary Sue any more than other characters have been — but I do think there has been some trouble with the writing and making her a fully-realized character.

ML31

She reminds me of Picard in a lot of ways, too. And I feel Picard is arguably the most boring character in all of Trek.

Jack

It’s still a big deal to have a woman of colour lead a Trek series (or to even be in a major role) in 2019. Recognizing that doesn’t downplay Mulgrew’s or Brooks’ or Nichols’ contributions.

And why does it have to be a contest? It’s all been groundbreaking.

PEB

Danpaine, Burnham IS groundbreaking. There’s absolutely no reason to minimize that…

TG47

The thing I’ve found is that Janeway’s leadership is all the more compelling rewatching it with our kids.

Our kids really love Voyager, and one has said that Janeway’s the TV character they most look up to.

Janeway is inspiring for them in her commitment to Starfleet values in adversity coupled with a stalwart determination to get her ship and crew home.

I’d suggest a rewatch to those who haven’t seen it since first run.

Tiger2

Well said TG47!

I didn’t agree with everything Janeway did but her determination to get her crew home was the best part about her. She inspired her crew to follow her through thick and thin that no other captain ever had to do. And for 7 seasons at that.

MAYBE we will see something like that with Discovery next season but I’m not exactly holding my breath, especially if the producers say is really true and going to the future is a one way trip for them.

albatrosity

The thing is, I’m pretty sure even Kate acknowledges that Janeway was written all over the place, and she had to play the character with the idea in mind that she’s suffering from like bipolar condition or something, because her values would whiplash so dramatically from week to week.

Tiger2

Yes the writing was definitely all over the place with her characters at times. I think Mulgrew has mentioned that in the past. Robert Beltran has definitely mentioned it lol.

But overall she stuck to her core and she loved her crew. But yes even for me, it would bother me when she make irrational decisions Chakotay and others knows are irrational (and I completely agree with) but then the story basically have her way win out nearly all the time. No one is pretending she was perfect, but with the situation she was put in, no one can be either.

ML31

That happened a great deal in Trek, however. It happened to Picard a LOT. He would make a bad decision in the teaser that lead to their problem of the week.

Wunjee

Have they seen Equinix yet?

kmart

If that’s the two-parter with Jon Savage, then yeah, that is pretty good. I’ve only tried watching maybe 20 VOYAGER eps after s4 started, and the Capt Ransom is the only one I made it through (twice in fact.)

It always amazes me that DS9’s CG in later seasons for the most part still looked like great modelwork, whereas VOY’s stuff all looked like a cartoon, like they were always in a system lit by multiple suns. But it was what went on inside the ship that really turned me off — this absolutely should have been a show about decay and how character stands against that … pretty much what we got in nuBSG for most of its run.

ML31

I’m forced to admit, after rewatching all of Voyager over the last couple of years (I don’t binge watch and I have just two episodes left) that my opinion of the show has improved.

Jack

Some forget about this when they gripe about Shatner. I’m glad that feud seems to have quieted down.

TonyD

“If I did, it wouldn’t be as Shatner’s done, I don’t think. I haven’t read his book. And I like Bill and I’m sure that it’s very enjoyable.”

I don’t understand this statement. If she hasn’t read the book how does she know what voice it uses? For the record, Shatner did discuss his personal life at the time; he didn’t wallow in it but but did use it as a frame of reference and touched on how his professional life affected his personal life (and I’m referring to his first two Star Trek Memories books).

DIGINON

Of course I don’t really know what she meant but I could imagine that she based her opinion on her general impression of Shatner and how he tends to present himself in public.

Afterburn

Probably based on the general awareness that Shatner wrote about his time on Star Trek and had feuds with most of the cast as a result. That he went on places like SNL to tell fans to “get a life.”

That his memoirs about Trek generated controversy for dishing behind the scenes dirt.

What she’s saying is, my book wouldn’t be about the behind the scenes dirt.

Disinvited

Afterburn,

Shatner’s SNL gig was not predicated on Smigel’s TREKfan skit which wasn’t even written until after Shatner agreed to do the show, and Shatner contributed absolutely nothing to it’s writing.

“Get a life!” was Robert Smigel addressing the fans in a manner he never abandoned, and still employs via his dog hand puppet.

And Shatner is no more responsible for the Smigel lines he voiced on SNL than that inanimate puppet is for Smigel’s sentiments expressed on the various Conan O’Brien talk venues on which it appears.

Afterburn

He took part in a sketch that quite specifically mocked Trek fans (which is fine with me) and you can’t deny that it riled up Trekkies who couldn’t take the joke, and became notorious. It is also, then and now, what his appearance on SNL is known for.

Disinvited

Afterburn,

A misconception’s popularity doesn’t make it true. It merely leads to the absurdity of people claiming to quote Shatner when putting down fans for behaving, in their view, as if STAR TREK were real; when giving Shatner the credit reveals the accusers have no clearer view of what a performance is, and who is responsible for that dialogue, than the views they imagine are in the minds of those fans they find deserving of mocking.

It’s clear, Robert Smigel, the writer, was and is continuing to be in many of his comedic bits, most notoriously those performed via his Triumph puppet in convention lines, the one telling the fans to “Get a life!”, and most certainly should NOT be deprived of the credit.

Disinvited

My take is she was speaking about how he promoted his book and spoke about it in public.

It would be possible to read a synopsis and reviews to determine if this is something you’d actually buy and read. After catching Infinity War on Netflix, and knowing several of the (supposedly) dead characters would live on in their own movie sequels, it was easy to take a pass on Endgame knowing how another derivative Marvel superhero movie would turn out. I’ll catch that on Netflix, too.

Michael Morrison

As a retired Naval officer, I can assure you that Picard and Janeway were the only real captains in the series, and Janeway had the tougher role. She was lost in space, and, as Mulgrew notes, a single woman whose job was to keep Voyager alive and in space and get her crew back home.

For me, Voyager is the best of the Star Trek series.

Inquiring minds

I can assure you that Picard and Janeway were the only real captains in the series

Do elaborate. I’ve heard other military people say that Sisko’s portrayal (particularly in the early seasons) was the most realistic.

Afterburn

Yeah, that claim makes no sense. As if someone knows what it’s like to be a Starfleet captain! Respect your service and all, but apples and oranges. I know Nick Meyer liked to based his stories on his Naval experience, but just because you don’t see parallels between the captains you knew and Sisko, Archer, or whoever, does not mean they are the only “real captains.”

TG47

I’d like to hear more too.

Granted the Federation is intentionally a very different culture from current day, but it would be great to get your perspective on what it was about Picard and Janeway that resonate d most with your experience.

kmart

Picard usually struck me as being more king-minded that Captain-like, and I rarely bought him as a leader worthy of being followed, except maybe in the other timeline from YESTERDAY’S E.

Except for some actorish moments, Sisko absolutely seemed like the most believable military commander to me, because so often he did what Shatner called ‘wearing command like a comfortable old jacket’ — NOT making a big deal of his authority unless a challenge arose. I’d still rather serve with Kirk than any of the others — assuming I wasn’t wearing red, that is. (and weirdly enough, I’d serve with Jellicoe too, because my takeaway there is he usually brings his crews back intact.)

alastair87

I thought Picard’s sense of morality was welcome and absolutely the right thing for the writers to do. I don’t think that made him a hugely believable character, especially compared to Sisko, but I actually don’t think that was the point.

I think the point of Picard’s character was to imagine what a true paragon of virtue in the liberal humanist tradition would look like and give us all someone to look up to and aspire to.

However I also think that if it had been a character like Picard, rather than Sisko, that had been saddled with some of the ethical dilemmas of DS9 (or even of Voyager or Enterprise – e.g. Archer’s Enterprise attacking an innocent ship to steal a warp coil for the greater goal of saving Earth from the Xindi) then one imagines the actual outcomes might have been rather worse.

Picard is a wobbler, more the diplomat then military strategist. I’d argue that Sisko belongs on that list as well.

Damien

I really liked Voyager but i never liked her,i wasn’t surprised to learn she was a total bitch to Jeri Ryan…

dennycranium

If I recall correctly, Ms. Mulgrew wasn’t a bitch to Jeri Ryan, she just objected to the introduction of a T&A character. If I recall correctly….

Michael Hall

I think Mulgrew has more or less admitted that she did not welcome the character or the actress playing her with open arms. As the series lead, she should have done better.

Wheelie

Whoever came up with the idea for Seven’s costume should’ve done better. The character as written was great, but the way they made her look, come on. Ridiculous.

Afterburn

I can just see the 70 year old studio execs telling Berman, while gesticulating wildly, “we need sex appeal! Get a hot babe on the show, someone with real bazoombas! And a nice caboose! A real Barbarella type. Someone that’ll make the 12 year old boys drool! And put her in a tight outfit! Something that would make your wife blush!”

Wheelie

Yep, that sounds about right.

Yeah, unfortunately the catsuit seemed to become standard issue for female characters in Berman Trek. Least we forget that Troi started out in one as well, along with her race being comfortable with nudist lifestyles.

ML31

I think Troi started out in a hyper-short skirt. Then moved to that rather unflattering gray onesie. Before changing to an actual star fleet uniform like the rest. Wasn’t that thanks to Capt. Jelico? Probably the best thing he did.

Michael Hall

Sure (though my inner 14 year-old thought the costume was awesome). But that was a decision made by the studio, not Jeri Ryan, who doubtless would have preferred to wear something else herself. Treating her with disrespect was uncalled for.

Damien

very very true!!

More Troubles More Dribbles

She cashed the check. Guess that makes her a genuine 90’s working girl

albatrosity

Pretty sure Jeri actually passed out on set once because her suit was too tight, so yeah I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thrilled with the catsuit either

Tiger2

Yes she admitted it and has apologized to Ryan and has made up for it. I don’t condone what Mulgrew did of course but I can understand how it would feel you are the star of the show and as the lead you set this very mature standard of a woman starship captain and then they bring in a hot model with a cat suit on.

Her anger was misdirected at the wrong person for sure, but when its Ryan she’s the one seeing and acting against 15 hours a day its harder to ignore.

Wheelie

Right, it’s easy to see why Mulgrew was frustrated by it. This was in an era following Dr. Dana Scully and Janeway herself. A catsuit probably seemed like a step backward (because it was).

Nothing against Seven by the way. She’s one of the more interesting characters from the series, but the look was silly. Put her in a normal uniform, like in the episode Relativity, and it’s not an issue.

Afterburn

The character they created for 7 seemed like their way of revolting against the mandate, by taking the demand for a “hot babe” and developing a deep, nuanced, and interesting character, instead of the vapid blonde, skin-revealing bombshell the execs probably wanted to “shake things up romantically”.

I’d bet the studio was also behind the Chakotay/7 pairing in the last season, which came out of nowhere, and made no sense.

Wheelie

It reminds me of the suits wanting Jerry and Elaine to get together in Seinfeld.

Afterburn

This sort of “shipping” as its known now, is not rare in television. After Cheers and Moonlighting, studios really pushed shows to couple up lead characters.

TG47

Good point Afterburn. There did seem to be a push to bring couples together starting in the late 80s: Remington Steele would be another example.

In many cases the relationship made less successful television than the romantic tension. And in my view, the female character often suffered for it.

While I did not find the Chakotay/Seven relationship as improbable as many seem to, it was developed too quickly. Or really just seemed to be the start of an experiment.

The fact that she was paired off with the highest ranking male, had a bit of the air of a woman seeking out the guy who was highest in male status hierarchy. Which is rather sexist itself.

Jack

I guess, but what business it it of ours? What matters is what’s on the screen. People aren’t the characters they play.

blackmocco

Mulgrew freely admits now she was not pleasant to Ryan. She cites frustration at the show resorting to T & A to get better ratings but admits she aimed it very much dead-center at Ryan.

alastair87

That in itself is insulting to Jeri Ryan. I don’t doubt it was a factor in her casting and how she was dressed etc (this is borne out by how the producers handled the dress sense of Troi, T’Pol and possibly even Kira), but there was far more to her acting and characterisation than that.

Conversely, would Mulgrew say that actors with attractive body shapes shouldn’t appear? It’s also not as if it isn’t a long-standing convention in US TV to cast actors who are better-looking than the general population, including Mulgrew herself. Especially back in the 90s and early 00s. So really it would be fairer to focus on that general point.

TG47

The thing that I find truly sad about the situation is that it created a toxic working environment for two women who were both playing strong female characters.

I’ve felt reluctant to speak about it, but it very much seems the case wherein two people from a marginalized group are set against each other by the guys in management who don’t even really get that there could be a problem.

It’s disappointing to know that Mulgrew took it out on Ryan, but she’s at least acknowledged her part.

That said, part of the issue was that the character of Janeway, and Mulgrew’s interpretation of it represents a kind of feminism of that seems unable to permit women to be at ease with their own sexuality…

The 90s was a time when the idea that women could be strong and sexy at the same time was breaking out. Seven was surely intended to attract male viewers, but I know vey many women who liked her and were inspired by her as a strong, smart woman who could be gorgeous too.

tony

trouble was she was a child when she was assimilated and once released still getting over the trauma of that.
so her character wearing her sexuality like that so blatantly was uncomfortable to watch.

TG47

I totally get that tony.

There’s something inherently smarmy about having a person who is basically innocent and unconscious of her sexuality dressed that way.

But at least they showed how Harry Kim and others had to learn to manage their reactions and assumptions to treat Seven for who she was. That is, the male characters were shown to be responsible for their reactions and behavior.

I’d like to point out that the character of Kes was also super problematic in a similar way.

Yes, she was from a species that matured rapidly. But, putting a teenage actress in tight clothes and using prosthetics and hairstyles to make her look young and somehow childlike while being in a romance with an obviously older character just came across as creepy.

Not sure why Mulgrew didn’t have the same issues with Jennifer Lien.

albatrosity

I’m with you on the inappropriateness of Kes’s sexuality and how it was portrayed, but I’m sure Mulgrew was more accepting of Lien because her character was baked into the premise of the show from the get-go, whereas Seven was added midway through to amp up the ratings and titillation, which is why she was much more reactionary to Ryan than she would’ve been to Lien

Datamat

“long-standing convention in US TV to cast actors who are better-looking than the general population, including Mulgrew herself.”

Maybe because the ‘general population’ (lol) is on the poor side and choose (maybe forced?) to eat too much rubbish and do too little exercise.
Everyone is actually capable of looking good but it requires a lifestyle choice and to stick to it.

Harry Ballz

Well, yes, Datamat. I would like to lose weight and be in better shape, but I’m not prepared to fall for any of those “diet and exercise” scams!

So, to be consistent, I’m guessing you also don’t like Shatner, who by most accounts has been a bitch to virtually everyone he has ever met.

Gary 8.5

If Kate Mulgrew ever decided to return to the role of Kathryn Janeway, I would certainly be interested in watching that, Miniseries or Film.

Afterburn

I’d love to see her opposite Shatner’s Kirk. See how unwatchable we can make the series!

Tiger2

I actually liked them talking together in The Captains documentary. They actually have amazing chemistry together. But yes, Mulgrew would act circles around Shatner but I still love Shatner.

ML31

I don’t know… I still think Shatner is underrated as an actor.

Danpaine

As do I. Check out Boston Legal, ML.

ML31

Yep. Denny Crane was a good part for him. That’s where he got his Emmy. It was the right part and a he delivered the crisp dialog quite well. But even before Trek I’ve seen him do some stuff that was pretty good. He’s not the greatest actor ever but he’s a pro and better than many give him credit for.

ML31

I’m actually far more interested in what became of Janeway than I am of Picard.

Jack

Actually, I recall the TOS cast saying Bill was always professional, pleasant and polite on set. They were outraged at stories that he’d pushed, behind the scenes, for more lines.

And decades later the whole thing got trumped up by Takei.

ML31

We don’t know at all but I from my perspective Takei is the one who comes across looking like the bad guy in that mess.

Damien

no, all the other actors on TOS said that Shatner was very courteous on the set, he was a pro, Mulgrew…not so much…

TG47

Not all.

I was at a con once where Jimmy Doolan had the stage.

I didn’t take away the image of a supercourteous Shatner, or a chef de compagnie.

What Doolan said was that Shatner and Nimoy were younger and would let off steam by pulling pranks and housing around. Doolan told a story about a bicycle…

Not every one felt included nor did Shatner see it as his role to do this. It sounds as though when casting the leads for TNG, DS9 and Discovery, priority was put on finding actors who would be leaders among the actors and Stewart, Brooks and Martin-Green fulfilled this role. Mulgrew and Baluka were experience in carrying shows that heavily focused on a single principal character. It doesn’t sound as though they had the same notion of leading an ensemble or a company of actors.

By the way, I should note that Doolan explained that he was in a different place in his life than Shatner and Nimoy. He was older and had served in WWII. So, for him horsing around and playing military officer wasn’t what he wanted to do. He saw himself as there to act.

Afterburn

Great comment, but want to point out that early on, Stewart was much like Doohan, and refused to goof off on set, and would get upset when the rest of the cast would. He felt they weren’t taking the material seriously. Today, Stewart credits the cast for loosening him up, and attributes this to his later success.

TG47

It sound like Sonequa Martin-Green is the best of them all in terms of being a dedicated and disciplined actor while at the same time working to create a positive social atmosphere and playfulness.

I really wish her character Burnham could be consistently written to show Martin-Green’s evident leadership qualities.

dennycranium

or, who calls him out on Twitter!

Tiger2

Wow I had no idea AOC was such a big Janeway/Voyager fangirl! I did read Stacey Adams was a big Voyager fan a few months ago and talked about it, but that video of AOC getting so excited to meet Mulgrew herself was so cute and just a reminder how much this franchise has influenced people from all walks of life for decades now.

And I just love Janeway to death. She’s not exactly a female Picard (unlike him, she actually had a personality and sense of humor ;)) but he is probably the closest model compared to the others. Voyager is not a perfect show by far but most of my love of that show comes from Janeway the same way most of my love of TOS and TNG comes from Kirk and Picard. They are just really interesting characters in their own way.

And Janeway had it the toughest out of any other captain by far. No matter how tough things got for the others, at the end of the day they could all retreat back to Earth at any time. Voyager is really the only show of a ship out there truly alone and no options of retreat. Yes it could’ve been executed better but its still probably the most interesting premise Trek has ever done outside of DS9 of course.

Afterburn

I always felt the final scene of Voyager should have been future Janeway becoming the next Borg Queen.

Tiger2

That would’ve been crazy but VERY interesting lol. And the entire collective would’ve had one large coffee addiction. ;)

Wheelie

Hmm, I kinda like that.

Afterburn

Yes, it was a huge missed opportunity, whether they followed it up on the plot thread or not. It would have made a bittersweet ending without taking anything away from the joy of them returning home.

Juvi

If you read the Voyager books you’ll see she does, for a time.

Gorkenspork

I usually don’t go for “real world” stuff in comments, but this caught my eye. I personally disagree with AOC on pretty much everything politically, but I’ve been struck by her obvious charisma and drive since she started out. She was saying she was inspired by Janeway (also didn’t like, but that’s a different story). The takeaway is how you can have a set of characteristics or traits that are really set off by one role model. Doesn’t even have to be a real live person. These kinds of stories fascinate me.

albatrosity

Can I just commend you for writing a thoughtful and respectful comment about someone you don’t even agree with. Modeling good internet discourse is leadership in its own way, so thanks for not delving into a political flame war!

Afterburn

+1

Douglass Abramson

+2

Palizia

In before the lock.

+4

Gorkenspork

Thanks, it’s appreciated. I learned it as a teen after someone on a newsgroup blocked me for being less than polite while discussing the intricacies of Babylon 5 style hyperdrive. I realized that there’s a person on the other end with thoughts and feelings. Even if I think the person is a complete waste of space, it’s never worth getting personal over. Especially considering how unlikely it is that I’ll ever change their mind about what we disagree over. Most disagreements, especially political, are ideological, and need much more than a one time comment to give one way or the other.

TG47

Gorkenspork, given how this issue has gone on other parts of this thread, it seems clear that other folks don’t seem to be ‘accepting the lesson’ as Sarek would put it.

Kudos to you for doing so!

albatrosity

Wow, so awesome that AOC is a Janeway fan! My organization works closely with her, and I can say assuredly that if anyone is carrying us boldly into the future, it’s AOC. Way to inspire the true next generation, Kate!

My experience of AOC thus far has been the no-nonsense fighter, so I found that clip particularly delightful.

Bob

Yawn.

Afterburn

Getting tired already? it’s only 3:30PM!

beckerjr

A bland, rote show that never was able to stand alone. Oh and keep your wack Far left politics to yourself Kate. People don’t care what elitist Hollywood whiners think.

Afterburn

Ah, but many people do. You’re one of those “keep your politics to yourself because I disagree with them” types. I’m sure if she was a Trump supporter you’d be hailing her as heroic!

Chris

I would for sure. Not an AOC fan, but Kate can like whomever she wants. Just like I can. :)

Afterburn

Exactly. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and to express it.

Trek in a Cafe

Her ex actually ran for governor so it doesn’t come out of nothing, I’m sure there was a reason they were together in the first place.

albatrosity

It could also be that there’s just no way *not* to avoid politics in this day and age, because it’s so important and the moral choice has never been clearer. I find it insufferably boring when celebrities/institutions remain apolitical. If you aren’t speaking out against the atrocities of our time, then are you even doing anything?

ML31

I generally do not care to dive into politics. But the following comment caused me a double take…

“and the moral choice has never been clearer.”

Really? It seems to me the moral choice today is probably the muddiest it’s been in a VERY long time.

albatrosity

This, actually, I agree with. But when it comes to certain people being in office over others — I dunno, to me, it’s pretty clear who at least doesn’t deserve to be there

ML31

I agree it is pretty clear who doesn’t deserve to win elections. But I guess that depends on how one defines “deserves”.

Juvi

So if she was a Far Right whack, would that be more acceptable to you?

Trek or Treat

Actually, people don’t care what you think…especially when you deliver your comment like that.

Wheelie

Keep it to herself? Uh, the interviewer brought up political topics and Kate answered. And you would share your politics too in that situation. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t.

ML31

Speaking for myself, if I were an apolitical public figure and was asked such a political question I would dance around it like I’ve never danced before. The desire it to announce to the world your political views. But is that the wise move? Probably not.

TG47

ML31, as albatrosity notes, for some of us, it’s impossible to imagine any kind of public life without engaging on public issues (which inevitably gets into politics in a democratic society).

It sounds as though both Kate Mulgrew and Patrick Stewart fall into that category. Americans may be less familiar with Stewart’s political comments (e.g. pro European Union), but he has been quite vocal.

But certainly there are others who wish to keep their views private and would ‘skate’ in response to a question like that. Which is another valid choice in a democracy that protects the secrecy of the vote.

ML31

“it’s impossible to imagine any kind of public life without engaging on public issues”

The only response I have to this is that there are quite a few public figures who keep such views murky to invisible.

TG47

Exactly ML31.

There are certainly public figures – from athletes to musicians and actors to royalty – who by personal preference keep their politics very private.

But in a democracy, many feel it’s a duty to exercise their democratic rights.

There are some public figures who are required to be silent to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest (in Canada and the UK this includes senior public servants, the Queen and Vice-regal representatives)m. Their only democratic rights may be to vote in secret, and royalty are denied even that. It’s a pretty serious infringement of personal rights for a greater social purpose.

I don’t think we need to ask others to self censor.

Tiger2

It stood alone just fine. And its funny no one cares about right wings whiners on a message board thinks either.

Palizia

Says the poster boy for TDS.

Tiger2

Didn’t that inept idiot and people like you say for years Obama wasn’t born in America? Talk about derangement syndrome? ;D

IN this case though Trump is inept and deserves to be impeached for all his obstruction over the Russia investigation but I’ll take voted out of office. He’s a complete embarrassment and the reason my most of the country hates him, not to mention most of the world…unless you live in Russia, North Korea or Saudi Arabia of course.

tom

My favorite Star Trek captain. She played the part very well. Makes me happy to see she’s an AOC supporter as well.

Mercedes

Best captain, ever!

Blofeld

I like strong women and Kate is one of the best. AOC most likely benefited from her on screen example but I think there may be some 7 of 9 and Belana Tores in there as well. Definitely some Klingon.

Tiger2

LOL a bit of Janeway, Seven and Torres would make for one fierce woman! AOC does seem to be a little of them all (without the punching I mean).

Palizia

“LOL”

Frank Lucci

You are my favorite captain! No one fought as hard as her, best actress in starfleet imo!
I live in Charleston, I would love to meet you!

alastair87

She might well be one of the most likely actors to fetch up in Star Trek: Picard, perhaps as one of his former colleagues. It was established she took a position in the admiralty by the time of Nemesis.

More Troubles More Dribbles

I think the fact that she’s inspired, and practically worships AOC is more than reason enough to burn my Voyager collection. That women is beyond crazy. I thought Kate was much smarter than that. Even Bernie is better than AOC’s crazy rhetoric.

Tiger2

But Trump is OK in your book, right? There is a reason when more than half the country still hate this guy even with a pretty good economy going. Talk about ‘beyond crazy’.

Palizia

No wonder so many people have left for the TrekWeb forum.

Gary 8.5

There is no Trekweb forum.

Tiger2

I guess I hurt your feelings…too bad.

Gary 8.5

You didn’t hurt my feelings at all.
What I meant was, the Trekweb forum shut down years ago.
Perhaps you meant Trekcore?

Afterburn

Yes, feel free to burn your voyager collection. You’re harming nobody but yourself and your own possessions.

odradek

Hey, it is all in good tradition. In 1821 a dude who wrote “The Lorlei Signal” or something said: “Where they burn DVDs, they will, in the end, burn Androids too.”.

dennycranium

One doesn’t necessarily have to like or agree with the people they do business with.
Go ahead, burn your DVD collection. I detest the politics of a fellow I do business with. I’d go bail him out of jail if he called me at 3 am because he would do the same for me.

blackmocco

Are you a child? A person you admired said something you don’t agree with and you’re incapable of putting those feelings aside? It’s that easy to have your love for something ruined? As if the fictional character is more important to you than the real person portraying her. I’m actually embarrassed for you. How ironic you couldn’t function in the fictional world Star Trek portrays with your intolerance. Go burn your collection. I’m sure it’ll make headline news. It clearly didn’t mean that much to you in the first place.

Palizia

Your reaction to him was exactly what you attacked him for.

blackmocco

Ehh. Not really.

WallDoctor

I say I’m a Libertarian and vote to move in that minimal government direction. But I really don’t want that. I just want to vote for the candidate that will have the most energy and have the most momentum to move as far as possible in that direction because I don’t like where we are right now. I wonder if those who love AOC are the same. Do her fans are just trying to vote for a candidate that will move as far to the left from where we are now as possible but really don’t want her to get all the way because they recognize that would be bad for the country.

I sometimes think that we speak in extremes in government policy but really only want incremental shifting a few degrees to the left or right but not what the radicals are actually promoting.

I hope this isn’t seen as antagonistic.

TG47

WallDoctor, I’m not an American, but I once lived in the US for a fairly long time.

I do think you have a point. I do wonder if people are supporting more extreme positions in the US in order to open up the political space a bit to some new ideas, when it seems that things are stuck.

I’d add however that what is seen as radical or socialist in the US, is often middle of the road liberal democrat (i.e. to the right of social democrat) in the rest of North America and Europe.

For example, universal health coverage: despite having lived in the US, I am startled every time I hear some commentator in the US refer to universal health coverage as ‘social medicine”. Virtually no one in Canada or Europe thinks that government paying for health care is a slippery slope to socialism.

WallDoctor

I am Canadian and American and lived the first 23 years of my life in Canada so I did see it fully as socialist. :)

skyjedi

Will Voyager ever be in HD. DVDs are so twenty years ago.

JVM

Voyager was my favorite Star Trek and still is. Not just Janeway, but the whole cast. I never warmed up much to the others, while I did watch them.