Kate Mulgrew Talks ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ And ‘Voyager’ Legacy At Captain Janeway Monument Unveiling

Today in Bloomington, Indiana – the future birthplace of Captain Kathryn Janeway – a monument was erected in her honor. And Star Trek: Voyager star Kate Mulgrew appeared via remote at the event and answered some questions about Voyager and Prodigy.

Mulgrew appears virtually at Janeway monument event

Star Trek: Voyager established that Captain Kathryn Janeway was born in Bloomington, Indiana on May 20, 2336. Last year the Captain Janeway Bloomington Collective fan group launched a successful campaign to fund the construction of a monument to be placed in Bloomington, Indiana, to honor Janeway. Today on a spot on B-Line Trail next to the WonderLab Museum in downtown Bloomington a bronze bust of Janeway was unveiled in a special ceremony, which included Kate Mulgrew beaming in via a live video feed. She explained that she wished she could be there, but the circumstances of the pandemic and her being focused on spending time with her new grandchild have prevented it.

Kate Mulgrew appears via video at Janeway monument unveiling in Bloomington, Indiana

She spoke about how honored she was by the monument and by carrying on the story of Janeway:

I’m not often rendered speechless, but in this moment I am. How many people have such a marvelous thing done in their honor, in their memory. It’s a wonderful comment on Janeway’s legacy… And hearing you all speak today is deeply moving to me. To realize that Janeway has had such an important role in your lives, and I think in cultural history, it not only terribly affecting for me, but makes me want to go forth in a new way. And I am doing that with Prodigy. But this recognition is something extraordinary to me and I am deeply proud to be honored in this way.

Kate Mulgrew speaks at Janeway monument unveiled in Bloomington, Indiana (Katie Carr)

Earlier this month it was announced that Mulgrew would be returning to voice the role of Janeway for the upcoming Nickelodeon animated series Star Trek: Prodigy. During a brief Q&A today, the actress talked about what it took to convince her to return to the role:

Frankly, the negotiations took quite a long time. It was animated as you know. I think only of live-action when I think of Captain Janeway, live-action being what it is: very rigorous, very challenging, and often quite daunting. So when Alex Kurtzman presented me with this idea I wasn’t entirely sure, and then over the months the conversation evolved into what we could bring to an entirely new demographic of watchers. This being of course young people, and  their mothers and their grandmothers. There will be crowded living rooms. I thought that the idea of bringing this to young minds is too exciting, too provocative, and too promising. And that is what sold me in the end.

Bust of Janeway monument (Katie Carr)

Mulgrew then responded to a question about if becoming a role model was something she had ever anticipated:

No, it wasn’t. I think that innocence or naivete, or perhaps even that blindness has stood me in good stead when it came upon me. I think a lot of people who are lucky enough to be in leadership roles do not expect it to come. And certainly not in this way, as an actress. But it transcended acting very, very quickly. I realized that I was going to be acting as a model, particularly for young women, and even more particularly for young women in science. So being able to marry my creative passion with a legacy of this kind was wonderful and continues to be wonderful. So when I use words like how it’s a privilege, an honor, it is because there are not yet other words that can surpass them in meaning. It is a great privilege to be able to have played her and to know of her great, great resonance in the cultural world today.

Base of Janeway monument (Katie Carr)

Watch the unveiling

The full video of the event is available on Facebook. It includes a video tribute to Janeway featuring fans, and some Bloomington and Star Trek luminaries, including Mulgrew’s Voyager co-star Robert Picardo. It also offers some closer looks at the monument itself, including showing how it was made.

Keep up with all the Star Trek events at TrekMovie.com.

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What a great honor to Kate Mulgrew, to Star Trek, I am so happy for this. So glad she is back for Prodigy!

Kate Mulgrew is a wonderful human being, without a doubt.

I will watch Prodigy as a fan!


So happy she is back for Star Trek: Prodigy.

Maybe I may watch Prodigy as a fan.

Don’t care Prodigy is a kids show but at least it’s Star Trek.

An honor very well deserved to Kate Mulgrew, and to Star Trek.

Indeed it is! :)

It’s nice to see a return of one of the great ones!

Personally, I think it’s insulting that Janeway gets an animated kids’ show where Kirk got GENERATIONS and Picard (and maybe Sisko, if this week’s rumors are to be believed) for his own series.

And positioning Janeway as “mothering lawless teens” instead of sorting out Starfleet bureaucracy isn’t a victory for feminism.

…. neither is restricting the demographic to “(of course!) young people and their mothers and grandmothers”. FATHERS do not exist anymore in this “progressive” new world. This return to segregation is all rather shocking, kind of the opposite of inclusiveness. Well even I’m not invited, I’ll be watching!

People follow who are relevant. Janeway was the first woman captain featured in her own show. Ok great. But, her acting was not up to par and the show wasn’t very good. So why would anyone care if she had her own movie. No one wants a Captain Archer movie either. She is lucky to be in prodigy.

I’m a star trek fan, I love all the series except Enterprise. Kate Mulgrew was a perfect choice for the role. I’m sorry you didn’t like her acting, but to me she was out standing. And I hope they give her a real show to answer a distress call from the Delta Quandrant!!!!

Wrong. Captain Janeway was awesome and her acting was awesome. You want bad acting – check out Captain Kirk

You and The River Temarc are having a field day on feminism sexism and inclusiveness.

Fathers and mothers can eat cake too! Not “progressive” at all. It’s all about “cancel culture” LOL…

Faze, one day you will hopefully share with us what nifty algorithm you are using to generate those comments ;)

Oh, it is great Mulgrew is back to Star Trek, for any new show River Temarc. I think she starting on Prodigy doesn’t mean she will be excluded from the other new productions.

Now will be more real, the possibility that she may also join Picard, Lower Decks, Short Treks, or a Star Trek Universe movie. I think Janeway will show up in Picard, with Seven and/or other Voyager crew members.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning. They are expanding this new Star Trek phase until 2027. More of our favorite characters will show up.

To me, she is humble and honored to return to the franchise. She always enjoy interacting with the fans and talking about how important her character is for women, for future women in science and leadership. She gladly accepted her new role.

Glad the door is open for all the Rick Berman actors and actresses.

This Prodigy idea was developed long time ago. Several times, Star Trek have tried to produce a Star Trek Academy show.

I look forward to watch it with my kid.

If you didn’t like Janeway on voyager or Archer on enterprise, why u here scolding our trekkie peers? I liked all the Trek series & movies except berman himself 4 da shitty script & mistreatment he gave da Enterprise finale. Congrats kate mulgrew!

this thread has gone off the rails


Hearing Kate Mulgrew talk about her grandchildren makes me realize how old I have gotten and I am still 35 :)) I guess Soran was correct, time is the fire in which we burn.

The base of that statue is *filthy!* You’d have thought they might have cleaned it up before the unveiling ;) That being said, congrats Kate!

Niiiice. High five!

Janeway gets a monument? But, she murdered Tuvix! Never forget!

The Tuvix memorial is on the other side of the street.

I think you’ll find Janeway insisted on two separate memorials for Tuvix.

Looks fantastic! Whoever designed this statue did a great job!

Agreed. This sculpture is quite beautiful. The base however looks quite scuffed up. It should have been cleaned for the unveiling.

Man this is so great! It’s amazing to see such an iconic Star Trek character given this honor. Both Mulgrew and Janeway really deserve it. It’s crazy only her and Kirk are the only two captains so far with monuments of their (future) birth places. I had no idea Kirk even had one at all until this made news a few months back.

This would’ve tied in nicely as a great promotion to welcome her back to the franchise for Prodigy next year!

Maybe this will motivate fans for other famous Trek characters to get monuments. Maybe a Zefrum Cochrane can get a statue made in Bozeman, Montana? (No harm in starting early ;)).

Given his looks in First Contact Cochrane probably should have been born by now. But Memory Alpha tells me he is only supposed to be born in the 2030s. Must have led a rough life ;-)

A lot of fans over the years just chalked up his looks to the effects of the radiation of the time….and the hardcore drinking.

I can go with that. ;)

Maybe Prodigy will be more popular than Discovery (that doesn’t take much though these days ;) If they dont mess it up like with Picard (no CGI animated eyeball extractions please!) Just look at the massive decease in comments from episode 3.01 to 3.02. Tells me alot of people checked it out (again) and gave up on it (again) immediately! I remember back when Pike and Spock were around interest was alot more sustainable – I bet that (and the initial interest in Picard) was one of the motivations to ‘upgrade’ Prodigy to another strong, beloved legacy character rather than all new cast!

Perhaps, VS, there are fewer comments because there is less controversy.

We’ll need to look at Parrot Analytics demand analysis when it comes out midweek, but for the week ending October 19, Discovery had pushed up right to the middle of the top 10 streaming series in the United States and was doing comparably elsewhere. The moment was that it was moving up quickly.

You think so?? The point is if the fans don’t care anymore (and I bet you one third of the word count was you, Tiger and me ;), why should the average viewers? It’s not just this forum either, and I may add that reception elsewhere is even considerably more negative than here (imagine me, multiplied by 20!) So I have my doubts that they haven’t drunk too much of their own kool aid. I will also add your very helpful fact that CBS is almost completely non-serialized as a potential reason the network basically made sure SNW will be the “anti-Discovery” in every respect, and prioritized it ahead of other series far longer in development (S31 cough). I think a positive vote for Discovery’s format looks different (I know season 4 green-lit seems to indicate otherwise, but that doesnt necessarily mean they agree there should be MORE “Discoverys” – especially after the very negative fan reception of the very Discovery-like Picard).

I agree that they probably thought it makes a lot of sense to bring back an iconic character for Prodigy since it only brings more interest and hype for the show. Look how much everyone is talking about it now. Adding Janeway is a no-brainer just like including Spock and Pike to Discovery. And what’s smart about these decisions besides just seeing famous characters back in the franchise again is that we get to see them in very different situations than normal which brings more interest like seeing Pike in charge of Discovery and Spock getting to know his sister. Or Picard no longer captain on the Enterprise but a civilian on a rogue mission and now Janeway in a entirely new situation, etc. Of course Pike will be back on the Enterprise in SNW but since we seen him in just one episode it’s not the same as seeing Picard back on his Enterprise.

As for DIS, obviously that seems to be complex situation. We know its popular enough because it got a season 4 before season 3 was even shown. But yes no one reboots a show like they did with DIS throwing it a thousand years into the future if most fans were truly happy with the basic premise of the show. Clearly that wasn’t the case. Maybe this will change the dynamic? It’s still too early to say either way.

I will say while I am happy to see so many old characters coming back as main stars or just cameos/recurring roles like the Rikers in both PIC and LDS, I also said I do want Star Trek to boldly go as well and try to come up with new characters and situations. It worked great for Lower Decks, but I don’t pretend to know how popular it is in general, but does seem to be well liked by most fans; certainly more than DIS and PIC. I do think CBS likes the idea of bringing back legacy characters like Picard, Pike and Janeway for these shows so I wouldn’t be shocked to see more but then that would basically keep us in the 23rd and 24th centuries, which is fine, but I do still hope they try to think outside the box too.

I think the fundamental question that has no clear answer still, but which Discovery is diving into head-first now, is “Can modern Trek thrive without legacy support?” Generally, the suits don’t seem to be so sure of that given Discovery’s two season journey, the very existence of Picard, LDS being choke-full with canon references (even the creator calling it a “Best of” play) and now, Janeway in Prodigy.

As for Discovery, in fact I was just pondering how similiar its journey is to the one of Enterprise, both starting out as untried prequels at times when Trek was in rough waters (if anything rougher for Discovery since Enterprise came off the still-successful 7 season run of Voyager, not a 12 year break on television!) but ultimately not content with just being that setting so “enhancing it” (Enterprise with future Temporal Cold Wars and never heard of Xindi War arcs, Discovery with Mirror trips and never heard of Klingon War arcs, going future outright now). And of course both shows got their biggest reboot in season 3 with that.

Let’s see what further changes come along in season 4 and whether they will keep reflecting Enterprise’s (mini-arcs instead of a 13 episode movie? I’d certainly approve!), and let’s always remember the precedent of Enterprise that more than that is not at all a foregone conclusion. Discovery lives from constantly reinventing itself, but as of yet, judging by audience scores, they still haven’t found a paint that sticks.

Discovery’s season opener was in the Netflix Top 10 in several countries across Europe. After falling a few places over the course of last week (as other new stuff was released) Discovery is currently back in the #2 spot where I live so it doesn’t seem like audiences just checked it out last week and gave up on it immediately. As you said in your response to TG47 the conversion here (and probably also in many other online forums) is dominated by a few posters. So I’d be really careful assuming that the discussion here represents the opinions of the wider general audience.

I think you and TG47 are solely looking at “popularity” in terms of viewing metrics but you then go on to conflate it with “opinions of the wider audience”, which is not the same (and in fact is what I was referring to).

Actually we do have metrics for the latter. A new Looper article highlights the huge gap between the critical reception of Discovery of professional reviewers and general audiences, as measured by Rotten Tomato scores. According to this, Discovery has truly abysmal scores that even fell from season 1 to 2 (let’s leave out season 3, obviously there’s no usable picture here after 2 episodes!) I think for a fan audience it’s not unusual to watch despite not being satisfied with the show, but the producers would be foolish to only look at the viewing numbers then. As we know from the reception of the financially successful, but frostily received STID and the subsequent failure of the much better Beyond, critical reception does have an influence on future viewing numbers.

Again, for season 3 the proof is in the pudding, but I think this season, effectively the biggest reboot of Trek since the Kelvin-verse (which surely didn’t happen without good reason, as Tiger points out above), is much more critical to be a success than they let on.

Viewing numbers are what Netflix and CBS All Access care about.
Obviously, we don’t know what the Netflix Top 10 mean in terms of absolute viewing numbers but it’s reasonable to assume that Discovery’s top scores are not just hardcore Trek fans who keep watching even though they hate the show. It must be resonating with a wider audience.
As for Rotten Tomatoes audience scores, we all know that online voting isn’t reliable because there is group of people out there who viciously downvote stuff they hate, sometimes even before it’s released.
Setting aside the possibility that these votes are actively skewed, you call STID “frostily received” but it actually has a better audience score than Beyond. So it would seem that general audiences don’t agree with your assessment that Beyond was much better. Whatever led to Beyond’s lower turnout bad reception of STID probably wasn’t the deciding factor.

I’m not disputing that there is a part of Trek fandom that’s very unhappy with Discovery. Some of them may have simply abandoned the show. Others keep watching. Some are very vocal about their dislike.

While the producers probably don’t want to alienate the core fanbase completely, it’s also clear that they are not solely focused on pleasing that audience. They are trying to get an audience that’s big enough to sustain the shows.

I’m delighted for Mulgrew and Voyager, but seeing another instance of Voyager getting an affectionate revisit, I can’t help but be a bit dismayed that even in the age of streaming, DS9 is still the black sheep in the shadow of every series but Enterprise. It may have had better ratings than Voyager when they aired concurrently, and better critical notices then and now, but it’s not getting characters spun off into other series, Avery Brooks’ likeness isn’t being immortalized in bronze in New Orleans, it’s not as popular as Voyager on Netflix, as has been pointed out to me here. Just a bit frustrating.

“Black sheep” is a bit over-the-top Ian.

I’m certain that Kurtzman and ViacomCBS recognize that DS9 was excellent and has its cohort of fans feel it was the best of Trek.

More than that, it performed well in ratings in its day. So at this point, even as a fan of DS9. I find that chip-on-the-shoulder attitude a bit tiring.

But can I gently point out a few thoughts about why DS9 may be the most challenging to integrate into the new menu of shows:

– the chef-de-compagnie, Avery Brooks had made his position clear that he felt his work was done to the point of declining any interviews, a more firmly closed door than Stewart or Mulgrew

– two key members of the ensemble have passed away such that any callbacks are more complex and require sensitivity

– another key cast member Alexander Siddig has only recently showed renewed interest

– figuring out where DS9’s remaining ensemble could be meaningfully integrated is challenging, and might work best in an anthology – either Short Treks or a longer miniseries or made-for-streaming movie

– the new shows have been struggling to make coherent serial storylines/narratives

– in the midst of a market flooded with grimdark, the darker serial dimensions of Discovery’s first two seasons and Picard’s first season have not been very successful in the current market or with the fanbase who appear to be looking for aspirational Trek

– DS9 has not been as successful at attracting streaming viewership outside North America and seems to be the series that many people can’t get into until their 20s or even 30s. Strategically, if the need is to revitalize the franchise so it can survive, attracting global and young viewers has to be the first priority, and Voyager and TNG have that pull.

The other aspect of note is that, despite the narrative structure being common today, serialized dramas do not repeat as well and that also sets DS9 apart. Discovery and Picard will likely encounter similar challenges when both have wrapped production.

I think it’s a bit different now people are likely to be rewatching on streaming or perhaps home media rather than syndicated re-runs.

Right. So, realizing all of this still fuels the frustration that’s compounded by Voyager characters getting revisited and seeing standalone stories like Voyager’s trump good bingeable arcs like DS9’s in our new streaming world. Heck, to even get one documentary made about a 7 season Emmy-winning entry in a multi-billion dollar franchise, we had to crowdfund!
I don’t think there’s a rational way to talk anyone out of feeling like DS9 is still the black sheep when it’s not even more popular than Voyager of all shows now. I can accept it based on the reality of the situation and appreciate that it is beloved by its fans, I just don’t have to like that it’s not getting the attention I think it deserves. :)

Based on reactions from people on TrekMovie and elsewhere, DS9 is far from the black sheep of the Star Trek family and in a very real that honor may end up belonging to Discovery which has been overshadowed by Picard and a Star Trek series which has even started filming yet. What DS9 is is a series which stands apart from other incarnations of the franchise that have at times attempted to emulate its formula.

Voyager, like DS9, presented a series of firsts but for most fans those firsts were incidental. The residents of Bloomington, Indiana recognize Janeway as a great role model but, in the end, they have a Star Trek character they can call their very own from one of the most successful franchises of all time.

Had Sisko been from Bloomington, Indiana it’s a safe bet that he would have received the same honor for being a role model and a native son.

Sisko is from New Orleans but I get your point.

Minnesota should get a statue. We need a Star Trek character from Minnesota LOL

Right, from New Orleans but had he been from Bloomington they would have honored him with a statue.

The best Minnesota gets is Betty White as Rose from The Golden Girls and I’m very surprised someone hasn’t already done that. I mean, it’s Rose!

There was that MACO from Duluth.

Discovery is the black sheep of Star Trek not DS9. DS9 is a different animal. Bloomington, Indiana got a Janeway statue. Good for them! More Star Trek statues please.

DS9 was the Black Sheep. Back then, the media did not like this show at all. TV shows in the US are very black and white, DS9it was all gray. We got to see all characters in the light and in the dark. I like all Star Trek shows. But the DS9 is my favorite. =D

I feel like TV Guide was the only media outlet that gave the show its due at the time. And while technically DS9 had better ratings than Voyager in a much tougher market, it ended up getting outrated by Hercules and Xena for much of season 5 and just about all of season 6, and still got next to no media attention after “The Way of the Warrior” save for some 30th Anniversary coverage and some obligatory stories when Farrell left and DeBoer joined, and then a few stories during The Final Chapter. Meanwhile, Voyager was built for publicity – Seven of Nine was everywhere, sweeps and casting stunts got coverage, and Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan were on the talk show circuit consistently while no one from DS9 filled the void of a publicity-shy Avery Brooks. And now that Trek is being squeezed for every ounce of content ViacomCBS can get from it, TNG characters return and Voyager characters return but DS9 remains less accessible than Voyager on Netflix et al. And even the highly-dubious rumors of a Sisko show hinge on the notion that Picard has to redeem its streaming figures to justify a DS9 spin-off.

Again, I adore Kate Mulgrew (and Jeri Ryan) so while I can’t begrudge their returns, this does bring up a lot of late-90s feelings of the better show getting the short shrift again.

Jay already said it, but back then DS9 was considered the black sheep of the family. Even the writers, actors and producers called it that. It was emphasized a lot in the DS9 documentary as well although they called it more the ‘middle child’ in it (if you haven’t watched it, please do! It’s great. I watched it 5 times now including watching it in theaters. It’s currently free on Tubi.) Anyway, yeah, things change. Now, at least with the fanbase, DS9 is considered one of the most popular and iconic shows even if it’s still binged less than TNG, TOS or VOY.

It’s crazy, I remember being in college and everyone (who liked Star Trek that is) always talked about TNG and VOY, but DS9 was practically ignored for most people save for me and a few friends who watched it. I still remembered one time where there was this big Voyager party for the episode ‘Future’s End’. There must have been about fifty people in the room. DS9 came on after that, I think ten people stayed to watch it lol.

A lot can happen in 20 years. ;)

As for Discovery, I don’t know if I would call it the new black sheep, but yes it’s probably the most divisive show since DS9. People who like it seem to really like it and the people who hate it seem to really hate it lol. There are some of us in the middle who think it’s at least OK but still have tons of issues, but not that many of us it seems. But who knows how people will feel about it 20 years from now. ;)

This sort of thing is how religions started 1000s of years ago. In another few hundred years, impressionable people may believe that Capt. Janeway was/is and/or will be “real”. Lol

They’ll find Janeway in Indiana, the Enterprise model in Vulcan, Ontario, the Enterprise sets in Ticonderoga, New York and other Star Trek artifacts around the world. “This is clearly evidence that contact was made with aliens and that they were capable of space flight beyond our solar system.”

When I finally look at Enterprise it is not a bad show. I guess Discovery will grow on me as well. The difference between Star Trek and Star Wars is Star Wars entertain you Star Trek inspire you.

Star Wars and Star Trek are the two science fiction franchises that dominate pop culture.

Star Wars entertains you and Star Trek inspires you.

That is so true but Star Wars can be inspiring too.

Creatively, SW can inspire, and certainly anyone going into the arts and tech fields could cite it as formative. I think certain characters have admirable traits which many many people have tried to take on as adults specifically because they admired Luke, Han, Leia, Lando et al.

Trek of course is mainly about highly competent people across a number of disciplines in the workplace solving problems, hence why we see so many people explicitly pursue careers because of it. It has an uplifting philosophy (well, it did, anyway), and constantly features cerebral stories about diplomacy, technology, justice, philosophy, medicine, politics, history etc. And there’s so much more of it, so its effects get compounded and engrained in its fans.

This looks so beautiful

Very nice. Although lately I am hearing lot about how a show like Prodigy will bring in a new demographic of younger viewers and I cant help but recall my childhood watching TNG, DS9 and Voyager from 4 to 18 with my Dad. My 10 year old daughter watches the old episodes with me frequently so I’m not sure a kid centric series was necessary but it’ll be interesting where it goes….

I guess what I’m really saying is I am jealous the kid’s show get’s Janeway!

Yeah that’s the great thing about this Bryan, a lot of us were kids ourselves when the TNG era started and now many of us have kids who is passing the old shows to them. But it’s even better when you have a show that is literally geared towards kids and bringing in really popular characters that can get them into the older shows as well. That’s the one thing I notice about Star Wars and The Clone Wars, Rebels, etc. SW was always seen more as kid friendly than Star Trek but the animated shows has made it easier for young kids to get into the franchise. And with TCW at least it doesn’t talk down to them at all and why adults love it just as much as kids. I include myself in that. I’m really loving that show after putting it off for so long. And I plan to watch Rebels afterwards.

So I’m hoping Prodigy goes the direction of Clone Wars and we get a ‘mature’ kids show. The fact it’s CGI will win a lot of older people over too, especially for people who thinks LDS looks too cartoony. But having Janeway is such a huge plus, it’s going to bring a whole new generation over to Voyager which thrills me to death as a fan to see the classic shows discovered by younger and newer fans while watching it expand for the rest of us. We are getting constant recognition of both the old and new these days. And it’s just smart business from CBS perspective.

I can’t wait to see what our captain has been up to in the last 20 years since her time in the Delta quadrant.

Great time to be a fan!

It’s a good thing for them to do. Lower Decks skews a bit older, and Discovery and Picard are definitely not suitable for younger kids. But I’m hoping we finally get another show geared explicitly for that family audience TOS-Star Trek Beyond catered to, that’s how you hook new fans and make some happy lasting memories for everyone watching together.

Ya she earn it

I had the pleasure of enjoying an evening of Kate’s company about 35 years ago. The memory still makes my toes curl, she was that amazing. Alas, it was just one night. Fast forward about a decade, and I about messed my pants when I heard she was replacing Bujold. If only selfies were a thing in ‘85, then I wouldn’t have to ramble on knowing no one believes me!

More Captain Janeway Monuments please. We need to replace those racist ones.

What a wonderful honor and very much deserved. If anyone deserves a statue, it would be Captain Janeway of Voyager. Congratulations Kate!!! :)