Kate Mulgrew Sets Her Terms For Live-Action Revival Of Star Trek’s Captain Janeway

Kate Mulgrew says she will come back to Star Trek for a live-action Janeway is the writing is good enough.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Star Trek legend Kate Mulgrew recently revealed that in order for her to reprise the role of Captain Kathryn Janeway, she would require writing that was “tenuous and taut.” According to TrekMovie.com, Mulgrew was attending a fan Q&A in Bloomington, Indiana, and told the crowd that Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman had hinted at an idea for the captain to come back to the franchise in a live-action capacity. However, Mulgrew was also very clear that the cost of Star Trek getting Janeway back in person would require some high-level storytelling. 

Here is what Mulgrew had to say about Star Trek plans for Captain Janeway:

The writing is going to have to be absolutely exquisite and as tight—I mean so tight. I want that language to just burst! And I want the story to be so tenuous and taut. I said, “No languishing.” I don’t want peaks and valleys. I want a Janeway that everybody can say, “That’s what she’s become. I’m with her! This is great!”

Kate Mulgrew has actually already been reprising the role in Star Trek: Prodigy, with Captain Janeway appearing as a holographic program advising the juvenile crew of the USS Protostar. However, her recent Star Trek appearances as Janeway have been entirely in voiceover, as Prodigy is an animated show aimed at a younger audience. Mulgrew is expected to continue to star on Prodigy in the next season, this time as the actual Janeway, now in pursuit of the USS Protostar. 

star trek prodigy

Kate Mulgrew first began portraying the character in Star Trek: Voyager, in which Janeway captained the titular vessel after it was stranded in the Delta Quadrant due to one of the franchise’s trademark mysterious, nigh-omnipotent aliens. Star Trek: Voyager ran from 1995 to 2001 and included appearances from various characters from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and The Original Series. Kate Mulgrew would later reprise the character in live-action in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis, in which Janeway had been promoted to Vice Admiral. 

In recent years, Paramount has steadily been returning to the episodic show roots of Star Trek, rather than working on new feature films, which would easily allow her to be incorporated into a live-action appearance. Patrick Stewart has returned as an aged version of Jean-Luc Picard for several dystopian seasons of his titular show, with most of his original crew (with one notable exception) returning for the third and final season. If we can get everyone from Geordi to Worf to Q back, why should Star Trek not get Janeway back?

It does sound like Kate Mulgrew is pretty happy continuing to work with Star Trek as Janeway, so it feels very likely that she could show up in some new series. While the state of the Kelvin-timeline movies seems to very much be up in the air right now, Paramount seems happy to produce as many Star Trek shows as Paramount+ can handle and viewers can watch. In addition to the comedic Lower Decks series and the YA-oriented Prodigy, we recently reported that a horror-themed Star Trek show in the vein of the Alien franchise is in the works, so it is not like Paramount isn’t willing to try some new things. 

Or, return to the old ones, like bringing Kate Mulgrew back. It does not seem like it would be that hard to envision a series in which a retired Starfleet Admiral is reactivated for duty. Star Trek: Janeway, anyone?

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