These days when it comes to Star Trek, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot left out of bounds. For the first time ever, the franchise has five ongoing series in production, not to mention an upcoming film sequel set in the Kelvin Timeline. Trek‘s television presence includes three live-action series and two animated show, with one of the live-action vehicles — Star Trek: Discovery — starting as a prequel series and evolving to become the show most deeply set in the future. The franchise’s resurgence has included the return of beloved characters featured in new stories, and now Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek: Voyager fame is talking about making a live-action return to the role of Kathryn Janeway.
Kate Mulgrew recently spoke to Comic Book about her role as Drew Finch in Showtime’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, and the inevitable topic of returning to the part of Kathryn Janeway came up. While Mulgrew didn’t confirm or deny reprising her Voyager role, she made it clear she’s open to the idea. “[W]ho knows what will happen to [Janeway] in the future?” Mulgrew mused. “There seems to be… a tremendous resurgence here, a rather vital one. So for the first time, I’m actually looking at it with new eyes. I wonder what would happen if Janeway were to come back to live-action.”
That’s far from confirming that Kate Mulgrew is on her way back to a live-action Janeway. But the very fact that she’s willing to publicly state that she’s open to the idea speaks volumes. With Paramount not being at all shy about its desire to keep expanding the Trek franchise, knowing Mulgrew might be on board for something along the lines of Star Trek: Janeway gives the studio that much more incentive to make it a reality. Of course, it could also be that there’s already something in development and Mulgrew is being deliberately vague while simultaneously teasing fan interest. After all, as a 27-year veteran of the franchise, the actress knows better than most how fans will react to the simple mention of a possible live-action return.
The last live-action project that featured Kate Mulgrew as her signature character was the final TNG-era film — 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. Having finally returned her crew to Earth, Mulgrew made a cameo as Kathryn Janeway, who had been promoted to Admiral since the Voyager finale. She voices a holographic version of the character currently on the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy and has likewise provided a voice in other various projects, such as for the Mirror Universe version of Janeway in Star Trek Online.
One piece of bad news for fans hoping to see Kate Mulgrew appear in the upcoming final season of Star Trek: Picard is that the actress seemingly confirmed fans shouldn’t expect her. “Well, I think Picard is done, unless I’m quite mistaken,” Mulgrew said, and she was correct. Seasons 2 and 3 of Picard were filmed back-to-back. “I think they’ve finished, but it’s not likely that Janeway will show up on Picard.”
Something that might have helped Kate Mulgrew to look at the possibility of returning “with new eyes” are the reports from returning cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Almost the entire leading cast of TNG is returning for the final season of Picard. In the past few weeks there have been a number of stories from stars like Marina Sirtis and LeVar Burton about how happy they’ve been to return to their iconic Trek roles.