JANEWAY’S END

Lost in Space for seven years, Kate Mulgrew talks to Starburst about Star Trek: Voyager’s end game.

Janeway and the Queen Borg from Voyager's finale Endgame

See also our introduction to Enterprise here

Text by Ian Spelling

Selected from Starburst #275

Recalling her final day on the set of Star Trek: Voyager, Kate Mulgrew says, “The last day wasn’t the last day for me, The wrap party didn’t mean that I had wrapped. I had to shoot a scene alone the next day. I had a full day of blue screen work to do. Robbie McNeill was involved in the beginning and then he left and I was alone. Then, finally, it was the last shot. The lights went out on the bridge and I embraced each crewmember who was still there. And I just stood there quietly for a minute on the bridge. Bob Picardo came in and gave me a hug. I just said to myself, ‘This is interesting. This is over.’ And I walked out.

"It was very strange and very anticlimactic, I must say. There were no rituals to ease the finality of it. None of the producers came down. So I was left on my own and I realized two things: that I had done a pretty good job and that, in the end, I was a commodity.”

Commodity though she may have been, Mulgrew definitely made a mark. As the forthright and very human Captain Kathryn Janeway, Mulgrew created an important character, a fixture in the Star Trek lexicon. Janeway led and loved and lost and persevered. She could be tough and tender, as well as confrontational and diplomatic. And, ultimately, in the series finale Endgame, she succeeded in getting her crew home.

The two-hour denouement heralded the return of Alice (Star Trek: First Contact) Krige as the Borg Queen and featured a complex story that involved the crew at long last reaching Earth, plenty of time tripping, and much more. Meanwhile, Janeway came face to face with 73-year-old Admiral Janeway (also Mulgrew), who perished doing her part to get Voyager and her younger self home safely. “I thought it was very inventive,” Mulgrew says of the finale, which aired on May 23. “As far as Janeway, I’d been saying that I wanted her to pay the ultimate price and, in a way, they did that... From my perspective, the story was as much about humanity as it was about Sci-Fi.

“Here’s the peculiar thing: I loved playing the 73-year-old Janeway. And I hesitate before I say this, but I will say it anyway: I felt completely comfortable as Admiral Janeway. I felt free as Admiral Janeway. I felt free of the constraints of the immediate captaincy. Admiral Janeway is older, wiser, funnier. She’s learned a lot. She’s looser than Captain Janeway and her mission is one of great moral courage, which transcends all the needs of the younger Janeway. It was very, very exciting to play her. I didn’t get a death scene, though. You don’t see Admiral Janeway die. You just saw me with the Queen. And I liked that, too...”

Starburst #275Kate Mulgrew talks more extensively about the finale (not due to air in the UK until August) and reflects on seven years of Voyager in this issue. Read on by getting Starburst #275

See also the separate Kate Mulgrew interview in
TV Zone Special #41: Farewell to Voyager, already published

Images ©Paramount
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction