Kate Mulgrew Interview: Star Trek Prodigy Season 1.5
Kate Mulgrew returns as Hologram Janeway in Star Trek: Prodigy, where she now also portrays Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway. Having aired the first half of season 1 in 2021 and early 2022, Star Trek: Prodigy returns with the next 10 episodes that wrap up season 1 starting October 27th on Paramount+.
Star Trek: Prodigy season 1.5 picks up from the previous cliffhanger, with the ragtag teenage crew of the USS Protostar having escaped from the villainous Diviner (John Noble) to find Starfleet. But little do they know that the Diviner left a sinister device in their starship that will spell doom for the United Federation of Planets if the Protostar and Starfleet make contact.
Screen Rant was honored to speak to Kate Mulgrew about her dual role as Hologram and Admiral Janeway. We also discussed Janeway’s true feelings about Captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran), and how Star Trek: Prodigy has accomplished its mission to bring Star Trek to a brand new, young audience.
Screen Rant: Let me ask you about playing flesh and blood Admiral Janeway along with Hologram Janeway in this next phase of Star Trek: Prodigy episodes. How do you approach the two roles? And do you have fun differentiating the two in your performances?
Kate Mulgrew: Well, that’s the greatest fun. [It’s] this distinction, making this distinction, building it, creating it, shaping it, and then following through with it. Sometimes in the recording booth, it becomes quite challenging because they can be stacked one on top of the other. So I have to have them well established in my imagination, and well established by virtue of temperament by virtue of tone, nuance, [and] everything that would define Vice Admiral Janeway and distinguish her from Hologram Janeway. So it’s a delicate process, and it’s also very, very pleasurable.
I have to say, two animated Janeways aren’t enough. Would you reprise Admiral Janeway in live-action?
Kate Mulgrew: This has been asked. I would consider it if it were of the same genius level that Prodigy is. If I could have a great creative hand at the helm, I would certainly consider it.
So many Star Trek: Voyager fans are devoted to the idea of Janeway and Chakotay being romantic. Obviously, Admiral Janeway is searching for Chakotay in this next wave of episodes. What is your take on the relationship going all the way back to the beginning of Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew: Deep love, deep fidelity. She could not have done it without Chakotay. Chakotay defected from the Maquis. He made a great, great sacrifice personal sacrifice for which Janeway could never really completely thank him enough. It’s a friendship of great depths, almost expressively deep. Romantically, they never came together. And that was Janeway’s choice. She, after all, had a starship in space that was lost in the Delta Quadrant, and had to get them home. And she needed Chakotay to have her back. So that’s what happened between these two very different people who came together to lead this starship home, and her feeling about him is very deep.
Prodigy’s mission statement is to bring Star Trek’s values to a new young audience. In the year since Prodigy premiered, have you experienced a « Mission Accomplished » moment?
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, almost from the get-go. I think that it enjoyed a kind of, almost organic response in terms of passion, acceptance, and understanding. And of course, that would be true of this demographic. These are young kids watching Star Trek for the first time through these other characters and through the guidance of Hologram Janeway. And it’s absolutely been thrilling and extremely satisfying.
Is there a favorite moment or something you just can’t wait for everyone to see in this next group of episodes?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, that would be a spoiler. Well, there are a number of them, John, coming up.
I’ve seen them.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, you’ve seen Vice Admiral Janeway has a couple of very, very interesting moments, I think. Not without humor, but it’s also under great duress. So I think these episodes are quite compelling.
Star Trek: Prodigy follows a group of lawless teens who discover a derelict Starfleet ship and use it to search for adventure, meaning, and salvation.
Check out our other Star Trek: Prodigy interviews here:
Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1.5 premieres October 27 on Paramount+