Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (2024)


Star Trek's Captain Janeway actor Kate Mulgrew tells us how her Prodigy hologram differs from her Voyager character

Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (1)By Chris Farnell | |

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Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (2)

With the renaissance Star Trek has had over the last few years, we have seen many actors from the old series revisit their roles. Picard, Guinan, Seven of Nine, Riker (in live-action and animated form), so perhaps we should not have been surprised to find Kate Mulgrew, the actor behind Star Trek Voyager’s Captain Kathryn Janeway, return in the new, kid-orientated and animated Star Trek series, Star Trek: Prodigy.

“It’s like riding a bicycle!” Mulgrew tells Den of Geek. “So much so that I had to laugh. I said my God she must live inside me on a vital level at all times. She’s just very quiet, waiting for her moment to come out. She’s deeply instilled, and every aspect of her is there and I have only to ask and she comes.”

But while Mulgrew is playing a character called Janeway, there is still some ambiguity over the character’s precise identity. Because unlike the Captain of the USS Voyager NCC-74656, this Janeway is a hologram, activated by the rest of Prodigy’s characters when they steal the USS Protostar, and rather than being a Captain, she’s playing teacher.

“She’s programmed to teach, to mentor, and to let [the other characters] fall on their own swords if they need to – which is something Captain Janeway was rather hesitant to do with her compliment because the stakes were very high in the Delta Quadrant,” Mulgrew tells us.

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So, if there are differences between Captain Janeway and Holo Janeway, are they different people? Put another way, is Hologram Janeway the result of some kind of Black Mirror–esque brain scan to upload a copy of Janeway’s mind onto the Protostar’s hard drive? Or is this Janeway a computer’s attempt at simulating the real Janeway, like Voyager’s holodeck gave the real Janeway a simulated version of Leonardo DaVinci?

“She is a computer simulation, she’s programmed, she’s a hologram, but she is very much based on the authentic Janeway,” Mulgrew days. “Those are the attributes I am bringing to the vocal quality of Hologram Janeway.”

Aaron Waltke, co-executive producer and head writer of Star Trek: Prodigy goes into a bit more detail; “As we’ve seen in both Voyager and Deep Space Nine, many of the specialized holograms that might be employed aboard a ship are often based on a real person — but with other personality engrams added. The Doctor was based on Zimmerman, but their personalities evolved to be distinct even if they are similar. In the Deep Space Nine episode ‘Doctor Bashir, I Presume’, we see more specifics in how the process works — namely, a combination of neural pattern replication, intense bio scans and a long series of biographical interviews with the subject and their close colleagues and family.”

A Lighter Janeway? (In Every Sense)

While Mulgrew is definitely delivering “the authentic Janeway”, she also says there are differences between this version and the flesh-and-blood Janeway who commanded Voyager. This Janeway, Mulgrew says, has perhaps a levity the original could not afford.

“She’s witty, she’s warm, she has emotion but more than anything else she really wants [the crew] to learn how to need each other in the right way,” Mulgrew says.

“Hologram Janeway has many of the personality traits and biographical memories of Janeway and is based on her historical counterpart, but some elements — her empathy, her willingness to teach and train even the most stubborn of crews, etc. — were enhanced for the purposes of an emergency training subroutine,” Waltke adds. “Like The Doctor, this unique amalgam of humanistic neural patterns and adaptive programming allows her abilities and cognizance to expand far beyond their original boundaries. In effect, she can become her own person.”


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Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (3)

It is a version of Janeway that Mulgrew believes is perfectly suited to this more child-friendly take on Star Trek, appealing to an audience just beginning their process of socialization, primed to learn how to deal with their friends.

“I hope they will take from Prodigy this idea we must work together, talk to each other openly,” she says. “That we must be honest with one another, and I think more than anything else, vulnerable. I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful series.”

And while playing Janeway, any Janeway, again, might be like riding a bike, Mulgrew has also found playing the part for Prodigy a very different experience from Voyager.

Voyager was live action, this is a cartoon. They can’t be compared,” she tells us. “The end game is the same, the goal is the same, which is excellence. But I find I have a certain lightness in the booth, a certain joy in the booth. A liberty, a freedom. It’s me, the producers and director are on Zoom, the engineer’s through the glass and it’s really amazing to be able to tell you within the confines of that small booth with my headset on I can go anywhere I want, and ask for, even demand as many retakes as I want. I find things even in my own vocal scope that surprise me, nuances and strange subtleties. For instance, I find as a hologram I can bring to the voice, a vulnerability that is no less real simply because it’s hologrammatic or suggested.”

Star Trek: Prodigy is available to stream now in the UK on Paramount+


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Tags: Kate MulgrewParamount+Sci-fiStar TrekStar Trek: ProdigyStar Trek: VoyagerStreaming

Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (4)

Written by

Chris Farnell

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer and the author of a novel, an anthology, a Doctor Who themed joke book and some supplementary RPG material. He…

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Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? (2024)


Star Trek Prodigy: Is Kate Mulgrew's Holo Janeway the Same Character as in Voyager? ›

She portrayed different versions of Janeway throughout the seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, including an alternate future version of Admiral Janeway in Voyager's series finale, "Endgame." But Star Trek: Prodigy is a unique experience for the actress because Hologram Janeway is both a computer and an idealized ...

Who was originally cast as Janeway in Voyager? ›

Before Kate Mulgrew was cast as the character, Janeway was initially meant to be portrayed by Geneviève Bujold. It's known that Bujold quit the production after just two days of filming, though it's not entirely clear what was going on in her mind at the time.

Is Janeway a hologram in Prodigy? ›

The series regular Janeway

Hologram Janeway was designed to accompany Captain Chakotay in Star Trek: Prodigy on his mission back to the Delta Quadrant. This holographic recreation of Janeway had been programmed with a love of both coffee and dogs, and also had the memories of her family back on Earth.

Is Prodigy a sequel to Voyager? ›

Premise. In 2383, five years after the USS Voyager returned to Earth at the end of Star Trek: Voyager, a motley crew of young aliens find an abandoned Starfleet ship, the USS Protostar, in the Tars Lamora prison colony.

Is Voyager in Star Trek Prodigy? ›

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 is a BIG deal for Trekkies. Fans can expect to find our young crew in the safe hands of Admiral Kathryn Janeway. They'll be “warrant officers in training” aboard the newly launched USS Voyager-A, the successor to Janeway's original USS Voyager starship.

What happened to Janeway in Picard? ›

Although Seven manages to escape, Janeway is killed. Her memorial service sees a vast turnout, and a tall gleaming pillar with a light burning atop it is constructed in tribute to her. The Q female appears to Janeway's spirit, and tells her that Q and the Q Continuum had taken an interest in her.

Are Ensign Janeway and Captain Janeway the same person? ›

TL;DR: As of yet, there is no known relationship between the two women (beyond the shared surname), although it's possible both owe their name to Jeri Taylor. Ensign Janeway (first name unknown) was a Sciences officer serving aboard the NCC-1701-D in the year 2369.

Why did Star Trek: Prodigy get cancelled? ›

Paramount+, supported by Paramount Global, canceled 'Prodigy' in June, following a trend of utilizing tax write-offs. At that time, they also canceled 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,' 'The Game' revival, and unscripted series 'Queen of the Universe.

Where does Star Trek: Prodigy fit in the timeline? ›

In the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis it was revealed that Janeway had been promoted to Admiral by the year 2379, and thus was actually giving Captain Picard orders. Prodigy only takes place a few years after that, in 2383.

How old is Janeway in Prodigy? ›

If Star Trek: Prodigy's alien crew ever met the real Kathryn Janeway, she would be a little bit older than the hologram version of her they'd known. At the start of the new show, Janeway in the Alpha Quadrant is almost 50. If she's still active in Starfleet, she would be an admiral.

What happened to Chakotay Prodigy? ›

She escapes Voyager and sides with the Kazon-Nistrim, one of the factions within that species. Chakotay is rendered brain dead, but is made into a disembodied spirit able to possess other crewmembers in "Cathexis".

What happened to Commander Chakotay of Starship Voyager? ›

In that future, Seven was killed on a mission in 2381 and Chakotay died in 2394. The series finale left the couple's future open-ended; however, this storyline hasn't been mentioned in any follow-up iteration of Star Trek, including Picard and Prodigy.

Are they making a season 2 of Star Trek: Prodigy? ›

Yes, there will be a second season of 'Star Trek: Prodigy'.

Who was the first choice to play Janeway? ›

Geneviève Bujold (born 1 July 1942; age 81) from Montréal, Québec is a French-Canadian actress. Bujold was the first choice of the producers of Star Trek: Voyager to play Captain Nicole Janeway.

Who was the original first officer on Voyager? ›

The first officer on Voyager was not Chakotay as he did not come on board until after Voyager ended up in the Delta Quadrant, Kim did not come onboard until Voyager arrived at Deep Space Nine. The first officers were Lt Commander Cavitt and Lt Rollins.

Who played Henry Janeway in Voyager? ›

Kevin Tighe: Henry Janeway. Jump to: Photos (4) Quotes (13)

Why did cast leave Voyager? ›

Summary. Jennifer Lien's departure from Star Trek: Voyager was due to creative limitations and the ill-judged romance angle between Kes and Neelix. Kes's short lifespan as an Ocampa limited the storytelling possibilities for her character, contributing to her departure from the show.


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