Hot on the heels of Patrick Stewart’s return as Jean-Luc Picard, Kate Mulgrew is coming back as another of Starfleet’s greatest captains, Kathryn Janeway. Mulgrew won’t be reprising her role in live-action – at least, not right away – but she’ll be lending her voice to upcoming family-oriented animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, which follows a group of adventurous kids who discover a disused Federation ship and use it to take off into space.
While speaking to CBR, Mulgrew opened up about why she chose to return as Janeway for this particular project after so long away from the Trek universe. Echoing previous comments she’s made on the topic, the actress explained that the biggest appeal of it was the opportunity to reach out to a younger generation and hopefully turn them into diehard Trek fans.
“She’s always present in my life,” Mulgrew said. “Not a day goes by where I don’t have some reminder or request about Janeway or something to do with the future of Janeway. And when Alex Kurtzman approached me — when I was doing Mr. Mercedes, that’s when he called me — I was curious about it; slightly bewildered about it being an animated series, I didn’t quite understand it. It was explained to me in detail and I thought to myself ‘Wow, this will be terrific to bring this to young people who may be watching this with their mothers who watched me as Captain Janeway in live-action and it will bring the entire family into the orbit of Star Trek and this is something that I very much want to do.’ Also, I love to use my voice, I love the solitude of the recording booth; I love the freedom of it. Star Trek truly is the gift that keeps on giving.”
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Prodigy was originally developed for Nickelodeon, but it was recently announced that it will instead stream on Paramount Plus, thereby giving the newbie platform another much-anticipated original release and also maintaining the service’s record of having every single TV series in the Trek universe in its library. It will, however, eventually make its way onto the kid-friendly network at a later date.
From the minds of Trollhunters duo Kevin and Dan Hagelman, Star Trek: Prodigy is due to premiere its 10-episode first season later this year. Reports have pointed to Janeway’s animated return possibly paving the way for her to either appear for a guest spot on Picard or maybe even in her own live-action series. Going by her comments above, it’s possible Mulgrew would need some extra convincing to sign up for that, but it looks like the door is definitely open for more. She’s already confirmed she’ll be involved with Prodigy season 2, after all.