Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Female Captain Kathryn Janeway
Captain Picard might be getting a lot of attention with his own series Star Trek: Picardsuccessfully streaming on CBS All Access, but let's not forget about another prominent captain with a similar sense of diplomacy and altruism; Captain Kathryn Janeway. Janeway was not only the first female captain in the Star Trek franchise, but she was also part of the first spin-offs.
While Star Trek: The Next Generationcontinued the adventures of the crew of the Enterprise after Star Trek: The Original Series ended, Star Trek: Voyagerbegan the chronicles of a new crew and a new starship stuck in the Delta Quadrant and trying to get home. An unconventional format called for an unconventional captain. Here are 10 things you didn't know about Star Trek's first female captain, Kathryn Janeway.
10 SHE WAS ALMOST PLAYED BY A DIFFERENT ACTRESS
While it's hard to imagine anyone else playing Captain Kaneway but Kate Mulgrew now, Geneviève Bujold was once the actress that the casting directors at CBS settled on. She would even end up filming a pilot for Star Trek: Voyager before quitting.
The Oscar-nominated French-Canadian actress, who at the time of filming was 52, wasn't used to the grueling and merciless schedule of television. After three 18 hour days, she decided she'd had enough of the process and asked to be released from her contract.
9 HER HAIR COST A FORTUNE
The pilot episode, "Caretaker" ended up being one of the most expensive episodes of any Star Trek franchise, and on par with some of the films. With the reshoots swapping out Kate Mulgrew for Geneviève Bujold, the two-part episode costed $23 million dollars.
A portion of this went to Captain Janeway's hair, as initially when Mulgrew wore her hair down and swept back, stage lights would shine right through it. The hair and makeup department worked tirelessly to come up with the iconic bun she would wear which presented as a more solid mass.
8 SHE ONCE COMMANDED THE CAST OF FRASIER
To celebrate the Star Trek franchise being on the air for over three decades, CBS broadcast a television special called Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond, which involved the very strange guest appearance of the cast of Frasierin Starfleet uniforms.
Led by Captain Janeway, Roz, Marty, Niles, and Daphne try to anticipate their captain's needs, but just end up upsetting a renegade Klingon (played by Doctor Frasier Crane himself) who's captured Eddie. No one ever broke character, which was all the more impressive considering it was in front of a live audience.
7 CERTAIN ASPECTS OF HER COSTUME WERE PROBLEMATIC
Spending 18 hour days in full costume, hair, and makeup would be difficult for any cast member on Star Trek, especially if they were dressed as a Klingon. But even though Captain Janeway's aesthetic was relatively streamlined, she still had components she didn't like.
One was the number of wigs she had to wear on the series (the producers constantly had her change her hairstyle), two pertained to the padded bra they tried to fit her into, and three was the four-inch heels she was forced to wear so as not to have all the men around her tower over her.
6 HERS IS THE FIRST COSPLAY IN SPACE
Samantha Cristoforetti, a European astronaut and fan of Star Trek: Voyager wanted the perfect way to honor her favorite television series and her mission into outer space. She has the distinction of holding the record for the longest single space flight for a woman out of Europe.
When she was aboard the International Space Station, the Dragon capsule arrived to stock up on supplies for the personnel. In her Captain Janeway costume, Cristoforetti accepted the parcels of coffee (Janeway's favorite), and shared her cosplay moment to her social media page.
5 SHE WAS A SCIENCE OFFICER
Prior to her appointment as captain of the USS Voyager, Kathryn Janeway was the science officer of the USS Billings. This would come in handy when Voyager was stuck out in the Delta Quadrant, where Janeway could draw on her science background when the crew encountered challenges.
Two years prior to Voyager's doomed mission, uniforms in Starfleet adhered to the Standard Duty Uniform style (introduced in 2369). Considering Voyager's circumstances, uniform colors (such as Janeway wearing red for command) became suggested protocol, as both herself and her crew worked across multiple divisions.
4 THE ROLE WAS DEMANDING
These days, seasons with hour-long episodes tend to be half as long as they were in the '90s, comprised of 12 or 13 installments. Star Trek: Voyager had 24 episodes per season, each at an hour long, and the schedule to produce a season's worth of material was grueling for Kate Mulgrew.
To begin with, her high metabolism caused her to lose weight so fast that costume designer Robert Blackman had to constantly refit her costume, and he was worried she'd shrink away maintaining her energy on 18 hour shooting days. With two young children at home by 1999, she had to negotiate a shorter workweek or depart the series.
3 SHE BECAME A VICE ADMIRAL IN RECORD TIME
Captain Janeway has a small cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis, the last of the Star Trek: The Next Generationfilms, in which she orders Captain Picard to visit Romulus and meet Shinzon, the new praetor. In the video communication, she's wearing the uniform of a Vice Admiral.
Janeway and the Voyager crew returned home in 2378. Nemesis takes place in 2379, so in just one year, she was able to gain a command that would take a captain in Earth's US Navy ten years to obtain. No doubt it had something to do with her helping to defeat the Borg when she returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
2 SHE FOUGHT FOR LGBT INCLUSION
Though Kate Mulgrew fought to have an openly homosexual or bisexual character on Star Trek: Voyager, Paramount wouldn't allow it (Mulgrew would have even played the character herself if necessary). Regardless of that defeat, she paved the way for the inclusion of such characters in the Star Trek reboot films and on Star Trek: Discovery.
Captain Janeway might not have been interested in members of her own gender in the series, but it didn't stop her from becoming an icon to LGBT fans who watched it. Mulgrew is known for being proud of her status as an icon in the LGBT community for this reason.
1 KATHRYN WASN'T ALWAYS HER FIRST NAME
It was hard enough to get the executives at Paramount to believe that a female captain would be popular in the Star Trek franchise. The casting directors were told to include both male and female performers in their auditions, which they did, knowing full well they wanted a female.
Even Terminator 2: Judgment Day star Linda Hamilton was considered for the part before they found their Kathryn Janeway, but in the script her first name was Elizabeth. As there was already a feminist author by that name, so Elizabeth Janeway became Nicole Janeway, and then finally Kathryn Janeway, to reflect their final choice; Kate Mulgrew.