It’s not just Picard bringing a fan-favourite Star Trek captain back to TV, with new kid-friendly animation Star Trek: Prodigy adding a version of Voyager’s Captain Kathryn Janeway to aid the show’s nascent crew in their early adventures.


Of course, the Janeway we see in Prodigy is (for the most part) a hologram, designed to offer help and training for new recruits – but this didn’t stop actor Kate Mulgrew (who reprises her Voyager role) from worrying about what the return could mean for her character’s legacy more than two decades after her time on the show ended.

“They approached me first in 2019, I think,” Mulgrew told “Their idea was, you know, her mentorship would bring in the older audience, and then they would take their children as a consequence.

“Oh, yes, I had hesitation – I have to be frank about that – because it just lives within me,” she added. “At no point does it subside or abate. It’s always a sort of constant, and is a very significant part of my professional life. And so I thought, ‘Wow, do I want to do that?’”

However, when she put the question to those close to her their response was unanimous – she had to bring Janeway to life once more, for one crucial reason.

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“I started to talk to my friends and my counsel about it, and everybody said, ‘You’re crazy if you don’t think of bringing this to that terribly important demographic – the children.

“How is it that we’ve managed to leave them out? I don’t know,” Mulgrew added. “Do you know? Nobody’s going to grasp this philosophy, this ideology, more readily than the little sponge-imagination of the five-year-old, six-year-old, seven-year-old child.”

“It’s never been done before, to make a Star Trek show for children,” agreed Prodigy co-star Angus Imrie. “Everything about it is geared that way.”

“There’s a Star Trek for every stage of life now, isn’t there?” Ella Purnell, who plays Gwyndala, told us. “There really is. Teenagers, I think, will also love it. There’s so much material.”

Star Trek Prodigy characters standing in front of a space ship
The characters of Star Trek: Prodigy Paramount Plus

“I just think it’s going to be a huge hit. I think it is,” Mulgrew continued – and she noted that Imrie, Purnell and her other young co-stars might find themselves tied to the world of Star Trek for life, just like her.

“I just think they’re in for a big surprise, and a happy one,” she told us. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the fanbase that never dies. It’s a loyal thing, and it’s a superb investment by this viewership.

“Get ready for that – and the invitations, and the expectations. You’ll have to really maintain quite a high level of performance.”

And eventually, decades after you appeared in your last episode, you might be asked back to play a hologram. Nice work if you can get it.

Star Trek: Prodigy begins airing at 6pm on Monday 25th April on Nickelodeon, running every weekday evening until Fri 6th May. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


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