Star Trek: Prodigy Almost Made Janeway Captain of the Enterprise, Until Kate Mulgrew Said No

Star Trek: Prodigy Almost Made Janeway Captain of the Enterprise, Until Kate Mulgrew Said No

By the time Voyager returns home from the Delta Quadrant at the end of its seven-season run, Kathryn Janeway has seen more in her tour of duty than most Starfleet captains see in their lifetimes (even if she and her crew got to skip out on that whole, y’know, cataclysmic interstellar war thing). So it makes sense that she quickly shoots up Starfleet’s ranks into Admiralty, and is offered a bunch of plush positions—but it also makes sense that she’d insist on returning to her own tough little ship.

One of those plush positions almost became a thing in Star Trek: Prodigy’s second season, which finally begins streaming on Netflix today after a long, strange road to release saw it ushered away from Paramount. In the new season, with Prodigy’s young alien heroes having made their way to Starfleet and helped save the day—earning their place among the next generation of Academy cadets—they are tasked with joining Admiral Janeway on a dangerous rescue mission to find her former first officer and the missing captain of the experimental ship Protostarthe kids spent season one racing around in, Chakotay. To do so, Janeway heads out on a newly refitted Voyager-A, but she almost commandeered a far more prestigious vessel in the form of Starfleet’s flagship, the Enterprise.

Prodigy is set around 2384, which means at the time the Enterprise in operation is either the Sovereign-classEnterprise-E—although a ship with its registry is seen in Prodigy’s season 1 finale having been heavily damaged, if not destroyed outright—or its follow up, the Odyssey-class Enterprise-F. They’re both pretty awesome ships, as far as the Enterprise goes, but… they’re no starship Voyager. I may be slightly biased, but hey, so is Kate Mulgrew herself, as she should be: because apparently when told that Janeway could commandeer the Enterprise in Prodigy, the actress behind her flatly refused.

“There was a moment where we were playing with the idea that [season 2’s ship] could be the Enterprise instead,” Prodigy co-creator Dan Hageman told IGN in a new interview. “We [asked] Kate, ‘What do you think if you’re the new captain of the Enterprise,’ and she was not thrilled. She’s like, ‘I’d rather it be the Voyager.’”

Putting aside that Voyager is one of the all-time great Star Trek ship designs, giving Janeway a refit of her home-away-from-home in the Delta quadrant on a mission to relocate Chakotay of all people just makes sense, for the sentimentality of it all. Plus, in-universe, the Voyager herself at this point is an admired and beloved ship in its own rights, a champion of Starfleet’s exploratory ideals in having survived the best part of a decade in a far-flung sector of the galaxy with little in the way of Federation support. It’s only fitting that Janeway get a chance to at last see what Starfleet could do in a souped-up refit of her most beloved ship, rather than just handing her the Enterprise like it’s a prize for passing into Admiralty.

Sure, a vaunted Admiral is “worthy” of the flagship, but maybe we should be asking: is the Enterprise worthy of Kathryn Janeway?

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