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STAR TREK VOYAGER: THE FINAL SEASON

Welcome to my special page covering Voyager: The Final Season. As the finale draws ever nearer, I will be uploading more news regarding the series finale and interviews with the people who made Voyager what it is over the past seven years. This page last updated April 18, 2001.



KATE MULGREW (CAPTAIN JANEWAY) TALKS: It was seven long years ago when she first drove through the gates of Paramount Pictures and stepped onto the set of Star Trek: Voyager to play Captain Kathryn Janeway. Just days earlier, Genevieve Bujold, who won the job over Mulgrew and many others who had vied for the coveted part, quit suddenly after deciding the gig was not for her. And now it was up to Mulgrew to sink or swim. All eyes were on her as the future of Voyager and quite possibly the Star Trek franchise hung in the balance. "That was a highly charged and frightening day," Mulgrew recalls of shooting her earliest scenes for "Caretaker," the series' two-hour pilot. "The stakes were unbelievably high. All of the suits from the studio and the network were down here watching. I'm sure that they were scared to death that perhaps going with a woman was a total mistake because Bujold only lasted a day and a half. I think that when I walked on and I actually executed the lines and did it with some authority, it comforted them a great deal. But I have a very clear recollection of it having been so high pressure a day. You really have no idea." Mulgrew, of course. went on to make Janeway - who was created by writer/ producer/series co-creator Jeri Taylor partially in her own image - very much her own character. She came to possess Janeway, as she often puts it. More importantly, Mulgrew - with her ramrod-straight posture and knack for at once being both forceful and compassionate - anchored the series in style. Janeway looked equally at home barking orders, joking with Chakotay (Robert Beltran) or Torres (Roxann Dawson), debating with the strong-willed Doctor (Robert Picardo) firing a rifle and out foxing assorted aliens in cat and mouse games of a life and death nature. Even when the producers dropped in the sex bomb character of Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) during the fourth season to entice young male viewers and (successfully) goose the ratings, Janeway remained the heart and soul of Voyager.

"People ask me, 'Who is Janeway now?' and it's like asking ~ Who is Kate Mulgrew at this point?"' comments the actress as she sits in her trailer on the Paramount Pictures lot. She's in full Janeway costume, chatting amiably in that familiar Katharine Hepburn-esque voice of hers and waiting for the knock on the door that will signal the need for her to return to the set. "It's a very complicated process. Kathryn Janeway is exactly who she reveals herself to be. She's a complex woman. She's highly driven. She's very smart and opinionated. But she is flawed. She is human. She has made a lot of mistakes on this journey, on her journey and the ship's journey. She's rather fond of making those mistakes, I must say, because she can then correct them in new ways. She is, as I have always said, first and foremost a scientist. So even when she is revealed to herself as a flawed and pretty un-sensational human being, she still sees herself as a problem solver. She will say to herself, ' I will figure out how to correct that'. And she does that both philosophically and morally. She's a deeply human woman. What I've tried to show through the cracks is her passion." That passion, to be sure, continues to show through as season seven of Voyager unfolds. The current season, as everyone knows, is also the series last. And so far, claims the actress, so good. "Unimatrix Zero, Part ll, was good fun," she assesses of the seventh season, Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson)-driven opener, "which picked up where the sixth season cliff-hanger left off. Repression (which revisited the Maquis story line) was very good. Shattered (in which the ship went through a spatial rift, throwing off the timeline) was terrific, I thought. Flesh and Blood, Parts l and 2, were very good episodes. I loved the moral dilemma at the center of that two-parter: Should holograms be accorded the same rights as Humans and other sentient beings? To be perfectly frank with you, though, about which episodes have worked and which episodes have not, I have to say that it's now like a revolving door which is going at such a clip that I can hardly remember one episode from the next. It's a blur, you must understand. But I am enjoying it all. It's about kicking into my own little nooks and crannies of surprise. So, I'd say that with very few exceptions, I've enjoyed almost all of the shows this season. But if you want a great moral dilemma, if you want great Science Fiction, Flesh and Blood 1 and 2 are probably at the top of this season's list."

In a few months' time, it will all be over. Voyager's journey will have ended. Janeway will likely get her crew home. Whether or not she is there to join in the celebration, for the homecoming, remains to be seen. She might die as a hero or she might not, though everyone who follows Voyager knows that Mulgrews oft- publicly stated personal preference is for Janeway to go down fighting gloriously. Thus, it's time for Mulgrew to look back at decisions made, arguments waged and opportunities both fulfilled and missed. Asked, for example, to address the strangest thing she was ever called upon to do as Janeway, she cites the joys of playing variations of her character, of portraying a Klingon, a Borg, Janeway as an 80-something-year-old woman, a nasty alternate Janeway and Janeway as Arachnia, as well as the mind-blowing day during the fourth season when she realized she could speak Star Trek's legendary technobabble as fluently as some people converse in Japanese, French or Spanish. Asked what product tie-in most amused her, Mulgrew laughs as she shares a story about seeing a Janeway action figure dangling from the rear-view mirror of a car. Asked what aspect of Janeway was never developed to her satisfaction and she promptly offers up two. First, she notes, the notion of a woman in the Captains chair of a Star Trek starship was not ever directly confronted. Second, she adds, she always had hoped to see Janeways private hell. In that hell, Janeway ponders the fact that she left a great love behind, that she sacrificed her child-bearing years (and must watch as Torres prepares to welcome a baby into the world), and, far less selfishly, the possibility that she may have doomed her crew to a life spent in the Delta Quadrant.

Nothing, however, elicits more conversation from Mulgrew than this question: What argument, what philosophical point that Janeway put forth, most resonated at a personal level, whether that personal reaction was pro or con? "I thought that our episode Death Wish was just terrific," she responds. "That's the one where we were discussing the vicissitudes of suicide in the 24th century, the evolution of suicide and Janeways moral stance. If suicide is devoutly to be wished by a species that, in fact, honor suicide as opposed to a life of, for lack of a better word, drudgery or imprisonment, is it something that should then be considered morally viable? I deeply appreciated that argument. Also, I had two such splendid actors to work with on that show. I had John De Lancie, who is a friend and who I adore, and Gerrit Graham, who played the other Q and was so good. I'm telling you it was just a great joy for me to work on that show." "Selfishly speaking, the episode I loved most to act in was probably Counterpoint. It was such a dance with Mark Harelik (as Kashykl), who is a divine actor. The show was so well written, its arguments so strong, and it was so simple as well. It was a coup within a coup within a coup. I got to play 10 levels at all times and I wasn't always sure which level I was on. That was at once scary and exciting. It was sort of Hitchcockian sci-fi. But it is so crucial to me, my partner in any scene, in any episode, to make the moment real, to convey any argument and Mark gave me 150 per cent." Just as Mulgrew finishes her sentence, there's a knock at the door "They're about ready for you, Kate," an assistant director says softly. Mulgrew politely acknowledges the AD and returns to the conversation. Like the show itself, this conversation must end momentarily. The future, though, seems quite bright. Mulgrew plans to return to the stage soon and, more immediately, intends to spend time with her new husband and her sons, sons who've grown from boys into young men over the past seven years, a fact that often pains the actress to her core. On the other hand, she's grateful for the steady income, thrilled to have had the opportunity to hone her skills as an actor, and deeply honored to have helped raised oodles of money for such causes as Pediatric AIDS and Young Women in Science. Thus, it will be a sad, sad day for Mulgrew when she dons Janeways uniform for the last time on the series final day of production. "It may be the case that the last time I wear the uniform it will truly be the last time," she says as she prepares to walk back to the set that has been her home away from home for so long. "Will I enact this role again after the finale? I couldn't even speculate on that. There certainly has been no conversation in that regard. Who knows if Janeway will turn up in a TV movie or one of the features? In terms of our very last day on Voyager, it will be a very messy affair. It will be the fracturing of Kate Mulgrew. It will be very emotional and very hard for me to say goodbye to everyone and everything, goodbye to this role. It's been wonderful to be the first (full-time) female captain on a Star Trek show. You can imagine. There's a great feeling of pride in that. I am the first woman. What a coup. We've all just worked so hard on this show, to make it good, to make it something special. I'm very proud of Voyager and everyone here. So I am sure that I will finally let my guard down in that last episode or two, both as Kate Mulgrew and Kathryn Janeway. As this character, there will be good-byes to make. Somebody might die, and that will be hard to deal with. And all of that will reflect the reality that is going to going on around me." Kate Mulgrew shakes her head. "I will be lucky," she says, "if I can crawl through that."



Okay, in the lead up to the series finale, I have included details of all of the final seasons episodes. Warning - spoilers abound…

#147 UNIMATRIX ZERO (PART II) (FINAL SEASON PREMIERE): Unimatrix Zero, a cyberspace enclave for certain Borg within the collective, is under threat by the Borg Queen who wants it destroyed at any cost. Meanwhile, with Janeway and her crew going undercover as Borg drones in an attempt to infiltrate the Collective, the Borg Queen gets more and more desperate to unravel the mystery of Unimatrix Zero. She will even resort to the destruction of her own kind in an attempt to stop Janeway and Unimatrix Zero.

#148 IMPERFECTION: Seven of Nine shows some uncharacteristic emotion when three of the four Borg children leave the U.S.S. Voyager, but the Doctor confirms that she may just have malfunctioning ocular implants. The remaining young Borg, Icheb, then decides that he would like to join Starfleet Academy. When Seven later admits to suffering from some headaches, it is discovered that she needs a critical operation requiring Borg parts. However, it may be that Icheb is the only one who can help her.

#149 DRIVE: While Tom Paris and Harry Kim are performing tests on the new Delta Flyer, they encounter a mysterious pilot who challenges them to a race. The woman, Irina, later informs them of an upcoming starship race. Soon, the Starfleet officers find themselves involved in this race - an event intended as the first step towards peace between four different cultures from this area of space but unknown to the others one of the racers is determined to sabotage the goodwill of the event.

#150 REPRESSION: Aboard the U.S.S. Voyager, former members of the Maquis appear to be singled out in a rash of violent attacks. Before long, the safety of the entire crew is in jeopardy. When Tuvok takes charge of the investigation he becomes frustrated at the lack of a logical motive but soon makes some rather startling discoveries.

#151 CRITICAL CARE: The Doctor's program is stolen from the U.S.S. Voyager and he is forced to work on a large, multi-tiered hospital ship. While Captain Janeway and her crew try to find him, the Doctor decides to take matters into his own hands when dealing with the unethical treatment procedures for the sick and dying aboard the hospital ship.

#152 INSIDE MAN: The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager gets an unexpected bonus in their regular mail beamed from Starfleet in the Alpha Quadrant. When a hologram of Reg Barclay appears telling the crew of a new plan that can get them home within days, everyone is elated. The plan seems dangerous in theory but the Barclay hologram persuades the crew the risk is minimal. Meanwhile, back at Starfleet, the real Reg Barclay is completely unaware of his doppelganger's actions.

#153 BODY AND SOUL: While performing experiments on the Delta Flyer, Seven of Nine, Harry Kim and the Doctor are attacked by a Delta Quadrant race who view "photonics" such as the Doctor as mortal enemies. With time running out, the Doctor must hide in plain sight - taking refuge in Seven of Nine's Borg implants! Taking over her consciousness, the Doctor must convincingly behave as Seven of Nine to survive.

#154 NIGHTINGALE: Searching for dilithium in the Delta Flyer with Neelix and Seven of Nine, Harry Kim intercedes in a conflict between two Delta Quadrant Races. While he manages to save a Kraylor ship from destruction, its command crew has been killed and they're in need of a Captain. Having been an Ensign his entire Starfleet career, Kim is tempted by the offer and assumes command of the vessel, but soon finds himself bearing the weight of leadership in a complicated and dangerous conflict.

#155/#156 FLESH AND BLOOD: The U.S.S. Voyager answers a distress call from a Hirogen training facility, only to find a holographic environment littered with Hirogen corpses. The holographic technology given to the Hirogen by Captain Janeway for hunting training has been modified to the point where the prey have become the hunters. The holograms have not only become self-aware, but are essentially a new race, seeking refuge from organic slavery and brutality. Seeking to liberate one of their own, the holograms kidnap the Doctor, who soon finds himself torn between his loyalties to Voyager and his holographic brethren.

#157 SHATTERED: A temporal anomaly strikes the U.S.S. Voyager, hitting Chakotay point-blank and splitting different areas of the ship into different time-frames from its history. After the Doctor creates a chronoton serum to counteract the effects of the temporal bolt, Chakotay finds he is the only member of the crew that has free range of the ship. Forging alliances with crewmates from Voyager's past, present and future, Chakotay must find a way to set events back to normal.

#158 LINEAGE: Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres reach a crossroads in their relationship which could have long ranging effects on both of their lives. Early in her life, B'Elanna and her father joined his family on a camping trip where something happened - something that could result in B'Elanna making an irrevocable decision against Tom's will that no amount of technology can rectify.

#159 REPENTANCE: The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager rescue the crew and passengers aboard a critically damaged vessel transporting convicts scheduled for execution. When the Doctor and Seven of Nine make a discovery that changes the ground rules, Captain Janeway and the crew have to walk the gray area between the Prime Directive and justice, with the ship's safety hanging in the balance.

#160 PROPHECY: Generations ago, a Klingon warship left familiar territory and headed off into unknown space. When the descendants of that original crew run into the U.S.S. Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, Captain Janeways first concern is convincing the Klingons that the hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire are long over. After that, a more intractable problem arises after the Klingon vessel is destroyed and its crew of over 200 find themselves aboard Voyager and perhaps living out the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.

#161 THE VOID: The crew of the U.S.S. Voyager find themselves and their ship stranded in a dark void with seemingly no escape, where the only proven means of survival is to prey upon weaker vessels when they first arrive. With resources dwindling, Captain Janeway must decide whether to stick to the principles that govern Starfleet or to concede that in this strange place, the ends justify the means and Voyager must become a predator to survive.

#162 WORKFORCE (PART I): When Chakotay, Harry Kim and Neelix attempt to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Voyager after a trading mission, neither the ship nor the crew are anywhere to be found. Meanwhile, on a far away planet, Kathryn Janeway and the rest of Voyager's former crew begin new careers. Oblivious to each other and the lives they once shared, the Voyager crew has been integrated into a gigantic industrial workforce.

#163 WORKFORCE (PART II): With the majority of the U.S.S. Voyager crew brainwashed into leading the lives of industrial workers for a race called the Quarren, Chakotay, Harry Kim, Neelix and The Doctor find themselves vastly outnumbered in their quest to restore the crew to normal and return them to the ship. However, Janeway and the rest of the crew have moved on with their lives as Quarren forces close in on Chakotay on the planet's surface and on Voyager in orbit.

#164 HUMAN ERROR: As the U.S.S. Voyager enters a hazardous region of space being used as a weapons-testing range by unknown parties, the ship must count on Seven of Nine's long-range scans to steer it out of danger. Seven of Nine, however, is becoming more and more distracted with a personal experiment, one that could change how she deals with her crewmates forever.

#165 Q 2: It's not easy being a parent, even for a Q and because Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager were so instrumental in Q's quest to have a child, Q decides to make Aunt Kathy teach his son some responsible virtues. Although appearing to be fully grown, the younger Q proves harder to handle than his irascible father, and with his omnipotent powers, disciplining the youngster proves not only impossible, but exceptionally dangerous as well.

#166 AUTHOR, AUTHOR: As the U.S.S. Voyager gets closer and closer to the Alpha Quadrant, a new means of direct yet brief communication with Starfleet is established, allowing the crew a few minutes each to communicate with family and friends. The Doctor may not have any family or friends on Earth, but he does have a holo-novel to pitch to publishers - the story of a ship stranded on the other side of the galaxy with a strangely familiar crew; a crew that barely tolerates their holographic doctor who lives in virtual slavery...

#167 FRIENDSHIP ONE: Now that regular communication between the Alpha and Delta Quadrants is possible, Starfleet has a mission for the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager; locate and retrieve the old Earth probe Friendship One. Launched in the late 21st century, the probes trajectory places it somewhere near Voyagers current position, but no one predicted what a Delta Quadrant civilization would do with the probe when they found it...

#168 NATURAL LAW: Seven of Nine and Chakotay find themselves marooned in a hostile primitive environment.

#169 DESTINY: Neelix is reunited with his people as he tries to save an imperiled Talaxian settlement.

#170 RENAISSANCE MAN: The Doctor must become a master of disguise to save Captain Janeway.

#171/#172 ENDGAME (SERIES FINALE): It appears that at least part of the episode will take place twenty three years in the future, after the return of Voyager to the Alpha Quadrant. Kathryn Janeway apparently did well during the years since the return, as she holds the rank of Admiral. Tuvok, however, has fared a lot worse, as he is in an asylum, claiming that Janeway is an imposter. Besides these familiar Voyager characters, the episode will also feature several new ones, including at least two descendants of the Voyager crew. We will be introduced to Lieutenant Miral Paris, the actress for which should be in her early 30s. Miral is part Klingon and presumably the daughter of B'Elanna Torres and Tom Paris. She is described as a smart, competent Starfleet officer, with dark hair and a light complected skin tone. Another character we will meet is Sabrina, the nine-year old daughter of Naomi Wildman, who is described as "part alien, inquisitive and cute." Finally, some of the other characters seen in the finale include a male Starfleet doctor in his 40s, a beautiful woman in her late 20s-early 30s named Lana, a 19-to-22-years old Starfleet Academy cadet and a tall and intimidating Klingon male in his 30s. These four characters will all be appearing in just a single scene, and no further information about them is known.



VOYAGER - THE WRAP PARTY: Bittersweet seems to be the most apt term for the feelings of the Voyager cast and crew as their seven years together come to an end. Brannon Braga described his emotions as "a mixture of sentimentality that its over" but also "great relief," a sentiment echoed by other members of the cast and crew. Rick Berman, who was immediately asked about the series finale said, "I am very happy with the way it all ends. I think its going to be a terrific episode." Robert Beltran (Commander Chakotay) was relieved that the show was at an end and said he was anxious to move on to other, hopefully shorter projects. "I am going to find the next gig," he said. "Hopefully it wont last too long and then I will take a little vacation, and maybe do a play. I really miss doing theatre." Perhaps the most interesting story came from Jeri Ryan (Seven), who described her first real encounter with the Star Trek experience. "Rick Berman, the creator of the show, the day before I met with the network, actually gave me the first inkling into that. He said that I was getting on a moving freight train and I had no idea how fast it was going until I was on - and that is still the most apt metaphor I have heard for this experience. It has been a wild ride."