Voyager Beams Into Britain By Lisa
August 3, 2001 - 8:18 PM

It seemed that Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) was almost as pleased with her audience as they were to see her this weekend. "The British are marvelous, never grouchy - every single one," she commented at the Voyager: The Return convention in Blackpool, England.

Around 3300 Star Trek fans crowded into the Norbreck Castle hotel for the 3-day event, which brought together many of the Voyager actors for the first time since the show's wrap party. In attendance with Mulgrew were Robert Picardo (the EMH), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Ethan Phillips (Neelix), Alice Krige (The Borg Queen) and a host of other Trek and science fiction stars.

"I spent two years concentrating on command, and two years fashioning her character," said Mulgrew of Captain Janeway. "And once I felt that was in place, I stopped listening to everyone else and did what I wanted to do."

The audience duly showed their appreciation with laughter and applause. She especially had the audience in stitches with her description of the 'Dear Jane' letter her character received from her former fiance Mark in the episode 'Hunters:' "Sorry, couldn't wait. Love, The Idiot."

Mulgrew revealled that her favourite episode from Voyager's seven year run was season five's 'Counterpoint.' But she also loved the finale, 'Endgame.' "I had a hand in the writing and a lot of input into the ending," she said.

Robert Picardo felt that 'Endgame was a "Tour de Force" for Mulgrew. However, he was rather disappointed with the name his character received: Joe. "If a name is a handle, he gets a drawer pull," he commented dryly. The actor also mentioned his frustrations that the audience - and the actor himself- were cheated out of a big screen kiss between the EMH and Seven of Nine. "For the rest of her life, Jeri Ryan is going to pay personally [for this omission]" he joked.

Unlike other cast members, Robert Duncan McNeill was happy with the final episode "It would have made it like a soap opera," he said, had Voyager made it home to Earth before the final episode.

For Alice Krige, 'Endgame' posed an interesting dilemma. In the movie 'First Contact,' the audience had been intrigued by the sexual tension the Borg Queen created with Data and Captain Picard. But in this episode, the Queen's assailants would be two females. The actress called the series producer and the episode's co-writer Kenneth Biller for advice. "He told me that 'The Borg Queen is omni-sexual. So just go for it'," she explained.

The best part about playing the Queen was the effect the character had on others. "I put in my contact lenses and looked up at all these people around me. And they were all scared!"

Present as a surprise guest on Sunday was Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard). "It's a pleasure to be here," he said. "You people are responsible for me staying in a hotel on the seafront for the first time in my life - when I was a child my family could never afford to stay there." He treated the audience to a rendition of Jen-Luc Picard with his own native broad Yorkshire accent. "Eh, Jean-Luc lad," he said, "Bloody Engage!"

A variety of reports and photographs taken from the event are available online. Here is a selection: