Beltran: Writers Didn't Care About VoyagerBy Lisa
July 7, 2001 - 6:47 PM
Robert Beltran (Chakotay) already had a reputation for being critical of Voyager before the series ended. Now, that 'Endgame' resolved the series over a month ago, the actor is still determined to express his frustrations.
"Frankly, I don’t think [the writers] really cared what happened at the end. Voyager has been the ugly step-child of the Star Trek family, and that’s the way we’ve been treated," he told Starburst Magazine (via the Great Link). "We’re also the only show that’s had to carry a whole network [UPN]"
"[...]The ratings are down because it’s not being seen by as many people in the world who could see ER. Then they took it out on us by saying 'This show’s no good. Let's get it over with as quickly as possible so we can fix it for the next one.'"
Beltran was also very critical of the series finale, which he felt was not a satisfactory resolution. "I was very disappointed," he explained. "[...] From mid season onwards I kept waiting for them to start making a move towards wrapping up some of these story arcs, but they didn't.[...] [This] was meant to be about nine people on the ship, trying to get through some really extraordinary circumstances. Frankly, I'm not sure what it ended up being about."
The actor felt that the people who must bear much of the blame for Voyager's poor performance are the writers. "[They] had a whole year to prepare, but they waited until the final two episodes to fix things. To me, that’s just a symptom of their uncaring cavalier attitude towards the show."
"[In season seven] Janeway slowly became an even more obnoxious, domineering, self-righteous know-it-all. And really, that does not equate to any kind of character development. I also don't like the way they treated [the characters of Tuvok, Kim and Neelix]."
According to Beltran however, it is not just the writers who degraded the final episode. "Sadly, Kate [Mulgrew] (Kathryn Janeway) got caught up in it and decided she wasn’t going to have any fun. She made it way too difficult to work with her in the last couple of months of the show. She really felt that by doing it a certain way maybe she could have cured cancer, and totally forgot it’s just a TV show. Some people just have to build castles in the sky."
You can read more comments from Robert Beltran, including his advice to Jolene Blalock and why he is popular with fans, in the latest Starburst Magazine out now in the UK, or read extracts at the Great Link.