Oriɡinаl Cаptаin Jаnewаy Quit Stаr Trek: Voyаɡer Beсаuse “I Cаnnot Trust Anybody”

Star Trek: Voyager actor Garrett Wang gives his personal insight into why original Captain Janeway actress, Geneviève Bujold, quit the show.

Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway and Genevieve Bujold as Captain Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager


  • Geneviève Bujold quit Star Trek: Voyager after only two days of filming due to disagreements with producers about how the character of Janeway should be portrayed.
  • Bujold wanted Janeway to be portrayed as a captain first and a woman second, with no nonsense with her hair and minimal makeup. However, the producers changed their agreement before filming began.
  • Kate Mulgrew ultimately became Captain Janeway and played the character in every episode of Voyager’s seven seasons, embodying the tough but compassionate nature of the character.

Star Trek: Voyager originally started filming with a different actor as Captain Janeway, and Voyager cast member Garrett Wang gives his personal insight into why Geneviève Bujold quit the show. Voyager was the first Star Trek show to be led by a female captain, and the producers wanted to make sure they had the right actress for the part. Casting French-Canadian film star Geneviève Bujold as Janeway was originally thought to be a coup, but things didn’t quite work out that way, as Bujold left the role after only two days of filming.

The premiere episode of The Delta Flyers podcast hosted by Robert Duncan McNeill and Garrett Wang offers a behind-the-scenes look into Bujold’s decision to walk away from playing Captain Janeway. Wang, who portrayed perpetual Ensign Harry Kim in all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, says Bujold disagreed with producers about how Janeway should be portrayed. Read Kim’s full quote and watch the episode of The Delta Flyers below, with Wang’s story beginning at about the 4:45 timestamp:

When we were filming that scene on the bridge, in between all of our takes, she was running off stage. She wouldn’t socialize with anybody. She was gone, okay? And then, towards the end of the day, I felt like, you know what? I’m gonna stop her. I’m gonna intercept her. And I remember kinda blocking her pathway. And I said, ‘Hi. How are things going?’ And I said it with the most open heart possible kind of tone of voice…

And she looks at me and… in her French-Canadian accent, she said, ‘I feel as if I cannot trust anybody.’ And I said, ‘What? You can’t trust anybody?’ ‘Yes, when I first agreed to take the role of Janeway, I tell the producers that I want to have no nonsense with my hair. I want my hair down, I don’t want it up. I don’t want a lot of makeup… I want her to be Captain first and a woman second.’

Literally, she was very set about it. ‘This is what I will do. I have a very clear picture about [how] I will be Captain Janeway.’ And then she said the producers agreed. ‘They agreed with me, but then before we start filming, they change everything.’ So she felt she was kind of given a certain leeway to do what she needed to do [to] prepare herself to be Captain Janeway, and then it was taken away. It was like, sorry, you can’t do all the things that we agreed to…

The character of Captain Janeway originally had the first name Elizabeth, but Geneviève Bujold requested it be changed to Nicole. Janeway’s name was changed to Kathryn after Kate Mulgrew was cast.

The Star Trek: Voyager cast.
Star Trek: Voyager Cast & Character Guide

In its seven seasons, Star Trek: Voyager introduced many new faces to the Trek universe. Here is a breakdown of the show’s main cast and characters.

Star Trek: Voyager Got The Right Captain Janeway In Kate Mulgrew

Mulgrew’s Janeway is now a Star Trek icon.

Kate Mulgrew had originally auditioned for Janeway, but had lost the role to Geneviève Bujold. After Bujold’s departure, Star Trek: Voyager production shut down for 3 weeks, according to Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill on The Delta Flyers. Mulgrew was called back in and performed well during her audition. She then became Kathryn Janeway and would play the character in every episode of Voyager’s seven seasons. Mulgrew went on to cameo as Admiral Janeway in Star Trek: Nemesis and returned to voice two versions of the character in Star Trek: Prodigy.

Although Star Trek: Prodigy was canceled by Paramount+ and removed from its streaming library, Netflix picked up the series and will make Prodigy season available to stream on December 25, 2023.

Looking back now, it’s difficult to imagine anyone other than Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway, as she wonderfully embodied the tough but compassionate nature of the character. After the USS Voyager was flung across the galaxy into the unexplored Delta Quadrant during Janeway’s first mission as captain, she rose admirably to the occasion, eventually bringing the ship back home more or less in one piece. Star Trek: Voyager just wouldn’t have been the same without her.

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