Star Trek Turns 30!

Kate Mulgrew’s kids like The X Files better than Voyager—but she’s not panicking yet. “My boys are reflecting society,” says Mulgrew of Ian, 13, and Alec, 12. “Everything they want to see is dark, negative, paranoid—which is what most science fiction is these days. But I must believe it is a trend. Darkness may define this era, but it does not define this century, past or future.” Star Trek, she concedes, “may be regarded as Pollyannaish, but the key to its success has always been hope and bonding. Some say Star Trek has peaked, but if it has, it’s because Voyager has not piqued the imagination of our audience like TNG did. Their writers were on a real trajectory. It’s also time Voyager kicked some ass. Janeway needs a more Kirk-like approach.”

And a better grasp of techno-speak: Mulgrew, 41, says her headiest—and most humiliating— memory since joining Voyager was going to the White House to meet 20 teenage girls who were devoting their lives to science. “I came away saying, ‘OK, no more faking.’ So I’m now reading Einstein, Newton, and Galileo. It may take me an hour to get through a paragraph, but I’m determined to know what I’m talking about on the bridge, even if it kills me.” How does Mulgrew feel about the 30th birthday hoo-ha? “Like the baby in the family—still trying to stake its own claim, yet looking back in awe at its revered grandfathers.” Well, don’t tell that to Shatner.