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To Boldly Go

Kate Mulgrew Invokes Wrath of the Nerd Titans by Stating There Were Only Two Star Trek Captains


The identity of the best captain to ever helm the Enterprise in a Star Trek show is one of the most contentious in the fandom, and certainly the actors who play those five captains have been known to dabble in the controversy from time to time. But Kate Mulgrew, the only female captain of the franchise, may have just shown us that she has the biggest… ah… warp cores.

In an interview with Splitsider, Mulgrew was asked to verify whether she’d ever claimed there were only two real Star Trek captains.

No, this is gonna go viral.

Journalist: Mr. Shatner, not necessarily [a captain].

Well, there are only two captains who were lost in space who did seven years, okay? Deep Space Nine was a space station. Shatner only did three seasons. [Scott] Bakula was cancelled after four.

Journalist: Avery Brooks was only a commander.

That’s what I’m saying, it was a space station. He wasn’t in space, lost in space. Patrick Stewart and I – Picard and Janeway – were the only two intrepid, lost-in-space captains. I really think that’s true, right?

Journalist: I agree.

Who here agrees?

[Everyone raises their hands, intimidated].

Okay. [laughter]

Seems like a statement made at least partly jest, or as a jesting boast, and yes, from a strict standpoint, Picard and Janeway were the only characters with the rank of captain whose shows stuck around for more than four seasons. But while I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really have a dog in the fight of “who is the best Star Trek captain,” and enjoy the original series in the same way I enjoy Silver Age comics (primarily by laughing at them), surely being the first (in real world chronology, Enterprise fans) captain of the Enterprise counts for something?

Wait, is this just the first salvo in an epically awkward inter-celebrity feud like William Shatner had with Carrie Fisher last year?

In that case I’m in favor.

(via Blastr.)

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  • Anonymous

    Sisko was promoted to the rank of Captain in the season finale of Season 3. So technically he too was a Captain (in both rank and administrative position) for four seasons.

  • John Wao

    What was the question? How is Kirk not a captain?

  • Anonymous

    That comment is the very definition of grasping at straws. The part where Shatner is not one of the two real captains is gonna go over so well…

  • Denise Hutchins

    She has a totally valid point, when taken in full context. Still, there are sure to be some fans who take this quote badly. Oh well ^^;

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.matzke Brian Matzke

    re: the first sentence of the article: only three of the five captains ever helm the Enterprise.

  • http://twitter.com/chandri Chandri MacLeod

    And he did have a ship. The Defiant! Which was the toughest little ship in all of Starfleet.

    Not that I have a dog in this fight either, since I would have to say Sisko AND Picard, for totally different reasons.

  • Nick Gaston

    Well, true…but Ahab was a full captain for a long time, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michele.nordlie Michele Nordlie

    That’s hilarious – let the nerd shitstorm begin.

  • Dave Nielsen

    enjoy the original series in the same way I enjoy Silver Age comics (primarily by laughing at them)

    Too bad you weren’t just a wee bit smarter, you’d realize it’s the modern stuff that should be laughed at. A sense of taste would probably help you out too.

  • Dave Nielsen

    Somehow only lasting three seasons doesn’t count, I guess.

  • Penny Angeles Tan

    Janeway was captain of the Voyager, not the Enterprise. :)
    Therefore, following her logic … that means the only captain left is Picard. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/anatasia.beaverhousen.7 Anatasia Beaverhousen

    Methinks she’s butthurt because Voyager was so shit. Long live the Sisko.

  • Anonymous

    The Sisko does not need your puny ranks. The Sisko is a prohpet!

  • Anonymous

    Can they basically smack-talk the old series(by which I mean: all the past ones) now that the most recent movie established the alternate timeline?

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.schmitt#!/ David R. Schmitt

    But Voyager sucked and it took Janeway seven seasons to get home. Picard and Sisko would have done it in a two-part episode.

  • http://twitter.com/SoupyTwist SoupyTwist

    I’m not trying to take any sides here, but I don’t know that being “lost in space” is the mark of a “real” captain. Seems like a poor measure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501983222 Matt Graham

    You have a point about some books. In both eras.

  • http://twitter.com/seriouslyyouguy you guys

    I think Trekkies are Trekkie enough to understand the nuance of her argument, because I sure as hell don’t.

  • Anonymous

    “and enjoy the original series in the same way I enjoy Silver Age comics (primarily by laughing at them)”

    Are you seriously comparing some of the most groundbreaking science fiction television out there, many episodes of which were penned by such luminaries of SF as Harlan Ellison, Norman Spinrad, Theodore Sturgeon, George Clayton Johnson and Richard Matheson, recipient of scores of honours including several Hugo awards, two Writer’s Guild of America Awards, over a dozen Emmy nominations, and which advanced the presence of ethnic minorities in television in a decade rife with racial tension… with the Silver Age!?!

    I hardly consider Star Trek sacred by any means, and there’s certainly plenty in the original series which misfired spectacularly, but you’re doing the series a major disservice if your primary cause of enjoyment is derision at the wacky acting and cheesy effects.

    That said, there is no “best” Star Trek captain, only favourites. Kirk is my favourite, but I can totally dig anyone who argues for Sisko or Picard.

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0977888401 Sabreman

    Whereas, Kirk would have simply taken over the new quadrant.

  • RG

    Laugh at TOS all you want, but 50 years from now, that will still be the series most remembered and talked about.

  • http://twitter.com/GeekHillbilly Geek Hillbilly

    Captain Janeway,You’re invited for a cup of fresh coffee anytime..LOL.I can’t argue with her logic.She must have took lessons from Tuvok

  • Mars

    Can’t we laugh at both?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jill.bakeroliver Jill Baker Oliver

    And he didn’t get lost in space? So, you have to be lost in space and last more than 4 seasons and have the rank of Captain. And not have a beagle named Porthos, but cats named Spot are allowed aboard as long as they belong to another crew member.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507849795 Seanna Tucker

    Wait, there are Enterprise fans?

  • http://www.heroinejewelry.com/ Rose – HeroineJewelry

    Ah! That makes sense why I loved her and Picard’s adventures. DS9 was so “sitting duck.” Never got into the other 2 series either. Good for her for knowing her stuff. I loved how she always had big, uh. “warp cores.”

  • http://twitter.com/jimmyd388 Jim Davis

    Being a long time “Trekkie”,I take exception to Kate’s remark. Her ship was the only one actually lost. Kirk and Picard were the best because they took very few things seriously and had a lot of fun. Janeway mumbled her way through 7 years of mediocrity. She was always whispering as if everything she said was only supposed to be heard by the one closest to her. Besides all that,if it wasn’t for Kirk there would not have been any other series. TOS was groundbreaking and they didn’t have the technology they had later,so it’s easy to look back on it and laugh,but it stands alone as the very best. The rest eventually turned into soap operas after 3 seasons.