9. Time's Up
Star Trek: Voyager: Year Of Hell pt 2 (S4EP9)
Kate Mulgrew had an unenviable task when she was cast as Captain Janeway. First, she was replacing the first actor, then had to play catch-up on scenes that had already been recorded. On top of this, Star Trek: Voyager was the flagship show for the new UPN – so the need for the success of the show led to executives standing on set, judging her, throughout most of the first season.
She more than rose to the occasion, with Janeway quickly becoming a fan favourite character. Therefore picking a single performance by Mulgrew is tough – how does one choose, when there are options like Endgame, Pathfinder, Macrocosm, and Dark Frontier?
However, Mulgrew’s performance in Year of Hell manages to rise above as it is perhaps the most stressful depiction of the character through the show’s seven year run. Her determination to keep the ship flying, and the crew alive, leads Janeway to take almost as much of a beating as the ship itself. By the time the two-parter comes to a close, the audience had seen every variation on the captain – all in the space of an hour and a half.
Her efforts to destroy the Krenim timeship culminate in the grand sacrifice of ramming Voyager into the larger vessel. In a lesser actor’s hands, the line of “time’s up” could have earned a very cheesy review, yet there is such an earnest honesty in Mulgrew’s delivery that it is hard not to feel it as the ship explodes. Yes, there’s a reset button. No, it doesn’t detract from a fantastic ending.