August 25, 2012 at 12:19 am #629Steve WParticipant
So, I’m reading an io9.com article about “10 things you didn’t know about the original Star Trek”, which leads me to this page. Not only did I not know that the Enterprise had a six-lane regulation bowling alley, I wasn’t aware that they were considering many other actresses to play Captain Janeway on Voyager, including Nicola Bryant, Lynda Carter, Joanna Cassidy, Patty Duke, Chelsea Field, Erin Gray, Linda Hamilton, Carolyn McCormick, and Lindsay Wagner. Wow, some of those names (Carolyn McCormick and Chelsea Field) are unfamiliar, but the rest were interesting choices for the role. They seemed to be leaning towards women already known for science-fiction roles it seems, with Sarah Connor, The Bionic Woman, Doctor Who’s companion Peri, Colonel Wilma Deering, Zhora from Bladerunner, and Wonder Woman all in the running. And to think they ended up with Bujold stiffly acting her way through half the pilot episode before walking out and instead of going with the great choices already on the table they instead went with an actress who can grate cheese with the sound of her voice.
So, I put the question to you… out of the actresses listed (Nicola Bryant, Lynda Carter, Joanna Cassidy, Patty Duke, Chelsea Field, Erin Gray, Linda Hamilton, Carolyn McCormick, and Lindsay Wagner) which ones would have done the role well and which ones might not have been able to pull the role of Janeway off?
Here’s my answers;
Nicola Bryant: I think I could watch her for seven seasons, although I couldn’t imagine her playing the character as hard as Mulgrew did. Extremely easy on the eyes, although I’d hope she’d use her real voice instead of the slightly wobbly American accent.
Lynda Carter: I think she’d play the character a little too soft.
Joanna Cassidy: She could have pulled it off, she’s got a better acting range than Mulgrew did. At least she finally did get on a Star Trek show, as T’pol’s mother on Enterprise.
Patty Duke: She might have been a bad fit for the role. And probably the network would have considered her too old for the part, considering our youth-crazed culture and trying to appeal to the 18 to 35 year old demographic.
Chelsea Field: I wasn’t aware of who she was, so I looked her up on IMDB, to find that she’s the wife of Scott Bakula! That would have been real serendipity, handing the Captain’s torch off from wife to husband. I have no idea how she would have done in the role though.
Erin Gray: She could have pulled it off, I think. She’d be capable of pulling off the dour vibe Mulgrew was always putting out, and also being more cheerful and light when the part required it.
Linda Hamilton: Oh yeah, she could have done the part justice. If she was interested in doing the role, that is. I can’t see her taking the job.
Carolyn McCormick: I looked her up on IMDB, but I haven’t really seen any of her roles other than a guest spot on TNG as Minuet (the holodeck creation) or in the movie Enemy Mine, so I can’t properly judge.
Lindsay Wagner: I think she would have done about as well as Bujold would have. Just taking the role to get back into the acting game, but not really putting her heart into it.August 25, 2012 at 1:06 am #4214Earl’s previous regenerationSpectator
According to this, Nicola Bryant only ever auditioned for a Voyager guest shot. Can’t find any mention of Voyager anywhere on her official site, so I don’t even know if she even so much as went after the guest role, since the wiki article has no citation.
Not mentioned in that list is Susan Gibney, who played Leah Brahms (one of the designers of the Enterprise-D) on TNG. Apparently Rick Berman went as far as having her film a screen test on set in uniform, he was that hot to cast her as Janeway. The studio brass and network execs (keep in mind, this was the first Trek series where you had Paramount and UPN with their fingers in the pie) thought she came across as too young.
I just can’t picture Erin Gray in the part. It’s mental typecasting, I know, but I keep running into this mental road block of every Voyager episode ending with a freeze-frame on Gray breaking into a big smile as the end credits roll.
Linda Hamilton would’ve been good, but no one would’ve ever allowed the Terminator/Sarah Connor comparison to rest.
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