A tribute to
Janeway & Chakotay
~ The Characters ~
Captain Kathryn Janeway
Captain Janeway - Voyager's commanding officer.
Played flawlessly by the brilliant, vibrant Kate Mulgrew, it is no wonder to me that she has become arguably the most admirable, and real Captain in the Star Trek Universe.
She embodies the best of all three prior Captains. She has Kirk's love of the unknown, and the willingness to place her own life before that of her crew. She has Picard's unswerving loyalty to Starfleet, his self control, and his reverance for all forms of life. Lastly, she has Sisko's compassion, his pride, and his determination. Add to all of this Janeway's own unique qualities, and it is easy to see why she is one of my favourite Star Trek characters of all!
Of course, the main factor that set's Janeway apart from the rest, is that she's a woman in a leading role, holding a position of power. Now, this shouldn't be anything strange - and isn't in the 24th century - but it is today. You just have to take a look at all the Treks' male dominated casts to see it. I think three women on the same show at once is considered a big concession. *sigh* Anyway, I've always loved strong female roles, and Janeway is about as strong as they come.
Another thing I really love about Janeway, is that she's a scientist, and can basically hold her own in all aspects of running the ship - from tactical, to engineering, to astrometrics. How many times did Picard say 'In english, Data'? after receiving a technical response from the android. On Voyager, most of the time it's Janeway who helps come up with the technobabble. And she's not afraid to 'get her hands dirty' either. Often we see her in Engineering working away beside her crew, not sitting on the bridge waiting for someone else to save the ship.
But I believe one of the most appealing aspects of her character is that they haven't tried to turn her into a man. She still has a 'feminine' side, and they give her 'feminine' storylines in between the 'get-the-hell-off-my-ship
-before-I-self-destruct-it' episodes. Seriously, could you envision Picard in Resistance? That was one of Janeway's strongest episodes. But you'd never see any sweet old men mistake Picard for his daughter. I don't care how crazy he is!
Captain Janeway has been through a lot in her life. Just read Mosaic and you'll see what I mean. If indeed there are actually any Janeway fans out there who haven't read Mosaic yet! But through fighting against the Cardassians in her early Starfleet career, through losing her Father and fiance in a shuttle crash, through the arduous task of reclaiming her life after the tradgedy, through all this she has remained true to her ideals and (more or less) to herself.
Being stranded in the DQ has provided her with a whole new set of challenges to face. The isolation of her command is overwhelming - even if she does have a really nice first officer to take care of her!! But through the ordeal she has done her best to remain loyal to the ideals of Starfleet and the Federation, although, granted, sometimes her way of dealing with problems can be rather... creative. But essentially, it all stems from her determination to get Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant. This is the driving force behind all her actions. She is dedicated to the safety and well-being of her crew, which in turn has inspired similar loyalty in return.
To finish, I believe that Janeway is a truly inspirational character. She is brave, intelligent, passionate, and caring. A noble figure, leading her ship and crew home against incredible odds, but when you watch the show, you know almost straight away that if anyone can get Voyager back, Kathryn Janeway can.
The Very Best Janeway Episodes:
|RESISTANCE (2nd Season)
Captain Janeway is seperated from Voyager, and is adopted by an old man who's very sweet, but kind of crazy.
The interaction between Janeway and Calum is so beautiful, and the final scenes will have you bawling. This is one of the first episodes that really lets us see who Kathryn Janeway is.
|SACRED GROUND (3rd Season)
A very strong Janeway episode, where she goes through a grueling ordeal to save Kes' life.
Also some really nice J/C interaction (wink wink) but more about that later!
|MACROCOSM (3rd Season)
Meet Action Kate TM (Apologies to Jim Wright.)
Talk about 'gung ho'! Janeway has to single handedly save the ship when the rest of the crew have been incapacitated by evil super bugs. There's not much to the plot (which kind of resembles swiss cheese) but I love this episode anyway.
This Janeway is lean, mean and totally cool.
|CODA (3rd Season)
This is one of the most famous Janeway eps, so I don't need to say much. The bits where she dies are really creepy, her funeral is moving, her triumph is satisfying, and every second she's on the screen with Chakotay has me jumping round the living room squealing.
|YEAR OF HELL I & II (4th Season)
My absolute favourite Janeway episode. Mulgrew shines in this, and the Janeway she portrays is very real, and utterly inspirational.
This episode shows the very best of Kathryn Janeway: Her strength, her courage, her determination, and her unwavering spirit.
Commander Chakotay - Voyager's first officer, played by the talented (not to mention dashingly handsome) Robert Beltran.
From the very beginning, the very first episode in fact, one thing has been made clear about Chakotay. He is completely devoted to Kathryn Janeway. As soon as he uttered those famous words, "She's the Captain," he was comitted.
It's not surprising, when you consider his character. He is very honourable, and loyal, and determined to stand up for what he believes in. And it just so happens that he believes in Captain Janeway. Say what you will about the actual nature of their feelings for one another, but one thing we do know is that he's dedicated to her one hundred percent.
Chakotay, like everyone, has his bad points along with the good. For example, his appalling taste in women. Seska - a Cardassian spy, Riley - a Borg for crying out loud, Kellin - just One Big Mistake, and... well... Kathryn Janeway - who, although we know they would be SO good together, just happens to be the most inaccessible female on Voyager. Poor dear. He seems to have a thing for destructive relationships.
And, of course, there is the fact that one of his greatest strengths is also his greatest weakness, as they so often are. Chakotay's loyalty and sense of justice are admirable traits, but they do seem to have gotten him into no amount of trouble.
On the whole, though, Chakotay is a pretty decent guy. He has a quirky sense of humour, as B'Elanna once pointed out, and a straightforward, earnest nature. He's a natural leader, with a quiet confidence born of experience.
But this calm aura that surrounds him has not always been there. We all know of his restless childhood, rebelling against the traditions of his people, and the intense spirituality of his father. And also of his conflicted life as a Starfleet officer, when he found himself torn between two worlds. Then came his 'Angry Warrior' days, when all he did was fight to avenge the deaths of his family.
In 'Resolutions' we found out that Chakotay found peace on Voyager with Captain Janeway. A truly romantic notion. And his way of telling her, with his 'ancient legend', speaks of his insecurities. He's been hurt and betrayed before, and is wary of opening himself to injury. But what is clear about Chakotay, is that once he does give himself, to a cause or to a relationship, he tends to commit himself entirely.
Perhaps one of the most prominent aspects of Chakotay's character, and one that has been explored a number of times on the show, is his spirituality. Although he rejected the beliefs of his people when he was young, the circumstances of his life have lead him to a point where he now embraces his culture. It is not often that religion plays an active part of Star Trek. Few main human characters have made any claim to a particular denomination at all, and deep-seated beliefs are entrusted to Bajorans and Klingons instead. In the case of Commander Chakotay, the nature of his faith lends a uniqueness to his character. And personally, I believe it also gives him an aura of 'realness' that is sometimes lacking in others.
The Very Best Chakotay Episodes:
|INTITIATIONS (2nd Season)
Chakotay gets mixed up with the Kazon while he's away from Voyager to perform a sacred ritual.
This is a very interesting episode, focusing on Chakotay's interraction with the Kazon boy, and I absolutely love the ending!
|TATOO (2nd Season)
This is a poignant episode for Chakotay, as it deals with his faith, as well as his troubled relationship with his father. Beltran is really great in this episode, as is the kid who plays young Chakotay in the flashback scenes (he's such a cutie!!)
Also famous among Chakotay fans because it contains the notorious 'nude scene'. Even if we do only get to see the top half of him, it's still quite drool-worthy.
|MANOUVRES (2nd Season)
Ooooh, the return of Seska - evil incarnate. Poor old Chak gets his butt kicked in this one, not to mention having his pride trampled all over. But it is a strong episode for him in that we get to see beyond the nice clean Starfleet officer he seems to have become.
Beltran's acting is superb here, portraying Chakotay's conflicting emotions in a most realistic manner.
|UNITY (3rd Season)
Hmm. Well, if we overlook the whole... incident... involving that woman, we see that this is a good, solid character episode for Chakotay.
Just watch this one continually reminding yourself that he's being controlled by the Borg, and would never willingly do what he did otherwise. And the final scene with Janeway is very good, with Chakotay's regret coming through nicely (as it should!!)
|NEMESIS (4th Season)
Uh, where to begin? This is an extremely harrowing episode for Chakotay. He is manipulated from the start, his emotions played upon, his compassion used against him.
The best Chakotay episode, in my opinion - in a way it defines exactly who he is. He is a man who feels things deeply, and who is willing to do what it takes to fight against injustice and oppression.
|WAKING MOMENTS (4th Season)
This is a fun episode for the whole cast, but Chakotay steals the show as he single handedly saves Voyager from creepy aliens. Also shows that he can be just as willing to sacrifice himself for the ship as Janeway is, as he aims Voyager's torpedos at his location and plays chicken with the aliens.
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Credits: None of these pictures/sounds/whatever are actually mine. They have been collected over a long time from various places. The best sources I've found are the following.
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