Last year when I heard Kate Mulgrew was returning to episodic television with a new woman's prison drama (playing a Russian to boot) I was concerned that I would only see and hear Capt Janeway in the role, not the actress, and perhaps it would spoil the character of Kathryn Janeway for me. I put off watching it for a short while and listened to all the Trekkie feedback. The general consensus was that she was amazing in the part of Red, and so I checked it out for myself....
What Mulgrew did was show her skills as an actress. Janeway to me was as real as any person and so you just assume that Kate is like that at all times, but that is not so. Janeway was a character wisely written by Pillar and Taylor and molded by the actress, and now she was doing the same with a Russian prison chef. The two couldn't be more different, the only similarity between the two characters is that 'dont f*ck with me' aura that lurks just beneath her authoritative stance. Mulgrew has infused both Janeway and Red with this quality and it is there whether she's reading out a crew evaluation report or the prison gruel menu.
So, it was the early hours of the morning about two months ago and I was waiting for sunrise as I was off to London for Panto rehearsals. With a couple of hours to kill, I discovered thatIi had a red spiky wig in my dressing room, a wig which I had previously used when being one of the Cheeky Girls in a double Drag act. Red immediately sprang to mind, but could I do the Russian accent? ...Well, no, but that didn't stop Nana Visitor in 'Our Man Bashir'. The video camera came out. The results are below.
|Kate Mulgrew as Red|