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Janeway Lambda one

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Janeway Lambda one
A woman wearing a Victorian dress opens and looks out a window. Only the top half of her body is visible as she is leaning out of the window
Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway in the governess costume from the holonovel Janeway Lambda one.
Plot element from the Star Trek franchise
First appearance
Created byJeri Taylor
GenreScience fiction
In-story information
TypeHolodeck technology
FunctionRecreational use

Janeway Lambda one is a holonovel, or advanced virtual reality adventure, experienced by one of the characters in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. It is a sub-plot that runs across several episodes of seasons one and two of the series. In the holonovel, Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), finds a temporary escape from her responsibilities as captain of the starship Voyager by playing the role of governess Lucille Davenport in a Gothic fantasy set in Victorian England. The holonovel includes Michael Cumpsty as Lord Burleigh, and Thomas Dekker and Lindsey Haun as Burleigh's children. Carolyn Seymour also guest stars as the housekeeper Mrs. Templeton; Seymour previously played two separate Romulan commanders in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Starting with Janeway Lambda one, Voyager's writing team conceived the holonovel as an expansion of the holodeck technology shown earlier in the Star Trek franchise, and a futuristic take on the audiobook. Jeri Taylor, creator of the Star Trek: Voyager series, originally conceived the Janeway Lambda one holonovel as a simulation of Western fiction in which Captain Janeway would assume the role of a pioneer woman struggling to contend with the elements and to care for her family. The holonovel's genre was later changed to a work of Gothic fiction set in 1840s England after Mulgrew refused to work with horses, and the realization that shooting outdoor locations would exceed the show's budget. The set for the Burleigh manor was constructed on Paramount Stage 16, and was nicknamed "the Jane Eyre set" by the film crew. The holonovel was compared to Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw and Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca.

Pieces of the holonovel were shown in the teaser sequences of two first season episodes "Cathexis" and "Learning Curve". It was originally scheduled to debut in "Eye of the Needle", but was replaced with a "more exciting shipboard teaser" by television producer Rick Berman. The holonovel was featured in the second season episode "Persistence of Vision", where Janeway experiences hallucinations of the holographic characters and objects outside of the holodeck due to a bio-electric energy field from a Botha ship.

The holonovel was intended as a vehicle to further explore Janeway's imagination and her social relationships, but critics disagreed on whether the storyline was appropriate for the character. The plotlines introduced in Janeway Lambda one were never fully resolved due to lack of interest from fans of the Voyager series and an attempt to target a male audience; Taylor had written a conclusion for the holonovel, but it was never developed into an episode. Janeway Lambda one was received negatively by television critics who believed it was poorly developed and too isolated from the main storylines of the Voyager series. The show's frequent use and expansion of the holodeck technology was also panned by reviewers.


Concept and development[edit]

Star Trek: The Next Generation was the first installment of the Star Trek franchise to show a live-action version of the holodeck technology, a computer program capable of creating virtual reality simulations chosen by the user.[1] The precursor to the holodeck appeared originally in an episode of The Animated Series, "The Practical Joker" as a recreation room.[2][3] While "novellike stories" were incorporated with the holodeck in The Next Generation, the writing team behind the development of Star Trek: Voyager sought to further develop the idea by introducing the concept of the holonovel.[4] Holonovels were distinguished from past examples of holodeck technology through their use of more "complex narratives" and the user's active participation as one of the characters.[5] Voyager's writers conceived holonovels as futuristic updates of audiobooks, and defined them as computer programs enabling the user to "experience total, physical immersion in the story, with a full spectrum of sensations in every way".[4] In his book A Vision of the Future, Stephan Edward Poe writes that the idea built a foundation for a variety of storylines by providing: "new ways for crew members to learn ... to be their own heroes in self-directed sages, or even use their stories as a safe and acceptable means of released pent-up emotions."[6]

Voyager creator Jeri Taylor designed Janeway Lambda one as Captain Kathryn Janeway's (Kate Mulgrew)'s favorite holonovel and a "story within a story" that would slowly unravel with each of its appearances.[6] It was the first holonovel to be featured in the series.[4] Taylor originally imagined the program as a simulation of Western fiction, in which Janeway assumed the role of a pioneer emigrating to the American West on a covered wagon. Janeway's character was described as a wife and mother struggling with daily tasks, and was portrayed as the polar opposite of Janeway's position as a Starfleet Captain. Taylor described the Western concept as a "metaphor for the captain's predicament in the Delta Quadrant" and a "method of developing and enhancing Janeway's character". The plan was subsequently abandoned after Mulgrew expressed a dislike for working with horses and estimates for developing and filming each scene ranged up to an additional $100,000 per day. Taylor said it was "not a prudent decision" to keep the Western concept considering the show's budget and the difficulty in shooting outdoor locations.[6] As a result, the concept of Janeway Lambda one was changed to be a work of Gothic fiction set in 1840s England.[7][8]

Guest appearances[edit]

The holonovel featured a recurring set of guest stars, who played various members of the Burleigh family and household. Michael Cumpsty was cast as Lord Burleigh, Davenport's love interest. Burleigh's two children, Henry and Beatrice, were played by Thomas Dekker and Lindsey Haun respectively. Carolyn Seymour was cast as the housekeeper Mrs. Templeton. Seymour had guest-starred previously as the Romulan Subcommander Taris and the Romulan Commander Toreth in The Next Generation episodes "Contagion" and "Face of the Enemy".[9] Bridget, a servant who worked for Lord Burleigh, was played by an uncredited actress. While Lord Burleigh's late wife plays a large role in the novel, she is only shown in a portrait, and does not appear during any of the episodes.[10]

Direction and filming[edit]

A woman and man wearing Victorian clothing stare at each other. The woman is sitting in a chair and the main is standing. They are in a drawing room.
The holonovel's narrative, characters, and set were partially based on Charlotte Bronte's book Jane Eyre (pictured).

Janeway Lambda one was originally scheduled to debut in the teaser of the first-season episode "Eye of the Needle". Episode director Winrich Kolbe, and visual effects producer Dan Curry, collaborated to create the Gothic novel setting through the use of second unit blue screen sequences.[4] During a pre-production meeting, Kolbe and Taylor met with special effects coordinator Dick Brownfield, and unit production manager Brad Yacobian, to finalize the set design and to clarify the special effects.[7] Their discussion covered minor actions and effects, such as how much rainwater would be coming through an open window, and whether or not the raindrops on Janeway's clothing would disappear when the simulation ended.[7][11] Kolbe meticulously planned actors' performances in the teaser sequence, such as researching the proper way of pouring and serving tea according to 1840s customs.[7] According to Poe, attention to such small details in the script was common in the production of Star Trek episodes.[11]

According to the script for "Eye of the Needle", the holodeck program occurred in "a drawing room in an English Lord's nineteenth-century manor".[7] In the script for "Cathexis", Janeway's outfit included a crinoline and a corset.[12] The space used for all of the holonovel scenes was dubbed "the Jane Eyre set" by the film crew.[7] The story was compared to Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw,[13] and Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca.[14] The story contained elements of mystery, such as "music from a seemingly empty room, a locked fourth-floor door that Davenport/Janeway is forbidden to enter". The implication that the holonovel would end with Davenport's marriage to Lord Burleigh shifted the narrative so that it was "more romantic than gothic".[15]

Construction of the set began on December 5, 1994, on Paramount Stage 16.[4] The set's construction pushed the episode's cost over its budget. This was considered normal for a new series and the next four episodes also exceeded their budgets.[7][16] Despite the high cost of the manor set, the crew designed it for repeated use over the course of the series. This was more appealing than shooting several sequences of a covered wagon on location in the countryside. Curry took special care to merge the blue-screen effects with Kolbe's footage seamlessly to achieve the effect of the manor transforming back into the holodeck. Curry and Kolbe had worked together on previous projects that required similar special effects.[8]

Studio executives, and the show's crew, were skeptical about Taylor's plans for Janeway Lambda one. Even though the holonovel sequence planned for "Eye of the Needle" was scrutinized closely prior to filming, television producer Rick Berman later replaced it with a "more exciting shipboard teaser".[11] Ron Wilkerson, who wrote "Learning Curve" with Jean Louise Matthias, included the program in the script, but was uncertain of the direction of the storyline's development in future episodes. Despite his confusion, Wilkerson said that he trusted Taylor and believed she had "great instincts".[17] "Persistence of Vision", the episode in which the holonovel was most heavily featured, was met with resistance from Paramount Pictures executives initially. Taylor had attempted to include the episode in the show's first season, but the idea was rejected on the basis of its "story and script form." Studio executives felt the episode was a "very soft story" that lacked action or a clear antagonist, and believed it would not hold an audience's attention.[18] While discussing Janeway's fight with Templeton, Seymour said the writers were uncertain of how to further develop her character, and viewed the scene as an example of how "[t]hey got carried away." Seymour stated that Janeway killed Templeton in the original draft of the fight scene, but this was removed as "she couldn't do that, because she's never killed anyone."[19]


According to Poe, Janeway Lambda one was an example of an idea that "sounded good in theory, ... [that] didn't work out in practice", and was abandoned since everyone disliked it.[8] Taylor reported that fans' lack of interest, and the criticism of Janeway being portrayed in the role of a servant or subordinate, resulted in the holonovel being discontinued.[18] Seymour attributed the storyline's removal to the decision to avoid excessive use of the holodeck.[19] Taylor wrote a conclusion for the novel, which was never developed into an episode, and she expressed disappointment that the narrative was left incomplete. Despite feeling attached to the project, she allowed that she was "never afraid to cut our losses if something wasn't working".[18] The holonovel was replaced with Janeway seeking counsel from a holographic version of Leonardo da Vinci. In her book Star Trek, Ina Rae Hark wrote that this decision was taken to make the series more appealing to a male audience.[20]

Appearances in Star Trek: Voyager[edit]

Janeway Lambda one is introduced in the teaser sequences of two first-season episodes "Cathexis" and "Learning Curve".[10][21] In "Cathexis", using her captain's log, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) notes that she has started a new holonovel set in "ancient England" (the show's term to indicate Victorian era Britain) as a way "to get away from being a captain for a while".[10] In the novel, Janeway assumes the role of Lucille Davenport, working for a Lord Burleigh (Michael Cumpsty) as governess of his children Henry (Thomas Dekker) and Beatrice (Lindsey Haun).[10][21][22] In the "Cathexis" teaser, the landlady, Mrs. Templeton (Carolyn Seymour), views Davenport as a threat to the order of the house. Janeway meets Lord Burleigh, and learns about his wife's death and that the children are struggling to accept it. After Burleigh forbids Janeway from entering the manor's fourth floor, Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) interrupts the holonovel to inform the captain that Commander Chakotay (Robert Beltran) and Commander Tuvok (Tim Russ) are not responding to their messages while returning from a mission. Janeway leaves the holonovel for the rest of the episode to attend to matters on the ship.[10]

In the teaser sequence for "Learning Curve", Janeway introduces herself to Henry and Beatrice. She plans to teach mathematics and science to Henry, and attempts to discern Beatrice's interests. Beatrice claims that her mother is not dead, and that she saw her the previous night and gave her a sampler. The holonovel is interrupted after a disruption of power to an energy grid, causing Janeway to spend the rest of the episode investigating its cause.[21] Janeway Lambda one plays a larger role in the second season episode "Persistence of Vision". Janeway is shown to be stressed and agitated, and the Doctor (Robert Picardo) suggests that she return to the holodeck program to relax. When Janeway resumes her role as Davenport, Lord Burleigh confesses his love for her and kisses her. Janeway confronts him about the mysterious occurrences in the house, her ban from the fourth floor, and Beatrice's assertion that her mother is still alive. Chakotay interrupts Janeway to inform her that a representative of the Bothan has approached the ship. Over the course of the episode, Janeway sees elements of the holonovel appear outside the holodeck, and she begins to question her sanity. She is taunted by multiple appearances of Beatrice and is later attacked by Templeton. At the end of the episode, her visions are explained to be the result of hallucinations caused by a bio-electric energy field from the Bothan ship. Following her experiences with the Bothans, Janeway decides to take a break from fantasy and the holodeck.[22]


A woman with shoulder length brown hair and a dark dress stands in front of a clapping man while looking forward.
Analysis of Janeway Lambda one frequently revolved around the development of Captain Kathryn Janeway, who was played by Kate Mulgrew (pictured in 2007).

Taylor explained that Janeway views her holonovel as a way to experience a life separate from the stress and responsibilities of being a captain. She felt that in Janeway's imagination caring for a family serves as her primary motivation for assuming the role of Davenport rather than the desire to quench "an intellectual curiosity about a period of history".[18] In her book Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, Janet Horowitz Murray contrasted Janeway Lambda one with the holonovels used by the male crew members. Murray noted that Janeway immerses herself in domestic chores and does not pursue a narrative revolving around constant action, while the men find enjoyment in "violent conflict[s] that [are] resolved within a single Star Trek episode".[23] She listed Janeway's appreciation of the gothic novel with Captain Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart)'s interest in film noir, Lieutenant Commander Data's (Brent Spiner) identification with Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Julian Bashir's (Alexander Siddig) preference for James Bond.[1] A. Bowdoin Van Riper, a historian specializing in modern science and technology, wrote that Janeway Lambda one was the only time a holonovel used by a woman was shown on screen, and identified Janeway as "the only Starfleet officer whose fantasies are of home, hearth, and children".[15]

Murray viewed the holonovel as a space in which the series explores Janeway's social and romantic relationships. She pointed out that Janeway chose a narrative that focuses on the "perils of the governess's intense social relationships rather than the physical terrors of the situation".[23] According to Murray, the computer program was written to challenge Janeway's imagination and not her intellect.[24] She added that the series approached Janeway's romance with the fictional Lord Burleigh as a serious "exercise posing psychological and moral questions" for the audience and characters to explore during the episodes.[23] Van Riper included Janeway as an example of how fictional female captains are more likely to create or maintain romantic relationships during their voyages than fictional men.[15] Taylor viewed the holonovel, specifically its use in "Persistence of Vision", as central to Janeway's character development as it allowed her to move on from her previous relationship with her fiancée Mark Johnson (Stan Iver). During a discussion of her approach to Janeway's personal life, Taylor wrote: "We cannot put her into romantic situations until she decides he has given her up for dead and moved on, and the only wise thing for her to do is the same".[25] Murray noted that Janeway shares many features with the character Jane Eyre, particularly "a strong resistance to being bullied, a willingness to stand on principle, and the courage to face fear and isolation head-on".[23] She wrote that the holonovel allows viewers to see "unexpected sides of familiar characters".[1] Murray called Janeway a "person of Victorian integrity"[24] and described the holonovel as opening a channel of exploration that brings her "the benefit of self-knowledge" in order to return her to "the real world all the stronger".[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Janeway Lambda one was panned by television critics. Brandon Nowalk of The A.V. Club viewed Janeway's holonovel as unsuccessful, and called Lord Burleigh a "holographic Irish bodice-ripper stereotype".[27] In his book A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television, John Kenneth Muir compared the show's allusions to Jane Eyre to those shown on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Muir criticized the holonovel as "essentially a time-waster" that "serves no dramatic or character purpose except to enlighten the viewer that Janeway likes Victorian novels". While Muir praised Doctor Who for immersing its characters in the Victorian time period, he felt that the Davenport narrative was kept separate from the rest of the narrative and characters.[28] Io9's James Whitbrook ranked Janeway Lambda one as number nine on its list of recurring Star Trek holodeck programs, and described it as "dull as dishwater".[29]

Critics have also commented on the representation of Janeway's character in Janeway Lambda one. TrekToday's Michelle Erica Green called the holonovel a failed attempt to assert that Janeway was "not just a captain, she’s a WOMAN!",[14] and wrote that it invoked "all sorts of ugly cliches about how women secretly want to be swept off their feet by men who consider themselves their superiors".[30] Green preferred the depiction of Janeway in the fourth season episode "The Gift" over those used in the holonovel, writing that her interactions with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Kes (Jennifer Lien) are improvements over her past decisions to isolate herself in the identity of a governess.[31] When responding to fan criticism that Janeway was more invested in dressing up in the holodeck than fulfilling her duties as a captain, Sara Eileen Haines of wrote that the storyline showed that she is "a girl under the uniform", and it contributed to her depiction as a strong female character.[32] Whitbrook described the subplot as an excuse for the audience to see Mulgrew out of her Starfleet uniform.[29]

The show's expansion of the holodeck technology also received negative critical feedback. National Review's Jonah Goldberg wrote that the frequent use of the holodeck was "an outrage, seemingly conceived for actors and costume designers to indulge themselves at the audience's expense".[33] Nowalk described the various appearances of the holodeck in Voyager as representing how the writers were "fascinated with, concerned by, and curious about virtual reality in the early days of the Internet".[27] Murray expanded on theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss' determination that creating tactile simulations through the holodeck is an example of unrealistic technology to write that Janeway would have been unable to drink tea and hug Lord Burleigh in reality.[5] Green was critical of how the holodeck technology was written as a means for "personal gratification" rather than as a space to further develop a skill or hobby.[30]



  1. ^ a b c Murray (1997): p. 15
  2. ^ Writer: Chuck Manville & Len Janson. Director: Bill Reed (September 21, 1974). "The Practical Joker". Star Trek: The Animated Series. Season 2. National Broadcasting Company.
  3. ^ Solow & Justman (1996): p. 404
  4. ^ a b c d e Poe (1998): p. 10
  5. ^ a b Murray (1997): p. 287
  6. ^ a b c Poe (1998): p. 11
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Poe (1998): p. 19
  8. ^ a b c Poe (1998): p. 12
  9. ^ Okuda & Okuda & Mirek (1994)
  10. ^ a b c d e Teleplay: Brannon Braga. Story: Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky Director: Kim Friedman (May 1, 1995). "Cathexis". Star Trek Voyager. Season 1. United Paramount Network.
  11. ^ a b c Poe (1998): p. 20
  12. ^ Green, Michelle Erica (August 28, 2015). "Cathexis". Archived from the original on September 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Ruditis (2003): p. 25
  14. ^ a b Green, Michelle Erica (August 28, 2015). "Retro Review: Cathexis". TrekToday. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Van Riper (2014): p. 196
  16. ^ Poe (1998): p. 25
  17. ^ Gross & Altman (1996): p. 145
  18. ^ a b c d Gross & Altman (1996): p. 159
  19. ^ a b Amy (March 12, 2001). "Downey & Seymour Remember Days Past". TrekToday. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  20. ^ Hark (2008): p. 122
  21. ^ a b c Writer: Ronald Wilkerson & Jean Louise Matthias Director: David Livingston (May 22, 1995). "Learning Curve". Star Trek Voyager. Season 1. United Paramount Network.
  22. ^ a b Writer: Jeri Taylor Director: James L. Conway (October 30, 1995). "Persistence of Vision". Star Trek Voyager. Season 2. United Paramount Network.
  23. ^ a b c d Murray (1997): p. 16
  24. ^ a b Murray (1997): p. 25
  25. ^ Dillard & Sackett (1996): p. 218
  26. ^ Murray (1997): p. 26
  27. ^ a b Nowalk, Brandon (May 28, 2013). "Star Trek: Voyager accidentally presided over the franchise's decline". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 14, 2016.
  28. ^ Muir (2007): p. 315
  29. ^ a b Whitbrook, James (September 6, 2016). "Recurring Star Trek Holodeck Programs, Ranked". Io9. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Green, Michelle Erica (September 28, 2015). "Retro Review: Persistence of Vision". TrekToday. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  31. ^ Green, Michelle Erica (August 26, 2016). "Retro Review: The Gift". TrekToday. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  32. ^ Hames, Sara Eileen (August 27, 2012). "Janeway Doesn't Deserve This Shit". Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.
  33. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (May 28, 2013). "As Voyager Boldly Goes ..." National Review. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016.

Book sources[edit]

  • Dillard, J. M.; Sackett, Susan (1996). Star Trek, Where No One Has Gone Before: A History in Pictures. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-316-32920-0.
  • Gross, Edward; Altman, Mark A. (1996). Captains' Logs Supplemental: The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-671-00206-0.
  • Hark, Ina Rae (2006). Star Trek. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-84457-214-4.
  • Muir, John Kenneth Muir (2007). A Critical History of Doctor Who on Television. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-3716-0.
  • Murray, Janet Horowitz (1997). Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-63187-7.
  • Okuda, Michael; Okuda, Denise; Mirek, Debbie (1994). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. London: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-03475-8.
  • Poe, Stephan Edward (1998). A Vision of the Future. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-53481-3.
  • Ruditis, Paul (2003). Star Trek Voyager Companion. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7434-1751-8.
  • Solow, Herbert F.; Justman, Robert H. (1996). Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-671-89628-7.
  • Van Riper, A. Bowdoin (2014). "Women on the Quarterdeck: The Female Captain as Adventure Hero, 1994–2009". In Jones, Norma; Bajac-Carter, Maja; Batchelor, Bob. Heroines of Film and Television: Portrayals in Popular Culture. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 191-202. ISBN 978-1-4422-3149-8.

External links[edit]