Sector 7 wrote:
From what I remember, the Pulaski character was never meant to be permanent, hence her ultimate sacrifice at the end of season 2.
Diana Muldaur had intended to be retired from acting when Roddenberry persisted that she join the show. She did it as a favour but would not commit to a five-year contract, hence her "Special Appearance by..." credit.
When Season Three was approaching, she requested a leave of absence - the first three episodes of the season - to film "The Return of McCloud" reunion telemovie, but the ST production team was unimpressed. She wasn't under the same contract as the others, so they couldn't prevent her doing it. They decided to let her go completely and recast the CMO.
Rather than create a third CMO, Rick Berman thought that bringing McFadden back would not only right a terrible wrong, it also responded positively to the sizable fan campaign to get her back.
Once Muldaur's telemovie was over, she was offered an ongoing role in "L.A. Law" - as Rosalind Shay - on the strength of her work as Pulaski.
cardinal biggles wrote:
Did I miss the part where Pulaski died to save the crew or something?
It was Rosalind Shay who died in an accidental fall down a turboshaft, not Pulaski.