Kate Mulgrew was reportedly in fierce negotiations about her contract renewal after season six, namely that everybody else had signed up and it looked for a little while like she wouldn't. From an interview published at 'Get Critical':
During the past three months, Mulgrew got married to Ohio politician Tim Hagan, then signed a long-debated contract to appear for a seventh season on Star Trek Voyager.
"So much has happened to me in the past year to make me realize that time is very precious," she said the week before shooting commenced for Voyager's fall episodes. "I was prepared to make some very significant changes at Voyager if my bosses were not inclined to acknowledge my need for time."
Negotiations were reportedly tough - at one point Mulgrew announced to a roomful of reporters that she wished Janeway would go out in a coffin, leading to a flurry of retractions. Yet the actress now believes she can balance another two years of the weekly series with her desire to get back to the theater, and with her devotion to a family that now includes two stepdaughters as well as her own children.
Though Mulgrew admits she came very close to leaving Voyager, her character gave her inspiration to stay. "My big conflict throughout this renegotiation was that Janeway would not renege. She would complete this mission. And that's what I'm going to do."
Now, obviously she did
, as it says, ultimately sign up for season seven. But... what if she didn't? How would you
have liked to have seen her written out of the show? How do you think it would have shook up the cast dynamic going into year seven?
Personally, I'm glad she didn't leave (I like
Mulgrew), and I can't for the life of me imagine a version of the show where Chakotay is promoted to top tier. Nor would I want to. So, maybe one of the other characters is made Captain... who, I don't know. Tuvok? He'd be the next in the chain of command. Or maybe the EMH could have made his 'Emergency Command Hologram' permanent
As for how she could be written out, I'd almost like to have seen her survive, but branch out on her own with a group of others. Payback on the aborted potential of the 'Maquis' storyline by creating a schism among the ranks about how to get home, with Janeway and her supporters going off in the Delta Flyer, while our 'regulars' continue in their own way. There were hints of this kind of thing: wasn't there some friction between her and Chakotay in "Equinox" part two, for example? Or am I thinking of another episode? Something to do with the Captain being holed up in her quarters for weeks and morale on the ship being at an all time low.
And then, of course, they could always have brought her back as a 'special surprise' in Endgame. Or not.