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Casting

  • When the character of Janeway was being developed, the producers weren't sure if they were really going ahead with the first female Trek lead. They spoke to British actor Nigel Havers about the role, as well as Alien Nation actor Gary Graham (who also claims to have read for Sisko before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine lauched). Graham would later guest star as Kes' Evil Counterpart (in "Cold Fire"), and on Enterprise as Soval, a skeptic-turned-ally of the Federation.
    • In addition to Geneviève Bujold (see below), many other well-known actresses were considered for the role of Captain Janeway, including: Nicola Bryant, Lynda Carter, Patty Duke, Kate Jackson, Linda Hamilton and Catherine Schell. Note that, unlike Bujold, all of these actresses were TV veterans and would have been accustomed to the aggressive shooting schedule on Voyager from the get-go.
    • And, on that note, Janeway was the first regular Trek role to actually be recast before the series aired. Initially Oscar-nominated actress Geneviève Bujold was cast as Captain Nicole Janeway (and, somewhat infamously and later problematically, her casting was the whole reason Robert Beltran was interested in the show at all). After she departed due to exhaustion, the character's name became Elizabeth Janeway and only became Kathryn when Kate Mulgrew was finally cast and the name seemed to suit her better.
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  • Before the Locarno/Paris switcharoo (see below), the producers wanted the convict character to be Ro Laren, which would have made sense since she defected to the Maquis (Chakotay's outfit) in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The plot of TNG's "Preemptive Strike" was meant to allow her to join the crew of Voyager. However, just as with DS9, Michelle Forbes didn't want to commit to a series. The writers started thinking about what other "fallen" characters could be used, and came up with Locarno, who eventually became Paris.
  • Other actresses who auditioned for Seven were Claudia Christian and Carrie-Anne Moss.
  • Brannon Braga toyed with the idea of having Sarah Silverman join the show full-time on the strength of her guest role in "Future's End", and perhaps have her character enter into a romantic arc with Tom Paris.
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  • Early in planning, Worf had been suggested as being part of the crew. The idea was dropped when Michael Dorn chose not to pursue the role.
  • Seven of Nine was initially going to be a guy, but then the writers thought of making her a woman, because why not? Then, they decided to have her wear the catsuit to subvert viewer expectations: she's showing off her body, so clearly she's just a Ms. Fanservice, right? Wrong; she actually gets to do things!
  • Robert Picardo had wanted to play Neelix but was passed over for the role. He only reluctantly read for the Doctor after, admitting he didn't see the point of the character, but won the role by ad-libbing a few joke lines during the audition,note  which went into shaping the character further by the third episode.
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Storylines

  • Janeway was initially going to be a lesbian before the producers chickened out. Mulgrew herself was supportive of the idea, so this is still a stick in the craw for many fans given that Star Trek did not feature an explicitly gay characternote  until Star Trek: Discovery in the late 2010s.
  • Tom Paris was originally meant to be one-off TNG villain Nicholas Locarno, an expelled Starfleet cadet also played by Robert Duncan McNeill in "The First Duty". Under WGA rules, the writers of the episode, Ronald D. Moore and Naren Shankar, would get royalties for every episode Locarno appeared in. Reasons for changing it included the royalties and the more plausible idea that, unlike Paris, Locarno was "irredeemable". And so the writers instead created Tom Paris, with a very similar backstory but with a few differences: an Admiral for a father, he actually graduated the Academy and received a commission before being kicked out rather than being kicked out of the Academy, his initial accident is implied to be a legitimate mistake rather than recklessness (though the crux of the matter, and what gets him kicked out, is still that he lied about it), and briefly joining the Maquis before getting captured and imprisoned. For his part, McNeill believes they are vastly different characters, viewing Paris as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Locarno as the opposite. It's impossible to say how Locarno's character might have evolved if the original blueprint had gone forward. Side note: Incidentally, Tom Paris follows the same naming convention as Nicholas Locarno. Both have a common first name and a European city for a last name (Paris, France and Locarno, Switzerland).
  • The Caretaker and his mate, Susperia, were written with the ability to return Janeway's crew to Earth instantly if ratings plunged.
  • "Non Sequitur" was originally supposed to feature Counselor Troi as the one grilling Harry Kim in the alternate timeline instead of an Admiral. The creators were unable to get Marina Sirtis on short notice. She did appear alongside Reg Barclay (Dwight Schultz) in two later episodes.
  • Michael Piller favored an increasing sense of desperation. Additionally, he pushed for a growing cast of less-than-sterling crewmen like Seska (Martha Hackett), Michael Jonas (Rafael Sbarge), and Lon Suder (Brad Dourif). Jeri Taylor disliked each of these characters and killed them all off in time for Season Three. Brannon Braga also categorically stated that he doesn’t like threading other writers' arcs or characters into his own episodes, so the serialized approach was thrown out.
    • This greatly changed the outcome of the Season Two closer "Basics". Piller's script originally had Maje Cullah and Seska's baby dying, and Seska escaping with Lon Suder in tow; As it turns out, the exact opposite happens. The showrunners wanted to close the book on the Kazon due to plummeting ratings.
  • In the episode "Favorite Son", it was considered making the reveal of Harry Kim as a Delta Quadrant alien a real, permanent change to the character. While the in-universe explanation probably would have been a Voodoo Shark, nevertheless, there would have been a fine poetic irony in Harry — the character most eager to get home to the Alpha Quadrant — actually turning out to be biologically native to the Delta Quadrant.
    • At the end of season three, either Harry Kim or Kes was slated to be killed off to make room for new character Seven Of Nine. Neither were killed off in the season finale, but the more likely candidate, Harry Kim, was seriously injured so that he could die in the fourth season premiere. Between seasons, Garret Wang ended up listed on People's list of 50 Most Beautiful People, and the Paramount executives mandated that he had to stay — so they wrote out Kes instead. This is especially ironic given Rick Berman's mandate that the alien characters be more interesting than the human ones.
  • Jeri Ryan has said that she read two different scenes when she auditioned for Seven of Nine. One was the rather notorious Do You Want to Copulate? scene, which ended up being filmed (and she admits to hating it to this very day.) The other was apparently a really beautiful, touching scene where Seven first experiences laughter, and she seems to honestly regret that scene never made it to film.
  • Braga did say that if Voyager was up to him, the show would have frequently been like the fan favorite episode "Year of Hell": enemies on all sides, dwindling resources, and crewmen pushed to the ends of their rope. Additionally, the Year of Hell was originally pitched not as a two-parter but instead the theme of the entire fourth season.
    • It was, indeed, foreshadowed in the Season Three episode "Before and After", when Kes' time-jumps were caused by a Krenim temporal weapon lodged in Voyager's hull. However, Kes would leave shortly into the fourth season, which prevented her from participating in "Year of Hell", thus nullifying the events of "Before and After". In said episode, it showed a future in which where Janeway and Torres were supposedly killed off, leaving Chakotay in command of the ship. It also had Neelix as a security officer, and probably would have had some other interesting plots later on.
    • Indeed, a version of the first part of the Year of Hell was originally going to be the third season finale, but it was changed to "Scorpion" to capitalize on the recent release of Star Trek: First Contact and its use of the Borg.
    • It goes all the way back to the series being in pre-production. Promotional information released at conventions stated Voyager and her class was to be a short-range ship, designed for more dangerous missions (and thus, packing firepower disproportionate to her size in terms of Starfleet vessels. . . but still most definitely not a warship). It was indicated the main tension of the series would be a vessel not designed for long-term deployments, as the Galaxy-class Enterprise was, stranded decades away from any kind of reliable repair or resupply. This was quickly jettisoned, to the point Voyager's Intrepid-class is designated a "Long-Range Science Vessel," despite no onscreen evidence of being properly equipped for either long-range or science.
  • When the Borg tactical cube was in the planning stages, Doug Drexler sketched up a "pyramid" version, to reference the first UPN logo, which consisted of a circle (the Borg sphere), a triangle (the "Paramountain"), and a square (the Borg cube). It was only a joke sketch, though.
  • Originally "Dragon's Teeth" was going to be a two-hour telemovie, but it was thought it would make a much punchier standalone episode. It’s a decision the writers would soon regret. The Vaadwuar were clearly set up to be recurring baddies, but wouldn't reappear until Star Trek Online.

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