Dr. Beverly Crusher got a promotion at the end of Star Trek: Picard, but it’s a position she already held way back in TNG season 2.
- Dr. Beverly Crusher became Head of Starfleet Medical in Star Trek: Picard season 3, a position she also held when she was written off Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2.
- Fans supported McFadden’s return, and she agreed to come back for TNG season 3 after Maurice Hurley left as showrunner. Dr. Crusher remained the CMO for the rest of the series and in the TNG movies.
- In Star Trek: Picard season 3, Crusher is promoted to admiral and becomes head of Starfleet’s Medical Branch. Dr. Crusher has now held that position 35 years apart.
Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) got the same job at the end of Star Trek: Picard season 3 that she had previously had all the way back in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2. Dr. Crusher first appeared in TNG season 1 as the Chief Medical Officer on the USS Enterprise-D under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Because TNG showrunner Maurice Hurley did not care for Crusher as a character or McFadden as an actress, she was fired before season 2 began. Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) replaced Crusher as the Enterprise-D’s new doctor, but she proved to be less popular among TNG fans.
After Dr. Crusher’s departure, fans wrote letters showing their support for Beverly as a character and asking for McFadden to be brought back to the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Hurley left as showrunner, McFadden was asked to return for TNG season 3. From then on, Dr. Crusher remained the Chief Medical Officer of the Enterprise throughout the rest of the series and in the four TNG movies. Not long after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, Beverly apparently cut ties with her former crew mates and remained MIA for around 20 years. Dr. Crusher would not reunite with her TNG crew until she made a surprising return in Star Trek: Picard season 3.
Doctor Crusher Has Now Been Head Of Starfleet Medical Twice In Star Trek: TNG & Picard Season 3
She held the same position 35 years apart.
As revealed in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, episode 1, “The Child,” Dr. Crusher left the Enterprise to become head of Starfleet Medical, a post she held for about a year before returning to the Enterprise in TNG season 3. Although the in-universe reason for Crusher’s quick return to the Enterprise was never explicitly stated, it could be that she disliked being so far away from her son, Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton). As the overseer of all of Starfleet’s medical personnel and facilities, the head of Starfleet Medical worked out of San Francisco, California. Perhaps Beverly missed the more active and exciting role of being a doctor on the Federation flagship.
According to Gates McFadden, she received thousands of letters asking for Dr. Crusher to return, and Patrick Stewart also reached out to her personally. This, coupled with the fact that Maurice Hurley no longer served as showrunner of TNG, led McFadden to agree to return.
After the reunited USS Enterprise-D crew’s victory at the end of Star Trek: Picard season 3, Beverly was promoted to the rank of admiral and again accepted a position as head of Starfleet’s Medical Branch. Considering this is the same post Beverly held about 35 years ago, it seems like a step down at this point in her life. On the other hand, she spent much of that time away from Starfleet, traveling around the galaxy helping people, and raising her son, Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). Given that she now holds the rank of admiral, Dr. Crusher may be able to choose her next position. As she likely wants to be closer to her son, it’s always possible Beverly could take up the position of Chief Medical Officer on the new USS Enterprise-G if the proposed Picard spin-off Star Trek: Legacy gets made.
Beverly Crusher Is The Best Doctor Of Star Trek’s TNG Era
Sorry, DS9’s Dr. Bashir and Voyager’s EMH.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager both introduced new and accomplished doctors in Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) and the USS Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram AKA The Doctor (Robert Picardo). While Bashir served Deep Space 9 well and the Doctor admirably adapted to being Voyager’s CMO, neither surpasses Dr. Crusher as Star Trek’s best doctor. Not only is Crusher kind and compassionate, but she’s also incredibly intelligent and skilled at her job.
One of Dr. Crusher’s greatest medical achievements was in Star Trek: Picard season 3 when Beverly devised a means to detect Changelings and reclaimed the young Starfleet Officers assimilated by the Borg.
Beverly is willing to stand up for what she believes in and never fails to fight for her patients. As CMO of the Enterprise, she also got to be a scientist and regularly helped the crew overcome strange alien diseases by finding the proper cure. Although Dr. Crusher helped save the day several times over the course of Star Trek: The Next Generation, her character truly shined when Beverly returned in Star Trek: Picard.