Dr. Crusher “Lost All Her Positive Attributes” When She Returned To Star Trek: TNG, Says Gates McFadden – News Today

Dr. Crusher “Lost All Her Positive Attributes” When She Returned To Star Trek: TNG, Says Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden felt Dr. Beverly Crusher was worse off as a character when she returned in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3.

Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher in TNG and Picard


  • Dr. Crusher returned to Star Trek: The Next Generation in season 3 but felt that her character had lost her positive qualities and was written as though she was older.
  • She was disappointed with the direction of her relationship with her son Wesley, as he turned to male figures for guidance instead of her, disregarding single parents in the real world.
  • The focus of the show shifted to three male characters, leaving Dr. Crusher feeling sidelined. She returned in Star Trek: Picard season 3, where her character was more fully realized and showcased her growth and capabilities.

Gates McFadden felt many of the best aspects of her character, Dr. Beverly Crusher, were lost when she returned in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 3. Dr. Crusher served as the Chief Medical Officer of the USS Enterprise-D for six out of TNG’s seven seasons. With her son, Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), also on board, Crusher excelled at being a mother and a doctor, and her character became popular with fans during TNG season 1. Despite this, TNG showrunner Maurice Hurley didn’t care for McFadden or her character, and Dr. Crusher was written out of the show in season 2.

Dr. Kathrine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur) replaced Dr. Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 2, and she proved to be less popular with fans. Pulaski had the prickly personality of Star Trek: The Original Series’ Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), without the charm. Thanks to letters from fans and a personal request from Patrick Stewart, McFadden returned for TNG season 3, although she felt the writing for her character had changed. In the Star Trek oral history, The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, McFadden spoke about returning as Dr. Crusher. Read her full quote below:

When I came back, I thought that the character had lost all of her positive qualities. She was written like she was at least ten years older. It was odd. I didn’t like the way my relationship with my son was going. I felt like Donna Reed, worrying about his lunchbox. Every time Wesley was in trouble or needed guidance he went to a male figure, which I found a bit insulting, considering how many single parents there are in the world. When I came back I thought it would be just as it was, which is part of why I came back. I was disappointed to see it wasn’t that way. Perhaps I had unrealistic expectations as well. You can only write for so many characters. The year I was away certain decisions were made and that was the season where the three men became the focus. I didn’t know that had happened, and it was news to me. But that’s the way it goes.

10 Best Dr. Crusher TNG & Star Trek Picard Episodes

Gates McFadden has had many great moments during her time as Dr. Beverly Crusher, and here are 10 of her best episodes from TNG and Picard.

Dr. Beverly Crusher Returned In Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Better Than Ever

This is the Beverly Crusher fans and Gates McFadden were waiting for.

While Dr. Beverly Crusher got more to do as Star Trek: The Next Generation progressed, the character never quite achieved her full potential. In the TNG season 7 episode, “Attached,” both Crusher and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) revealed they had romantic feelings for one another, but this plot thread was mostly dropped for the TNG films. Star Trek: Picard season 3 not only brought Beverly and Jean-Luc’s romance back to life but also made Beverly a more fully realized character. Dr. Crusher returned in Picard season 3, with her son, Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) in tow, who was later revealed to be the son of Admiral Picard.

Gates McFadden returned to playing Dr. Crusher with enthusiasm, beautifully portraying a Beverly Crusher who had experienced a lot since her time with the Enterprise crew, but who remained fundamentally the same person. McFadden spoke with Screen Rant about the more three-dimensional version of Crusher, who she enjoyed getting to play. Beverly Crusher remained a devoted mother in Star Trek: Picard season 3, as well as a caring doctor, but she had also learned her way around a weapons system. It was fun getting to know this version of Dr. Crusher, who had grown and changed so much since her time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and, hopefully, we will get to see more of her in future Star Trek projects.

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