“She’s A Scientist, I’m Not Buying This”: Gates McFadden Talks Problems With Writing Star Trek TNG’s Dr. Crusher – News Today

“She’s A Scientist, I’m Not Buying This”: Gates McFadden Talks Problems With Writing Star Trek TNG’s Dr. Crusher

Gates McFadden didn’t always like the way her character Dr. Beverly Crusher was written on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Gates McFadden as Dr Crusher Picard TNG


  • Gates McFadden believes that her character, Dr. Beverly Crusher, could have been written better in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • McFadden feels that Crusher was often sidelined in favor of the male characters and her many strengths were not fully highlighted.
  • Despite initial challenges and her departure after the first season, Crusher returned in season 3 and had a significant impact on the storyline, including the revelation of her son and a potential spin-off.

Gates McFadden feels her character, Dr. Beverly Crusher, could have been written better in Star Trek: The Next Generation. For six out of TNG’s seven seasons, Dr. Crusher served as the Chief Medical Officer on the USS Enterprise-D under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). While Dr. Crusher was always popular, Beverly was often sidelined in favor of the male characters of TNG. Beverly was an intelligent and compassionate doctor, an accomplished scientist, and a great mother, but her stories didn’t always highlight her many strengths.

After Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s first season, McFadden was not asked to return for season 2, allegedly because then-showrunner Maurice Hurley didn’t care for Gates. Although McFadden does not know this for a fact, she believes Hurley’s opinion of her led to her departure from TNG. Appearing on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast, Inside of You, Gates McFadden spoke about her problems with how Dr. Beverly Crusher was written on TNG, and the circumstances that led to Gates not being asked back for the show’s second season. Read her quote and watch the full interview below:

It was a different time. They wanted women to look pretty and be a certain way, but they really didn’t want you to speak up as if you were their equal, I think. So I don’t know, I think I definitely pissed him off, Maurice Hurley, because I kept saying, why is it that I’ve raised this genius kid, Wil Wheaton’s character Wesley Crusher, I mean, the guy saved the ship so many times, right? And audiences didn’t like that in the beginning. But I mean, clearly, I had something to do with it. It wasn’t just this dead husband, and yet, every time there’s anything even possibly serious, it’s only the male characters that talk to him. And I know he doesn’t have a dad, but all you ever have Beverly Crusher doing is ‘oh, Wesley, why didn’t you do that’ and, I’m like, wait a minute, she’s a scientist, I’m not buying this, this is like Leave It To Beaver kind of mother thing. And so I had a problem with it.



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. Crusher Finally Reached Her Full Potential In Star Trek: Picard Season 3

Beverly Crusher should return in a future Star Trek project.

Dr. Beverly Crusher, of course, returned to Star Trek: The Next Generation in season 3, and would remain the USS Enterprise-D’s doctor for the rest of the show. Crusher did not get much to do in the TNG films, but her character returned with a bang and was an impact player into the end of Star Trek: Picard season 3. Beverly crashes back into Admiral Picard’s life when she finds herself in desperate need of help from her old friend. Picard then rounds up his old crew members from the Enterprise-D, and they get caught up in another galaxy-saving adventure.

Dr. Crusher had not seen her Enterprise crew mates in twenty years, and they are surprised to discover that she now has a young adult son, Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). No one is more surprised than Picard when he realizes Jack is, in fact, his son as well. After Jean-Luc, Beverly, and Jack help save the Federation from a Borg/Changling plot, they end Picard season 3 as a family. Star Trek: Picard season 3 provided an excellent set-up for a spin-off, but the long-rumored Star Trek: Legacy has yet to be confirmed. Dr. Beverly Crusher’s Star Trek future seems far from over, and hopefully, Gates McFadden will continue to bring the character to life for years to come.

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