Gates McFadden appreciates how Dr. Beverly Crusher has been realized three-dimensionally in Star Trek: Picard season 3. Dr. Crusher is the driving force of Picard season 3, as it’s her distress call that brings Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) out of retirement for one last adventure. The Beverly Crusher audiences see in Picard season 3 is a revelation that is miles away from the under-developed character they saw in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Gates McFadden explains how Beverly is presented differently in Star Trek: Picard season 3. Prior to her return for the final season of Picard, Beverly was perhaps best known for being romanced by a ghost. Now, McFadden gets to play the multi-faceted Dr. Crusher promised by Gene Roddenberry, and she talks about that in the quote below:
I love the fact that she’s somebody who we see [is] able to run her own ship, run her own nonprofit, some sort of Doctors Without Borders a planetary way, that she’s an adventurer and an explorer. And that she’s also a doctor, a scientist, and a parent. I think that’s a whole person… I like that sort of three-dimensional character, whereas I think that the women on Next Gen were much more limited in scope.
How Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Improves TNG’s Dr. Crusher
Gates McFadden has been given the best material of her Star Trek career in Picard season 3, which makes up for how poorly served the character often was in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Famously, Gates McFadden was fired from TNG at the end of season 1, before being brought back in TNG season 3 at the behest of the fans and her co-star Patrick Stewart. This incident foreshadowed how Crusher was often sidelined in the subsequent seasons and was underutilized in the TNG movies. As McFadden implies in her interview, Dr. Crusher was always either a doctor, a scientist, or a love interest for Jean-Luc Picard, never a well-rounded, three-dimensional character.
In Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 3, “Seventeen Seconds”, Beverly gets to be all three of those things at once. The scene where Beverly and Jean-Luc discuss their son, Jack Crusher (Ed Speelers) is an extraordinary moment that surpasses anything that the character ever got to do in TNG. In discussing her reasons for not informing Jean-Luc Picard about his son, Beverly is at once, a mother, a spurned lover, and a pragmatist who can see the inherent dangers of being the child of a Starfleet legend.
Similarly, in Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 4, “No Win Scenario”, Beverly is a dedicated doctor, dealing with the wounded crew of the USS Titan-A, while also using her scientific knowledge to work out how to escape the gravity well. Beverly Crusher is one of the strongest characters in the Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion and the scripts finally pay off the original vision for the character. It’s a brilliant testament to Gates McFadden, and the fan-favorite character she helped to create.
MORE: Every Member Of Beverly Crusher’s Family In Star Trek
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.