When we look back at all the characters who have come and gone from all the Star trek series and films, are any more boring than Beverly Crusher?
I want to start by saying that I don’t hate the character of Beverly Crusher.
Let’s get that out of the way first thing. Gates McFadden is an incredibly talented actor and she brought the good doctor of the Enterprise-D to life as best she could with the material she was given.
The problem was primarily that the material she was given was dull as hell.
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So I don’t hate Beverly Crusher. But I don’t like Beverly Crusher either. For me, the character is the “meh” of the Star Trek Universe.
I recently came to this conclusion while on social media where a discussion had begun about Katherine Pulaski and why fans didn’t seem to take to her. Over the course of the debate, many fans seemed to feel that Pulaski, played by Diana Muldaur during The Next Generation‘s second season, was never really given a chance to shine before leaving the show.
Now, while I didn’t particularly enjoy Pulaski’s appearances during her one season on The Next Generation, at least she left enough of an impression for me to form an opinion. Something that after six seasons and four films is not something I can say about Beverly Crusher.
I mean c’mon. Can you name an episode of The Next Generation where Crusher did anything even remotely interesting? Or where her character couldn’t have been replaced by any redshirted security guard?
I’m going to guess no.
And no, ‘Sub Rosa‘ does not count. Sorry, but having sex with a ghost and getting freaky while reading your grandmother’s journal does not make you interesting. The biggest pervert of Star Trek maybe, but not interesting.
Like I said before, I don’t blame McFadden for the fact that Crusher was more boring than watching a warp core. I blame the writers for not exploring her character enough. You would have thought that once her son Wesley went off to the Academy that would have been fodder for all kinds of interesting plot developments. Turns out not so much.
Then there was her whole non-relationship with Picard. That should have been a gold mine of interesting plot points and story ideas. Instead, we watched for six seasons as they played a game of will they/won’t they that never had a real resolution.
Maybe it was because Picard wasn’t a ghost. Who knows?
Even in the feature films Crusher was boring. At least Deanna Troi got drunk and Data got emotions and Riker was still Riker. Crusher got … nothing. During any of those movies you could have replaced Crusher with Pulaski and I’m willing to bet she would have made more of an impression than what viewers got in Beverly Crusher.
Ironically there is actually still a chance to fix this. With Star Trek: Picard on the horizon, the writers could bring Crusher back. Her character is one of the ones most often mentioned by fans as one they want to see in the new series. They could possibly make her interesting for the first time ever.
Until then, the character will always be the “meh” of Star Trek. There on the screen, not doing much, just being Beverly Crusher. To paraphrase Comic Book Guy “Most. Boring. Character. Ever!”