Denise Crosby played Tasha Yar for one season on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The 25th anniversary edition of Trekkies, the documentary Denise Crosby and director Roger Nygard collaborated on that delved into the phenomenon that was Star Trek and its legion of fans, is being released this week. So naturally, the subject of Crosby’s time on Star Trek: The Next Generation came up when she spoke to TrekMovie.
Crosby left the show before the first season was completed because she wasn’t happy with the way things were going for her character. She said she talked to Gene Roddenberry about the issue, and he told her things weren’t going to change. He told her the show was going to focus on Captain Picard, Commander William Riker, and Lt. Commander Data as that is how the first show [Star Trek: The Original Series] worked. Though Roddenberry didn’t want Crosby to leave, he said he understood her decision, one which she stands by.
Denise Crosby said she didn’t go to drama school to just stand around.
The actress said that in the eighties, she was in drama school, and no one wanted to be on a television series. It was either the movies or Broadway. And she didn’t go to drama school just to stand around saying “aye, aye, captain.” She acknowledges that things changed when Michael Piller came aboard but still feels she made the right decision for her life and career.
"“For me, it was the right decision to do. Because I feel like I’ve continued. It’s like I never really left. I came back in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” I came back as another character entirely. I made Trekkies, I made Trekkies 2. So I kind of got the best of both worlds, really.”"
Crosby is still involved in the convention scene where’s she’s heard from young women who are now adults that they saw the possibility of what they could do by watching Tasha Yar. They saw that they could succeed as a woman. It’s Crosby’s favorite thing to hear.
"“My favorite thing is always hearing from young women that are now adults, who were watching the character I played and really, something like a light bulb went off in their heads: “These things are possible for me… I can be a strong individual and succeed as a woman!” And that’s really pretty spectacular.”"
The Blu-ray for the 25th anniversary of Trekkies can be ordered for $18.98 at ShoutFactory.com, or for $16.09 at Amazon.