Diana Muldaur says there was no humanity in Star Trek: The Next Generation

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One of the biggest issues fans had with the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was the replacement of Gates McFadden as the Enterprise's primary doctor, Dr. Beverly Crusher. McFadden was let go, and Diana Muldaur was hired as Dr. Katherine Pulaski. Meant to be abrasive much like Dr. Bones McCoy [DeForest Kelley] on Star Trek: The Original Series, Dr. Pulaski wasn't as welcomed as Dr. McCoy was aboard the Enterprise.

Writer Tracy Tormé, as reported in The Fifty-Year Mission The Next 25 Years From The Next Generation to J.J. Abrams by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, said that the abrasiveness lasted only two episodes before it was decided that changes needed to be made.

"Pulaski was supposed to be abrasive. That lasted about two shows. "People aren't going to like her," they said. "We'd better make her loveable.""

Tracy Tormé

From Muldaur's side of things, though, she didn't seem to think that The Next Generation cast and crew had what it took, at least not for her. In fact, she called her time on the series "a waste of time."

"You go into something with a good group of people, but it wasn't a great, creative, wonderful world. It was all techn. There was no humanity in it, there was nothin gto get my creative juices going whatsoever, and that was a waste of time to me, so my leaving the show was very mutual.""

Diana Muldaur

Fortunately, season three saw the return of McFadden, who, although wasn't 100% happy with the way her character was written, remained with the series until the end, following up with four movies before a return to season three of Star Trek: Picard gave her character the depth needed to make her shine.

Though one could say that Muldaur simply wasn't a good fit with The Next Generation, it's clear it wasn't a good fit with her, either. It wasn't just the fact that Dr. Pulaski came across as unlikeable; it was that she was replacing Dr. Crusher. And the fans didn't want that. They weren't ready to welcome anyone else into that slot. So even if the fans had liked what the producers did with the character, it still would have been an uphill battle to keep her as McFadden had made more of an impact in season one than even she could realize.

Muldaur had one season to make an impression on the fans, and it clearly didn't happen...at least not the one she and the creative team wanted. She went on to say that Star Trek: The Next Generation didn't have a "great mix of people and directors" while calling the directors "all kids, who had just come over from the old country, and didn't know what they were doing." Perhaps some of the directors did struggle in the second season, but by season three, The Next Generation had found its stride, and with the return of McFadden, it became a solid ratings hit.

dark. Next. John de Lancie doesn't think it was expected that season three of Star Trek: Picard would be so well-received. John de Lancie doesn't think it was expected that season three of Star Trek: Picard would be so well-received