By the time David Carson’s “Star Trek: Generations” arrived in theaters in 1994, it seemed that Dr. Crusher was poised to explore some of her own history. The final episode of “Next Generation,” called “All Good Things…,” aired only a few months previous, and Dr. Crusher kissed Captain Picard. In a flash-forward, it was established that Dr. Crusher would marry Picard, divorce him, and become a starship captain. There was so much to explore.
As it happened, the four movies are all about Picard and/or Data. The rest of the ensemble didn’t really get big character moments, nor were any of their personal pasts much discussed. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) might have received an upgrade to his eyes, but he never had a moment when he gets to talk about how he came to choose the procedure or how he felt about it. Crusher was … just a doctor. When asked about this by Variety, Gates McFadden was frustrated. She said:
“So much of the history of the character — you didn’t even see it. […] Jean-Luc Picard could have this brand new love interest every time, and it was as if he and Crusher had nothing between them, or ever did. That was a huge part of the character that was just put away.”
McFadden knew she was part of an ensemble, and was happy to fill her role in that regard, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t galling for her as an actor. She said:
“Well, it’s no surprise to hear that [the movies were] very disappointing. It’s always tricky when you’re the actor. You want your role to be as wonderful as possible. But you’re also not stupid, and you’re very happy that the franchise is doing well.”