Interview: Gates McFadden On Dr. Crusher And Controversy In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3

TrekMovie had a chance to talk to members of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Picard season 3 at the Hollywood premiere. The new season includes Gates McFadden, reprising her Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Dr. Beverly Crusher. We had a brief moment with the actress on the purple carpet and she talked about what it took to get her to say “yes” and how season 3 is the most challenging thing she has done with Trek yet.

[Minor spoilers ahead]

Terry Matalas worked with each of the TNG actors to develop their characters 20 years later. For Crusher, she has gone through quite a lot. Was it what you imagined and did you have input into the development of Beverly?

Absolutely. Terry was such a mensch about everything. He called and said, “Listen, I would love you to be part of this, I have a story idea. Let me explain it to you. And then please give me your input. Think about it.” And we had a dialogue for several months about all sorts of things. Because I wanted to make sure that it was really going to be a story in which Crusher was really used. She wasn’t just going to be a device and then let go, and he honored all of our characters. Each of us is doing things we have never done before on screen. And so it’s fantastic. That doesn’t happen that often.

Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher episode one of Picard season 3

So if Crusher was handled like she was in Insurrection or Nemesis again, would you have said no?

I would have said No. Yeah. And it wasn’t like that. So I was thrilled. Thrilled!

How do you think fans will react to Beverly in season 3?

I hope the fans like it as much as I loved doing it. But there’s some controversy, and controversy is good, but ultimately we all work together and collaborate and try to find a solution together, even if we’ve had conflicts. So that’s… hope you like it.

And now you are ready to do more?


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More Picard coverage

We released our interview with Michele Hurd yesterday, and there are more interviews from the Hollywood premiere event coming, including series star Sir Patrick Stewart and showrunner Terry Matalas.

We will be posting our regular recap/reviews on a weekly basis, starting with the first episode on Thursday, February 16, and each week our All Access Star Trek podcast will discuss the latest episode, starting on Friday, February 17. Our Shuttle Pod podcast crew will also discuss the upcoming season. Until then, you can read our spoiler-free review of season 3, written by Mark. A. Altman.

The third and final season of Picard premieres on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., and Latin America, and on February 17 Paramount+ in Europe and elsewhere, with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly. It will also debut on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.

Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at

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Does anyone know if the eps are available starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning pacific time (in other words, midnight Wednesday night)?

That’s when new P+ shows typically drop, yes. Midnight PT.

Thank you!!!

She barely had any lines in TNG movies, she was basically a set prop. So anything Will be a step up!

I’ve only seen the one episode, but if that’s anything to go by, she’s going to impress.

Was lucky enough to attend a screening she spoke at, where she was full of touching and funny insights, and was as delightful as ever.

Lucky you! Was that the one in New York City?

It sounds like it was.

It was! I had no idea it was planned, but a friend’s 70 year-old dad was in the know and got us all tickets. Great fun, and the audience ate it all up of course. But as season premieres go, this one did a lot of things right.

In Mariner’s voice: Ooooh, I’m so jealous! Sounds like you had a good time and it’s nice to hear all the goodwill so far. Man I can’t wait now!!

I’m so happy we’re going to really see Beverly shine next season. She got so short changed in the movies. So can’t wait!!!!

I wonder if she’s talking about an internal controversy of some sort or just the usual backlash from certain sectors of the fandom.

Damn find a way to watch the episode when it’s hit the US or watch it when it hits UK the next day through official channels…that will be a tough 24 hours to endure for us non US citizens….

The NG movies missed an opportunity big time with Crusher. There was a different aspect to Picard’s character where Crusher was concerned. He had always loved her, even when she was with Jack Crusher. Feelings like that never die. She exposed a major vulnerability in him and knew him probably better than anyone. Hopefully the fallout of that relationship will be a main focal point of the story.

I really find it disturbing to continue to see well-liked characters, especially in STAR TREK, with firearms.

But that’s been a part of the shows since the beginning. Starfleet has always been a paramilitary organization with laudable ideals but phasers set to stun on every away mission.

Beverly fired a phaser as early as season 1 of TNG.

Characters have been shooting with phasers since 1966. What are we missing?

Political correctness 2023?!

They work and live in harm’s way. How could it be otherwise for them?