The more I thought about Doctor Crusher, the more I realized how few episodes the good Dancing Doctor had. Everyone talks about Troi not getting much screen time or as much character development but when Troi had an episode where she was the center of attention, then the episode would usually at least be good. I can think of four episodes out of the 178 where Crusher is the central character, those being "Higher Ground", "Remember Me", "Suspicions" and "Sub Rosa" While "Suspicions" wasn't bad, "Remember Me" is one of my favorites. "Higher Ground" was average at best and "Sub Rosa" is the episode where Crusher has sex with a ghost living in a candle. Oh I'm real.
Beverly suffered through the first season but unlike Denise Crosby, actually stuck around to the end before getting sick of a minor role, considering what a large role Dr. McCoy had in the original show. The pilot of TNG even showed us that Crusher and Picard have a history together. This is rarely touched on in the shows entire run and with so little to do, McFadden was gone for one reason or another with rumors going around the her contract wasn't renewed to even a sexual harrassment issue. She was a fan favorite, or at least a favorite compared to her replacement on the show-Pulaski who could be a sour old bitty and not a charming and pretty woman like Crusher and a fan letter writing campaign helped bring her back to....still not do much but she was back.
Crusher gets a spot in almost every episode usually as an exposition machine by letting out plot points usually involving why someone or everyone is sick. I'm told that exposition isn't something that actors like and considering that Gates McFadden got coaxed BACK to the show to do more of this has to say something. She either didn't mind exposition or she really wanted work. It's amazing how little she got to do and still remained a fan favorite and the few times she and Picard touched on past issues, you could tell that something special could have been between the two characters. It still remained special but was rarely exploited.
If you don't belive me that Crusher has nothing to do sometimes, can you name ANYTHING that she does in any of the four movies? You can argue that she talks to Picard about his past with his meeting with Shinzon in Nemesis and inadvertedly helps Data realize that maybe it's time for Data to install his emotion chip which led to the knee slapingness that was Generations. She does NOTHING in First Contact, but the WORST had to be Insurrection. In Insurrection the life altering radiation on the planet and it's fountain of youth like powers on the crew is able to get Worf to go through puberty, Riker and Troi to rekindle their old flames but Picard and Crusher who land on the planet TOGETHER, have nothing, Picard ends up chasing and falling in love with Anij who lives on the planet. Way to give a great way to make something out of the character in a movie and waste it.
I'm a little generous on rating Crusher but she is one of my favorite members of the show. Lets give a five second recap on other characters: Worf is a wimp who got beaten up every season, Geordi is a weenie, Troi could be annoying, NOBODY likes Wesley, Riker blustered almost as bad as Sisko but at least Sisko could fire a phaser when he had to and Data, well Data is awesome, as is Picard. A lot of those above were harsh generalizations and I don't HATE any of the characters but short of limited screen time, there is nothing I DON'T like about Beverly.
So all in all, it's a higher rating then she deserves, I don't want to let stupid writers and lack of episodes for her character diminish her.
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