^ The lack of what you describe as "Picard-Beverly background drama," Sonak
, is one of the things I liked about having Crusher replaced with Pulaski. I liked Crusher just fine, and I liked Pulaski, too, but what TPTB did with the whole Picard-Crusher romance was just STUPID. It really was. With some exceptions, Trek doesn't have a good track record with romance - it just generally does a terrible job at it - and the perfect example of this was Picard and Crusher. I mean, one episode, they're deeply in love but conflicted; a few episodes later, one or the other of them is in love with someone else; a few episodes later, something else happens. It was ridiculous. I'm not crazy about a captain - any captain - having a romantic relationship with a member of his or her crew anyway, but jeez, if they're going to do it, at least do it well.
But to get off my anti-P/C hobby horse and actually address your topic, ST
, you'll find some stuff on why Gates left in the thread titled "Was there a real reason Lieutenant Yar..." You'll find it there despite the title, is what I mean.