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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 18 2012, 06:03 PM   #31
timtonruben359
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

trekker670 wrote: View Post
I've heard this story many times, but I've always wondered, weren't the cast locked into a contract from the beginning? I thought I remember PS mentioning this in the past how it was a contract, but he didn't expect the show to be picked up, so he wouldn't be in LA for nearly as long as the contract had stated. Would Gates have received some sort of payout for the termination of her contract?
Based on recent interviews from the TNG cast, all the actors signed 6 year contracts.

Actors contracts are different than your standard employment contracts (I worked in the entertainment industry for some time). When an actor joins a TV show they generally sign a multi-year deal (the industry standard used to be 5 years but are generally higher now). This locks their salary and raises in so a studio can better forecast projected costs because as a show goes on it gets more expensive to make.

Generally, an actor's contract is ironclad which means they cannot leave on their own accord though they can attempt to negotiate their way out of the contract with their show's producers but doesn't happen often. However there's ALWAYS a clause in the contract that states the studio must 'pickup or renew' the actor's contract between seasons. Usually on Star Trek shows this is just a formality and an actors contract is always picked up between seasons, however, in Gates McFadden's case between season 1 and 2 the studio didn't pick her contract up which null and voided it. This is why you see a lot of shows kill off or write out main characters either right at the end of a season or in the first few in the new season.

And no, she wouldn't have gotten any payout unless her agent had negotiated a clause that said if the contract was terminated before it's conclusion she would receive X amount of money...but that's very very rare in Hollywood.
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Old December 18 2012, 06:34 PM   #32
Visitor1982
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

timtonruben359, could you tell me what Michael Dornsaid about Diana Muldaur on the blu-ray? As a big Pulaski fan, any news about that character is welcome. Cos there usually isn't any...
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Old December 18 2012, 11:23 PM   #33
timtonruben359
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

Visitor1982 wrote: View Post
timtonruben359, could you tell me what Michael Dornsaid about Diana Muldaur on the blu-ray? As a big Pulaski fan, any news about that character is welcome. Cos there usually isn't any...
Sure! He said that he loved working with Diana and that he had been a big fan of hers long before he ever worked with her. He though she was a brilliant and attractive actress. He felt that on set she was 'one of the guys' and he admired her because she was a TV veteran and had seen it all. He felt that had she stayed on the show Worf and Pulaski might have ended up becoming involved with one another because Worf hated doctors but he really liked her and Pulaski was very fond of Worf.
Melinda M. Snodgrass (who wrote Measure of a Man and was scripit editor for two seasons on TNG) talked about Diana too. She said the feeling in the writers room was that Diana was a phenomenal character actress but that the Pulaski character was underutilized and that the majority of her lines were techno babble which didn't play to Muldaur's strength as an actress and which Muldaur had a very hard time memorizing. There were attempts to make Pulaski a foil to Captain Picard, someone who would tell him exactly what was on her mind but Roddenberry would write those scenes out of scripts because he didn't want any conflict between the crew. Snodgrass said she loved writing for the Pulaski character because she really was a feisty woman who took no crap and unlike Crusher wasn't longing for Picard. She thought if the character had stayed around another season they could have made her a really powerful character but it was clear Diana wanted out. Also in her commentary of Measure of a Man, she said the original idea between Pulaski and Data was that she would nag at him not because she disliked him but rather because she wanted him to push his boundaries because Pulaski could see that Data was actually human but that he didn't see that in himself. But again the scenes didn't come across right or were changed and it didn't work.
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Old December 18 2012, 11:44 PM   #34
Beta-Z
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

How could a doctor character become "really powerful"?
Would she become a Q in her second season, or what?
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Old December 19 2012, 10:55 AM   #35
Lighthammer
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

Beta-Z wrote: View Post
How could a doctor character become "really powerful"?
Would she become a Q in her second season, or what?
Powerful, as in having a very strong presence.

In retrospect, I think Picard was the only one who really commanded that in the series (for better or for worse), although oddly enough, I would probably argue that O'Brian's scene with his former captain was one of the most powerful scenes of the series making him (off the top of my head) the only other one in the series able to command a scene with sheer power of personality.
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Old December 21 2012, 03:35 AM   #36
Dick_Valentine
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Re: Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

An abrasive personality, with a heart of gold...

Sounds like a female Dr Cox tbh.

Maybe she'd start calling Wesley by girls names...
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