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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 February 28 2011, 11:17 PM   #16
heavylids
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Shazam! wrote: View Post
As a teenager, it was literally a case of crusty McCoy clone or hot readhead, so I was more than happy to see Gates come back..
Gates McFadden aged very nicely. In First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis she was quite the foxy lady.
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Old March 1 2011, 02:17 AM   #17
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
Whoa Nellie wrote: View Post
JustKate wrote: View Post
and the perfect example of this was Picard and Crusher. I mean, one episode, they're deeply in love but conflicted;
Too Much Fun wrote: View Post
I understand saying it was a little too 'convenient' how Picard didn't seem to mind Crusher having affairs (like in "The Host") despite supposedly being in love with her the whole time.
Actually, in the episode "Attached" what we are told is that Picard at one time in the past had been in love with Beverly.
Well he may say that, but if he was over her, why did he say something like, "now that they're aware of each other's feelings, why don't we explore them?" at the end of the episode?
What Picard says is:
"Now that we know how each of us feels, perhaps we should not be afraid to explore those feelings."
We're not told specifically what those 'feelings' currently are. Possibly wistful thoughts of rekindling a long dead flame? Who knows?

Why did Beverly turn Picard down cold? Did she take a 'lesson' from Nella Daren's experience?

What Picard says onscreen is canon.

Picard: "And then, little by little, I realized that I didn't have those feelings anymore . . . twenty years is, after all, a long time."
What reasons fans may place behind his actions is only fanon.

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Old March 1 2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

I believe it was Maurice Hurley who was "bullying" Gates McFadden in season 1; when he wasn't getting the desired response from her, he convinced Roddenberry that the character wasn't working out.

I've said elsewhere that I thought Muldaur - and Pulaski - were great for the show, and wished she would have stayed on longer.

I believe it was Muldaur who said she DIDN'T WANT TO COME BACK for season 3, for the same reason she asked not be listed as "main cast". She did the stint as a favour to Gene Roddenberry, and had no intention of being in it for the long haul.

When Hurley and Muldaur left at end of season 2, the door was open for McFadden's return. She hadn't done much at all since leaving, so was glad to come back.
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Old March 5 2011, 01:58 AM   #19
Therin of Andor
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Trek Survivor wrote: View Post
I believe it was Maurice Hurley who was "bullying" Gates McFadden in season 1; when he wasn't getting the desired response from her, he convinced Roddenberry that the character wasn't working out.
As for Gates McFadden, there were several problems that manifested themselves throughout Season One. (Much of these cobbled from Richard Arnold con presentations and TNG newsletters of the day.) When combined with the Hurley/McFadden problems, it all becomes understandable how it became one big mess, seemingly solved by recasting and reimagining the CMO. Hints of a possible future Picard/Crusher relationship were sown into early scripts ("The Naked Now", Bev's jealousy of Whalen in "The Big Goodbye", and a "There's something I've been meaning to tell you" running gag) but the actors were suddenly told to hold off on adding the subtext. McFadden saw this as eroding some of the intrigue of her character, plus she lost a very strong part when David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire" script was quashed.

Also, McFadden's very fine, long, red hair was not holding its style under the hot lights and it was costing the production regular extra amounts of time and money while Continuity sent her off back to Hairdressing. Imagine how the problem could easily have painted the actress as a whiner and a timewaster on the set. Notice also that, when McFadden came back for Season Three, her character got an array of extremely expensive wigs, all in different styles and lengths. Marina Sirtis got rather jealous (in her usual good-natured way) and spent all of Season Three relentlessly campaigning to get a better quality real-hair fall to replace the el cheapo one she'd been given in Season Two, replacing the old bun hairstyle. (Sirtis boasts at conventions that she is a born campaigner.)

Having just lost Tasha Yar, they really weren't planning on losing Crusher as well. Actually, it was Troi they were having trouble writing for; Troi is totally missing from a few Season One episodes. Marina Sirtis was retained because she was the last woman left standing. That's why plans were made to build a Counselor's Office set for Season Two, and also have scenes for Troi in the newly planned Ten-Forward bar. (Although when Whoopi Goldberg was suddenly cast as Guinan, many strong Troi scenes during Season's Three and Four were rewritten for Guinan.)

I discussed some Muldaur stuff here:
http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=4775037
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Old March 5 2011, 05:18 PM   #20
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Er, those "several problems" aren't really very big ones. The romance angle between Picard-Crusher has nothing to do with the actress, McFadden, and the other problem is her red hair and the lights?


Since there are other quotes about problems relating to her performance, it comes off as a bunch of "kitchen sink" rationales.

It just seems like it was backstage politics with Hurley rather than real issues.
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Old March 5 2011, 09:53 PM   #21
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

sonak wrote: View Post
It just seems like it was backstage politics with Hurley rather than real issues.
My point exactly. This niggly stuff was filtering out over many months/years. It was several more years before the Hurley/McFadden stuff was spelled out. Until then, one camp was deliberately painting the actress as whiny, difficult and always pushing for certain scenes, and the other camp where the cast was saying how much they liked, then missed, Gates McFadden.

"Backstage politics" is manifested by a series of supposedly "real issues". When political things are happening, no one discusses the elephant in the room.
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Old March 6 2011, 01:04 AM   #22
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

To be honest, I preferred Diana Muldaur. McFadden's acting could be hokey at times and she often displayed a real lack of emotion.
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Old March 6 2011, 01:26 AM   #23
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

This interesting post brings to light a common problem when creating a TV show. It's not enough to come up with interesting characters, and it's not enough to give them good scenes in the pilot. Some real thought has to be given into what happens to them over a long haul. Troi's a great example. They just plain ran out of stuff. Fortunately, she settled into a good spot within the show after a couple of years. They really should have mapped out what they wanted to have happen with Crusher and with Crusher and Picard. Then adjust that plan to account for the Pulaski year.
I agree we should have had some guest appearances from Pulaski over the remainder of the series and maybe DS9 as well. I would have LOVED to see her interact with genetically enhanced Bashir. What conflict THAT would have been.
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Old March 7 2011, 02:56 AM   #24
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Honestly, I don't think Gates could act her way out of a paper bag. Her stilted emotionless delivery was the LAST thing I expected from a ship's CMO on Star Trek. The passion that was evident from what I had seen with McCoy just wasn't there. Having said that, while Muldaur was a fine actress...leaps and bounds above Gates McFadden, and full of the passion that was so severely lacking and believable with Gates, I wasn't looking for a Bones MCCoy duplicate either. Too bad House wasn't available!
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Old March 7 2011, 09:25 PM   #25
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

It sounds like the producers used the "hair issues" as an excuse to paint McFadden as a whiner who was difficult to work with in order to protect themselves from a lawsuit. And I'm sure Gates felt like she had to play along since being branded as "difficult" would've seriously hurt her career.

As far as acting goes, I was never a big fan of McFadden. I thought Muldaur was a good actress, but playing the crusty old doctor isn't easy to pull off. DeForest Kelley managed to make his character likable. It also helped that McCoy was friends with Kirk. But Pulaski wasn't really friends with anyone on the show, certainly not the captain. That made it really hard for the audience to warm up to her.
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Old March 7 2011, 09:59 PM   #26
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

ShatnersToupee wrote: View Post
It sounds like the producers used the "hair issues" as an excuse to paint McFadden as a whiner who was difficult to work with in order to protect themselves from a lawsuit.
Well, contractually, none of the actors had to be "picked up" for the second season. She wasn't "dimissed", just "not renewed".
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Old March 8 2011, 10:19 PM   #27
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Well, contractually, none of the actors had to be "picked up" for the second season. She wasn't "dimissed", just "not renewed".
Weren't the actors under 3 year contracts? If so, then it wasn't just an issue of her contract not being renewed.
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Old March 9 2011, 08:05 AM   #28
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

ShatnersToupee wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
Well, contractually, none of the actors had to be "picked up" for the second season. She wasn't "dimissed", just "not renewed".
Weren't the actors under 3 year contracts? If so, then it wasn't just an issue of her contract not being renewed.
I believe TNG was different in that they only had everyone contracted for the 1st season initially (with a pickup option past that), as Paramount didn't know if the whole thing would tank or not (there was even a plan to tack on TNG Season 1 to TOS syndication packages as a pseudo 'Season 4' if TNG didn't work out.)
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Old March 9 2011, 08:35 AM   #29
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Noname Given wrote: View Post
I believe TNG was different in that they only had everyone contracted for the 1st season initially (with a pickup option past that), as Paramount didn't know if the whole thing would tank or not (there was even a plan to tack on TNG Season 1 to TOS syndication packages as a pseudo 'Season 4' if TNG didn't work out.)
I've heard that too, but I'm fairly certain the cast had to sign a 6-year contract at the beginning didn't they? Patrick Stewart has said repeatedly that the only reason he took on the job at first was because he was assured that a 6-year contract was meaningless, as no one expected the show to be a success.
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Old March 9 2011, 10:32 AM   #30
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Re: Diana Muldaur and the TNG cast

Iamnotspock wrote: View Post
I've heard that too, but I'm fairly certain the cast had to sign a 6-year contract at the beginning didn't they? Patrick Stewart has said repeatedly that the only reason he took on the job at first was because he was assured that a 6-year contract was meaningless, as no one expected the show to be a success.
It was a standard five-year contract, locking them all into a salary scale that would increment each year but, after the fifth year, they all had to renegotiate new contracts. Getting actors' agents to agree to new salaries at that point is difficult, because new shows would then be offering much higher rates than the older production could afford. What helps is that standing sets are usually costed over five years, so some of that part of the budget can be diverted to actors' salaries, improved dressing room trailers, etc. They also had to negotiate a Season Seven contract.

But pre-agreed clauses in the standard five-year contract allows the employer, ie. Paramount, to choose to not take up the option on a second year, whereas if the actor wished to leave (Crosby in Season One, Wheaton in Season Four), they have to seek to be released from the contract. The studio can refuse such a request. Similarly, if a show tanks during its first season, and is cancelled, the actors don't get paid for four more years.

Remember Farrah Fawcett-Majors, who asked to be released from "Charlie's Angels" after one year. The show was such a huge hit, and she was considered to be such a crucial part of its success, her production house refused to release her. She left anyway - Cheryl Ladd was added to the series as Jill's sister - and Farrah was eventually ordered by the courts to return to the series for a certain number of guest spots.

By the way, there were rumblings that Patrick Stewart was unhappy with his contract and did some kind of negotiation during the hiatus between "The Best of Both Worlds" Parts 1 & 2. His transformation as Locutus was a safety net in case he negotiated to leave. Jennifer Lien (Kes in VOY) was released before the end of her five-year contract. Terry Farrell successfully negotiated a sixth year on DS9, but no agreement could be reached on Season Seven so she kept to her promise and walked.
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