Diana Muldaur (Dr. Pulaski) on TNG

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Visitor1982, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Who the hell is Marvin the Martian? Sounds like complete bullshit to me.
     
  2. Visitor1982

    Visitor1982 Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, Muldaur called the experience a 'complete nightmare' in a 1999 interview, so it might be true.

    I've also heard the director of Unnatural Selection saying these things as well. Muldaur was a terriffic lady, according to him, but the rest of the cast treated her horribly (Stewart as well).
     
  3. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  4. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If fairness though, there was a recentish interview with Alexander Siddig (annoyingly I can't remember where now, but it was most likely as part of the PR fluff for Primeval) where he talked and his fellow DS9's using cue cards at different times as well. Apparently the only stigma was in using them too much, so he had to be careful to "Save up" his allowance for the really nasty technobabble.
     
  5. timtonruben359

    timtonruben359 Commander Red Shirt

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    I've heard this rumor too! Many of the cast were very rude to her during her time on TNG. I know that Patrick Stewart was very vocal with his displeasure over Gates McFadden's firing and openly campaigned for her return.

    I've noted two things in the blu ray that lead me to believe that the cast wasn't very fond of Diana. Michael Dorn was the only to mention anything positive about Muldaur. Marina Sirtis said that she had nothing in common with Diana that she was married and went home to her husband whereas she had fun with Gates and Crosby off camera. Patrick Stewart didn't even mention her. And Muldaur tiptoed around it but said she had decided that she would never work with people she didn't like regardless of the script or the money. This could just have been editing but the TNG crew is a cast that goes out of its way to constantly remind us how much they love each other. It's very telling that Diana is very rarely referred to.
     
  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That interview posted is interesting in exactly what she says.

    Obviously, it's been 25 years, she's long over any mistreatment she received on the set and doesn't want to trash anyone. So she has vague fond memories of everyone then she trashes Paramount and 'Creativity'.

    Ask a majority of Trek fans, season 3 is when the show picked up, when it got much more creative, so even if Paramount didn't have the same creative drive as Gene Roddenberry, they clearly hired a bunch of people who did. It seems like Diane is almost revising her reasons for leaving as a creative difference, romaniticizing Gene Roddenberry's influence even while claiming not to have ever seen the first season when his influence was at its strongest.

    I don't know what really happened between Diane and the other cast, but 25 years past she's sunk into politic mode.

    Edit: Wait wait wait. Wasn't season two the season where the writers went on strike and they reused a lot of Star Trek: The Second Wave scripts? Creativity my butt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  7. Visitor1982

    Visitor1982 Commander Red Shirt

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    What did Michael Dorn say about Muldaur?
     
  8. Zaku

    Zaku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And we still don't know why McFadden was fired... :-)
     
  9. timtonruben359

    timtonruben359 Commander Red Shirt

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    Gates McFadden was fired because of disagreements between her and several of the show's writers [mainly Maurice Hurley] over the direction of her character and elements of the show she felt were sexist...here's what McFadden said on the blurays:

    "I felt that some of the scripts were sexist and I guess I was too vocal about it because it ultimately cost me my job at the end of the first season. I was very naive about how studios work. I was used to working in theater ensembles where everyone was equal and you were allowed to say I hate this. It didn't mean it was going to change but you were allowed to say it. I guess I voiced my frustrations in a way that really pissed people off. A good lesson to learn."

    She also said that she was surprised by her firing because a few weeks before Gene Roddenberry had told her that focus groups had showed she was the third or fourth most popular character on the show...she wasn't sure that was true. Apparently they had a first season wrap party on a Friday night and she got a call from her agent on Monday morning saying she wouldn't be asked back.
     
  10. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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?
     
  11. timtonruben359

    timtonruben359 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Visitor1982

    Visitor1982 Commander Red Shirt

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    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...
     
  13. timtonruben359

    timtonruben359 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  14. Beta-Z

    Beta-Z Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    How could a doctor character become "really powerful"?
    Would she become a Q in her second season, or what? :lol:
     
  15. Lighthammer

    Lighthammer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  16. Dick_Valentine

    Dick_Valentine Commander Red Shirt

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

    Sounds like a female Dr Cox tbh.

    Maybe she'd start calling Wesley by girls names...
     
  17. Chuck9987

    Chuck9987 Cadet Newbie

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    What I don't understand about this is that she mentions several times that she left as a direct result of Gene Roddenberry's death. That once Gene Roddenberry died, all the fun and the life of the show died with him. That Paramount was "all business." That she had no interest in working there after Roddenberry died.

    Except that Gene Roddenberry died over two and a half years after Muldaur filmed her last TNG episode ...
     
  18. Ghrakh

    Ghrakh Captain Captain

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    Pulaski's problem was that she wasn't a "hot MILF".
     
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  19. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When Pulaski caught up with her old flame - who just so happened to be Riker's dad - I thought, great ...! Maybe this will soften her image a bit and make her less of an annoyance on the show. But he was really just there to duke it out with his son and go home and that's the way it went. Pulaski remained unchanged ... to my chagrin. The 2nd Season of TNG has so much to offer, but I'll tell ya ... between Pulaski and Lwaxana, it made me wonder if TNG was trying to trip itself up, or what? Why shoot itself in the foot like that? That's something I could never understand ...
     
  20. JesterFace

    JesterFace Captain Captain

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    I'm glad that Gates was willing to return for season 3 after being thrown out after season 1.