Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by JesterFace, Sep 28, 2022.
Do you have a link to the interview, it sounds very interesting, I'd love to read it!
Unfortunately, I don't. I believe it was for People Magazine. I've been trying to find it online, but no luck. Part of the interview was once quoted on her Wikipedia page, but that's gone as well. She also said there was a lot of back stabbing on set and she loved the set on L.A. Law.
And that's sad. I can see the rest of the cast being pissed about losing Gates, but taking it out on an innocent individual shows a serious lack of class.
Unfortunately, it's not the only ridiculously childish behavior I've heard of on a Trek set.
This interview with Diana from a few years back covers some of the situation, the link should jump the video to the point she starts talking about TNG:
She’s complimentary about everyone but you can kind of tell there was something going on from the way she was much more positive about L.A. Law. Michael Dorn gets a glowing review but she doesn’t really volunteer anything about the other cast unless asked and she mentions being paid more was a problem. I think she’s mixing up Roddenberry dying with when Berman took over and Roddenberry stepped back.
What? Pulaski's first name was almost Ursula and Diana Muldaur had them change it to Katherine? Boo! Ursula is an awesome name, would have fit the character better and might have painted her as more Eastern European (considering her last name is Pulaski) than the American character we got.
Also that name changing to Katherine makes me think Diana Muldaur (in a different role of course) might have been a good candidate for Janeway.
Susan "Leah Brahms" Gibney was also reportedly a strong contender for the part.
Very sad how her experience was on the set. I guess that's a reason why Pulaski isn't returning in PIC season 3.
I wonder if she could still reprise her role on another Trek show.
As much as I'm not a fan of Pulaski, I think Lower Decks could get quite a bit of awesome comedy and fun interactions out of having her guest star for an episode or even just a cameo.
I would love to see Pulaski again. I always liked her, and part of that is because I'm a fan of Muldaur herself. I enjoyed her run as the stubborn doctor who butted heads with the senior staff when she knew she was right. Don't get me wrong, I love Gates McFadden, and Crusher's a good character, but she turned into background noise far too often for my liking. When you had Pulaski in the scene, she made herself *known* and I loved it.
I also enjoyed her early antagonism with Data because it did become a deeper friendship. By the time of "Peak Performance," Pulaski was actively engaging Data as not only an equal, but she was cheering him on for his exceptional abilities. An excellent turnaround, IMO, and I'm glad it happened.
It's too bad her time on the series was plagued by personality clashes, because Diana deserved better than that, and I say that as someone who loves the TNG crew with my whole heart.
Through various interviews, I’d heard quite a bit about Diana Muldaur being made to feel unwelcome on the set. TNG’s cast was very close and very cliquey it would seem. Marina Sirtis, who can be shockingly obnoxious at times, still bitches about the fact Muldaur used cue cards for some of her lines. Given that she had to deliver medical technobabble I don’t blame her.
I hated Pulaski when I was watching the show as a kid; at least when she was introduced. Rewatching it now, I actually find her a much more compelling character than Crusher (in spite of the early misstep with Data bullying). She at least had a personality and Muldaur was definitely the better actress. TNG’s cast needed someone with a little sass and attitude. Beverly was nice but so damn boring.
Indeed, and I loved her willingness to get into the dirty details of any situation, whether it's researching a new disease and testing it on herself, or just taking an antidote for poison tea to help a Klingon friend feel better. I think she played a terrific character but was cut short by issues outside of her control, and that just wasn't fair to her.
Also, yeah, again, love the TNG crew, but they could be clique-y. I adore Marina, but she can be a "mean girl" when she wants to be, quite acidic if the desire arises. As much as they are wonderful people, they're still actors, with egos and careers to bolster.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I wish she was part of the crew from the beginning, and that McCoy's appearance in Farpoint was to see off his granddaughter.
I think that would have dovetailed rather nicely into her character, yes.
Yup - no "McCoy ripoff" retread accusations, but a nice bit of lineage from TOS to TNG, and an explanation for her character traits. In this scenario I think she would have become one of the most beloved Trek characters of the time period.
And they wouldn't even have to change the character's name. Just have her be McCoy's daughter's daughter.
If Pulaski had stayed on, I can easily see her being the one to give Riker the "that's your chair now" pep talk in TBOBW, although it would probably have been more of a kick up the backside than Guinan gave him!
I think it sort of had to be Guinan, though. Remember that she had met the Picard of two years after, 500 years earlier. So, she knew Picard would make it, but that Riker would need to be prompted.
In the opening of that scene, Riker asked Picard's empty chair: "what would you do?" Guinan helped him realize that the path to victory lay in doing what Picard wouldn't do.
Honestly, I never saw Pulaski's initial period of not instantly meshing with the rest of the TNG character as 'interpersonal conflict'. I saw it more as a new environment to which Pulaski would have had to adjust to.
Even with most/all of humanity's issues gone centuries prior and interpersonal conflicts between humans resolved, that doesn't mean you will necessarily 'mesh' with other people instantly - aka, there would be some personality differences that one would have to adjust to... but otherwise, people were in fact not just tolerant, but accepting of those differences regardless. Getting used to them may take a period of time either way - and its not necessarily an interpersonal conflict.
The only thing that could be described as such would be Pulaski's initial prejudice towards Data, but that could simply be lack of exposure to other Androids (of which Data was a first in UFP to be integrated as part of society as a whole) and lack of existence of rights inside UFP for Androids at the time... but as we saw, Pulaski did change her behavior towards Data very quickly.
Yes, her initial prejudice towards Data was not something I liked, however, as the year progressed, she got more development (arguably more than Crusher did in the whole of 7 seasons) and was (in my view) a better character than Crusher was... and in fairness, I saw Pulaski as a more 'competent' doctor than Crusher.
Pulaski managed to offer Geordi an opportunity to have real eyesight... and while she did say it wasn't without risk, it was something that Pulaski never managed to do.
Real-life wise I suppose they wanted Geordi to remain blind so in-universe, he may have opted out of having the surgery due to those unknown risks (which in fairness were smaller becauser Pulaski said she did the procedure twice before).
From a character POV... I think Pulaski got a bit more development and seemed to have been able to be incorporated into other story arcs better and contribute with greater medical skill/proficiency than Crusher... whereas Crusher just 'seemed to be there' and did things in a fairly unremarkable capacity.
I’d have loved to see the character stay on the ship for the remainder of the series. She just had so much more screen presence and pep than Beverly. I enjoyed her slightly adversarial relationship with Picard, although it was more hinted at than seen and the fact she later became such a champion for Data (Peak Performance) which showed significant growth. Her friendship with Worf as also fun to watch. I also loved the fact Diana Muldaur served (along with Majel Barrett and the occasional guest star crossover) as a direct bridge to TOS. The fact she was totally expunged from Trek with only a single subsequent throwaway reference, never sat well with me. I really wish she’d been approached to play the Dr Russell role in Ethics. I’d have been here for those fireworks and rooting for Pulaski.
To me it seemed Crusher’s character was written as bland and predictable, whereas Pulaski’s had some spark, more of an edge. I think Gates actually complained about the dialogue she was given most of the time.
As an actor Muldaur was such a knockout in TOS as Miranda Jones….her dignity and poise, her serene graciousness at the dinner, her well modulated voice…she always had presence. I didn’t enjoy seeing her as Pulaski, partly because of the more acerbic role, but mainly because she was no longer elegant and slender.
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