Star Trek: Gates McFadden on Crusher's Picard Return: "I Love Kicking Ass"

Gates McFadden is back, along with the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, in Star Trek: Picard Season 3, and she's kicking ass as Dr. Beverly Crusher. McFadden played Crusher in six seasons of The Next Generation (she departed the show ahead of its second season, but returned in its third) and in the four movies that followed the series' finale. She, along with her other co-stars, participated in Star Trek: Picard Season 3's panel at the TCA 2023 Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California on Monday. Afterward, she spoke to The Wrap and revealed how she felt returning to the role in Next Generation's successor show.

"I love kicking ass first of all," McFadden said. "It was really a lot of fun. I had a fantastic time working on this show."

When her co-star Patrick Stewart added that he wished they'd dug into the aspects of Crusher seen in Picard Season 3 sometime sooner, McFadden says, "I tried… I always wanted to do more action. As a choreographer, I've done dance, combat, I really did want to not have a makeup kit on me while on the away team. I wanted to actually have some things I could use to be helpful."

"I really loved Terry's ideas and he had these ideas for where Crusher would be now," McFadden said of Star Trek: Picard Season 3's showrunner, Terry Matalas. "I love that they had me at the beginning doing something active… I think there was a much bigger range to Crusher in this season."

Crusher is getting a similar reassessment in the recently launched Star Trek comic book series. There, writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have McFadden examining and questioning Capt. Benjamin Sisko after he returns from communing with the Prophets in the Wormhole, as seen at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

"We thought it was really time for her to get her own ride, to get a place where she got to do her thing, where she got to live in an investigation of her own," Lanzing said. "One of the things that I always really loved about Beverly Crusher fundamentally is that she is a kind of a mad scientist. The only time we ever see her get really excited about anything other than motherhood is when she meets a scientist who she's a huge fan of, who she saw at that conference that one time. She loves that stuff."

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premiers on Paramount+ on February 16th.