Star Trek: Picard EP Terry Matalas Has Bad News for Dr. Pulaski Fans
It's always a joy when Star Trek: Picard executive producer Terry Matalas interacts with fans, even taking up the task of answering everything he can about the upcoming third and final season. He's offered cryptic teases and substantial offerings to give audiences a preview of what's to come. Some of the biggest morsels offered are the season's new villain in Amanda Plummer's Vadic, the returns of Daniel Davis' Professor James Moriarty, and Brent Spiner's Lore. Perhaps the announcement that we'll see Denise Crosby's Tasha Yar in some form and the season two appearance of Wil Wheaton's Wesley Crusher gives hope that fans will see even more beyond the initial Next Generation cast reunion. The latest comes in the form of a separate fan inquiry of Diana Muldaur's Dr. Katherine Pulaski, the Chief Medical Officer who briefly replaced Gates McFadden's Dr. Beverly Crusher in season two of TNG.
Will Pulaski from Star Trek: The Next Generation Return for Picard?
"Pulaski does not appear this Season. Sorry," Matalas said. Muldaur has largely retired from the screen with her final physical appearance in TV guest spots on Empty Nest and Hearts Are Wild. She did a few voiceover roles on The Legend of Prince Valiant as Lady Morgana and Batman: The Animated Series as Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She has a pending comeback role in Finding Hannah, which is currently making the film festival scene.
As far as why the replacement even happened, TNG executive producer Rick Berman told Screen Rant that McFadden bumped heads with season two showrunner Maurice Hurley. McFadden told SBS, "They felt that they had too many women. My agent said that I was the third most popular character on the show at the time. I felt pretty confident. I understand why Denise wanted to leave. They didn't use her. Our characters never had one scene together. I never had a scene with just Troi. The women didn't count enough to have scenes together, which has changed now."
Muldaur confirmed to Startrek.com that she knew Pulaski wasn't going to last beyond season two. She also hasn't mingled with her past TNG co-stars or met McFadden at a convention. "Somehow, I never see the people that I do know, that I worked with, that I'd love to give hugs to. I don't know how that happens. We all go shooting off in our way. I've only been to a few conventions through all these years and never really have run into anyone." Before Pulaski, Muldar also appeared in The Original Series as a separate doctor. Star Trek: Picard returns on February 16 on Paramount+.