Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Gates McFadden is sad she is not returning for Picard season 2. The experiences of Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard appeared to have come to an end with 2002’s disappointing cinematic attempt Star Trek: Nemesis. But amid a renewed push by Paramount to capitalize on the Star Trek brand, Picard was brought back in 2020 for a streaming chain with Patrick Stewart once again donning his Starfleet uniform.
It’s perhaps not surprising given the state of modern fandom generally that this new Picard show finally proved to be divisive, as many old-school Star Trek fans aligned contrary to its new and more action-oriented take on the franchise. However, Picard succeeded in the eyes of Paramount as the show is being brought back for another year on the streaming platform now known as Paramount+. And Picard will not be the sole classic TNG character coming back for season 2, as he’s set to be joined by John De Lancie since the ever-enigmatic Q. There’s also been talk of Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan coming but nothing has been confirmed.
One character who seemingly won’t return for season 2 however is Enterprise medical officer Beverly Crusher. Crusher celebrity McFadden confirmed she is not now set to look on the next season of Picard despite previously suggesting there was a chance she could be contained:
I am not in the second season. I’m sad that I am not. Things have changed a good deal on different levels. So I don’t have any idea now. I’m disappointed because it might have been so much fun to just work with these individuals. But we will see. I don’t have any idea. I wish I could tell you.
Crusher of course functioned as chief medical officer of the Enterprise in season 1 of TNG, then took a year off in season 2 before returning for the rest of the show’s run. Early on in TNG, the series teased a potential romantic relationship between Crusher and Picard, but that was later dropped for the most part. Though love never really blossomed between Picard and Crusher, McFadden says she still enjoyed playing contrary Stewart and thought they worked well together. “I believe there was a chemistry between people,” she stated, including”I can not speak for Patrick, but I loved playing scenes with his character.”
Season 1 of Picard concentrated on a post-Starfleet Jean-Luc getting embroiled in an adventure between the late commander Data, the deceased android’s daughter, Romulans, the Borg and a fresh crew of misfit space adventurers. There was also time set aside for brief appearances by Picard’s older colleagues Will Riker and Deanna Troi, in an episode that felt like a pure nostalgia attempt. Famous for their absences in season 1 were key TNG characters Geordi La Forge, Worf, Wesley Crusher and Beverly Crusher herself. Whatever the reasoning was behind revisiting certain TNG personalities in season 1 while dismissing others, that reasoning appears to be holding fast as there’s no indication season 2 will incorporate anyone familiar beyond Picard himself and Q, and maybe Guinan (who of course has a connection with all the Q continuum going back a very long time).
On the 1 hand, it’s kind of sad to hear Beverly Crusher won’t be on board in Picard season two, as it’d be wonderful to get caught up together with the personality and see that McFadden-Stewart chemistry on display again. On the flip side, it’s possibly better that Picard not only cash in its nostalgia chips with an infinite succession of character yields, but instead concentrate on telling new and intriguing stories. It is certainly up in the atmosphere for many people whether Picard season 1 told a good story, but either way, it seems season 2 will not lean too heavily on the past as it tries to push Star Trek to the future.