Life as an Extreme Sport

Om Mani Padme Trek

Sometimes things happen that make me realize it’s not so much that I chose to be a researcher, as I simply am. Case and point: I was flipping through the TV listings for something to watch while doing laundry (yes, I did laundry, should I now capitalize it as Laundray?), and came across a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode featuring Pulaski. “Oh right,” I thought, “Gates McFadden wasn’t on the series the second season. You know, I don’t think I ever knew why…” Two and a half hours later…

So far, the best answer I’ve found is that Paramount execs were unhappy that there wasn’t as much conflict amongst cast members, and McFadden was offered up as a sacrifice. Rumours of her wanting a significant salary increase came about after the letter-writing campaign and push by Patrick Stewart to bring her back, facillitated by no one liking Pulaski, and the actress playing her (Diane Muldaur) accepting an offer to join LA Law because she didn’t fit in with her Trek cast mates. Gene asked McFadden to rejoin the cast, and she negotiated her salary from a position of power.

Of course, that only spent about 20 minutes to find. The rest of the time I spent reading odd trivia about Trek and reading transcripts of convention speeches and other fun things. (Most favourite trivia: the Dalai Lama watched TOS and liked it, especially Spock. While Next Gen was filming, about 20 Tibetan monks invaded the set for an afternoon, and crowded into a transporter room to have their picture taken. Brent Spiner, in full Data-gear, stands in their midst.)


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