Dr. Pulaski

I’ve been floating around checking out TNG episodes on netflix and for no particular reason, I started in S2 and mostly stayed there. I’ve seen a couple of episodes before – TNG was a darling of my parents and they’ve shown me a few of their favorite episodes, but I’ve never sat down and watched it with any seriousness. I’ve also never seen more than 2 or 3 episodes of TOS so comparisons to the original cast are mostly going to be lost on me but at the same time, I’m not burdened by needing characters to specifically emulate or reject traits of their 60s counterparts. All of this is to hopefully contextualize the following statement: I don’t get why the internet hates Pulaski and I was disappointed, yes disappointed that S3 starts and we don’t get so much as a goodbye for her character.

If someone has a case they’d like to argue against her or in favor of her, I’d be more than happy to listen or take requests to watch a specific episode if it’s one of the ones that I’ve skipped or if people want to talk about S2, the show or Star Trek in general, that’s fine too. I mostly just wanted to share my opinion since it appears not to be shared by the general population.

PS. I’m totally prepared to admit that I’m just weird. I don’t like Q either.
Now to watch this thread sink like a rock.

I didn’t like Dr. Crusher, mostly because of superficial trivial reasons - a middle-aged woman who for some reason was still trying to look hot - kind of like what’s-her-name on the original CSI.

Dr. Pulaski was a little dry and cynical, so she was a (to me refreshing) departure from the usual TNG goody-two-shoes zeitgeist. Besides, I always liked Diana Muldaur and I thought she looked like a genuine middle-aged woman (yet still attractive).

How dare a 39 year old woman look hot! The nerve! And to stay fit and attractive into her 40’s 50’s and 60’s! Unthinkable!

I remember disliking her because she was so obviously assigned to be the character who didn’t accept Data’s standing as a sentient lifeform. I don’t remember how they resolved that, but it poisoned my view of her. Of course, I was 15 at the time.

Due to the way TV got released in New Zealand where I lived, before I saw her on ST:TNG I saw Diana Muldaur on LA Law, where she was a horrifying witch of a woman. Despite every attempt to separate her from her roles, I couldn’t help it and tarred her with the same brush, assuming she was a horrible character before she even said one word. And then she pronounced Data’s name incorrectly, a symbol of her general dislike of Data throughout the season, and she lost even more of my respect.

Meh. I jumped around in the season so I watched her timeline out of order but as I recall, she mispronounces his name, then she gets irritated with his inability to magnify the reality inhabited by Nagilum immediately followed by the episode with the creation of Moriarty. Then in the middle of the season we have the episode where Data is judged to be sentient or sapient or whatever and then later on she apologizes to him after being inordinately brusque, saying that she is not used to dealing with as unusual a creation as he is. I can honestly say that with those exceptions I never noticed tension between the two of them.

The timeline as near as I can figure shows a nice growth in understanding at a time when, if “The Measure of a Man” is any judge, the crew’s treatment of Data is inordinately progressive. Plus, in “Elementary, Dear Data” she advances the theory that he is incapable of truly deductive reasoning. When they propose to test it, not only does she come along but she throws herself into an appropriately period costume and attitude and channels Austenian levels of snark. I cannot believe that despite the danger they may have been in that she didn’t on some level enjoy seeing her hypothesis tested and proven false.

I would say if she must be hated, hate her for apparently being the freaking best in every field of medicine. She pioneered techniques in memory removal and heart replacements, she’s written textbook papers on virology and intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of obstretrics? Sure, writers, whatever you say.

…is dismissive when he corrects her, and then jumps to outright mockery for actually having an opinion about his own damn name.

The episode is The Child, by the way.

Yes, because you’ve already spent a season buying into the notion that Data is his own person. What little evidence we have of life outside the enterprise tells us that Data is an extreme anomaly. The idea of Data having an opinion about his name is as foreign to Pulaski as the idea of my alarm clock having an opinion about when it’s set would be to me. As for her response, well, I think that just goes to show how different we are because where you see outright mockery I see amused ribbing.

I always liked her. She was very much a no-nonsense, practical sort of doctor, backed up by extensive experience and the almost preternaturally broad expertise Stickler notes. Plus, I enjoy snark, and she had plenty of the good stuff.

As to her attitude toward Data, I found it plausible, insofar as I recall it. Her expertise demonstrably extends to neuroscience, so she is in a position to know better than most of the crew how complex actual sentience (let alone sapience) is. It’s understandable that she would suspect Data of being an extraordinary simulation of sentience, before believing that he was the real deal. So she prodded him, in a sort of ongoing Turing test, challenging him in various ways to see how he would react.

In a way, she was taking him more seriously than anyone. It’s as if everyone else were talking to Chatbot about pop culture, while she was asking existential questions–even when she was just mangling a name.

I didn’t like Q either… until Data pointed out that Q treats Picard like a beloved pet. At that point, Q’s motivations suddenly made sense.

I loathe Pulaski and was quite happy when she fell down the turbolift shaft.

I liked the Pulaski character much more than the Dr. Crusher character. I wanted to smack her every time she said “Jean-Luc.”

I liked Dr Pulaski quite a lot.

Sadly, the actress didn’t seem to fit in with the “big happy family” vibe of the rest of the cast, so she wasn’t very interested in staying. I think that real-world factored into why a lot of the super fans don’t like her.

I thought it was good to have a crochety doctor in the new series, as opposed to a really uncomfortable love-interest with an annoying kid. I also thought it was good to have an older-looking woman on the show instead of having another “hot babe in psudeo-uniform” like Troi.

I didn’t like her, but I didn’t really like any of the TNG characters.

And Q was just an excuse for bad writing.

I loved her character. She was the only who did not spend the show saying “look, we’re so eiightned, we love to explore” she just did her job. Her antagonizing Data was also goo, someone had to do it.

She came across to me, too much, as an attempt to have TNG’s version of Bones McCoy. So much so that my friends and I, at that time, regularly referred to her as “Bones With A Uterus”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Tangent, shouldn’t Data be called Datum?

I much preferred Pulaski to Crusher. I liked her brusqueness about Data. The whole Data’s “humanity” issue that floated around makes me wonder now, for the first time, why, other than the ship’s computer, nanites and Lore, robots aren’t more common in this universe. Servo-droids or whatever. LaForge could have been shown in a scene in engineering instructing non-sapient robots to do some chores or some shit like that. Was it a deliberate stylistic or budget decision not to have robots scuttling about the Star Trek universe?

Sure, just like constantly questioning why the black guy was ever made an officer would be a sign you’re taking his work seriously and not just you being a bigot.

If she wants to ask existential questions, she should go become a philosopher and masturbate a few hundred thousand words about what she thinks. If she wants to be an officer in Starfleet, she should not be repeatedly harassing another officer and undermining his authority just because she doesn’t think he’s people.

I was really immersed into the ST:TNG by reading all the paperback books. Those writers really developed the character of Dr Pulaski, and I became very fond of her.

Now I’ve got a zillion ST books, taking up space…