June 25 2024


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Crosby: Did She Make The Right Choice?

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After playing Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation for one season, Denise Crosby wanted out, but what does she think  today about her decision to leave the show?

At first, Crosby had high hopes when it came to Tasha Yar. “I always talk about a scene I had to audition with, that never made it on to film, and I never understood that,” she said. “That scene, to me, was what was so exciting and interesting about the character. She was really, deeply insecure and had this wonderful paradox going on. She was so physically capable and had this very strong persona, but inside was just this little girl that felt very much out of her depth. That was the scene that I had to audition with, and it gave me a clue to the character.”

But the character never seemed to reach her potential on the show. “I was always trying to find moments where I could sort of play that, as an actor, and have that stuff going on inside,” said Crosby. “It was really a letdown in a way, once the show got up and running. My favorite episode was when I died and came back. Yesterday’s Enterprise was just much more realized writing for this character.”

One episode, The Naked Now, showed Tasha Yar in a different way. “What was so wonderful was the humor and the absurdity of [The Naked Now], and the delight of playing [a] forbidden thing,” said Crosby. “That episode was fun because you got to see the other side of Tasha. You’d seen her as this fierce warrior, this take-charge character, and then she gets contaminated with this virus or whatever it was, and she takes on this other persona. That was a lot of fun. She was basically just drunk through the whole episode. I think people delight in seeing characters be inappropriate to who they are.”

Knowing what she knows now, did Crosby make the right choice to leave The Next Generation? “Yes,” said Crosby. “For me, I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get off that show. I was dying. This was not an overnight decision. I was grateful to have made that many episodes, but I didn’t want to spend the next six years going ‘Aye, aye, captain,’ and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge. It just scared the hell out of me that this was what I was going to be doing for the next X-amount of years.”

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14 thoughts on “Crosby: Did She Make The Right Choice?

  1. I can’t blame her for wanting to leave a show. While some may question the actual sanity of leaving TNG, acting is ultimately a job and some people get jobs they later become very unhappy with, even if they pay well.

  2. To be honest, I understand her. I was in a ‘better job’ on paper once, but hated it. I just hated every day, every minute and suffered as a person.

    Hindsight in great. Yes, she may have got lots of money or lots of development but it’s all conjecture. You have to go with what feels right for you right then.

    A vaguely similar story is Michelle Forbes. She shunned a big Trek contract because she wanted to do her thing. And probably Forbes has done better of the two, but you can’t disrespect people for trying to make correct career choices.

    I think ultimately it depends on what you consider important. If priority is fame and making money, Crosby failed. If the priority is her sanity and self respect, she won. And from her perspective, the lattter is the important one.

  3. The back room of Trek seems to have been an old boys club, anyway… So I can definitely understand her choice. With that said, I wish we’d seen more. I always thought Sela was lying. There’s no reason to accept that she was telling the truth about her mother’s death. The one rule about Romulans? Romulans lie. As long as the character was fully realized, Crosby seems like she’s interested… it’s just a flat portrayal that she was unhappy with. The irony is that her death had far reaching consequences within TNG at large… Not only did it make her happy, I think it improved the show for her to have died. Anyhow, I hope she feels fulfilled.

  4. From what I’ve seen I’ve really liked Tasha Yar on Star Trek The Next Generation, I was sad when she died but then I kind of was getting confused on some of the later episodes on when she came back to the show after she had died on the episode called Skin of evil. I can understand why she wanted out of the show, but im just wondering if a part of her wanted to be on the show couldn’t she of just tried to change the role of Tasha Yar up a little bit, to give her character more depth or something, I thought that for that one episode called The Naked Now, where Tasha was acting all drunk and what not. I just thought it was really funny on how she and everyone was acting it was pretty cool in a way. LOL I was kind of up set that she left or was killed off from the show but it seemed for the best… LOL Im kinda confused on how the hole Paradox’s work, On that episode called (Yesterdays Enterprise) how did that worm hole time displacement even come too and or even show up, in order for the NCC-1701- Enterprise C to come through and change the history on the show changing the hole original time line to where Tasha Yar was never killed on that episode called Skin of Evil. Then ended up dying and or getting captured by the Romulans and then having a child and then was murdered after trying to escape… If Captain Jean-Luc Picard was very knowable in time and space and in science and geology then why did he even let Tasha Yar even leave the ship, The captain should of known that it would change her original time-line and change the original time line of her being on bored the enterprise and was brought into the past… Some of those episodes are just kind of confusing. LOL

  5. And does anyone ever ask how I’M doing these days? Nooooo…..

  6. Yar’s death eventually paved the way for Worf to become a much better character later in TNG and on DS9. Yar’s character was flat, but Worf was way worse. She got out, but Michael Dorn stuck with it and realized “The Way of the Warrior”

  7. For what it’s worth, I think TNG was improved by Tasha’s death. It took Trek somewhere new, and it brought the first real “story arc” in the form of Yesterday’s Enterprise and Sela. Well done!

  8. Sooooo…. she came back, and got a SECOND character with massive, unfulfilled potential! I do think she made the right choice.

  9. Dorn took on an uphill fight (along with the early-series writing staff, btw) that took years, YEARS to see results. There’s no guarantee Denise would have gotten the same results even after the same fight. After all, Wil Wheaton got shafted again and again with “Wesley, Boy Genius” stories, and didn’t get really good (or even halfway decent) stories until 2 years after he left as a regular.

  10. Quite right.

    I was always sorry that Ms Crosby was not given more to do as Commander Sela (Later Admiral Sela in one of the games) a character who would have made an interesting and exciting enemy in a TNG big feature film story. The fact she has no regrets makes it clear she DID make the right choice. I just hope we get the chance to see her in more films and tv series in the future, as characters she enjoys portraying.

  11. Tasha’s death was very sad, but I understand her reasons for leaving us. However I would have loved to see her character grow and develop in the seasons to come. Tasha Yar left us with such a deep impression for only being on the show for such a short time.

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