McFadden’s observations about “Next Generation” being a bog of ego and personal politics were confirmed by Diana Muldaur. In “The Fifty-Year Mission,” the actress had an interesting analogy, comparing her work on “Star Trek” to the tone on the set of her season on “Next Generation.” It seemed that everything was copacetic in the 1960s, but cutthroat in the 1980s. She compared it to her experiences acting in full-scale Broadway productions, and how they differed from smaller, Off-Broadway productions. Her analogy ran:
“I found on Broadway there to be no tension; everyone there was good, worked hard, and everyone made a product, whether it went on well or not. Off-Broadway, there were stabbings, knifings; it was totally different. You had to go to the right school, you had to study at the studio to get a job, you had to be part of a group. The original ‘Star Trek’ felt like doing a nice Broadway play. And ‘Next Generation’ was Off-Broadway, it was everyone trying to be somebody, rather than just letting it all happen and letting it go and just being there and acting wonderfully.”
She noted, “If there was any tension, it had not to do with me, it had to do with them.”
Muldaur ultimately didn’t really like working on “Next Generation,” noting that “all the directors were kids,” and that the show was “all tech,” lacking in creativity and humanity. She also mentioned that she had trouble remembering her lines, confirming Sackett’s story. When Muldaur decided to leave the show, it seemed that the feeling was mutual.
That may have been for the best. As Berman explained, “When Hurley left at the end of season two, the very first thing I did was to rehire Gates. I mean, literally, the day Hurley left, Gates was rehired.”