The Lee Sheldon-penned script for the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Remember Me” is a simple mystery with a deep meaning. After Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates MCFadden) has a conversation with a visiting friend, Doctor Dalen Quaice (Bill Erwin), about losing loved ones as you get older, Crusher suddenly discovers that everyone on board the Enterprise is disappearing. Not only is everyone disappearing, but no one seems to even remember the lost crew members existing in the first place but her. It’s a lovely, albeit unsettling, bit of storytelling about what it means to get older and suddenly find yourself the only one left. What do memories mean when you’re the only one left to recall them?
“I thought it was a really, really, beautiful episode,” McFadden says. She’s not only fond of the episode, but of one specific element — how Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) reacts to Crusher’s concern throughout the episode. “Some woman wrote, ‘It’s interesting and wonderful that even though [Beverly] was saying, ‘Wait a minute, this whole other group were here and these people are gone,’ Picard never doubted [her]. He always believed her, whatever she said. He would go, ‘No, I think we are the only two people on the ship, but let’s run another diagnosis.” I think that showed how women were respected, which was a great thing.”
“I thought of it as a very strong, heroic episode for Crusher, because she was alone,” McFadden says. “And rather than going into any panic, she was staying very scientific about it. And it never really got talked about, but I thought there was a connection almost happening between she and Wesley, that there’s two minds. These minds that had been forged, growing together when they were young, that wasn’t really dealt with.”
You can find more insights from Gates McFadden on her new podcast series, “InvestiGates,” in which she speaks with a number of her fellow “Star Trek” alumni about everything from childhood and music to the stars in the heavens above.