Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar and Sela in Star Trek: The Next Generation, joined a couple of her former castmates for a convention-style panel hosted by GalaxyCon on Saturday. Crosby, Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker) and Marina Sirtis (ship’s counselor Deanna Troi) reminisced on their time working on TNG and shared some behind-the-scenes details that gave fans more insight into how things worked on the set.
The actors also answered questions submitted by fans. One fan asked the Star Trek stars how much input they had in giving their characters nuance as the show progressed. Though Frakes shared that he had some chats with the writers about Riker, Sirtis and Crosby said that the writers didn’t seem all that interested in talking to them.
However, Crosby revealed that after she’d left the show, she got the opportunity to give some creative input. That input ended up becoming the basis of an episode she ended up starring in.
What was Crosby’s Idea?
Crosby elaborated on how it all played out. She said that after she’d come back for the episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” she set up a lunch with one of the showrunners, Rick Berman. During that meal, she pitched an idea she had based on the events of “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”
In that episode, Crosby played an alternate timeline version of her original character, Tasha Yar. That version of Yar ended up going back to a different timeline with the crew of the Enterprise-C. She did so for many reasons, one of which was that she’d fallen for Richard Castillo, one of the crew members of the Enterprise-C.
Crosby told Berman that she thought it would be interesting to explore what happened to the Yar in the Enterprise-C timeline. She pitched a storyline in which Yar got pregnant with Castillo’s baby and then got captured by the Romulans. When the Romulans found out Yar was pregnant, they let her have the baby and then used the baby as leverage for negotiations with the Enterprise-C crew. She suggested that the human child could be raised by Romulans and come back as an adversary of the Federation.
Crosby told fans in the panel that Berman seemed interested in the idea, but that she didn’t expect to hear anything from him.
Her Idea Became the Two-Parter “Redemption”
However, Crosby did hear back from Berman. She shared that she was surprised when he called her back a while later and said he wanted to run with her idea. He did have a few tweaks in mind, he told her.
Berman decided that instead of having Yar’s daughter fathered by Castillo, she would be fathered by a Romulan general, making her half-human, half-Romulan. This opened up a storyline in which Yar’s daughter returned to Enterprise as part of a Romulan plot. The character, who was named Sela, was played by Crosby herself.
Sela showed up in four episodes of TNG. In the episode “Mind’s Eye,” only Sela’s voice was heard. The character was part of a plot to brainwash Lieutenant Geordi LaForge into assassinating a Klingon leader.
Sela was first seen by the audience in the two-parter “Redemption.” These episodes were based on the storyline Crosby pitched to Berman on their lunch date. The final storyline included Berman’s modifications to the character Crosby had dreamed up.
The character appeared one more time, in the second part of the two-parter “Unification.” In that episode, Sela was part of the Romulan faction actively working against the reunification of Vulcans and Romulans.
So, not only did Crosby get to come back to portray her character’s own daughter, she got to do so because of an idea she pitched.
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