Doctober 31: All Good Things…

What more appropriate title for this final Doctober entry than the title of the very last episode of TNG?

I can’t believe that Doctober is now over. I can’t believe that I have awesome, silly ImagiFriendsTM who suggested that this could continue into “Bevember” and even “Crushuary.” (I can, however, believe that I gave both those suggestions serious thought.)

There’s definitely a sadness, at least on my part, that this is the end of this month-long silliness. But this has been an extraordinary amount of fun. I hope that everyone who found their way here enjoyed the daily offerings…or, at the very least, didn’t find the entire idea too off-putting. I’d say I hope you didn’t find it too geeky, but even I know that this was a huge geek-o-rama. I’m okay with that. My quote here at the lair is a Dr. Crusher quote after all (five bars of gold-pressed latinum if you can name the episode from which it came). Geekery is all part of the business here at Chez Loba.

Rather than something over the top for this final posting, I decided I’m going to keep it simple…besides, how do you top the Zombie Crushers from yesterday’s post? It’s a bit impossible, if you ask me. Zombie Crushers win each and every time.

So, instead, I give you this lovely photograph of Gates McFadden, in “civilian” clothes. And I offer my warmest and most earnest gratitude to all who stopped by to see what new craziness this silly little wolf was offering up each day. Not only did Doctober keep my spirits high and my creativity levels soaring, but it helped to push my tracking statistics higher than they’ve ever been. Definitely an unexpected but incredibly appreciated bonus 🙂

Again, thank you. And we now return the lair to its regularly scheduled geekery…

Doctober 30: Night of the Living Crushers

“They’re coming to get you, Beverly…”

That would have been an interesting take on the whole Night of the Living Dead story, eh? Or what if both Crushers turned into brain-slurping zombies? We’ve already witnessed Dr. Crusher consuming Commander Riker’s brain through a straw, so obviously she’s got a bit of those dirty, dirty zombie cravings going on inside. And Wesley is her son…it’s just a matter of time before genetics caught up with him…

Of course, there already is an unofficial “Trek” take on this movie, thanks to Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of Romero’s original zombie tale. The remake stars Tony Todd, most famous to Trek fans as Worf’s brother Kurn (as well as famous to horror movie fans as the Candyman himself), and Patricia Tallman who…wait for it, denizens…was Gates McFadden’s stunt double. Remember the scene in Generations when Data pushes Dr. Crusher off the side of the sailing ship on the holodeck? That was Patricia Tallman going over the side. She was also McFadden’s double during the series run. She also doubled Nana Visitor, Michelle Forbes, Gwynyth Walsh, Louise Fletcher…let’s just say she doubled a lot of the Trek actresses. She also appeared as various characters throughout the run of TNG, DS9, and Voyager.

I very rarely say nice things about remakes, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Savini’s NOTLD remake, mostly for the Trek influence but also because it’s a gooey, fun take on Romero’s original. Is it better in color than in black and white? That’s up for debate, I suppose. Is it better with Candyman and the Trek Stunt Actress Supreme? Uh. Yeah.

Oh, and because I know you want to see this, here’s what the official Night of the Living Crushers T-shirt design would look like. You know, this is the second Doctober posting that I wouldn’t mind seeing on a T-shirt…

Doctober 29: …Just Drawn That Way

As it is with most geeky entertainment genres, Star Trek has its fingers in many different consumer-friendly pies, including the extremely lucrative comic book world. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we delve into that particular collector paradise. I’m barely an amateur when it comes to comics; I have certain favorites that I visit now and again, usually in graphic novel format, but I’m by no means a capital-c “Collector.” And when it comes to Trek comics, I’m even worse. I think I own three TNG comics and one DS9 comic. The DS9 and one of the TNG comics were gifts, and the other two TNG ones I bought at conventions because…ready? Dr. Crusher was on the covers. As Comic Book Guy would no doubt say, “Worst. Collector. Ever.”

Then there’s this “comic,” which I think only barely makes the comic categorization by being comic-book size and being drawn. However, as you can see from the following pictures, the interior pages are almost coloring book-esque in their black line art and utter lack of any other color. Regardless of what this actually is, I can honestly say that this is one of the more delightful non-action figure collectible anomalies I own.

I assume that this company, Personality Comics, released an issue for all of “The New Crew,” but this is the only one I’ve ever seen. This one, in fact, didn’t come out until after Gates McFadden had returned to the show for the third season. But rather than blather on any further, I’m going to cut this short and let the photos speak for themselves. And believe me, they have some rather…unique things to say…

Doctober 28: Geminis and DoppleCrushers

You ever re-watch a show after you’ve watched a different show, and you have this weird epiphany about how Character A from Show A looks eerily like Character B from Show B?

Have I completely lost you all? Wait…I promise this will make sense in a minute (and I mean “sense” in the loosest, Loba-iest meaning of the word).

So I’m watching/re-watching Twin Peaks right now. I put it this way because I admittedly didn’t finish watching it the first time it was on television. It came out when I was 13 and I really couldn’t be asked to follow something that bizarre and intricate when my biggest concerns were turning in my homework on time, not blowing up the science lab because of my wonky math skills, and not getting an in-school suspension because my skirt didn’t touch the floor when I got down on my knees.

(You think I’m kidding about that last part. Sadly, I’m not. And, sadly, I did get an in-school suspension around this time for this precise reason.)

Yeah, so Twin Peaks. I’m really digging it this time around in ways similar to how I hated Mulholland Drive the first time I saw it but now love it and think it’s one of the most awesome movies Lynch has ever made. But something that struck me as totally bizarre and completely amusing during this viewing is the fact that Nadine Hurley and Beverly Crusher could be twins.

Not like creepy The Shining twins. Actually…

Okay, no. That’s just too creepy.

However, look at this:

Okay? Now, look at this:

See what I mean? The only thing that really throws me off is that Nadine is way shorter than Dr. Crusher is. Other than that, these two are like sisters from another mister…only, you know, separated by about 400 years. And played by completely different actresses.

Whatever. All I know is that this makes me want to add an eye patch to every photo of Dr. Crusher I can find. Wouldn’t that have been awesome (even if slightly disturbing that the CMO of the Federation’s flagship would choose an eye patch over an ocular implant)? And there is precedent for cool eye-patchery: Saul Tigh, Snake Plissken, Commander Franky Cook from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Elle Driver from Kill Bill…and let’s not forget General Chang, the Klingon with the eye patch bolted into his skull. See? Cool and badass.

I think Dr. Crusher would look awesome sporting an eye patch. Don’t you?

Doctober 27: The Springtime of Her Voodoo

I can’t sing the praises of enough. Especially their Rare Photos section, which delights me to no end, no matter how many times I peruse the archives. There are so many photos that make me wish I could have been privy to what was transpiring just outside the confines of that moment forever frozen in time.

There are several candid shots of the TNG crew from the first season that I find particularly mesmerizing. Images like these two, in which something is going on right off-camera that has obviously utterly delighted Dr. Crusher and Commander Riker:

(Also, just a guess here, but I bet Frakes went home with a bruise from Gates belting him in that second shot.)

Or this one, with Data in a cardigan (“Will you not be my neighbor?”)

Or this odd publicity shot of the lovely ladies of TNG:

Okay, let’s try this one again. Bev, take off the lab coat. And, Tasha, put your leg down.

No, still not right. Too red. And, Deanna, stop slouching!

Now that’s much better. This was actually the final shot they used as a publicity photo. Do you remember the captain’s chair with wood on the instrumentation panels? Neither do I. I also don’t remember Dr. Crusher’s lab coat ever looking quite so…crushed velvety.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today, denizens. Well, except for this screen capture, which didn’t come from TrekCore, but still delights me. Why? Because these are my three favorite TNG characters.

Doctober 26: Candidate Crusher

Bet you didn’t know that becoming the head of Starfleet Medical was a democratic process, did you? Look at all the fantastic things that Doctober is teaching you, denizens!

Anyway, this is Loba’s non-subtle way of reminding American denizens that a week from today is November 2, which means…time to vote!

(Sadly, however, you won’t be able to vote for Dr. Crusher. Although, if you’d like to use her as a write-in candidate, I can’t tell you not to. Just be sure to take a photo if you do 😉 )

I know, I know, politics. Yay. About as enjoyable as trying to give a cat a colonoscopy (there’s a visual I bet you wish you didn’t have in your head right now). But the political process is one that affects us all, even if it’s in subtle ways, every single day. Don’t think that because this isn’t a presidential election year that it isn’t important. In fact, I’d argue that local political issues are in many ways more important, because these are the politicians creating laws and making decisions that will impact you much closer to home.

And why am I saying all this a week before the actual day? To give you all time to start reading up on your local races. Don’t just toe your party’s line. Don’t turn on the television and see who slings the most mud in the most convincing ways. Learn what these people stand for, what they believe, what they want to bring to the table. Make smart decisions. But don’t be apathetic. Don’t shrug and say that you’re just one person. Too many people are doing just that. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for the triumph of stupidity is that smart people do nothing.”

So get involved, get informed, get out and vote. That is all.

Doctober 25: Dr. Dressy

This is a quick one today, denizens, due to insanity well out of my control. However, I had a few easy posts planned, just in case something like this occurred. She’s a planner, that wily Loba.

I’ve previously ragged on the TNG episode “Sub Rosa” for being some of the most cliched and smutty Trek ever. However, one great thing came from this episode, and that is finally getting to see Dr. Crusher in a dress uniform. Actually, I do believe that this was also the first time we saw Counselor Troi in a dress uniform as well…but this isn’t Troitober, so we don’t care about this bit of trivia, now do we?


Here, then, is a lovely screen capture of Dr. Crusher in her dress blues:

And, because I also very much enjoyed the dress uniforms designed for the TNG crew for their movies, here is Dr. Crusher in her dress whites:

AND…because I love you all so much and because I think it’s a fantastic candid shot, here is a re-post of a photo I found on of Gates McFadden, in her Dr. Crusher dress whites, hugging one of the most awesome people on this planet: Trek make-up artist extraordinaire Michael Westmore:

Doctober 24: One of a Kind

I don’t know much of anything about what goes on at trade shows. I’ve never been to one, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked into learning about their various intricacies and activities. So I don’t know if this is, indeed, a trade show item…or if I’ve been supremely snookered.

Either way, this is one of my favorite Dr. Crusher-related eBay finds ever.

The seller described this as an action figure he picked up at a trade show several years ago. It was from the Playmates booth, and was a figure from a proposed “Warp Factor Series 8” line they were preparing. Right off the bat, there’s a problem. Again, according to this list, it looks like there were only five Warp Factor runs.

However, that’s sort of the anachronistic icing on what is just a HUGE anachronistic cake. Observe:

Tell me this isn’t the most awesome bit of action figure WTFery you’ve ever seen. The more I look at it, the more I’m convinced this is one of the best custom action figure jobs ever done. The packaging looks hand-done, and by that, I mean the graphics look like they were done in PhotoShop. The images on the back, for instance, are low-resolution printouts. And the image of Dr. Bashir in no way looks like him…or his actual action figure. Also, the Dr. Crusher figure photo on the back is quite low-res and quite poorly focused. However, the design itself is almost perfect.

Same with the graphics on the front. I can tell you that whoever did the front graphic card, if this is a custom job, did a beautiful job of combining the card information from Cadet Beverly Howard-Crusher and Captain Beverly Picard (the cadet action figure was the only one marketed with Dr. Crusher’s maiden name, while the accessories included with this figure are identical to the ones included with Captain Bev Picard). In fact, if you look closely enough at the graphic area right next to “Beverly,” you can make out some color fluctuations that could have come from morphing a graphic to cover where the word “Cadet” would have appeared on the original package graphic.

But now I’ve gone off the rails with my geekery.

Look at the actual figure. It’s definitely Dr. Crusher’s head…the same head, in fact, from the Captain Beverly Picard figure. But that body. As I pointed out yesterday, Dr. Crusher never wore a DS9-era medical uniform. She most certainly didn’t wear one during the run of TNG, which is when this uniform would have existed, as indicated by the TNG-era comm badge. Also, Dr. Crusher was never a lieutenant when we “knew” her. See, look at this close-up:

No, I’m almost positive that this body was originally topped by a Jadzia Dax head. And this is starting to look more and more like the mother of all custom figures.

I’ve never seen mention of any ditched Beverly Crusher figures that match this description, and I’ve never again seen a similar figure being sold or mentioned anywhere else. Of course, as I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t know anything about trade shows, so I don’t know if something like this would be a common product shown at said shows. If anyone out there reading this knows anything about the trade show mystique and can shed some light on whether or not this is legit or a beautiful ruse, please drop me a line.

Regardless of the “truthiness” of this figure’s history or existence, I think it’s utterly brilliant and one of my favorite pieces of Bevernalia and geekanalia in general.

Doctober 23: Go Figure

Amazingly enough, for a character as underutilized as Dr. Crusher was on the show, she did receive her fair share of action figure love. True, she was the only character who didn’t get an action figure in the initial 1992 release of TNG characters (don’t think I didn’t notice this…and don’t think I didn’t drive people crazy at the Toys R Us and KB Toys, asking them when the Dr. Crusher figure would be released).

However, once her inaugural figure came out with the first 1993 batch, there was no stopping her. According to this list, in fact, Dr. Crusher was immortalized in plastic a grand total of 10 times (including the Tiny Beverly from the transforming medical tricorder that I previously discussed).

Yes, this does in fact mean that Dr. Crusher was the recipient of more action figures than actual episodes dedicated to her character.

I know you’ll all be surprised to hear this, but I don’t actually have all 10 of the Playmates Dr. Crusher action figures. There was one Dr. Crusher figure that was scheduled to be released as part of the Target exclusive “Starfleet Command” line, but at the last minute she and a cobalt biosuit Seven of Nine were scrapped from the line-up in the United States and only a small batch was sold in Europe and Australia. You can find both Dr. Crusher and Seven on this page, along with a few other hard-to-find Playmates action figures. This was the last Dr. Crusher to be made by Playmates, and one of the last batches of Trek action figures made by Playmates until their crappy 2009 movie figures (to go along with that crappy 2009 movie).

Here, then, are the Dr. Crusher action figures from my collection (minus the First Contact Dr. Crusher, who is still on my desk at work, taming her zebra). First, the ones I removed from their packaging:

From left to right, these are: Cadet Beverly Howard-Crusher, Dr. Crusher wearing a uniform that was initially designed for the first TNG movie Generations but was scrapped at the last minute (although I believe there’s supposedly one scene in which you can still see Geordi wearing this design), Captain Beverly Picard (who is on a stand and holding a PADD because I still display her on a shelf; I love how commanding she looks), Dr. Crusher in her lab coat (this was the first Dr. Crusher action figure), and Dr. Crusher in her 1940s attire from “The Big Goodbye” (and, no, you’re not imagining things and your monitor isn’t crooked; she is leaning to one side because one of her legs wasn’t quite as long as the other).

These next two are still MIP because I bought them long after the Playmates action figure craze (thank the prophets for eBay, that’s all I’m saying):

On the left is Dr. Crusher in a DS9-era jumpsuit, which I don’t think we ever actually saw Dr. Crusher wear. Remember, this uniform was introduced to the TNG crew in their first movie…but not all of the characters wore it. Some of them, including Dr. Crusher, still wore the TNG show uniforms. You know, because things like uniformity and cohesion won’t really be all that important in the 24th century military. I mean, hell, if you look closely enough at some of those scenes from Generations, you’ll catch glimpses of Worf in a paisley tutu and Data in tennis shorts. On the right is Dr. Crusher in her regular TNG-era uniform, sans lab coat.

Once the Playmates action figure line died away, most fans assumed that was the end of the action figure legacy, at least for a while. Which was true to a point. Then Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys came along, first starting with a line of Enterprise action figures that were far larger and far more detailed than anything that Playmates ever made during their almost 10-year run. Soon DST was designing action figures for TNG and DS9 (there’s a lingering promise of a Seven of Nine action figure as the first, and probably only, Voyager action figure, but I seriously doubt we’ll ever see her).

Again, Dr. Crusher has received her fair share of DST figures:

From left to right is Dr. Crusher from DST’s Nemesis line, their original Dr. Crusher in her TNG-era uniform, and Captain Beverly Picard from the last TNG episode “All Good Things…” Yes, they’re all still MIP. I like them that way for now, thank you. Besides, I have another TNG-era Dr. Crusher that I did remove from her packaging. She’s even been featured here at the lair before, back when I was going a bit stir-crazy last winter from all the snow.

The DST figures are superior to the Playmates figures for many reasons, least of which is the amazing detail of each figure. These actually look like their respective characters. Plus, they have amazing articulation and really cool accessories. I love Diamond Select and have never been disappointed by their figures (I have, however, been disappointed on several occasions regarding action figures that I was looking forward to them releasing but that were canceled at the last minute). However, I also think that they’re a reflection of the changing prerogatives of their target audience. These DST figures are not for children…at least not “actual” children. No, they’re for the adults who never really grew up. Like me and the rest of my geeky allies who were so enamored of the Playmates figures and would love to see something new.

So there you have it: almost all of my Dr. Crusher action figures. Tomorrow, I’ll have something extra special for you. I know, I know…you can hardly stand the antici…pation, right?