Letters from women fans upon Denise Crosby leaving TNG

A few examples from the September, 1988 Starlog’s letters section:

“Hailing frequencies closed, sir.” Perhaps one of the saddest lines spoken on a television show in a long time. This quote, from Lt. Natasha Yar, in a holographic image message at her funeral, reminds me of just how human we all are, that the crew of the new starship Enterprise is not invincible, and are capable of showing their grief and expressing their words and actions towards this tragic woman. I am grateful they portrayed death, truly something the old series never seemed to get across. Thank you, crew of the starship NCC-1701-D, for making me believe in you, and Lt. Yar, may you rest in peace.

– Tammy Ales, Neenah, WI

I am quite upset about the death of Lt. Tasha Yar. In my opinion, Tasha Yar is a character that the new show cannot do without. Yar was very aggressive and strong yet she also had a female side. It’s wild to see a female capable of beating men up instead of the weak women usually seen on TV. I just cannot see The Next Generation without Lt. Yar. I mean, who can replace her? A man? You’ve got to be kidding. Yar represents a future where there is no sexual discrimination. A time to come when women are fully equal to men.

– Jeanette Rios, New York, NY

…Of all the Next Generation characters, Tasha touched my emotions most. I understood her frustration, felt happy when she was praised, and cared when she felt alone. In a sense, she resembled many teens in America. Ones faced with problems for which they know only one solution – to fight. Many are insecure, as she was. The Bridge will never be the same without her, gone will be her determination, her crisp voice dictating “hailing frequencies open,” her loyalty.

Even though Denise Crosby will still be acting, Tasha’s death won’t be made up for. Crosby’s acting style, combined with the character, was a match well-made. Perhaps the executives of The Next Generation would like to consider reincarnation? With all the mysterious life forces in outer space, there must be one who can reconstruct others. Maybe Q could do it, although he may need some brainwashing first.

– Mariah Fegarsky, Suffern NY

…What’s wrong with this picture? Why, we seem to have forgotten the women of ST: TNG. And so has Gene Roddenberry and company. Yes, that’s right, all fellow female Trek watchers, it’s Uhura’s syndrome all over again. ST: TNG has become just another exercise in “machismo;” the same kind of inane programming the networks present us with…

…That old late ’60s, NBC attitude is running amok – women are all right to tend people in Sick Bay or run a console, but beyond that, forget it! 

We are heartily sick of the way Tasha Yar has slipped since the show’s beginning. She started out strongly…she was then chiseled down to a decoration on the back of the Bridge. She opens hailing frequencies, operates tractor beams and readies photon torpedoes. Occasionally, she leads a security team. Beyond that, however, too few scenes show the human side, or indeed any other side, of Tasha. And it has been very much the same for Deanna Troi and Dr. Beverly Crusher.

Deanna, after an interesting start, had to choose between her career and family when her fiance showed up. Puhleeze! In the future that Trek is supposed to portray, wouldn’t those kind of dilemmas have been virtually erased?

The only woman to fare better is Dr. Beverly Crusher and even she has room for enormous improvement…

…Crosby is right; some 1980s minds can’t write for the far future.

– Vanessa Prineas, Kathy Frachey, Carrie Rockenhauser and Susie Uhl, Illinois (there is even more to this letter and you can read it and the other letters I skipped here).

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