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27. The Ballad of Leslie Crusher

At various stages of TNG’s development, the Enterprise’s resident teen genius was going to be Leslie Crusher – a girl. Anika and Liz wonder what it would have been like to have a girl STEM genius on television in 1987. Would she have been well-written? Would audiences have hated her as much as Wesley? Would she have inspired girls of our generation to become engineers? 

We also talk about similar characters and significant female characters in other media, including…

  • Doctor Who (Adric, Ace)
  • Star Wars (Leia, Padme, Rey) (including spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker)
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • The Hunger Games
  • every single version of Lost in Space, including the 2004 John Woo pilot starring Jayne Brook

This episode owes a great debt to The Trek Files, the source of the memos we discuss.

Those memos: