29

In ST:TNG "Encounter at Farpoint", it's clear that Dr. Crusher knows Jean-Luc Picard, and this had something to do with the way her former husband died.

From the script:

RIKER: Jean-Luc? You know Captain Picard?
WESLEY: When I was little, he brought my father's body home to us.

...

BEVERLY: Then you must object to me personally. Has it to do with our last meeting?
PICARD: I'm trying to be considerate of your feelings, Doctor Crusher. For you to serve with a commanding officer who would continually remind you of such a terrible personal tragedy... . ...
BEVERLY: Captain. My feelings about my husband's death will have no effect on the way I serve you, this vessel, or this mission.

Is it known what exactly the circumstances were?

27

It's split out over many episodes. From Memory Alpha, the article on Jack Crusher:

Crusher was killed on an away mission while serving on the Stargazer. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Bonding") His death was considered an accident. (TNG: "Attached") It also involved a choice of life and death made by Picard, which results in Wesley having to make a similar choice at his "psych test" during his first application to Starfleet Academy. (TNG: "Coming of Age") Picard personally returned Jack's body to Beverly and Wesley. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") Picard accompanied Beverly to view Jack in the morgue on Starbase 32. When Beverly was mentally assaulted by the Ullian Jev in 2368, she was forced to revisit this event. (TNG: "Violations")

  • 3
    One of the weakest bits of original ST:TNG lore. This was simply a plot element designed by the writers AND network producers to legitimize romantic distance between Crusher and the Captain while also creating complex paternal elements for which many awkward S1-S4 Wes + Picard episodes were derived. If there is ever a question "How Come Picard and Crusher Never Hooked Up?" then this is the answer. – Joey T Sep 4 '12 at 3:21
  • 3
    @JoeyT - Beverly Crusher? – Valorum May 9 '15 at 11:56
9

Jack Crusher's death is vividly described in the Star Trek novel TNG: Reunion (not to be confused with the episode of the same name). In short, there's considerable tension between Picard and Beverley because Picard not only ordered Jack Crusher into danger but also because he rescued another crewmember when they both got into danger, leaving Jack to die.

You've heard the story about how Jack was killed, right? About the problem with the nacelle, and how we had to go out there and sever it? How the energy buildup overcame us, and Jack died in the explosion?" Crusher nodded. "Of course."

"Well, it didn't exactly happen the way you heard."

The doctor felt the blood drain from her face.

"What do you mean?" Joseph thrust his chin out. "I mean, Jack didn't have to die." He paused.

"It was because of me that he got killed. Because of me.

...

"He didn't. He stayed out there, cutting at the assembly--comtrying to do it by himself. More than halfway to the hatch, I looked back and saw him." Joseph's brows came together into a twisted knot. "I'll never forget it. There he was, blasting away like he couldn't stop." Pug's eyes went wide. "And the energy leak from the nacelle was getting worse. It looked like something alive, some-thing fierce-like the bloody Angel of Death or some-thing. But he'd done some damage. It looked as if he was close to severing the nacelle entirely. Maybe with a little help from me, he would have. "Suddenly, without warning, the energy leak began accelerating-- growing like crazy. It was obvious that something was going to blow. But Jack didn't budge.

He kept firing his rifle, even though you couldn't even see the phaser beam anymore for all the radiation pounding at him. He must have known how near he was to accomplishing his mission. And while he was trying to blast away the last of the assembly, I started moving again toward the hatch-even more out-of-my-head frantic than before. As fast as I was going, I should have gotten tangled up in my grapples. Somehow, I didn't."

Joseph bent his head again, ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. "Then I saw the captain coming from the other direction, and I realized what I'd done. And I knew what the others would say about me-how I chickened out, how I lost my nerve. I couldn't stand the thought of that, I couldn't.

So I just went limp, just pretended I was unconscious. It was all I could think of.

"I didn't expect him to drag me back. I thought he'd go after Jack- come after his friend. But I was closer, I was a sure thing. A part of me wanted to tell him I didn't need his help, that he should have gone after the other guy to talk some sense into him.

But then he would have known I was a coward, and he would have told everyone else. So I stayed quiet.

"When the energy pocket exploded, we were sheltered from the impact. All I saw of the blast was the radiation from it, and then the nacelle, or what was left of it, spiralling off into space. And I knew Jack was gone. The Captain knew it, too

  • Who's this "Joseph"? – DCOPTimDowd Apr 17 '18 at 18:22
  • 1
    @DCOPTimDowd - Peter ("Pug") Joesph was the Stargazer's head of Security. – Valorum Apr 17 '18 at 18:36

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