After the Enterprise crew became infected with the polywater intoxication virus, causing them to lose control of their ability to inhibit their emotions and behavior, Wesley Crusher tricked MacDougal out of main engineering so he could take control of the area. The young Crusher then erected a force field, separating himself from the rest of engineering and preventing MacDougal or anyone else from entering the main control room. MacDougal subsequently assisted Commander Riker in disabling the force field and take back control of the starship.
Afterward, MacDougal tried to replace the isolinear chips removed by her infected colleague, Jim Shimoda. With the chips removed, the ship could not be controlled, which was made more crucial as the ship was on a collision course with a stellar core fragment. Data, though himself infected, was able to place the chips back more quickly, regaining ship control and avoiding a collision. She appeared to be unaffected by the intoxication. (TNG: "The Naked Now")
Under Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge, MacDougal was a duty engineer. She, along with Leland T. Lynch, were supervisors for the third shift. During the upgrade of the subspace phase coils, their team performed the final calibration needed to complete the procedure. In her final analysis, MacDougal noted a minor phase variation in the tertiary harmonics. This variation didn't affect the power output; however, Argyle recommended the continued use of test instrumentation for monitoring phase shifts. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")
|Chief engineers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Tucker • Kelby|
|USS Enterprise-D:||MacDougal • Argyle • Logan • Lynch • La Forge|
|USS Enterprise-E:||La Forge|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Tucker|
|ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701):||Scott|
|USS Enterprise (alternate reality):||Olson • Scott • Chekov|
Sarah MacDougal was played by Brooke Bundy. MacDougal appeared to have been replaced as chief engineer by Lieutenant Commander Argyle in TNG: "Where No One Has Gone Before", also set in 2364. However, Commander Riker's line in that episode in which he stated that engineering matters were overseen by "one of our chief engineers, in this case, [Mr.] Argyle" seems to imply that the ship had more than one chief engineering officer at the time. Therefore, it is possible that MacDougal continued to serve as chief engineer even while Argyle held that position. This practice of having more than one chief engineer seems to have come to an end by 2365, when Geordi La Forge became the sole chief engineer of the Enterprise.
For the remastered edition of "Galaxy's Child", the original okudagram for the engineering logs was replaced by a new graphic. MacDougal was mentioned in this graphic.
MacDougal has appeared or been mentioned in non-canon releases, such as Pocket TNG novel Ghost Ship, and Star Trek: The Next Generation comics from DC. In "Suspect", it was noted that she had been killed sometime between 2369 and 2371. Alternatively the novel A Time for War, A Time for Peace establishes that MacDougal retired from Starfleet.