Category Archives: Events

Star Trek Events we have been to or are going too.

Fedcon Bonn Germany – 2nd – 5th June

Continuing our mission to attend the worlds best Star Trek events, the Trekkie Girls have locked their targets onto FedCon 26 which is being held in Bonn Germany 2nd – 5th June 2017.

There’s a stellar Trek lineup this year including LEVAR BURTON (Geordi La Forge), MICHAEL DORN (Worf), MARINA SIRTIS (Deanna Troi), GATES MCFADDEN (Beverly Crusher), CHASE MASTERSON (Leeta)  JOHN DE LANCIE (Q) and COLM MEANEY (Miles O’Brien) .  Also appearing are some great non-Trek Guests like Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and David Hasslehoff!.

With so many Next Generation actors appearing, it looks the perfect place to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek The Next Generation.

The convention is located in the city of Bonn near Cologne-Bonn airport which boasts five direct flights to the UK. It is also an hour and half from the soon-to-be-opened official Star Trek Roller Coaster located at Movie Park Germany (unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’ll be open in time for this event).

Sam and Carole will be attending all weekend, blogging, live tweeting and live streaming from the event.

SF BALL 23 – Review, Gates McFadden, Patti Yasutake and Larry Nemecek Interviews

This year we were delighted to experience a bit more of what the SF Ball has to offer. Having previously only been able to attend for a day, new ticket options meant we were able to experience the much talked about Saturday night cabaret.

sfballtransporter

It also allowed us to immerse ourselves in a different type of convention. We are admittedly more accustom to large scale events and some purely fan led events. We feel the SF Ball sits in it’s own special category. As the Borg would say “It is unique”. The organisers are clearly fans, of that, there is no doubt. But there is a professionalism and reputation (from both customers and the talent) which has made this event last for over two decades. There’s a passion for the event’s success, it’s value and for the charity it seeks to raise money for – The Teenage Cancer Trust.

Many have told us that it is the last ‘traditional fan led convention’. Where fans would take over a hotel for a weekend, play games, watch episodes and geek out together.

We got the vibe that this was more of a social experience (we LIKE this!). At large conventions our feet do not touch the ground, we run from stage to stage to photo ops to autograph queues then bar queues! And we love those style conventions, we see lots of guest stars in one place, we get to see them interact with each other etc (we LOVE this too!). But we also loved the chilled out nature of the SF Ball. It’s not manic, the Grand Harbour Hotel is a superb venue. And we totally abused the 25% discount at the bar (remarkably that included Champagne so we probably ruined that!)

The Ball

We set off Saturday afternoon to give ourselves plenty of time to get ready, chill out and get ready, plus celebrate Carole’s engagement and Sarah’s birthday before we went down. We live in the town next to Southampton, so not a long drive but it took us nearly two hours. An hour was spent in traffic within viewing sight of the hotel!

Our hotel room was spacious with a view of cruise ships. We’d 100% recommend staying here. But we always recommend staying in the event hotel for any convention…unless it’s particularly horrendous!

We head to the bar and catchup with friends. We love that where ever we go in the world we always see similar friendly faces.
The theme for the ball that evening was Game of Thrones. Only Carole has earned that geek card though. The room was dressed in a winter theme (winter is coming btw).

After a delicious three course meal, Chris Barrie (Rimmer, Red Dwarf + Mr Brittas, The Brittas Empire) takes the stage and delivers the cabaret, telling anecdotes from his time of Red Dwarf, The Brittas Empire and Spitting Image.

Then its party time! The dance floor comes out, the bubbles start flowing and we’re free to mingle with the guests. At the bar we had a lovely chat with Patti Yasutake who is honestly the sweetest person. We were kindly given the opportunity to interview Chris Barrie but we politely declined as we are only  Star Trek bloggers and didn’t want to waste his time even though we’d love to chat to him. But, the beauty of the Ball means even though there are fewer guest stars, you have the opportunity to have a more intimate experience with them. So we plucked up the courage and bought Chris a drink! He was a real gent and chatted away to us about his time on TV and everything else!

The rest of the night was purely geek heaven. Chatting away with Larry Nemecek and Andrew (one of the SF Ball Organisers) about everything Star Trek, including a thorough discussion on how Spot got from Data’s quarters to the Cargo bay in Generations. This opened up a minefield of other debatables such as where is Data’s quarters? Andrew thought they were in the drive section. But a tweet out gave the response they were on deck 2. But that’s right under the bridge!? There’s no windows so it’s got to be in the middle somewhere? Answers on a postcard to Utopia Planitia please.

We called it a night at silly o’clock in the morning which was silly as we wanted to be up for Larry’s talk at 10am. We made it….just!

Larry Nemecek

Larry gave an all encompassing look at the 50 year phenomenon that is Star Trek and spoke more in depth on the fan favourite subjects such as Fan Films (looking at you Axanar!) and Discovery. Larry is able to provide a unique insight to life behind the scenes on Star Trek. If you’re ever at a convention and he is a guest, be sure to say ‘hi’. He is super approachable, always has cool stuff to show you and even sell you. Larry is also married to Janet Nemecek who worked as a script coordinator on Voyager and First Contact. Janet often attends with Larry and is a joy to talk too. If you find getting to conventions difficult then you need to check out Portal 47, a monthly ‘mini con’ where you can hear all Larry’s stories, ask questions and talk to guest stars.

Straight after Larry’s talk we headed up to the posh suite on the top floor to interview him. Which was funny because we have had the privilege of spending lots of time Larry and we have never got round to doing a video interview. It was conducted at warp speed!

Gates McFadden and Patti Yasutake

The talk with Gates McFadden and Patti Yasutake was one we had been looking forward to and we weren’t disappointed. One thing we have always appreciated about Star Trek is how it portraits the ‘lower ranks’. Ok lets put the red shirts aside for this. In TNG we saw how much the senior crew respected those who served under them. From what we have observed this relationship seems to be mirrored between the actors and the crew. There’s a line in Time’s Arrow when Data tells Guinan that ‘served together on a starship”. The language indicates equality and respect for Guinans job and function on the Enterprise.

Nurse Ogawa was one of the first regulars we recall . Her developing relationship with Dr Crusher over the series allowed us a brief insight into the personal lives of the crew. It gave the Enterprise more depth and community. … Ok we were chuffed as Tribble to see them both together!

Whilst Gates and Patti took the time to answer many audience questions it also felt like we were able to enjoy the company of two friends catching up. They had a great report sharing anecdotes of their time on TNG. We even learned some new things!:

After the talk we were ushered into the posh suite again where we teamed up with our friend Jon from Visionary Trek to chat with Gates and Patti who were an absolute joy!

We owe a massive thanks to Andrew for holding the Camera this long!

We spent the rest of the event checking out the vendors, catching up and drinking the bar dry…of Diet Coke and Earl Grey Tea!

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable evening and day. Stay tuned to see our interview with the SF Ball Team for more insights into this fab event.

Highlights: Seeing Gates and Patti together and thanking them for being role models.

+ Seeing fans do extraordinary things to raise money for The Teenage Cancer Charity such as shaving their heads and Neil Carpenter who is committing to run 1701 miles this year! 

SF Ball 3-5 Feb Southampton with Gates McFadden, Patti Yasutake and Larry Nemecek

It’s approaching February which means time for the fabulous SF Ball! Despite being right in our backyard – The Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton 3-5th February –  it’s always the hardest for us to attend!

But this year will be there on the Sunday (Carole and Sarah for sure. Sam, if she hasn’t left on her away mission!)

sfball-banner-10

And with a Trektastic lineup it’s not one we want to miss.

We were sold when they announced Gates McFadden (Dr Beverley Crusher) but then they announced her number one Patti Yasutake (Nurse Alyssa Ogawa).

Then for added Trek-goodness our friend Larry Nemecek (Trek Continues, Trekland, Portal 47, Trek know-it-all) is also in attendance. He is a must see for for enthusiasts who enjoy hearing all about behind-the-scenes stories.

If you’re a fan of the new Star Trek films you’ll want to meet Dave Freeman who is the Concept artist for the movies.

Best bit? The SF ball is a Not-For-Profit organisation run by unpaid volunteers who donate money raised to the Teenage Charity Trust.

tct

Continue reading SF Ball 3-5 Feb Southampton with Gates McFadden, Patti Yasutake and Larry Nemecek

#DSTE Day 3

 

Late night early morning. That’s how we roll at DST. We are still a bit green in places from yesterday’s Orion look but we head straight to the Excelsior stage where we are hosting our second Cosplay panel with the wonderful Misty Chance (drag queen and Star Trek cosplayer) and Liam Dillon, Star Trek fan and Facebook costume group.

Cosplay Panel

In this panel we highlight the connection between cosplay (grown up talk for fancy dress) and Star Trek. What we discovered is that there is a close link between the two. Cosplay originated at Star Trek conventions (contrary to popular belief that it stemmed from manga/anime and Japanese culture).

We asked each panellist and the audience why they choose to dress up as Star Trek characters and we found and wide array of answers. For Liam, it is a challenge to recreate the styles, to source the material and obtain the details. Misty was blatantly honest and said it was for the attention! Misty has had access to the actors and fans in a unique way because she is more approachable in character than in his normal clothes dressed as Christian.

Sarah and Carole had similar reasons. They joked it’s because Sam makes them! But as we explored it further, they enjoy participating. Like many of us we see others dressed up, we wish we were brave enough because it looks like fun. And eventually we take the plunge.

For myself (Sam) and also our new honorary Trekkie Girl, the adorable Beth the reason was that we enjoy the play element of it. For a moment in our lives we can allow ourselves to get swept up in our imaginations and we are captain of the Enterprise (instead of hoovering or searching for quotes on car insurance!).


We’d like to thank Liam, Misty, Beth and everyone else who was involved at this fun panel.

Also check out Misty’s blog for more details on the construction of the Martia costume.

Continue reading #DSTE Day 3

#DSTE Day 2 pt2 –  Party!

**We are live blogging, please excuse any lapses in spelling, grammar and accuracy**

Last night was the second of the Destination Star Trek Europe parties. This one was themed ‘Quarks bar and casino as was the venue for the official celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary.

The party was held at the Hilton Metropole which was a superb venue and conveniently close to the NEC. You have the added advantage of being able to access the main bar.

The Star Trek Rat Pack performed who were brilliant and hilarious. They had edited their routine for the British audience. For example at Star Trek Las Vegas they sang “you can’t get a good drink at Rio” to “you can only get a good drink in England”

Apparently Chase played before but we were in the queue at the bar (longer than Shatners autograph line!) but we hear she was incredible.

After the performance Walter Koenig cut the specially commissioned birthday cake which featured Kirk, a Gorn, enterprise, Klingon battle cruiser.

 

#DSTE Day 2

**We are live blogging, please excuse any lapses in spelling, grammar and accuracy**

 

Day two is off to an amazing start. The event has sold out! We started by greening ourselves up because today we are Orion Slave Girls! … Technically we are Orion officers!

The additional makeup and dressing requirements meant we missed some early panels (that’s the reason, honest!). But nothing was going to keep us away from Wil Wheatons panel!

Wil Wheaton’s Talk

Here’s what happened…

  • This was the first time in 20 years that he had appeared at a UK convention!
  • He spoke with such passion and enthusiasm it was infectious.
  • Defined by the entertainment industry as “he used to be an actor”
  • He loves to write and found he preferred directing
  • In 2000 – started website / blogging and reinvented himself that way
  • He has proved you CAN have a second act in Hollywood
  • Stranger Things will NOT take his call and yet there is a character in S2 that basically IS him
  • He is a great “maker” and says now is the best time for creative people.
  • He is THE most gracious / humble person!!
  • “The Doomsday Machine” is one of his earliest memories of a Sci Fi show being both entertaining and socially accountable
  • “Tapestry” is his absolute favourite episode. Great episode and even better to have a Star Trek actor tell us without being asked!
  • He came up with the particular order of buttons to press to get the ship in to warp speed or into orbit, etc. It made it more real to him!
  • He spoke about voicing the off-screen Romulans in the new Trek – where he said “Captain, if we ignite the red matter”. JJ Abrams pitched the film to him and he was blown away!
  • He likes to play “Where’s Greg” – drinking game in JJ Abrams movies

A request came from audience member to Sing ‘Soft Kitty’ and Wil delivered! 😍

“Stand By Me” is the career high that he will never hit again, but he has learnt to accept that. A lesson learned from episode Tapestry. We however beg to differ. As Vic Fontaine says “the best is yet to come”!

The writers didn’t take advantage of where Wil was at whilst playing Wesley – they got stuck in the character as “an idea” and not as him as a 3D/4D being

The was a huge distance between him and the older actors, he wanted to emulate them

There was a time when the ST community was awful to him, because they didn’t like Wesley, so they didn’t like him. But now he is older he is able to meet fans who are a similar age to him who were inspired and could relate to his character.

We managed to get in a question ourselves. We asked how he deals with internet trolls. To which he replied “block, and shine a light on how stupid they are”!

George Takei

When George takes the stage he has a remarkable presence. He loves the audience and we love him. He describes the conversation he had with Gene Roddenberry when he set out his vision for Star Trek. The bridge crew was to be made up of representatives of all of earth continents. The actors paralleled this demonstrating Infinite diversity in Infinite combinations.

Talking about the origins of “”ohh myyyy” it was a reaction from an interview with Howard Stern when Stern said “someone with a voice that deep must have a big dong!”

George described his scene Excelsior command scene in Star Trek 6. It felt like he was recreating it in front of our eyes! George loved telling us as much as we enjoyed listening which is what makes him an A* guest.

Speaking about his hit Broadway show Allegiance, George reminds us how important it is to constantly fight for our liberty, a message that Star Trek also delivers. He is in talks to bring the show to Londons west end. We’ll be first in line George!

When asked if Star Trek could have gone further with its messages of equality (alluding to issues of sexuality) George responded that he spoke to Gene about raising the issue – the interracial kiss was the lowest rating and caused so much controversy, the network wouldn’t let him address any more controversial topics or they would have kicked him off the air!

So far it’s been an amazing day. The cosplay has been a whole new level!

Next up we are going into the Guinness world record attempt to be the largest gathering of Star Trek characters in one place. Let’s smash it! Then we’ve got our own cosplay panel at 4.55!

Highlight:

Ohh yeah!!

Weird bit: painting each other green -got a bit awkward!

#DSTE – day one preview

**We are live blogging, please excuse any lapse in grammar, spelling or accuracy**

The doors are open! And like Scotty spying on the USS Vengence, we snuck behind the bridge crew to take a look at things at Destination Star Trek Birmingham before it opened to the public….

Here is our live periscope….

 

We have had an incredible morning so far having appeared on BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, radio stations all with the marvellous William Shatner. He was hilarious and so hard working.

#DSTE – Press conference

**We are live blogging, please excuse any lapses in our grammar, spelling or accuracy.**
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Press conferences at Star Trek conventions are weird! Their primary function is to give major press outlets access to Star Trek’s finest so they write about the event and get extra people through the doors.

generationshd0102

They are similar to panels but as the questions aren’t from hard core fans it has a totally different feel from the fan orientated questions.

Still, we feel very lucky to attend these. Here’s what happened…

William Shatner is first up talking about social media – Kirk wouldn’t use it.

How he feels young, but not as young as he used too.


About 50 years of Star Trek. There is a magic about Star Trek. He then even said that he saw an interview this morning with “these girls” (pointing to us in the first row) and that we said one of the reason we go to conventions is to see our friends and that he had reached the same conclusion in his documentary that fans like to come  together. Yep Shatner quoted the Trekkie Girls at a press conference!

 Marina and Dominic are straight in with the politics! Attributing Star Treks success to its ability to stay relevant.

Armin Shimmerman also spoke eloquently (as always) about the #TrekAgainstTrump campaign furthering the point about how necessary star treks message remains today.

Most questions of the press conference were about the longevity of Star Trek Alice Krige made a very poignant point that ‘Star Trek reruns are to remind us to keep working towards a perfect world”.

George Takei and Walter Koenig were entertaining and spoke about how they are fortunate to still be working, leaning and perfecting their craft.


  
  
  
  

One week until #DSTE – Schedule available

One week until our favourite every-year-or-two event; Destination Star Trek. The schedule has been released and so begins the mission briefing!

web-logo-v6

As you might see we have a couple of panels ourselves. Which we have began frantically preparing for! Please remember the details can change at anytime!

Cosplay panel – We have been asked to host a panel on cosplaying and we are delighted to do! We don’t claim to be expert cosplayers ourselves but we do dress up at conventions and are fascinated by the phenomenon.

We have invited some of our friends as panelists. Misty Chance, the Trekkie Drag queen and Cosplay legend. If you have been to any of the DST’s or the recent Star Trek Las Vegas convention you would have seen her sporting one of her many pro costumes including the Intendant, Seven of Nine, T’Pol, Queen Aracnia and Lwaxana Troi. Looking at her twitter feed she has a real treat for us next weekend!

Lets hope she gets a kiss from William Shatner!

Trek Talks: A Pop Culture Icon

In this panel we will be looking at the long standing relationship between Star Trek and cosplaying, the chance to ask questions and share your knowledge. And how Star Trek should be taking cosplay serious as it ventures forth with its new series.

The panel is right after the World Record attempt (yep that’s happening!) so hopefully we’ll have plenty of people in the mood for dress up!

When: 16.50 Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th 09.40

Where: Excelsior Stage.

Trek Talks – a Pop Culture Icon

We have been asked by DST to host a panels focusing on the pop icon status Star Trek has received and the effect it has had on our  culture.

From TV references to techno local advances, Star Trek has permeated all sectors of modern culture. Long may it live!

When:14.55 Sunday 9th

Where: Excelsior stage

Other than panels we’ll be live reporting, blogging and periscoping from the show… and fan-girling over Wil Wheaton obviously!  If you see us please say hi!