My First Star Trek Convention: What Am I Taking Away From DST3?

Star Trek is a drug and I’m hooked. That is all.

JUST KIDDING!!! Like you could shut me up there?!
But seriously, as a complete convention newbie, as I said before, I had no idea what to expect from DST3. Trekkie Girls Sam and Carole, had always seemed to have a lot of fun, but I felt that perhaps you had to be a “hardcore Trekkie” to reap the full benefit from one of these things? Also, I guess I feared that my lack of Trek knowledge would make me stick out like a sore thumb?! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I think Bruce Greenwood summed it up perfectly. It was his first convention too, and at the opening ceremony, as he spoke to Jonathan Ross, he seemed honestly taken aback by how much the show meant to the fans and was surprised at how much it had touched some of their lives. He was sincerely moved, and quite emotional about it.
Trekkie’s are without doubt the nicest people I have ever met! Both the fans and the actors (who all seem to be fans themselves?!) are warm, friendly, welcoming and an absolute ton of fun. The actors seem genuinely to be friends, honestly pleased to see each other? I can just imagine them all backstage catching up on each other’s gossip! It seems to me, that once you are part of the Star Trek family, you’re a member for life?

Kim Cattrall for instance, only ever talks with great fondness of her appearance in Star Trek. Denise Crosby, to me, was only really ever in the one season of TNG (yes, I know she starred as her own daughter, or something like that later!). But she was included in the TNG reunion, just like everybody else, as if she’d been there throughout. She really does seem to be one of the fan’s favourites, despite her relatively short time on the show? Even Jeri Ryan – I never knew she had had such a hard time whilst filming Voyager – still turns out for the conventions and embraces the fans with such love and appreciation.
Without doubt, the best thing about DST3 was getting to know you guys – the fans! I have met some incredible and truly inspirational people, many of whom I hope to stay in contact with. I started my own Twitter account just over two weeks ago, and since then I have gained over 140 followers and tweeted over 800 times!! Everyone has been SO nice to me, despite my relative naivety in the Star Trek world. And for that I thank, each and every one of you – you have totally made my day/week/month/year!

 

Here’s to you!

Unsurprisingly, I learnt an awful lot about Star Trek at DST3. About the comings and goings of the actors, both on and off set. (As a total celeb-gossip fan I was in my element!!) I got to experience some amazing, once in a lifetime, things: Skyping with Leonard Nimoy; meeting (even briefly) Karl Urban; William Shatner’s whale noises…

However, frivolity aside, and not wanting to get too mushy on you, I was genuinely moved at DST3, and that is something I really wasn’t expecting.

Listening Nichelle Nichols on stage, at 81 years of age – what a truly inspirational and breathtaking woman. At times when she spoke, I was literally moved to tears. She is totally and utterly captivating.

To listen to her talk about the legendary Gene Roddenberry: how he “saw the actor, and then created the character”; his vision of the future, makes you appreciate that Star Trek is bigger than any one person; bigger than any television network. As it approaches its 50thanniversary, it’s hard to comprehend the magnitude of his creation. It is not to be taken lightly, or mocked, but to be truly aspired to. His thinking was way before it’s time.

Listening to Nichelle, you realise that Star Trek isn’t just some TV show – it wouldn’t have survived as long as it has if that were so. This “TV show” has literally changed the course of modern history. I didn’t understand, or appreciate its significance until that day. Casting Nichelle as a female, black, lead character in the 60’s and filming the first televised inter-racial kiss, was truly ground-breaking, both for the feminist movement and the advance of racial equality. The impact of this can actually be charted throughout the next half a century. Nichelle volunteered with NASA and ‘Women in Motion’ on a special project to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency. The project was responsible for recruiting Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, and Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut. This would not have been possible if Gene Roddenberry hadn’t cast her as Uhura. WOW! #mindblown
Nichelle said that at one point she wanted to quit Star Trek, but that Martin Luther King had told her she couldn’t. At that point she couldn’t understood why, the gravity of what her being there really meant – it was bigger than her, bigger than Gene. Even bigger than William Shatner!!
It has inspired me to go out and buy “Beyond Uhura – Star Trek and Other Memories” – Nichelle’s autobiography, because I just want/need to know more about these awe inspiring people.
For all the great TV shows out there now (and trust me, I watch a lot of TV – ask Trekkie Girl Sam), I genuinely doubt that any will ever have the impact that Star Trek has. It is one of a kind – Gene broke the mould when he made Star Trek. And they broke the mould when they made Gene!

Tomorrow… What’s next for The Original TiT?

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