One week until our favourite every-year-or-two event; Destination Star Trek. The schedule has been released and so begins the mission briefing!
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!
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!
As Sam reiterated during our anniversary Periscope shenanigans, after his passing in February 2015, what started out as a 50th Anniversary “Spock special”, evolved somewhat in to a well deserved “This Is Your Life, Leonard Nimoy”, and what a captivating story it is! Charting the highs and lows of the life of such an incredibly complex and talented man, genuinely loved and admired by all who knew him. When I sat down to watch ‘For the Love of Spock’ (a day late, as you would have come to expect from me!), I never intended to write a “review”, nor to write this much, but throughout the film I just found I had so much to say. It literally had me balling within the first three minutes, and sent shivers down my spine!
As a relative newbie to the world of Trek, I was fascinated to hear all about Nimoy’s life outside of Spock. What is probably common knowledge to the hardcore Trekkies/Trekkers out there, was all new and fascinating to me. I was gripped from the very beginning. He struggled with alcoholism; he wrote poetry; he sang; he was an amazingly talented photographer. He directed Three Men and a Baby?! What. The. Spock?! HOW did I not know this?!
He’d also had quite a few acting jobs before being cast in Star Trek. In fact, he’d even worked with Gene Roddenberry on TV series ‘The Lieutenant’. It was during this time that something about Nimoy caught Gene’s eye, namely his cheekbones: “He’d make a great alien…with those cheekbones, some sort of a pointed ear might go well?” – and so Spock was born. As I have suspected for quite some time now, Spock WAS created for Leonard Nimoy, or at the very least with him in mind. Whilst he thought he was going for a job interview, Gene was set on selling Star Trek TO Nimoy, he simply had to have him on board?!
Something that did make me chuckle – when talking about the lack of quality prosthetics at the very beginning: Gene said that if the ears didn’t work, they would simply write in to the script that Spock had an “ear job” or something. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!
The immortal words “live long and prosper” are also credited to Nimoy – I love the story of where the Vulcan salute came from, as well as the iconic arched eyebrow: “If you are minimal, then that becomes a big deal”. It was amusing to see how said eyebrows were rather more unkempt in the pilot, in comparison to the over-tweezed ones we are more used to seeing.
Again, I was completely ignorant to the fact that there was a whole other pilot/crew?! And that Spock was a very different Vulcan under Captain Pike. There is always so much made of the rivalry between lead stars, and Nimoy and Shatner did not escape this. As George Takei explained, “Shatner was the titular character, but people were absolutely magnetically attracted to Spock”. However, as Gene so wisely said: “If Spock is popular, then Kirk is popular, and the show is popular, and that’s what we all want” – and they never looked back, Shatner simply encompassed the popularity of Spock. It was lovely to hear the genuine affection between Nimoy and Shatner. The latter with his “energy and a sense of humour and a twinkle in the eye” changed the way Nimoy played Spock – a whole different dynamic evolved.
“Kirk is the physical embodiment of the show and Spock is the spiritual embodiment of the show” (James Duff).
Or as George Takei so eloquently put it, they we Yin and Yang.
And can I just say – Jason Alexander’s Kirk impression? WOW!!
The scene were Nimoy is reading Star Trek’s very first review in ‘Variety’ magazine is hilarious. As his childhood friend, Barry Newman, had said they were on “a treadmill to oblivion” – the show was not initially received well. Roddenberry’s vision was way ahead of its time. However, I love the thought that “gradually the show and its audience found each other”, and how times change eh? From the network executives initially not wanting to upset the “Bible belt” with this satanic-type character, to asking why they weren’t you doing more with “that Martian” on the show, as its, and Spock’s, popularity grew.
“He was a multi-faceted individual, he was never just Spock to me” (Simon Pegg).
Two words: Bilbo Baggins. Oh dear. But LOVE the scene where the TOS crew are watching the video!
LOL: Even Nimoy didn’t like “The Motionless Picture”, calling it frustrating, depressing and dispiriting. Although I did like the fact that its story “began in London”. I also never realised that he had such a big part behind the scenes, directing the 3rd and 4th movies.
I can’t believe The Animated Series is actually a thing? It looks like some kind of spoof? How could they possibly have thought it was okay not to cast George and Nichelle?! The fact that Leonard refused to do it unless they were included because they were “the two people that most personified what Star Trek was all about: the diversity, coming together and working in concert as a team”, demonstrates wonderfully the kind of man he really was and what the character of Spock stood for.
As JJ says, it was “wonderfully comforting and relatable to know that Spock was an outsider”, his journey was all about how you find your way, as the alien in a foreign culture. These are perfect examples of how Star Trek encompasses “meaningful issues about to live” and why Spock and the values laid out in Star Trek “continue to resonate” 50 years later. It is also why it’s hard for me to grasp how negatively Star Trek / Spock affected the Nimoy family, and specifically the relationship between Adam and his father.
The best thing about ‘For the Love of Spock’ is the abundance of family photos, videos and interviews – it’s like we have exclusive access to the Nimoy family archive. You can 100% tell that it was directed by his son, and I think it would have been a very different project had this not been the case. I love that what started out as a collaboration between father and son to celebrate the former’s most successful part, transformed in to a wonderful tribute to his life – the good and the bad, warts and all as they say. Adam admits it became a journey of self-discovery about his own relationship with his father and you can really feel this throughout the film. And aww when Adam comes on set with the wig and ears…
N.B. I didn’t realise that that was actually Nimoy’s real hair! I always assumed it was a wig?! As did his father. I love that kids would come in to his barber’s shop and ask for a “Spock haircut”.
It seems that Nimoy was a man after my own heart, a perfectionist, with a strong work ethic and a somewhat addictive personality. A very intelligent and savvy man, who knew that at any moment the crest of a wave upon which he and his fellow castmates were riding could have come crashing down, and so he never turned work down. His philosophy: making hay whilst the sun was shining.
Adam describes the sacks of mail that would arrive addressed to his father and how answering it all became a “family activity”. These elated early days however soon gave way to a tiresome frustration of life in the limelight and of father never really being around. So committed to his job, that when he was, he might as well not have been. If a picture says a thousand words, then this one says it all:
I firmly believe that certain personality types are suited to certain professions and I think that most actors, have this “all or nothing” mentality. Nimoy became so fully committed to Spock that even his castmates didn’t “know” Nimoy that well, for he was only occasionally “Leonard like”, they felt they knew Spock better. It is a familiar story of actors so dedicated to a part they are playing they become internalised. When most of your waking life is in character, it’s very difficult to switch it on and off.
Just hearing Jim Parsons (Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory) talking about keeping a “panicked grip” on a character, because you don’t want to lose “it”, makes me think about the late Heath Ledger – who some believe, became so absorbed in playing the twisted character of The Joker, that this was a contributory factor to his tragic death at the age of 28. I had no idea that Nimoy himself had battled his own demons, namely his struggle with alcoholism.
I think his stepson Aaron Bay-Schuck sums it up perfectly: “Leonard was a very even-keeled guy, he didn’t always show a lot of emotion” – Spock was undeniably a part of him.
This film was incredibly moving. Hearing such a candid and personal account of how Spock, and Adam’s struggle to bond with his uber famous father (and vice versa), would ultimately drive a wedge between them. I can’t believe they were estranged up until as recently as 2006!? I am so happy that they reconciled, and that Leonard was there for his son, throughout such a difficult and heart breaking time. The letter from Leonard to Adam… oh the tears.
One question though: what exactly is a full-fledged deadhead?!
On a lighter note, as many of you will know, in my guise as TheOriginalTiT, I have (rather unsuccessfully of late) been making my way through TNG, and something that stood out to me in this film are the parallels that can be drawn between the characters off Spock and Data.
“Vulcans never bluff”.
Take this conversation between Spock and Kirk for example:
S: I prefer the concrete, the graspable, the provable.
K: You’d make a splendid computer Mr Spock.
S: That is very kind of you Captain.
As Nicholas Meyer comments about Spock being a cold, unemotional guy, but that Leonard insisted “he never played him that way, he played him as a guy trying to keep his emotions in check”. As Simon Pegg laments: Spock had “so many emotions”, but as Nimoy himself recalls “he also has emotional control, expresses very little of what he’s feeling. It’s fun for the audience to watch to see if a glimmer of something pops through”. Okay, do Data is an Android and technically not capable of feeling emotion, but it reminds me of something that Brent Spiner said at Destination Star Trek 3, that people would always say that thought they saw Brent play emotions in him, but that actually he “could feel the audience through the TV projecting their emotions on to him”. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder?
A bit like the “homoerotic relationship” between Kirk and Spock that some fans have created?! Fan fic can go to strange places… I wasn’t quite prepared for that! And no, I haven’t Googled it!!
I can even see a likeness between Nimoy and Patrick Stewart, both with a flair and passion stage acting. I would have loved to have seen Nimoy in the Man in the Glass Booth! ‘For the Love of Spock’ has made me so excited to watch TOS. It seems there was a much more obvious comedic element to the show that the new films have, but that TNG (my main experience of ST so far) lacks somehow. Not in a bad way, it’s just different.
Question: What’s the difference between a Jewish man and “a Jew”?
I absolutely love the term “The Triumvirate”, I hadn’t heard it before in a Star Trek context. Warping forward 50 years – I really feel that in “Beyond”, the latest of the new movie franchise, Pine, Quinto and Urban, finally nailed the recreation of the Shatner-Nimoy-Kelly dynamic. It was truly lovely to see so many of the new cast members involved in this project, to whom Nimoy was of course a castmate also, and no doubt had a tremendous influence over them during the filming of “Star Trek” and “Into Darkness”.
Over the course of the 50th Anniversary celebrations I have really enjoyed watching all of the ‘closeted’ celebrity Star Trek fans coming out and proud as “Trekkies”. I absolutely loved all the “50 in :50” videos released by Star Trek – from Pete Wentz, to Slash – and you’ll all remember how excited I was about Rihanna getting her Trek on, to the point where she recorded an epic tune for the soundtrack of “Beyond”. I love how Star Trek is increasingly becoming more of an everyday topic of conversation, no longer reserved just for the geeks and nerds amongst us, it’s like totally cool now! Helped in no small way I’m sure by cult TV and firm fan-favourite ‘The Big Bang Theory’ – I can’t wait to watch this show and “get” all of the Star Trek references!
Note to self: must watch majority of Star Trek first.
The breadth, depth and diversity of Star Trek fans never ceases to amaze me. In this documentary for example, you have actual astrophysicists discussing their love of the show, what it means to them and how it has affected the path that their lives took. It is a profound thought that Neil DeGrasse Tyson has, that maybe Star Trek, and Spock, may in some way be responsible for the “slow but real appreciation of what science is and why it matters”. Freakin’ NASA even wished ST a happy anniversary!
As I said in my review of “Beyond”, any new Trek is good Trek, and I love the new films. It was great and somewhat of a vindication to hear how Nimoy viewed the reincarnation: “Along came JJ Abrams who found a way to crack it open to an entirely new and different audience… You didn’t have to know all about Star Trek, you could come and enjoy this movie as a person who had never seen anything of Star Trek before.” Now THAT’s a real seal of approval?!
Having not really seen that much of TOS (and I know that Sam will disagree with me on this one), I personally, have never seen Spock as a “sex-symbol”, although I have to admit that Quinto’s portrayal of the character is somewhat sexier – I understand the appeal there. However, one particular highlight of ‘For the Love of Spock’ was hearing Zoe Saldana talking about the character of Spock and seeing in him what SHE personally likes about men. I couldn’t help wondering whether she is talking about Nimoy-Spock or Quinto-Spock? Is there even a difference? It made me chuckle when an, albeit fairly young, Angelina Jolie confessed to wanting to make Spock “scream”?!
The best line of the entire documentary has to go to JJ Abrams though: “When you have wounded Spock, you just want to kill yourself!” He broke his nose!
Also, picturing the scene with Nimoy, Pegg and Pine – Spock snores!
It was great to see some of the friends that the TrekkieGirls have made over the years be a part of the film, including Bobak – MSL flight engineer NASA jet propulsion laboratory – the TGs new BFF (hope he doesn’t mind me calling him that – Sam and Carole met him in Vegas), and the delightful Scott Mantz!! And did I spy the wonderful @SpockVegas in there too…
Back in 1972, conventions were an entirely new concept: “this gathering of fans to celebrate Trek for a weekend”, and as Simon Pegg says, Trekkies really were “Pioneers of the cosplay culture”. It was amusing that the organisers had hoped for 500 attendees, and they got 3000! Star Trek is undeniably responsible for the formation of the modern day ‘con’, and Nimoy’s love of conventions, and for the fans (as praised by Karl Urban), is common knowledge. This was demonstrated by his appearing via Skype at DST3 in October 2014 – his last public appearance – where he embraced new technological platforms, just to keep that momentum going, when he was no longer able to travel to personally attend. I loved seeing Adam at his first convention and his total awe of it all. The scene spliced between him and Spock is beautiful.
On my relatively short journey as TheOriginalTiT, I have been fortunate enough to be part of some amazing experiences that I know many a hardcore Trekkie would give their right arm for. The gravitas of which is not lost on me. I am so humbled to have been blessed with the opportunity to ask him a question at DST3:
…and to have been present at the naming of Leonard Nimoy way at Paramount studios, LA in May.
There was only one bit of the whole film that I didn’t quite agree with, and I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. I guess it’s like everyone has their favourite Bond or Doctor who, and I appreciate where Walter Koenig was coming from when he said: “There’s only one person who can play Mr Spock”. I don’t think there is anyone that could have been better cast to reprise the role than Zachary Quinto and I think this comment does him a little of a disservice. He has done / is doing, a simply amazing job following in some pretty big footsteps?! The scene with the two Spocks in the first film is literally one of my absolute favourites!
Quinto speaks about his “personal relationship” with Nimoy, I felt this in person in LA, listening to Quinto speak on behalf of the Nimoy family, about Leonard’s legacy, and about the legend that is Spock. He is part of the Nimoy family now and that can be both seen and felt in this film. At points it’s hard to tell who is interviewing whom? When Adam is talking about his late wife Martha, and his father’s unwavering support during this terrible time, they are almost like brothers.
The Spock tribute at the Burning Man Festival, 2015 must have been an amazing thing to witness and be a part of. It was such a lovely way to end the emotional rollercoaster that was ‘For the Love of Spock’.
A self made Renaissance man. A ubiquitous curiosity.
You did make the world stand up and listen.
SO what IS your word Adam?!
If you haven’t seen ‘For the Love of Spock’ yet (and if I haven’t totally ruined it for you!) check it out over at We Are Colony now.
We’ll be celebrating #StarTrek50 tonight at 21:00 BST. Find us on Periscope and Twitter where we will let you know how you can win some amazing Star Trek prizes including items donated by Paramount Pictures, Sky Cinema UK and Destination Star Trek Europe!
The years festivities all come together today. Fans from all the world join in celebrate the day Star Trek first aired. It’s remarkable that more people exist in a time where there has always been Star Trek, us included.
Remember to take your Star Trek Selfie and send it @StarTrek as detailed below (they are really pushing this, it’s gotta be good!)
At the Television Critics Press Association Press tour (we don’t know what that is either!) Bryan Fuller spilled some goodies about the new Star Trek series Discovery.
If you haven’t read all about it, check out this article from Variety who were reporting live from the event. Then come back whilst I speculate with my thoughts!
Here’s a cheat sheet of the news thanks to Screen Junkies.
Just as a caveat to the above, I can’t find any direct source that states the series will be set in the Klingon Wars. It’s probably a good guess as a lot of events have been ruled out such as the Romulan war (Battle of Axanar) and The Kobayashi Maru. Bryan Fuller did mention Amanda Grayson too but it didn’t read as definite that her character is included.
Whilst in Vegas, Carole and I spent a lot of time speculating with others when we thought Discovery would be based. I believed it would be based in the 29th Century, that it was a timeship and each season it would cover a different point in Star Trek history, filling in all those loose ends or raising new questions…. by the way, if you like that idea CBS… call me! I have more ideas!
It’s not easy! We spend many hours discussing this amongst ourselves and with many of you. In fact, we were talking to Jordan Hoffman from the Official Engage Podcast just a couple of weeks ago about the complexities of picking your own crew. Its not just about the individuals, its the relationships and how crew members complement each other. Whilst the likes of Spock, Data, Seven of Nine, Odo and T’Pol are brilliant characters. Would they all work well together? probably …. but the ship might not be as exciting without people like Dax, Tom Paris and Geordi for them to bounce off.
As you can see from the video above, Picard is a legend amongst the new cast! And rightly so. Also, they need to watch more Star Trek!
Hope you’re enjoying watching back to back Star Trek movies on Sky Cinema as much as we are! Which movie have you watched the most? And Let us know who you pick for your crew…..
Saturday had an intensive schedule which was difficult for us because we had not got very much sleep! See our last post for more details
The Women in Star Trek panel was one we were keen to attend as we greatly admire all the panelists that consisted of; Kate Mulgrew, Mary Czerwinksi (Glue Guns and Phasers), Bjo Trimble (from saving Star Trek fame), Dr Kayla Iacovino (TrekMovie.com), Jarrah Hodge (Women at Warp) and Amy Imhoff (Shoes and Starships). They each spoke about how Star Trek had inspired feminism and their own personal choices with the biggest laugh going to Kayla who is an actual ‘Vulcanologist’.
Bjo Trimble is already a woman we look up to but this panel inspired us even more. She talked about being the ‘little house wife who spoke out’. She mentioned that when she and her husband started the campaign to ‘bring back Star Trek’ (when it was threatened with cancellation) the majority of letter received were from women. It were also women that inspired early merchandising ideas too.
The Merchandising issue is something we feel quite passionately about and something we’d love to help rebalance. Whilst walking around conventions we see women in wonderfully inspired costumes, often created by themselves because there is not much of a market to purchase it. Even large specialist producers such as Anovos have limited options for women.
Kate Mulgrew spoke about how she accepted her own individualism from the day she was born, that she always saw life as an equal playing playing field and that she is lucky to be Kate.
We often groan that ‘women’ and Star Trek are treated as another category, like Starships but this panel went deeper. It allowed us to reflect on how Star Trek has inspired us, although the ‘as women’ part of the question is hard to answer as it requires a basis for comparison which we do not have.
The panelists highlighted the tremendous impact Star Trek has had on women by hearing their stories. Characters like Captain Janeway are continually attributed to growing the confidence of women around the world which is why it is so important to keep these role models at the forefront of our television sets. We must also congratulate the convention organisers for recognising the importance of this subject and giving it a top slot in the convention schedule. The busiest day, at a peak time in the main hall. Well done to all involved.
Walter Koenig entered the stage dancing whilst 5 Year Mission played ‘Back in the USSR’. He began, like many of his comrades (see what we did there!) by paying tribute to all those we have lost, including Anton Yelchin which he said had been very hard on him.
@GineokwKoenig starts to weigh in on Gay Sulu before throwing his arms in the air and saying “ah forget it!” Summing up how we all feel
Because we couldn’t physically move from our seats we stayed for the StarTrek.com ‘s Treasures Talk. Now I know we take the pakled out of official Star Trek Merchandise at times but that’s because we still have nightmares about that cheeseboard and BBQ set and what’s the point of bobble heads!? But we are glad we stayed for this talk because there are actually lots of good things planned. Including for us Europeans (yes that still includes us Brits!).
In Germany there is a theme ride is beaming down described as ‘a roller coaster experience’ based around Star Trek. For the UK we have the Star Trek Art Exhibition touring including Blackpool, Birmingham and London.
Two of those locations already have Star Trek events planned that may host the Art (we’re just guessing, it seems logical) Star Trek The Exhibition is already in Blackpool and we have Destination Star Trek Europe in October. So I guess we have to wait and see for something to be announced in London?
They’re releasing a Vulcan Travel Guide. We hear it’s worth much more in the Kelvin Timeline! #TooSoon
— Trekkie Girls (@TrekkieGirls) August 6, 2016
William Shatner does a lot of conventions these days. But this pleases us no end. Long may it continue! It doesn’t matter how many he attends, he ALWAYS fills the room. You can hear fans talking in huddles at the Starbucks queue (which were omnipotent) discussing what their ‘must see’ panels are and you can bet William Shatner is up there.
Remarkably a question was asked by an audience member that Shatner had never heard before. It was from 11 year old Lincoln (as all the best questions are from 11 years olds) who asked “What would you have done differently if you saw a Gorn outside your plane window instead of a gremlin, in the Twilight zone?”. Shatner gave a rather in-depth response!
He also spoke about his disappointment to have not been asked to appear in any of the new movies and expressed his desire to appear in Discovery.
The panel ends on a real tear-jerker as an audience member tells Shatner how much we all love him and how he is never truly lonely. Holographic tissues on standby!
This is a big difference between UK and American conventions. You’re much more likely to hear the ‘from the heart’ personal stories being shared from the audience.
Another Captain panel for us and its the delightful Scott Bakula!
We got the sense that Scott was more aware of what was happening on Star Trek Discovery as he mentioned having seen some of the makeup and costume designs. He had talked to Brian Fuller recently. He hinted that Captain Archer might be alive in the new series timeline which we now know will be set 10 years before Kirk’s command of the Enterprise.
Later that evening (after a much needed nap!) we went to the much anticipated Saturday Night Gala Concert performed by the Nevada Pops Orchestra. They play a selection of famous tunes from all series and movies. All the ones you want to hear.
A lot of people raved about this and go every year. Whilst we’re glad we went and we thought the orchestra played well, we don’t think we’d go again. If you haven’t ever seen the music of Star Trek played live before than we’d definitely recommend this once. But we have been very fortunate and spoiled for seeing these performed with a much larger orchestra, at the Royal Albert Hall, conducted by Michael Giacchino. If you have seen one of the Star Trek Live concerts touring, you’re not going to beat that.
‘Klingon Karaoke’ on Thursday night we enjoyed listening to fans with incredible voices (and signing credentials to back them up) wow those of us mingling on the dance floor.
When Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating and Chris Doohan took to the stage, the audience were in hysterics.
Then there’s the regulars who’s antics fill us casual attendees feed each August. Seeing the famous ‘Eric Allan Hall’ sing was a real treat. Eric is such a good Data cosplayer we can’t say for sure that he isn’t a Soong Android.
The day started by buying more MAC for Star Trek (we know, we don’t need to even insert the Picard face palming meme because you’re already imagining it!)
Star Trek.com presented the ‘Missing footage panel’ with Roger Lay Jr (Producer), and the production team Michael and Denise Okuda, Phil Bishop, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth. This was a panel we were very much looking forward too. Like many of you we had heard the news that the Roddenberry Estate had in their possession a vast amount of footage from The Original Series.
Most of it was odds and ends from the beginning or end of a scene that were swept from the cutting room floor. But there are some gems amongst them. Our new favourite person Scott Mantz (who is always happy and chirpy – think Data scanning for lifeforms) was fortunate to see some of these cut scenes and was happy to spill the beans for us.
One of the clips was an extended and alternate scene from Guardian on the Edge of Forever; after the kiss between Kirk and Edith Keeler. Some additional dialogue is included where Keeler uses the word ‘forever’ connecting it to the title of the episode.
Another wow scene is from “Who Mourns for Adonais?”. An ending has been found where Spock and McCoy mention that Lieutenant Palamas is pregnant with Apollo’s baby!
Can you imagine watching these for the first time?! We think we know Star Trek like the back of our hand and now suddenly there’s something new after 50 years! We’ll get to see it at the end of this year!
Chase Masterson certainly had the best entrance to her panel. Cheerfleet (a troup of Starfleet Cheerleaders that we instantly regret not joining) marched onto the stage and did what cheerleaders do to welcome her onto the stage. They then presented her with her very own Cheerfleet uniform making her an honourary member!
Chase performed for the audience, belting out ‘Fever’. She spoke about her amazing work mentoring, standing up against bullying, working with the UN (seriously, if she was British she’d be knighted by now!).
Chase put in 110% effort into this convention. She sang every night at the Roddenberry lounge, her signers table was always full and she takes time to speak to everyone who visits her. When we caught up with her at the end of the convention she was exhausted (but still fabulous!) yet she still went on to sing to crowds later that evening.
Ohhh Myyy, its time for George Takei! The Leonard Nimoy Hall was PACKED! Takei (who is king of the internet) is a must see at conventions. He is inspirational not just for those of who are considered a minority in terms of their appearance or sexuality but for all us who aspire for a world of liberty and equality. Like the rest of the TOS cast he is a great role model for older people, something that all of us, if we are very lucky, will become.
He spoke about his upbringing, his parents, his internment and the fear of history repeating itself in light of the current political climate.
Now we don’t gamble but we had to place bets on how many audience questions it would be until someone asked ‘THAT’ question followed by ‘THAT other question’…. You know the ones. Gay Sulu and William Shatner.
They were second and third if you’re interested. His response to Gay Sulu was the same as is publically known. He felt it was a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry’s creation of the character Sulu and that it could be construed that Sulu was closeted. We have to agree with Simon Peggs logic on this and although we are surprised at George’s response we respect that even though he would have seen that most fans disagree with with, he has not backtracked on his opinion and hasn’t shied away from the speaking about it.
Then it was THAT other question, we can’t remember the exact question but it was something like “blah blah blah You and William Shatner?”
The audience groaned. George’s response was with good humour stating that it’s something Shatner made up a feud between them each time he needs to sell a new book!”.
The Voyager and TNG panels are a spectator sport. Watching the banter between the cast feels like you are a fly on the wall. We can imagine this is just what it was like on set.
We know they are all actors but my god (the one from Star Trek 5) they are all good at impressions! Michael Dorn did a very good Troi and the space jelly scene from Encounter at Farpoint that we hadn’t heard before.
As we go to more conventions we are aware we are unlikely to hear anything new from the actors however it is always a pleasure to watch, listen and most importantly laugh.
However we did learn something new and that was why ‘Data’ is pronounced ‘Day-tah’ and not ‘Dat-ta’ (unless you’re rude like Pulaski). Apparently there was an on-set rule that the first person to say a noun would make that pronunciation canon. Patrick Stewart first said ‘Day-tah’ in his best Queens English, thus setting the standard. Brent Spiner made an observation that this has affected the American-English language causing a cultural shift in how the word is pronounced.
We love this notion that the first person to pronounce a word made it canon. The beastie boys need to re-release “sabotaaaaage” #STLV50
We attended the Roddenberry Entertainment panel as Rod and Trevor Roth are Executive Producers on Star Trek Discovery and we want to listen very intently to anything they have to say. The panel opened with a video of Nichelle Nichols singing Happy Birthday to Star Trek. We haven’t heard her sing in years and although a recording, it was still a pleasure.
On the most part the panel was a repeat of the missing footage however then the audience asked questions and there was only one thing on our minds… DISCO!
Rod Roddenberry (do we even need to mention that he is Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son?) spoke about how he was reluctant at first to take the position as Executive Producer as he felt Star Trek was very much his fathers but it was Bryan Fullers involvement that changed his mind.
“Bryan Fuller is amazing. He is like us and he gets Star Trek.” – Rod Roddenberry
Someone asked the question “Would their be a transgendered character or person with internal conflict in Star Trek Discovery?”
Trevor and Rod responded that they can’t give any specifics or details (because of the suits!) but Bryan Fuller was keen to explore the human condition.
Just as we thought they had diplomatically navigated the question Rod exclaims “You won’t be disappointed!” (we actually heard phaser rifles load and take aim!)
We schmooze around the signers room, big hello to Melanie Smith (Ziyal and honourary Trekkie Girl), our favourite person Larry Nemecek (fact: he always had the longest queue at his table).
We run to the Roddenberry lounge for a Champagne toast to Star Trek (This is soooo us!) An amazing cake comes out, we all toast and sing happy birthday to Star Trek and we run to our next appointment with the fantastic Jordan Hoffman at the Official Engage Podcast. They had locked him in a little room to keep him out of trouble but nonetheless it was great fun talking to him, even though our brains go blank as soon as a microphone gets near us!
That evening we were lucky enough to attend the Captains party at the Voodoo Lounge at the top of the Rio which is an amazing event and incentive to purchase one of the packages. We got there just in time to hear Ethan ‘Johnny’ Phillips starting his side splitting comedy routine. These jokes were dark and wrong…. our sort of humour!
Then the band ‘Sons of Kirk’ played their set whilst we admired an epic fireworks display. Although they were celebrating 50 years of Caesars Palace, we like to think it was for Star Trek.
We met up with some old friends and new, Neil, who Sam had met on the flight out, The guys from 5 Year mission – the house band who worked their drumsticks off all week, the guys from Sons of Kirk; Mike, Gary and <name> and of course Jim Moorhouse aka @EnterpriseExtra aka #TheFanWhoFiredThePhasers … and probably the shields too?!
Jim had given his own panel about his experience as an Extra on Enterprise…. Where he fired the phasers! He is a blast, a true gent and we love listening to his stories. Maybe he might fire the phasers on the Discovery one day?? Make It So!
Evenings like this are the best reasons to go to conventions, how often do you have the chance to meet people you hardly know, but feel connected and safe discussing your dream crew, when you hope the new series will be set, your vision for Star Trek’s future?
We must briefly mention Barfleet (briefly because that’s all we recall!). Barfleet is a group of fans who hire a suite at conventions and turn it into a BAR!!! That’s right! What a great idea. There are strict rules about no photography and they ID everyone coming in but it’s a fantastic idea that we should bring to the UK. What an incredible bunch of people who give their time and money so others can have fun after hours at conventions. You are true philanthropists carrying forward Star Trek’s philosophy…. By giving us alcohol!
We did not feel so good about this idea the next day though.
The five day long convention has passed us at Warp Speed! We’re sorry we didn’t do daily blog posts but we barely had a chance to eat or sleep! Hopefully you caught our extensive twitter feed covering all aspects.
The convention formally opens at 2.30, we’re not sure why so late there must be a logical reason? On a selfish level this is fine as Sam has only just landed!
We spend the afternoon getting our bearings, walking in and out of panels, drooling over the vendors room (especially the MAC Station – more on that soon!) and bear hugging old friends and twitter acquaintances.
Something we discovered early on was that we were suffering ‘missing out syndrome’. This might sound insulting if you weren’t able to attend the convention and wished too but even at the event itself, there is always something else going on. When you’re sat in the main hall, you are missing out on what’s on in the secondary hall, when you’re in the Masquerade bar, you’re missing out on seeing friends at the Quarks. It’s not a bad problem to have and there isn’t too much you can do about it.
Popular question of the week no.1
Q. Have you ever been to to STLV before?
A: Sam attended in 2008 back when it was at the Hilton. We both visited in 2010 (again Hilton) but for a short visit as part of Sam’s Hen/Bachelorette Party.
After trying to sleep of the jet lag and a slight wardrobe malfunction on Sam’s part we decided to check out the venders rooms. We cannot give enough credit to MAC Cosmetics who sponsored the convention. They went above and beyond! We have talked before about their limited edition Star Trek range which will be available from September, it was introduced at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago and also made available for early purchase at the event.
We have to tell you about the set. It was a large bridge shaped set split into four ‘Stations’ including Engineering, The Transporter and 10 Forward. MAC provided 100 makeup artists and were offering free makeovers all five days!
We spoke to Ben from MAC Hawaii and he gave us some insights to how this came to be. Apparently MAC and CBS been in discussions for a while about collaborating as both feel there are many similarities in the ethos of Star Trek and MAC. Values of equality are at the heart of each. Therefor it was a a natural fit.
In regards to the set, the events manager at MAC Cosmetics used to work for Disney and is a perfectionist. A lot of time was spent digging through the CBS archives to ensure the accuracy of the set in terms of colourings and designs. Fun Fact; the tables from the 10 Forward section are the actual tables from the show!! (yes, then we had to touch them like Picard, Data and the Pheonix!)
But much credit must go to the actors they hired for the parts of Seven of Nine, Uhura, Troi and Vina (the figureheads of the Star Trek Mac range). The casting was spot on. Each would do a skit. Uhura would sing ‘Charlie is our darling’ with every bit as much skill and beauty as Nichelle Nicholls. Troi recreated the scene from In Theory discussing love with Data. Vina performed a dance and Seven of Nine nailed the drunk scene from ‘Timeless’. We had to listen carefully to check if it was dubbed. It’s not, she has truly captured Jeri Ryan’s portrayal of this scene.
Carole treated herself to a makeover and then we proceeded to buy almost everything. We were going to have a considered think about what buy but upon hearing that our favourites were already running dangerously low, we stocked up.
Although we have no regrets buying it we did come away feeling a bit like Harry Kim in the pilot of Voyager when he encountered Quark trying to sell precious gems!
The transporter set was another great feature and free content for us Convention goers. With so many ‘pay for’ photo shoots its nice for attendees to have photographic souvenirs that say ‘we were there’ but allow us to save our money for meeting the guests. It also allows brand interaction for those who aren’t interested in the makeup. MAC record a transporter effect and the video is beamed to your email account immediately.
The effort achieved by the likes of MAC and the Star Trek Beyond Fan event have set a new bar for interactive Star Trek content, providing greater warmth, affinity and personal contact with Star Trek.
The popularity of Comic Cons around the world is sky high, with ‘geek’ becoming more mainstream. Star Trek fans were the first in organising conventions, but we feel conventions need to keep pushing the comfort zone of their traditional format of should we wish for new fans to join in, becoming more event/show driven. In the words of Captain Pike “We dare you to do better.”
Q: What was your highlight of the week?
A: There were many, but a top one was certainly the Whoopi Goldberg panel.
Appearing at her first ever Star Trek Convention, Whoopi brought energy, enthusiasm, humour and heart to the main stage.
The story of how Whoopi came to be on TNG is well known, that she was inspired by Nichelle Nicholls’ Uhura. She revealed that she liked to think that Guinan was related to Uhura in some way.
Speaking of relations, she gave the audience some secrets into Guinans background including that Gene had told her that Guinan may have been Picard’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother.
She also elaborated on Q and Guinans background, that they were neighbouring races which had similar powers but different philosophies on how to use them.
Because of all these connections Whoopi and Scott called on us to get #BringBackGuinan (for Star Trek Discovery) trending on twitter and spam Bryan Fuller until he acknowledge it!
Now we must pay tribute and respect to the moderator of this panel, Scott Mantz. We had the privilege of meeting Scott at LA (Did we mention we went to the Beyond event in LA?). We had a good chat about the trailer and preview and we knew he was our sort of trekkie from the moment we met him. Scott is a producer/presenter on Access Hollywood and general Star Trek Guru. He brought SO much energy to the stage it was infectious. He was upbeat, with experience of working with the biggest names in hollywood as well as an eidetic memory of Star Trek.
If Scott was moderating a panel, we took that as a mark that it was going to be entertaining and the one to pick.
“The think that Star Trek never let go off was hope” Whoopi. Just as relevant today as it was when Star Trek started #STLV50
The main panels concluded with a wonderful Tribute to Nichelle Nicholls who spoke well and with pride about her contribution to the advancement of women and especially black women.
The audience joined in sharing their tributes and thanks to Nichelle which left no dry eye in the hall. The most touching tribute was by Whoopi Goldberg who joined the stage and thanked Nichelle for being her inspiration. The love!
Whilst the main hall panels had finished, we ran over to the secondary stage to checkout the news from the Okuda’s regarding the release of Star Trek The Encyclopaedia.
‘The Beast’ as its known weighs a whooping 11 pounds and took years for the Okuda’s to rewrite plus add an additional 300 pages!
They created a key to separate the prime and Kelvin timeline whilst stressing that they wanted to give importance to both timelines.
Interesting fact; the term ‘Kelvin Timeline’ which has seemingly appeared from no-where, was coined by the Michael and Denise Okuda. They were originally considering the name ‘Spock Timeline’ but it wasn’t specific enough. The USS Kelvin incident was the starting point for the timeline, and thus got the name.
We salute Michael and Denise for their contribution and dedication to the encyclopaedia and particularly their stance on the Kelvin Timeline. We do feel that it needs more equality in its contribution to Star Trek particularly for it’s celebration of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary.
Look out soon for our report on the rest of the show….