STLV – Saturday Review

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.

 

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?

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.

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