Tag Archives: Gates McFadden

STLV The Next Generation 30th Anniversary Panel – New revelations!

STLV TNG 30

The highly anticipated TNG 30th anniversary panel on Friday night was undoubtedly the jewel in the Sacred Chalice of Rixx for Star Trek Las Vegas. It boasted a full lineup of The Next Generation crew which ALMOST happened, except Jonathan Frakes’ flight got cancelled due to weather. It would have been Frakes.

Nonetheless, John de Lancie and Denise Crosby stepped up to step in, and honestly I think that’s the last we heard of them all night!

 

They start by sharing their stories of conversations with Gene Roddenberry. For example LeVar Burton once asked him why Geordi was blind, surely by the 24th Century they would have cured blindness and they’d be no need for a VISOR?

Gene’s response was “How do you know your sight isn’t considered better?”

The same was true with Data’s skin colour and Picard’s baldness. We were getting hung up on 20th Century standards of perfection which simply do not exist in the future.

What shone through was the humour. Each time a cast member answered a question seriously, another one was there to tear them down. As all the best friendships do!

The cast discussed the progression of their characters and how the actor and character merged over the years until they didn’t know where one ended and the other began. Except for Marina of course who quipped that the only similarity she had with Troi was in the drunk bar scene in First Contact.

Things got interesting when they got onto bashing Paramount Pictures. Apparently they had 17 uniforms each and Paramount wouldn’t let them keep one!

Marina nearly got replaced with Jeri Ryan

Marina dropped a juicy but disturbing revelation when she talked about the sexism that existed and still exists in Hollywood. When negotiating her contract for Star Trek Nemesis, the studio threatened to drop her and replace her with Jeri Ryan!

Her response was first class “Jeri won’t work for that either!”

Things got a little tense when Marina asserted that woman are notoriously bad at not helping each other in show business. That those who are successful in spite of the discrimination towards women, tend to not to focus their efforts on delivering change and maintain the status quo in order save their own careers.

Gates McFadden offered evidence that this was not the case and she witness multiple times woman supporting each other in the business.

Obviously both scenarios are accurate but it felt like you were in their living room watching too friends have a late night sparring match.

On Star Trek Discovery

It was only a matter of time before an audience question asked what they thought about Star Trek Discovery, if they were guest starring etc. Their immediate response was “next question please!”

Conclusion: Patrick Stewart summed up the evening perfectly. He needlessly apologised to the audience if we felt they didn’t answer the questions in the detail we’d hoped for. He offered this explanation:

Every now and then I have a moment at a convention where I step back and feel grateful for what people contributed to make Star Trek happen. This was one of those moments. Grateful to the people on the Stage, to the people behind the scenes and for everyone in the audience who shares the same enthusiasm. Happy 30th Anniversary Star Trek The Next Generation.

Highlight: I happened to be sitting in the behind the Star Trek Discovery people including Mary Chieffo and writer Ted Sullivan (‘m honestly not stalking them!). Watching their reaction was priceless. Especially to the question “what advice would you give to new actors on Discovery?” The reply was “appreciate every minute of it” and “save your money!”

I suspect by their reactions that they probably already have thirty years worth of convention stories to share with us and the show hasn’t even aired yet!

Weird bit: Not having a moderator. I understand why these convention veterans declined one. It’s hilarious to watch this crew go off on a tangent and bicker amongst each other but a good moderator knows when to let them get on with it and when it’s time to interject.

 

 

 

STLV Friday Panels

Friday at STLV was an intensive panel day for me. I didn’t intend it to be, but I found it hard to resist.

Women In Star Trek

Today began (for me anyway) with the Women in Star Trek Panel with Jarrah Hodge (from Woman at Warp podcast), Dr Kayla Iacovino (Vulcanologist and editor TrekMovie.com), Lucia Lorenzo (literary scholar and cultural critic), Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher) and Aliza Pearl (actress, writer).


The panel starts by introducing the panelists and discussing who was their Star Trek inspiration. Unsuprisingly, Beverly Crusher was top. Particularly for Kayla who is a scientist herself.

The woman-after-my-own-heart was Lucia who cited Lwaxana Troi as her inspiration for all the same reasons Lwaxana is my favourite.That she is a flamboyant, outspoken, fabulous woman who is fearless and defiant. Yep, I want to be Lwaxana Troi when I grow up.

The key message was Star Trek The Next Generation was a big leap forward in its portrayal of women but it doesn’t quite hold up to todays standard of scrutiny. This is something we discussed in our own interview with Gates McFadden.

Something we had never considered until Gates mentioned it was how there was no intellectual relationship between Dr Crusher and Wesley. Given they are both very smart, Wesley would always go to a man to resolve a technical problem, but his mother for emotional needs.

On unfinished business, Gates expressed her wish to have the Picard/Crusher relationship resolved. She didn’t mind which way it concluded, just that it would.

Conclusion: a very thoughtful panel listening to woman practicing what they preach by encouring and complimenting others. Also going boldly, tackiling these sensitive subjects with courage and conviction.

Highlight: an audience question asking why the moderators at these conventions are almost always predominantly male and a acknowledgment from Creation Entertainment to address this.

Weird bit: Gates exclaiming that Star Trek has the brightest fans as I get my hair tangled in my insignia.

Terry Farrell Panel

If you heard Terry speak last year at Destination Star Trek Birmingham you’ll know she’s no longer holding back. I suppose after a certain amount of time and distant from an event it becomes easier. This was certainly the case at STLV where she opened up again about her experiences, both positive and negative on Deep Space Nine.

Adam Nimoy asked how Terry came to leave DS9, for which Terry provided a frank response. When her contract came up for renewal for season 7 there was no room for negotiation. An ultimatum was given, ‘accept it or be written out’. Terry states she did not want to leave however didn’t want to continue to work under conditions where there could be no discussion or flexibility. So she left.

Conclusion: Terry speaks with a great deal of emotion speaking about her time as Dax and is something she has spent a long time processing.

Highlight: Having Adam Nimoy as a surprise moderator. I don’t think it’s any secret that Nimoy and Farrell are a Star Trek powerhouse couple. They look at each other with deep admiration and you can cut the chemistry with a laser scalpel.

Weird Bit: I think Terry Farrell looks like my mum! When Dax is cross I feel like I need to go to my room.

Stephanie Beacham, Paul McGillion and Catherine Hicks

STLV panel scott mantz

This was an interesting mix of actors, Stephanie Beacham played the Countess Regina Barthalomew from the TNG episode ‘Ship in a Bottle.’ She speaks in that same beautiful accent we’re familiar with. Her accent is so posh it makes my accent sound like I should be mining dilithium on a grubby moon somewhere.

Paul McGillion – I had to confess to running him through memory alpha as he took the stage. He played the barracks leader in Star Trek 09 but was very nearly cast as Scotty.

Catherine Hicks spoke about how she had researched environmental issues as well as watched documentaries on famous whale enthusiasts to prepare for the role.

Marina Spirits + Michael Dorn + NEW STUFF WE LEARNT!

This is another duo that we’ve seen before but it never gets old watching them banter.

Marina revealed that she felt she would have been fired from the show if Denise Crosby hadn’t left and that Majel Roddenberry had confirmed that years after the show had ended. She noticed she wasn’t appearing in as many episodes, her dialogue was shorter and most noticeably, producers stopped talking to her.

When Denise left, Troi’s character picked up more story lines.

The funniest story was about filming the final episode All Good Things. Apparently Michael Dorn sobbed so hard his prosthetic nose fell off!

Conclusion: Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis should have their own TV show. These two will be in a retirement home together one day bitching about each other whilst sharing a deep bond, their friendship is a true life Bashir/O’Brien or Data/La Forge match.

Highlight: The banter. Marina is very quick and has a great put down sense of humour so it’s good to see Dorn give as good as he got:

Weird bit: Well Dorn DID keep touching Marina’s leg!

Patrick Stewart

We’ve not seen Sir Patrick for a little while, he is a busy man. He spent the first five minutes assuring us that he was delighted to be back in Las Vegas and with Creation Entertainment. He also wanted to explain why his voice sounded so coarse, he has been suffering with Vertigo and travelling around which generally isn’t good for you! I’m sure he wasn’t staying in the Rio though so that can’t be blamed!

He commented on what a great shame it was that Jonathan Frakes could not attend due to a cancelled flight (in case you didn’t hear, Jonathan Frakes didn’t attend!)

Here’s our top tweets to summarise the panel:

Conclusion: Patrick Stewart gave a very thoughtful and considered panel as always. He has the right balance of thought-provoking, emotion and humour. It is always an honour to be in the same hall as him.

Highlight: Demonstrating the Picard Manoeuvre, the muscle memory was well intact.

Weird Bit: A question from the audience saying that in Nemesis, Patrick Stewart was to play Shinzon originally. Stewart had absolutely no idea. Neither did anyone else.

Starfleet Academy Spelling Bee

I meandered over to the ‘CBS All Access’ stage (do you see what they did there? PS, please sign up with our banner above!)

Jordan Hoffman (host of the OFFICIAL Star Trek Podcast ENGAGE!) was hosting the first ever Starfleet Academy Spelling Bee whereby contestants would each attempt to spell a word unique to the Star Trek universe.

It was a fun participatory panel that worked very well in that space. I managed to flunk out much too early with an incorrect spelling of the planet Kataan. This correct spelling will now burn in my memory like Tom Paris when he had those memories implanted in his head.

Overall, putting your Star Trek knowledge to the test for the glory of geek points amongst your fellow trekkies, was undoubtedly one of my better Friday nights in Las Vegas.

Fedcon Day 3

 

See our other Fedcon Posts

Our day started by returning to our hotel at 4am for a brief sleep before finding ourselves oddly still alive when we awoke a few hours later!

Gates McFadden Fedcon

We ran to the Chase Masterson talk only to find she was in the small hall and it was full! We were denied! After Star Trek talks there was only one other thing we could think of; food and drink. We needed it like a Jem’Hadar needs Ketral White!

We went to the hotel buffett and here’s something a bit odd about Fedcon, you need tokens to buy food!? So we went to buy tokens, but they didn’t accept credit cards. So we went to the ATM machine. And you know what? It was out of order!
We walked bloody miles (actually 500 metres but with a hangover – that’s an eternity!) to get cash. We found food on the way!

After sitting through the Jenna Coleman talk we were ready for Gates McFadden!

Gates McFadden

Gates came bouncing onto the stage dancing and leaping. One thing we love about Gates is she has the body language of a dancer. I don’t think she can help herself and it’s infectious, we want to skip and twirl down the corridors each time we see her.

Something else we have noticed is that she gets funnier each time we see her on stage which made sense when she explained to the audience that she was stalked for a long time. This made her very nervous (understandably!)at appearing at events.

Marina Sirtis

Marina took to the stage and told us she was feeling emotional. Saturday night there had been another terrorist incident in London. When she declare that Brits would not be defeated the audience went wild.
It felt like we were being given a big hug from everyone in the audience. After the Brexit fiasco it was welcome to that level of solidarity with our European neighbours.

 

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

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