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, 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.