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


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.