|Star Wars fans take crowd control into their own hands.
Are you sure you want to complain about queuing times?
The venue was split into various rooms, there was the main arena that accommodated all the guest stars. Sometimes the guests are hidden behind panels but fortunately this was not the case. There was a ticket office to buy ‘virtual queuing tickets’ which we would recommend for the popular stars, but otherwise you could walk straight up to them and purchase a ticket.
Exhibitors such as sci-fi groups and traders were set up in the main arena and the foyer. The layout in the foyer was a little cramp but Carole noted that there were traders she hadn’t seen before. Human (and otherwise) needs were met by a range of food options including a sit down buffet style restaurant to takeaway vans. There was even a bar! Our Guinan hats go off to the girls downing JD and Coke at 11.30 on Sunday
|Arena (yes our mind instinctively thinks Gorn too!)
Guest Stars are in front of the black panels Exhibitor stalls are behind.
It was advertised that attendees could attend one show per day for free, but from our observation this had plenty of flexibility and was only properly enforced for very popular talks. If there was room to fill, you got it. Still it was nice to have this included in the admission price.
The show had back to back talks all day that included Dr Who, Torchwood, Ashes to Ashes, Highlander, and Spooks.
But we are TREKKIE girls so started the morning with a Star Trek Voyager talk with Jeri Ryan, Robert Beltran, Ethan Philips, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Manu Intiraymi, Alice Krige and Robert Picardo.
We could instantly see the rapport amongst the cast, they seemed much more relaxed in each others company and playful. This seemed a slight contrast to when we saw them a few years back in Las Vegas (we wouldn’t want to speculate about the difference!).
The Q&A started with one of the predictable ‘Tell us a funny story’. Dispite having told this story about six million times, Garratt Wang and Jeri Ryan told us the elbow/booby story as if it happened yesterday. If you don’t know the story, we won’t ruin it for you and we think fans only ask to hear it as a subtle means of changing the subject to Jeri Ryan’s Boobs.
And dammit Jim, weren’t the fans glad to be hearing about Jeri’s boobies. When she mentioned that there are ‘no undies in space’ a couple of Klingons fainted! Then she described how her bra piece couldn’t produce a ‘mound’ but had to form itself around each breast (Large chested women refer to this as the ‘seatbelt’ look) – we could have swore we heard a Vulcan giggle.
|Picardo and Philips Comedy Act|
The next brilliant question to emerge from the audience was ‘What was your favourite episode?’ The overall consensus was any episode that involved their character kissing 7 of 9. This became a running joke as each actor tried to recall/make up an episode where this happened. When it got to Alice Krige she spoke in that wonderful soft alluring voice that captivates the audience and said “I was only in two episodes, but I was asked to play the Queen omni sexual, so my favourite episode was the one where I nearly kissed 7 of 9!’
The audience is hysterical! Two red shirts blew up from sexual tension.
Overall, a great light-hearted talk. And if you liked Reg Barclays impression of Captain Janeway, wait until you hear Garratt Wangs!
The talk lasts about 35 – 40 minutes and lots of fans get the opportunity to ask questions including ourselves, but more on that later….
|Fans enjoying the comedy act.|
Straight after the Voyager talk is a comedy act between Bob Picardo and Ethan Philips. We hadn’t seen this at other events but know that they do often perform it at conventions. We won’t give anything away but they resume the characters of The Doctor and Neelix and it’s based after Voyager gets home.
For the fans it is nice to hear how they forsee the events after the homecoming but the humour comes from the banter between them. Picardo continues to try to be professional whilst Philips wants to be disruptive. The impromptu burp was a real treat!
All of this and it’s only midday on Saturday. Straight into the DS9 group talk with Lolita Fatjo, Colm Meaney, Rene Auberjonois, Nana Visitor and Chase Masterson.
A very enthusiastic fan named Dominic got the first question in, Firstly he thanked Nana for Kira and then asked Chase if she knew what Leeta’s last name was. This had everyone stumped. So she turned it around and said the fans can pick one. We would like to submit: Leeta Lovesit
|We started getting paranoid that Rene had seen episode one of Trekkie Girls!|
Lolita Fatjo was able to talk about the writing and production side of DS9 and a fan asked her a good question ‘what was the hardest episode to finish?’ to which she replied the last episode, because there was so much they wanted to do and tie up. From this, Chase shared a story about her last day of production. The crew were tearing down the studio around them and the cast were mortified that everything was getting thrown out into skips. So some of them took little keepsakes. But not Chase, no. She only took Dr Bashirs entire Medical shelf from the Infirmary!
Nice one Chase!
We asked the question ‘What is the weirdest thing sent to you by a fan?’ Rene said he couldn’t possibly say in front of the audience! And from that moment I think they answered the question ‘what is the weirdest question asked by a fan?’. We let them run with it!
Nana: Why do you let your daughters work in Hollywood?
Picardo (who was managing the Q&A): A fan had told him that Artificial intelligence was a product of the Anti-Christ
Chase: Why did you marry Rom?
They all talked with great fondness of the Baseball episode. Nana told us ‘They hired someone to teach me how to throw a ball!’. We empathize with you Nana, the only thing we could throw in a baseball match is a hissy-fit!
Because we had a car we could treat it like a giant handbag going back and forth to unload/reload our purchases. And who should we bump into? Manu Intiraymi! Itchy himself! We got a big hug which was a nice treat, not only because he is Manu but because he oozed of California. A little bit of Risa in Cestus III.
Then came something completely unexpected. We bumped into one of the organizers who was looking after the press and he managed to get us an interview with Chase Masterson!!!! CHASE!!!
Only we didn’t have time to get our audio recording equipment. Reluctantly we used an iphone and it has probably came out better than our expensive audio recorder we took! We’ll blog about that separately but suffice it to say, she was lovely. A real sweet heart. We can’t wait to share it with you.
After we had phoned everyone we know and tweeted you guys we plucked up the courage to approach Alice Krige. All we could see was the Borg Queen!! But again she was lovely, very professional and we are grateful to her for taking the time to talk to us.
We had a brief walk around the stalls then went back to the talk stage to listen to Tim Russ and his band perform. He has come a LONG way since his wiggle-foot dance to please Neelix. We wish we had seen Tuvok play his lute like Tim plays his guitar. We struggled to think what genre it belonged to but fortunately we had the opportunity to ask him. It’s a blend of Rock, Soul and Roots. Whatever it is, we liked.
We tried to get some clapping going but this was a bit racy for the British Sci-Fi scene although we did see some Dr. Who’s dancing away in the corner briefly. But there was some firm foot tapping and we assured Mr Russ this was high praise, our equivalent to Americans whooping.
If you get the chance to see him live, take the opportunity. His music is also available on iTunes, this was one of our favourites: Still Raining (Links to iTunes).
The show finished at 5pm and we were exhausted. We had also not ate all day. We needed burgers and chips fast!
We stayed in the Holiday Inn Express which is the closest hotel to the venue. You could walk to the arena (we didn’t because we wear heels and the car is an extended handbag!). We had a nice meal at the Marriott but were a bit disappointed by the lack of cocktails (where can you get a decent Tranya in Peterborough!?).
Unfortunately when we got back to the Holiday Inn express we had a nasty encounter with a couple of staff who made a rude/derogatory comment about us when they thought we were out of ear shot. They were then too cowardly to admit it. We won’t stay at that Holiday Inn Express again and recommend you don’t either because in the words of Takei: You sir, are a douchebag!
Looks like we got the last word there so double dumb-ass on you Holiday Inn man!
However it helped us realised how lucky we are to be part of a warm, friendly and accepting group and that is exactly what we experienced throughout the day from other attendees, the amazing staff at Treble Ace who really looked after us, the guest stars who gave their time to talk to us when they didn’t have to. We’d also like to thank all our followers who came and said hi. It was lovely to meet you in person.
Also thanks to Trek Radio for covering our coverage! We look forward to working with them closer in the future.
Wow that was a long post for a long day. Coming next:
How to Survive a Star Trek Convention