Saturday at Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek Convention in Parsippany, New Jersey, launched with director Bill Shatner rallying a cheering posse of fans through the front doors of the convention as they were being filmed for Creation's new reality TV series pilot Fan Addicts. Clearly, news of Shatner's surprise appearance at the convention on Friday and his interaction with the attendees had spread virally and everyone was buzzing about his playful antics and the fascinating interviews he was conducting with attendees, getting to the heart of what it is that drives passionate fans of Star Trek and the sci-fi genre.
The previous day, Creation, in conjunction with StarTrek.com, had launched the first-ever pay-per-view webcast of convention highlight presentations with a session featuring Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois, which went off without a hitch (thankfully). The session was viewed globally by people in several countries. Saturday promised webcasts featuring Conner Trinneer with Dominic Keating, and those merciless Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor (Gwynyth Walsh and Barbara March).
The day's activities on stage began with a wonderful reminiscence between Creation's Co-CEO Adam Malin and longtime assistant to Gene Roddenberry, Richard Arnold. Malin explored the rebuilding of the Trek production offices in the mid-eighties at the dawn of ST:TNG with Arnold, who had slowly evolved from a fan mail intern to a full-blown advisor and archivist on the show. Arnold spoke about a promising young writer named Ron Moore who was ignored by the current writing regime until Michael Piller came in as one of the producers. Piller immediately saw Moore's potential and purchased his script, following which he hired Moore. Moore rose up the ranks, eventually becoming an executive producer on Deep Space Nine, where his amazing stories and character development (which he is well known for) helped make that a groundbreaking series.
Following that, Malin hosted Creation's popular Star Trek Yes-No Competition, which brought scores of fans on stage competing for almost $2000 in prizes. Ultimately, three different winners each took home a $250 gift certificate. Then Creation brought out its treasure trove of Star Trek collectibles for their No Minimum Bid Auction, which included an amazing Trek collectors card compilation from Richard Arnold, beautiful banners of convention guests, and a gorgeous, giant-sized montage photo signed by all five Trek captains. Valued at $1,000, it sold for the bargain-basement price of $500.
Then 3 p.m. hit, and the planned global webcast began, as Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating of Enterprise took the stage. These two gentlemen looked better than ever, fit and relaxed and in obvious great spirits. Dominic recounted the heavy competition he faced auditioning for the series, and offered his own vocalization of the Trek theme. Connor was happy to acknowledge the incredible experience he had as Trip on Enterprise. They commented on how talented the cast (led by Scott Bakula) was and that Enterprise was cut way short.
At 4 PM on the dot, the Enterprise boys left the stage and a new webcast began as the nefarious Duras Sisters stormed the stage. Barbara March and Gwynyth Walsh, gorgeously made up and dressed in their signature Klingon uniforms complete with cleavage and cleavers, growled and cursed at the audience as they menaced threateningly. They sang, they grunted, but ultimately began a fun dialogue with the audience. One patron was propositioned by the Sisters, but he was quite reluctant to experience their wiles. He approached the stage hesitatingly, and as he got up there, they put him on his knees. We expected them to take off his head, but he made a quick getaway. They also spoke admiringly of Patrick Stewart's bald head. Then they speculated on whether they were still alive after their ship was destroyed.
At 5 PM, as they left the stage, Malin came up to ask the audience to stay in place. Much to the delight of everyone, Bill Shatner finally came up on stage to announce his coming documentary film, "The Captains," which will air July 22 on Epix Network. Bill instructed the audience on various ways of screaming the cry "Khan!" (referring to his classic yell from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan), and conducted the audience on several different yells at different volume levels, ending with "the world's longest Khan yell." During this hysteria, cameras were rolling, both for the documentary and for Creation's TV pilot.
Following that and some more great music videos, Creation producer Doug Murray brought several members of the audience up on stage for a movie pitch session. Richard Arnold joined in to review the script concepts (having run interference on script submissions to Trek for years). The winner received a $100 gift certificate.
And then Creation's famous Star Trek Costume Competition closed the day, with 30 amazing entries that included a Classic Andorian, a shot-up Red Shirt, Lursa and B'Etor (they took first place), a sexy Klingon warrior, a redneck Star Trek officer, and some wonderful juniors including a 4-month-old in knitted uniform jammies. It was a heartwarming and fun way to end another memorable day at The Official Star Trek Convention in Parsippany.
Click here to read Day One's recap.