And so it ends. Destination Star Trek Germany concluded on Sunday evening, deemed by fans and guests alike a tremendous success. Many fans had spent all three days at the event, while others spent two or just one. To mix things up, DSTG juggled some of the pairings and several guests made their first stage appearances after spending the first two days signing autographs and posing for photos or, in the case of both Tim Russ and Vaughn Armstrong, signing, posing and also performing at the DSTG parties.
The first talk took place on Stage B at 9:30 a.m., with Eric Stillwell discussing his days in the Trek universe, including co-writing the story for "Yesterday's Enterprise." Midway through his talk, Brent Spiner greeted the crowd on Stage A. He explained how, because Data had so much technobabble to utter each episode, he would not go to sleep until he could remember the next day's dialogue perfectly. "If I could do it once, I knew I could do it the next day." He called "Brothers" his favorite episode, admitted that he'd never read - and never plans to read- any Data fan fiction, and revealed that he met Rene Auberjonois decades before Trek at the premiere of the film Brewster McCloud in Houston at the Astrodome. He then marveled how, years later he replaced Auberjonois in Big River on Broadway, ended up on a Trek show and became friends with the actor. "It's possible," he told fans, "that we could all end up being very close one day."Back on Stage B, Tim Russ engaged an overflow crowd. One fan asked about Tuvok's somewhat limited screen time and character development, but Russ refused to complain. The ensemble cast was huge, so he understood the difficulty of servicing everyone, plus time off was nice and the check cleared. It was his job, when called upon, to make his moments count. Someone else noted that he, after being cast, shot a screen test with Genevieve Bujold, who was hired to play Janeway but departed after just a couple of days of production. "The problem was she was a film actress, a Method actor," he said. "She needs a certain amount of time." Unfortunately, TV is "like an assembly line in a factory. It moves fast... And she was not able time find the role, to grasp the role. Kate Mulgrew had done soap operas. Kate was designed for that role. She was perfect." Russ also told the crowd that he worked on a play with Leonard Nimoy in 1976. "That was cool," he said. "That was interesting that I went on to play a character based on the one he originated." StarTrek.com, after his talk, asked Russ what the production was. The answer: Caligula.Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn were next on Stage A. Sirtis made quite the fashion statement (see pic). Dorn described kissing Sirtis as "like kissing my sister," while Sirtis parried back that "I made him take out the teeth before we kissed," adding, "He made these animal noises when we kissed. I asked him if it was Worf or him... and he just walked away." Dorn, much like his Klingon counterpart, hated Tribbles. And Sirtis has a dream role: "In 50 years of Doctor Who there has never been a female Doctor. There should be one and it should be me."
The next couple of hours on Stage B featured interactive programming. The Trek Girls got the audience talking all things Trek, while Mars One discussed what they do (click HERE for details). Then there was debate called Best of The Next Generation, followed by a session with make-up artist John Paladin bantering with Suzie Plakson as he turned her, quite impressively, into a Kilngon.Up next on Stage A were Gates McFadden and LeVar Burton. Someone asked McFadden to interpretive dance, and she obliged, eliciting lots of cheers. "What are you going to do?" she challenged Burton. He replied, "I contemplated a striptease, but... I changed my mind." Burton later addressed Geordi's romance issues: "I think he had a lot of interest in romance. He just wasn't very good at it. I'm sure it got frustrating for him. It was frustrating for me. If I could go back and do anything different I'd have him have a romance with a real person, not a hologram. Look, the android was getting happy. Let the black man get some!" Someone asked McFadden if she wanted to appear on The Big Bang Theory, a la several of her TNG co-stars. She noted, "I think it would be great to have me go on as Wil Wheaton's horrible mother," a reply that drew laughs and applause, and prompted Burton to suggest, "I think you should be his lover. That would answer a lot of burning questions."
William Shatner was next. He received a rousing ovation and then told a variety of anecdotes as only he can. For example, he recalled how, years ago, a fan asked Leonard Nimoy what he should ask Shatner if ever given the chance. Nimoy told the fan to ask "Is (Shatner) more jealous of Nimoy's money or his talent?" That fan asked that question and Shatner replied, "I've known him as a wonderful human being. I am a great admirer of his money and his talent." Later, a fan wondered if Shatner misses making out with a steady stream of beautiful women. Shatner grinned and said, "Now I'm doing it for free. Time goes on and you're less kissable. It's an artificial ego-boosting time. Women are paid to make out with you and then the next day you realize it was all pretend."Karl Urban was next, and he was full of personal info that the crowd ate up. His fave movies: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Bullit, No Country for Old Men and Miller's Crossing. He killed time in the DSTG green room by... Playing cards with Jeff Combs and "thrashing him." Number one on his bucket list... Owning a Porsche. And he shared several McCoy-centric anecdotes, our favorite being this one; "After shooting ended I had trouble letting the character go. My wife would catch me having McCoy moments."
Some StarTrek.com observations from the floor... According to the DSTG folks, photos of William Shatner sold better than anyone else's. Urban pics were number two. We also checked out the many fans in costume and more than anything else, people sported TNG uniforms.Back on Stage B, Vaughn Armstrong invited his fellow Enterprise Blues Band mates Steve Rankin and Casey Biggs to join him for a song or two. One ditty was titled, "Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaii," and they turned it into an audience singalong. Armstrong then took questions. One interesting observation about Cardassians: "Their necks were probably so tight for so long it finally showed up physically. They are miserable people." Armstrong was followed by a conversation with Martin Netter, whose many Trek collectibles filled the Trek Museum on the DSTG floor and then another debate to determine the Best Star Trek Crew.
The rest of the day flew by. Stage A was the site of the weekend's second auction. Some sample items and prices: 25 Euros for a Zachary Quinto autographed large photo; 15 Euros for a Star Trek III VHS/laserdisk video store poster; and 130 Euros for a STID phaser signed by Karl Urban.Once the auction ended, the DS9 contingent of Rene Auberjonois, Armin Shimerman, Casey Biggs and jeff Combs came out to play. One fan asked Auberjonois about his very small role as Colonel West in Star Trek VI. "I was laying on the floor," he said. Shimerman interrupted to state, "Some of his best acting." Each man talked about current projects. Combs has wrapped a couple of films, including a rare family feature... Rare for him. Biggs directs plays and just did an episode of Person of Interest.Shimerman directs stage plays, teaches, has written his fifth novel and may soon do a film with Tim Russ. Auberjonois still acts, but isn't actively chasing work. He and his wife of 50 years have grandchildren, "and grandchildren are the last great love of your life." One fan asked about a DS9 movie, to which all four shouted, "NO!!"And lastly, Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating wrapped up the weekend with a laugh-filled 45 minutes of joking, singing, teasing each other and some serious moments (talking about the effect of 9-11 on the Enterprise storytelling). And it all ended with Keating thanking Trek fans for their love and enduring affection. "From the bottom of our hearts, thank you," he said, building to a punch line. "Whenever I swim in my pool I think of you all."
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