Discovery Shines at Destination Star Trek Germany
Day Two of Destination Star Trek Germany featured wall-to-wall activities — with Trek stars on the two stages, unique photo ops, autographs, a cosplay masquerade, an auction, episode screenings and vendors offering their wares. StarTrek.com took it all in and is pleased to report back with the following recap...
Shatner on the Bridge... with Tribbles & Fans
Kudos to whom ever thought up this fun photo opportunity: pose on the TOS Bridge with William Shatner seated in the captain’s chair, with fans — and Tribbles — by his side. Having a blast was no Tribble at all.
There are few Trek actors as charming, relaxed and honest on stage as Alexander Siddig. DS9’s Dr. Bashir shared a wide variety of stories, from nearly being fired from DS9 early on to a prank Colm Meaney pulled on him at a bar, and from his knack for dying on screen to his working relationships with Avery Brooks and Andrew Robinson.
As for playing Dr. Bashir, Siddig recalled how he considered Julian naive early on in DS9’s run. “ I pegged him at 21 or 22, and I was 25 or 26 at the time,” Siddig said. “It was easy for me to play him because I was pretty naïve myself. He had to grow up on the show. I’m grateful to the way he evolved.”
Fans got a special treat during Siddig’s panel when Rom, Leeta and Nog — or Max Grodenchik, Chase Masterson and Aron Eisenberg, all in makeup and costume — burst onto the stage to crash the occasion. Some playful banter followed, and Nog/Eisenberg settled into a chair, feigning reluctance to leave.
Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif, Kenneth Mitchell and Mary Chieffo teamed up for Discovery’s maiden voyage to a foreign official Trek event. Young, excited and full of energy, they had the crowd and each other laughing and thinking during their main-stage panel.
Wiseman was making her first con appearance ever, of any kind. Asked what she did during her hiatus between seasons one and two of Discovery, she replied, “I slept. I slept. I slept. Give it up for sleep! I got engaged. And I did some other stuff that was not as cool as Star Trek.”
And what about Mitchell? “I was with my kids and my wife on vacation,” he explained, casually building to a bombshell on which he could not elaborate. “And I’ve got a secret little role in Captain Marvel. I guess it’s not a secret anymore.”
A fan asked the actors what they might have done for a living if they’d not pursued acting. Wiseman stated that she’d have been an elementary school teacher.
How about Latif? “I would have been a cook, a chef,” Latif said. “I love cooking. I love eating. So that’s probably what I would have done.”
Chieffo talked about becoming part of the greater Star Trek family. “Last night, I spoke to Terry (Farrell) and Nana (Visitor) at our hotel, which was amazing,” she said. “Terry and I had met at STLV, but I’d not met Nana yet. I geeked out. To meet both of them? They are two of my favorite characters from DS9, and to see that Terry and Nana are still so close after 25 years was wonderful.” Chieffo affectionately looked at her Discovery co-stars on the stage and said, “I’m glad I’ll be linked with these people forever.”
Boldly Hitting the Road
Andrea Becker and her husband, Spock, are Trek fans from Frankfurt who drove their car to Dortmund for DSTG. Lots of folks did, of course. But their car is no ordinary car. The front hood is decorated with images of Star Trek characters and ships. As the DSTG stars exited the convention center exit, many of them stopped to autograph the car and pose for photos with it.
“I’ve been a Trek fan since I was 6, so that’s a long time,” Becker said. “I said I wouldn’t get married unless I married Spock. I met my husband online and his nickname was Spock... so I married him. This has been such a fun project for us, getting the car signed.”
Visitor & Auberjonois
Old friends and colleagues Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois reminisced about their time on DS9, their friendship and their respective careers and upcoming projects.
Visitor revealed that she’ll reprise her role as Kira in Star Trek Online’s Victory Is Life episode. “I got to be Kira again,” Visitor said. “That was really fun. I was very satisfied with the character’s development. I like what happens in the story. I guess I can’t tell you the story, but you will like it, too.“
Auberjonois proudly showed off his Barack Obama socks. Near the end of the session he generated chuckles with this old DS9 anecdote: “In one episode, I, or Odo, morphed into a dog, into a German Shepherd, actually. A dog played the role, of course, and did the scenes with Armin. Meanwhile, I had the day off. The next morning, I came on set and Armin said, ‘You were good yesterday... really good.’”
Though it was actually referenced in the program, most fans at the Voyager stage didn’t know that William Shatner would come out to greet them, wish them a fun weekend and beckon them to attend his full talk later in the day. But that’s precisely what he did, further energizing an already-jazzed crowd.
Farrell & De Boer
Fans got a double dose of Dax when Terry Farrell and Nicole de Boer shared the stage for their main-stage panel. The two talked about their time on Deep Space Nine and the experience of, in essence, sharing a character.
“I got the Jadzia part of Dax completely, totally,” de Boer noted. “I watched a few episodes with Terry in them and saw that she walked with her hands behind her back. So I did that, too, and it was my little tribute to Jadzia.”
Farrell admitted that did not watch season seven of DS9 following her season-six departure. She later shared an anecdote about encountering Discovery’s Mary Chieffo. “I was so excited to meet someone taller than me,” Farrell said. “She’s lovely. The Discovery cast, they’re really nice people.”
Phillips & McNeill
Ethan Phillips and Robert Duncan McNeill had the crowd at their panel cracking up pretty much the entire time. Not only did they tell amusing stories that entertained fans, they genuinely cracked themselves up as well.
“Robbie was the first person to make me laugh on Voyager,” Phillips recalled. “And that’s because he pronounced PADD as PADD-Duh-duh.”
Phillips also wowed the crowd by describing his old co-stars Voyager trailers, prompting a question about what his own trailer looked like. “My whole trailer was papered with pictures of Neelix that children had drawn,” he said, eliciting appreciative awwww’s. “Pencil drawings. Crayon drawings. I absolutely loved that.”
McNeill, not surprisingly, was queried about Voyager’s unusual and entertaining Captain Proton adventures. “I thought it was great,” McNeill said. “Star Trek, at least Voyager, was pretty serious. It had some humor but not much. They didn’t want to make fun of Star Trek, Starfleet, or what was happening to the crew. Too funny might not work. When they came up with Captain Proton, I thought it was genius. We could have fun with all the tropes of sci-fi and play a little bit with Star Trek. And the black-and-white was brilliant, too.”
William Shatner stepped out onto the main stage to close out Saturday at DSTG. He’s 87 now, but sharp as a tack. The Trek icon spent the better part of an hour talking about life, fame, Trek, death, his lack of singing chops (which he insisted is balanced by his ability to “feel the lyrics”), why he won’t guest star on The Orville (“He’s imitating me. What can I do?”), working with Peter Falk on Columbo, harnessing the power and reach of Twitter to help people in need, his upcoming albums (are you ready for ShatnerClaus!?!?) and much more.
Addressing the matter of fame, Shatner explained that he was a popular child actor in Canada by age six, respected for his stage work while in college, and had appeared in numerous shows and movies before Star Trek gave him pop culture immortality.
“I don’t think of being famous as being famous,” he said. “It’s been my life. It’s not different to me. Yes, it’s weird, but it’s my experience. The good and bad, being stared at (in a good sense) and… being stared at (in a bad sense), if you understand what I’m saying... I’m used to that. It’s what I know. Like I say, it’s my life. I don’t know anything else.”
Cosplayers had their moment to shine and show off their memorable, creative costumes to fellow fans during the Cosplay Masquerade. Dozens of fans participated and hundreds of fans cheered them on. The winners included:
Ina and Marco from Hannover, Germany, as Andorians
Mo from Austria as Stamets and Laura from England as U.S.S Discovery Captain
Kim from Germany as Seven of Nine
Bastian, Dirk and Achim from Germany as Borgs with Captain Archer
Not all of the cosplayers participated in the Masquerade. Here are some of the cosplayers hanging out at DSTG:
Many fans took to the Klingon Bridge to sit in the throne chair and pose for photos. And some took it to the next level, posing there with Discovery’s Klingons, Kenneth Mitchell and Mary Chieffo. Qapla!
Rom, Nog & Leeta
Ferengi and Leeta fans had the opportunity to pose for photos with the popular trio of Max Grodenchik, Chase Masterson and Aron Eisenberg, who slipped back into costume and makeup as Rom, Leeta and Nog. The actors also posed separately and in a Rom-Nog combo with fans.
Check out our Day One recap, and be sure to visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow to read our recap of the third and final day at Destination Star Trek Germany.