Sunday, the third and final day of Star Trek: Mission New York, featured some of the biggest names in the Trek galaxy appearing on stage as the mega-celebration of Trek's 50th anniversary journeyed to its end in style.
The Lost Ship: Stories from the Star Trek: Voyager Cast
The Voyager cast is often the Wild Bunch at conventions, especially when it's just the guys. At MNY, though, Kate Mulgrew and Roxann Dawson joined Robert Picardo, Ethan Phillips and Rboert Duncan McNeill, as well as former producer Brannon Braga, and so, while there were plenty of laughs, the conversation touched on vivid memories and serious thoughts, too.
"Out of all the shows I worked on," Braga said, "Voyager was my favorite."
"They sent us tapes on how to shake," Mulgrew said with a laugh. "Ninety minutes on how to shake."
"I was really pregnant on the show," Dawson remembered. "Poor Robbie had to deal with me and his wife at the same time."
Picardo was shocked when moderator Jordan Hoffman revealed that he uttered the line "Please state the nature of the medical emergency" only 28 times during Voyager's seven-year run. The cast, including Picardo, had each guessed much more -- with some reaching 200.
Phillips remembered long days. Very long days. "For a 7am call, they would have me be there at 4am for makeup." Then the day would start in earnest. And later the makeup had to be removed. "Seventeen-hour days. I used to wake up a half hour before I went to bed."
Bryan Fuller, who is creating, writing and producing Star Trek: Discovery, previously made his mark on Trek with Voyager. Everyone on the stage at the panel seemed excited by the possibilities his involvement presented.
"I thought he was very smart, very precocious and very kind," Mulgrew said. "I knew he would do wonderful things."
"He's the perfect choice for relaunching the (franchise)," Braga opined.
"He's like one of all of you guys," McNeill commented to the audience. "He's a fan. He's deeply immersed in that point of view."
From Russia with Love: A Chat with Walter Koenig
Koenig took to the stage energized by a huge New York welcome from the crowd. He described Gene Roddenberry's vision as a world "where all creatures get along, live in harmony. We are all still waiting for that world."
Referring to Star Trek: Discovery, he stated, "the best thing that they've done is hire Nick Meyer. I'm so relieved that he's going to be a part of this."
Looking back at TOS, the actor noted that, "Bill Shatner was the life of the party. The series was fun. I had a great time."
"I wasn't sure how I'd react when I went to the first new movie," Koenig said of Star Trek (2009). "I can feel that envy. I didn't know if I'd feel threatened by this new movie that didn't include me. I didn't know how I'd react to seeing another actor play Chekov. I just didn't know. To my great happiness, I loved the movie and I had a great time. Two minutes into watching Anton (Yelchin), I said, 'What was I thinking?'"
"I had an opportunity to meet with Anton for a couple of hours on the set of the first film," he said, crediting J.J. Abrams for arranging the meeting. "He was such a good person. It was such a breathe of fresh air. I knew he'd become someone we'd admire. We had one more moment that took place at the premiere. I was in the parking lot and there were journalists all over, interviewing him. He saw me and shouted, 'Walter, I got my own action figure!!!' He had arrived."
"Anton was a beautiful person, a beautiful young man," Koenig said softly. "And it's a great, great loss to us all that he won't be with us."
"I'm met Davy Jones at a convention," Koenig said of the actor-musician who inspired the addition of Chekov to TOS. "He was great. He looked nothing like me."
Tales from the Captain's Chair: A Conversation with William Shatner
The man, the legend. And he did not disappoint, sharing colorful anecdotes about his experiences in the Big Apple before answering fans' questions in tremendous detail.
"My first convention was in front of 15,000 people," he said. "And I didn't know what to do because I had no script."
"I've got a book coming out next week," Shatner revealed. "It's called Zero G... It's about FBI men in space. As in G-men in space. Zero G."
Shatner just interviewed Dr. Stephen Hawking for an upcoming documentary. The actor described the complications of such an effort, given Dr. Hawking's physical challenges. At the end, Dr. Hawking surprised Shatner by asking him a question. The iconic physicist painstakingly formulated his question. What could it be? Something about life? Physics, maybe? Black holes? Shatner and his crew hung on every word as Dr. Hawking typed it out. It was: "What are your favorite episodes?"
"The Prime Directive...," Shatner intoned dramatically. "Do not interfere. Do. Not. Interfere! But if you want a television show, you'd better interfere."
"I was part of a large team of people that made Star Trek work and affected a lot of people's lives," he stated. "I've met people today who spoke of Star Trek with tears in their eyes. I'm in awe of that effect. Of course, we were just making entertainment, but we knew we were making good stuff."
"I wanted to know why people are at conventions," Shatner recounted of working on one of his documentaries. "I went around in disguise. I said, 'Why are you here?' Invariably, they said, "Is that you Shatner?' I discovered why you are here. You are here to see each other."