Raules Davies is known throughout the United Kingdom as a “Trekologist,” a Star Trek expert and the face of CBS Action’s Trek programming in London. Now, the lifelong fan will take things to the next level, appearing at the hotly anticipated Destination Star Trek London event, which will be held October 19-21 at the ExCel Centre London. StarTrek.com recently caught up with Davies for an entertaining conversation in which he discussed his love of Trek, chatted up his DSTL appearance and revealed the origins of the term “Trekologist.”
Davies: Believe it or not, I’d never heard the phrase until my ex-girlfriend used it on me. I turned to her and said, “I’ve got to think of a name. They want a name. They want to call me ‘Super-fan.’ I’m not ‘Super-anything’ because I’m not 10 years old. But I need a name that would suggest my level of fandom.” And she, quick as a flash, said, “Trekologist.” I went, “OK.” I didn’t think anything else of it. But what it comes down to is that level of fan that you read about, that you hear about, and not always in a positive way (laughs). It’s the idea that it’s a person that knows it’s just a show, that knows it’s filmed, but also gets engaged in the message, the subject, and tries – tries, I emphasize – to know everything there is to know about the show.
Was your ex-girlfriend’s sentence, “You are a Trekologist. We are done?”
Davies: (Laughs). No… We got on. We were happy together, but Star Trek, even before CBS got in the game, she wasn’t a fan. She was never a big fan, and we always had this albatross, if you will, this white elephant in the room that was permanently in the 23rd and 24th century. You’d sit there having a conversation and I’d say, “Oh, just like in Star Trek II, when the Genesis device…” And she’d say, “Do you never stop?”
So maybe you’ll meet your wife at DSTL…
Davies: You know what? I’d love to, except I don’t know if I’m going to have enough time to see anybody. From what these guys tell me, I’m going to be busy.
How deep is your appreciation of Trek?
Davies: Well, I have a tattoo. It’s actually the badge of the Federation. Being a fan for over three decades, obviously tee-shirts and belt buckles weren’t enough. So I have the Starfleet delta on my arm and the UFP oval and wreath behind it. It runs pretty deep.
Let’s have some fun. What’s one of your favorite bits of Trek trivia?
Davies: The character of Neelix, the way he looks, he was actually modeled on Timon and Pumbaa from Disney’s The Lion King. Michael Westmore’s makeup department, one of the makeup artists was watching The Lion King. He saw them and said, “Wouldn’t it be great? I’ll create the character to look like an amalgamation of these two.” If you look at Neelix, his hair, his color, his nose shape, everything about him, you can actually see the amalgamation of Timon and Pumbaa in him. That was quite an eye-opener. I thought that was just amazing.
Who or what is your favorite Trek character of all-time?
Davies: Generally speaking, it’s the same answer as my favorite captain, because my favorite character is a captain. That’s Captain Kirk. A lot of that revolves around watching Shatner act, the way he acts or when I actually met Shatner for the first time. I think there’s a lot of that involved in it. Captain Kirk, when he talks about never facing death, about having cheated it and patting himself on the back for original thinking… his mind never stops. He’s constantly working something out, whatever the situation. He’s like the world’s greatest chess player, because he’s just running through every single alternative in his mind, and yet it doesn’t appear like he is. That’s great writing, a great character and a heck of a role model.
You’re stuck on a deserted island with one episode each of TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. What episodes would you be OK watching nonstop until you were rescued?
Davies: Probably… “The Enterprise Incident” from The Original Series. And from TNG, probably… let’s think… “Tapestry.” DS9… oooh, now that is something. Hmm. Probably… “In the Pale Moonlight.” Voyager… that’s a tough one because I have three at the top of my head. Let me try to pick one. Probably… “Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy.” Enterprise… probably… “E2.” And if I had one movie, too, it’d be Star Trek VI.
Let’s switch to Destination Star Trek London. To your thinking, what will set it apart from a standard convention?
Davies: Conventions have changed over the years. They have morphed and adapted with people and what they’re after. So, conventions that we used to go to in the 90’s are rare now. The autograph hunter has pretty much taken dominance and most conventions are actually signing events where you basically go up and you just collect autographs from whatever series happens to be promoted at the moment. What we’re looking at with Star Trek London is a signing event, an exhibition, a tour. If you were at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas before they shut it, before you actually got into Borg Encounter 3-D or the Enterprise adventure, they had a museum, that tour where you could walk through and look at all the costumes and props from the series behind glass cases. I think you’re looking at an opportunity (with DSTL) where you have props and set pieces, talks, signings, photographs. It’s basically trying to get all the best bits of every con, every idea, every inception and throw it into one, and then give the attendees the chance to fully immerse themselves (in all of it) for a weekend.
You joked before that you’ll be so busy at DSTL, you probably won’t have time to meet your wife. What will some of your responsibilities during the event be?
Davies: There are going to be a few discussions that I’m going to be chairing, so to speak, about favorite TNG, DS9 or Voyager episodes, favorite films; just like the questions you asked me. But I’ll be putting it out to the public as well and having an open discussion about what makes (something) so great and what elements you take from it. There will be other things that CBS, the on-air department, with film crews, are going to want me to get involved in. Perhaps talking to people, engaging with both Joe Public and honored guests. So I imagine that I’m going to be running around a fair bit. Of course, if that that PYT (Pretty Young Thing) just happens to show up and looks great in a Wrath of Khan uniform, I might have to pause. I might have to find an excuse to say hello.
Raules Davies is the CBS Action Trekologist and will be appearing at Destination Star Trek London from October 19th – 21st at ExCeL Centre. For more information and tickets, please visit www.startreklondon.com. Star Trek is broadcast on CBS Action every weekday at 8 p.m.