Once again, the early birds got the worm as Day 3 of the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention kicked off with a Star Trek Stars Continental Breakfast at 7 a.m. Among the attendees: John de Lancie, Denise Crosby, Ethan Phillips, Robert Brown, Mariette Hartley, Roger Perry and Joseph Ruskin. And at 8 a.m., in a quieter space, David Gerrold led a two-hour writing workshop.
Those fans who slept found that the action started in earnest at 9:30 with a TNG main-room panel featuring John de Lancie, Suzie Plakson and Denise Crosby. De Lancie recalled that "Gene Roddenberry, on the third day, said, 'You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into.' And, 25 years later, here we are." He described Q in a nutshell as "Infinite powers, no responsibility." Crosby, discussing her choice to leave TNG during the first season, noted, "These are the decisions you make." She truly felt she might be stuck saying "Aye, aye captain" for the entire run and asked out. Noting her return for "Yesterday's Enterprise," she said, "I had to die for me to get my best episode." And de Lancie announced that fans can find the great Alien Voices radio plays that he and Leonard Nimoy produced years back can be found at www.alienvoices.net.
Klingon lovers got a huge kick out of the next attraction, a Klingon Summit with Barbara March, Gwynyth Walsh, Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler all in character as Lursa, B'Etor, Gowron and Martok. They tormented a few humans, sang some opera and mocked each other. It was loud and fun and, somehow, no blood was shed.
At 11 a.m., Terry Farrell took the stage. She looked wonderful and sounded happy with her decision to essentially retire from acting to be with her family. Farrell also seemed thrilled to see many of her former co-stars and catch up with them and her fans.
12 noon rolled around and Brent Spiner cracked jokes throughout his session. "I'm going to take some questions now, before I bore you to death," he stated. "Speaking of boring you to death, Jonathan Frakes was on stage yesterday and..." And a fun tidbit: Did you know that the cats that played Spot were named Brandy and Monster?
Kate Mulgew faced a huge crowd at about 1 p.m. Responding to a fan question about the role of women in Star Trek, she noted that it matters that strides such as a female captain make a difference. "Sure, it does," she said in that powerful voice of hers. "But I was a pretty good start, wasn't I? I'm not a feminist. I'm an independent woman." She also lobbied to see a gay character in command. "It's time," she said. "It's passed time." Another fan with a thick southern accent says he loooooves Mulgrew and explains that he lost an arm during a chicken attack on his farm. The fan turns out to be Warehouse 13 star Eddie McClintock. Mulgrew will be appearing in four episodes of Warehouse 13 and he was on hand to sign autographs.
Next, at 1:30, John Van Citters of CBS Consumer Products showed off -- and gave away -- lots of new and upcoming Star Trek-themed products. Among the items: Westland's Spock Cookie Jar, Think Geek's USS Enterprise Spoon and Bit Set, Robe Factory's super-cool uniform robes, USAopoly's Klingon Edition Monopoly game, GameForge's Star Trek Infinite Space free to play game (set in the DS9 universe), Titan's Maxi-Busts (Kirk and Picard are coming your way in January, followed by Data and Spock, too), Anovos' new and cool Star Trek (2009)-based uniforms and a long-awaited Kirk Casual Uniform, Hallmark's latest Trek collectibles (a U.S.S. Defiant will be a New York Comic-Con exclusive), the Star Trek PADD, and QMx's super-detailed USS Enterprise Refit, a Static Phaser Replica and Starfleet Academy Class Rings (yes, they're from the recent film).
At 2:35, Leonard Nimoy greeted a full house -- at least 5,800 people, after a screening of the hysterical Bruno Mars video in which he recently appeared. Sporting a LLAP t-shirt, Nimoy shared stories about his youth, his move into acting, the odd jobs he did (cleaning fish tanks, for example) and his time in the Army. He illustrated the conversation with a slide show, by the way. And then, of course, he got into Star Trek. One memorable story: the origins of the Vulcan split-fingered gesture. He saw the rabbis at his temple do it years earlier, with both hands. "I never knew it would come in handy," he said to laughter and applause. He then guided the crowd through the rest of his career, including other acting projects and directing films. And then he talked about how Trek and Spock rose from the ashes. Finally, he discussed his work as a photographer. And then, on the verge of tears and with his voice cracking, Nimoy acknowledged what fans already knew, that this would be his final Vegas convention. He thanked everyone and closed, appropriately, by saying, "May you all live long and prosper." After a brief curtain call, the legend departed the stage to a standing ovation.
Of course, the show must go on, and it did. Ethan Phillips shared memories of Voyager. Responding to a fan question about conventions he said, "It's a joy to meet you every time I come here." He then auctioned several items for charity, at one point getting an assist from Garrett Wang, who surprised him on stage.
At 4:15, Creation gathered together as many people as possible in an effort to break the world record for "Most Star Trek Costumes in One Place." And guess what? They did it, blasting by the previous record by HUNDREDS of people, with a total of 1,040. Check out our photos to see number 1,040... Carol Jean Tillman of Las Vegas.
Subsequent events included non-stop shopping in the dealers' room, morning-to-night photo ops and autograph signings, a Classic Stars of Classic Star Trek panel featuring Joseph Ruskin, Robert Brown, Roger Perry and Mariette Hartley, a tremendously well-received staging of Jeffrey Combs' one-man show, Evermore, a costume contest sponsored by USAopoly's Monopoly: Star Trek Klingon Limited Edition, a full-band concert by James Darren, and a midnight party with entertainment provided by Robert O'Reilly, Suzie Plakson, J.G. Hertzler and Ethan Phillips.
Check back tomorrow for a recap of the fourth and final day's events and don't forget to watch the 3 Captains - Shatner, Stewart and Mulgrew - this afternoon LIVE at www.StarTrek.com/Live