An estimated 10,000 fans descended on the NEC in Birmingham, England, for the record-breaking -- and we mean literally record-breaking -- day two of Destination Star Trek Europe, and there was plenty for each and every one of them to do. All the big names were in the house -- on stage, posing for photos and signing autographs. There was action on every stage, including talks, a Q&A about Star Trek Timelines, a NASA conversation, fan competitions, and much, much more.
A Tale of Two Daxs
Terry Farrell and Nicole de Boer, Deep Space Nine's Jadzia Dax and Ezri Dax, came together for a memorable, laugh-filled conversation.
Terry Farrell's favorite memories of DS9 were "Kissing Worf. Flying the Defiant. Rolling off the bed with Julian."
A woman named Laura Fawcett explained that Star Trek saved her life and asked de Boer why, in her opinion, Star Trek means so much to so many, "Your setting is in the future. It's a fantasy. And within any fantasy you'll recognize yourself in some of the characters. My character, Ezri, was unprepared and nervous. So I got fan mail that said, 'Seeing what Ezri goes through means so much to me.'"
"I loved the David Mack books," de Boer said, "because he made me a captain."
"Like politicians, he's flip flopped on that one," de Boer when asked who Michael Dorn liked kissing more, her or Farrell.
"I had no problem biting him," Terry Farrell said of kissing Worf.
"The unrequited love thing with Bashir?" de Boer asked. "I thought it was quite barfy."
Enterprise: A Look Back
Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer and Vaughn Armstrong sat front and center for their entertaining panel moderated by Voyager's Garrett Wang.
"That set was probably the best I've ever worked on, of any television show," Armstrong said of Enterprise. "It comes from the top, and Scott Bakula was the nicest guy in the world. And everyone took their lead from him."
Trinneer on Shuttlepod One, "It was one of the highlights of my time on the show. It really was."
Keating on getting word that Enterprise was canceled and then going back to work. "It was a weird time knowing we were 8 or 9 weeks away from oblivion." Of his Enterprise experience, Keating added, "My one regret was not getting to direct an episode."
Wil Wheaton rarely appears at conventions, so his time on the Enterprise stage at DSTE was something special for the fans in attendance. Talking with moderator Greg Grunberg, Wheaton was thoughtful, reflective, candid and funny.
"I have a real hard time sitting still. And I have a real hard time waiting to do my next thing." He added, "I always wanted to be a writer."
"I'm very fortunate that there are enough people in the world who want to see the things I make. It's a super-great time to be someone with creative ideas, to be one of us."
"I love Star Trek. And I am intensely proud to be a part of Star Trek. My favorite episode from across all of Star Trek is 'Tapestry.' It helped me accept the pain in my life and the regrets in my life."
A fan tells Wheaton that she's sick and asked him to sing "Soft Kitty" to her. Much to the thrill of the crowd, he invited her come up near the stage, crooned it to her and then joked, "I've become a faith healer."
"The writers got stuck on Wesley as an idea. They never really developed him as a three-dimensional character."
"They didn't like Wesley and so they didn't like me," said Wheaton of those fans who made their hate for Wesley exceedingly well known. "That really hurt. I think it's important to separate the character from the actor."
"We who love Star Trek love being nerdy for Star Trek," Wheaton said.
All Hail the 50-Year March of the Klingons
Robert O'Reilly, always a fan favorite, strode onto the stage in full Gowron attire and attitude, much to the thrill of the packed crowd on the Enterprise stage. He was joined by Terry Farrell, who knows a thing or two about Klingons herself.
Among the highlights, O'Reilly welcomed a fan dressed as an old-school Klingon to lead the audience in singing the Klingon Warrior Anthem.
"They have never put me with a woman before," O'Reilly roared. "I wonder why?!?!" Farrell joked, "Where's Worf?"
"They wanted Famke Janssen to be Dax, but she was too expensive," Terry Farrell said. "Apparently I'm cheaper. I'm a cheap date."
"Our shoes were all made for Michael Dorn," O'Reilly said. "And he wore a size-13 shoe."
How better to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek than an hour-long session with George Takei? Takei, as always, was full of stories and good humor, laughed that laughed and uttered a couple of "Oh, mys!"
"I was to represent all of Asia (as Sulu). Me. Me, from Los Angeles, California."
"It's Howard Stern who made 'Oh, my!' (famous)."
"Lucille Ball came on the set two or three times. She was not the Lucille Ball we all know or think of. She was all business."
"Isn't that wonderful?" George Takei asked rhetorically, referring to the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery. "We're going to be on TV again! Bryan Fuller knows Star Trek."
Deep Space Nine: A Look Back
DS9 cast members Terry Farrell, Alexander Siddig, Armin Shimerman and Max Grodenchik reunited for a revealing panel moderated by Garrett Wang. The topics ranged from memories of DS9 to the actors' recent projects to a surprise kiss comment.
Farrell and Siddig went on a fake date and even kissed at a party to stop a woman who was attracted to Siddig. "We were young and single," Farrell said. "And who wouldn't want to kiss Sid?"
"We went to work," Shimerman said of the DS9 cast's no-nonsense approach. "We didn't have shenanigans. We went to work to make the best Star Trek for you that we could possibly make.
Siddig feels Doctor Who should be more diverse in casting its Doctors, pointing out that it'd be great to have a female Doctor or a Doctor of color. He finally said, "Terry could be Doctor Who!!"
"I learned, and i'm still learning, it's a process," Grodenchik said, "to look at people not for what they CAN'T do but what they CAN do."
"The last scene we ever shot for Deep Space Nine was me and Jimmy Darren," Armin Shimerman said. "This was after the big singing scene."
Siddig was not offered the part of Sisko, but the producers did initially seek him out for it. "The casting people saw me, and I was 15 years too young to play that part."
If he could play another alien, Grodenchik would "like to play a Cardassian for one day."
"I think it was too bad that the two women on DS9 didn't have a deeper relationship, even if it was a little conflict," Farrell said, referring to Nana Visitor's Kira Nerys. "I think we should have worked together more."
Guinness World Record
It still needs to be fully verified, but as it stands, the fans at DSTE broke the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Star Trek characters, which, as noted, had been established a few years ago at Destination Star Trek London.
The excitement built as fans raced the clock to enter the Enterprise stage area and be counted, but DSTE pulled it off. The new record... 1,137 fans, besting the previous record of 1,067.
And speaking of fans in costume, fans participating in the cosplay competition and World Record attempt bring out the best in each other in terms of creating elaborate, eye-catching Trek-style costumes. And so, the costumes StarTrek.com saw on the floor on Saturday were nothing short of amazing. Check out some of our favorites:
Fans took the cosplay competition on Saturday very, very seriously, if we're judging by the effort and creativity fans put into their costumes.
Grand Prize: Daniela - Vulcan Priestess T'Lar
Runner-Up: Rachel - Commander Wilhemina Riker
Runner-Up: Jane & Katie - Borg
Runner-Up: Andrew - Grand Nagus
Runner-Up: Blue Juice - Glam Metal Rock Andorians
For the Love of Spock
Adam Nimoy, the son on Leonard Nimoy, engaged in conversation with moderator Greg Grunberg about his acclaimed documentary For The Love of Spock, which has received a lot of press in America, but is just starting to reach the UK. Also joining them was producer David Zappone.
Asked what his dad would have done had he not been an actor, Ninoy replied, "He could have done anything. He was a true renaissance man. He was great at everything he did.”
Zappone and Nimoy then related stories of masonry work at Nimoy family house that Leonard did, as well as furniture he built, all of which went beyond his work as an actor, director and photographer.
Star Trek Timelines
Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff took audience questions and discussed Timelines with passionate fans who had ideas for features to be added to the popular game. Radoff told fans that he hopes to have time to get to most, if not all, of their requests: “If I have my way, the game is just going to run forever and ever.”
A big part of that is a plan to have player choices and decisions impact the game for all players. “You’ll actually change the stories of the game," Radoff explained. "We want some of our stories to take years to play out. That’s part of the way we want to evolve Star Trek Timelines.”
Radoff also promised more multiplayer game play: “Multiplayer is a big part of the game and something we plan to build out in the coming years.”
Deep Space Nine Visual Effects
Eaglemoss’s Ben Robinson spoke to former DS9 visual effects producer Adam Buckner about his work on the show and the transition of Trek visual effects from physical miniature models to digital models.
In particular, the duo spoke about Buckner’s creation of a small physical model of the U.S.S. Centaur ship from the episode “A Time to Stand.”
Buckner still has the original small model and brought it to show the audience and discuss the difficulties such a small model brought in terms of not being able to add internal lighting. That was addressed by adding fluorescent tape for windows and nacelle strips to reflect light and provide the appearance of a lit model on film.
Moderated by Christopher Cooper, editor of the Official Star Trek Magazine, the panel included John Van Citters, Vice President of CBS Consumer Products and James Swallow, veteran Star Trek author. Togetjher, they discussed the intricacies of Star Trek publishing.
Van Citters said, "When Star Trek TV went off the air, it really took the handcuffs off the fictional authors creatively, and let them take the universe and storytelling forward. Since then, we've been able to develop a really great group of authors for the books."
Swallow commented, "All the authors know one another and get along. So, we communicate really well about what we are all doing with our books to make sure we are setting each other up for future stories."
The evening ended with a special performance of Shatner's World on the Enterprise stage. Later in the evening, the Star Trek Rat Pack entertained fans with a concert during the Quark's Bar and Casino Party.
Check out the Destination Star Trek Europe - Day 1 recap, and watch StarTrek.com for the latest news all weekend.