Fan after fan after fan filled the ExCel Centre on Saturday for day two of Destination Star Trek London. And we’re not exaggerating. Approximately 12,000 fans turned out for the second day of the event, eager to hear from the stars and snag their autographs and/or photographs with them. Attendees also joined in the fun at the stunt show, debates, checked out the Beam Me Up App, auditioned to be a CBS Action Trekologist for a day along with Raules Davies and, of course, shopped at the many vendor booths, checking out the trailer for the upcoming Star Trek video game and buying everything from models, Blu-rays and character busts to Star Trek Magazine (with a DSTL exclusive cover), ship models and more. And it all ended with a with a record-breaking gathering of fans in Star Trek costume and a blowout party with laser tag and bumper cars (you read that right), and featuring concert performances Avery Brooks and Chase Masterson. StarTrek.com saw it all, with the team crisscrossing the venue to capture everything. And so, with no further ado, and in semi-chronological order, here's what we saw.
Brooks called “Far Beyond the Stars” his most memorable episode/experience. Of playing a father to Cirroc Lofton’s Jake, he said, “What you saw with Cirroc, that was real. Nothing to play, except to say, ‘Good morning. I love you.’” One fan asked if he ever practiced making his voice so smooth. Brooks flashed a mega-smile and noted, “This is a facsimile of my father’s voice. His voice could shake walls. I was born speaking in this register.” The crowd cheered as Brooks invited Cirroc Lofton to the stage and the two men hugged.
Over on Stage B, John de Lancie took the stage to a raucous reception. A fan asked about the audition process de Lancie endured for Q. “Oh, you know,” he teased. “You’re putting me on. I slept with Gene Roddenberry.” Turning serious, he explained that Roddenberry said, “You make my words sound better than they are. Responding to someone who asked what non-Q roles/work he loved, de Lancie pointed to his recurring part on Breaking Bad and his many gigs serving as the narrator of symphony orchestra performances.
Next, still on Stage B, were Casey Biggs, Jeffrey Combs and Marc Alaimo, who were so memorable as DS9 villains. Biggs and Combs agreed on the best villain ever: Darth Vader, and all three asserted that they didn’t and still don’t see their characters as villains. They just have a different agenda and a different morality, the men argued, and you couldn’t play bad; it would be one-dimensional.
That said, Combs pointed out, “It’s very good being bad.” Biggs grinned and said, “Marc was one of the great bad guys.” To laughs, Combs cracked that “Casey was one of the great drunks,” prompting Biggs to retort, “Jeff was one of the great weasels.” Alaimo “wanted to bitch slap Jeff” at one point since he was so bad. And on it went, the guys having fun, teasing each other and entertaining the audience.
Stage B was actually in constant use throughout the day. Walter Koenig was next, walking out to the Star Trek theme music. Koenig – who looked hale and had a glimmer in his eye -- shook his head in bemusement and joked, “I’m sure at my funeral, they’ll be playing that bloody music.” He shared his appreciation for Trek and all it had done for his career, but described Babylon 5’s Bester as his preferred character. Not surprisingly, Star Trek IV was his favorite of the features because it had, “humor, the best elements of the series, and it was about an environmental issue, concerns we have on the planet. And I thoroughly enjoyed what I had to do in it.”
It was at this point that we at StarTrek.com, while live Tweeting, noticed Simon Pegg Tweeting. We invited him to join us. His reply arrived just FOUR minutes later, “@StarTrek.com. Making a movie, I’m afraid. Otherwise, I’d be there with Romulan sex bells on.”
Masterson, addressing a query to the group about their familiarity with Trek pre-DS9, smiled. “I had a boyfriend years ago, before I was on DS9, who was a huge Trekker,” she said. “He loved TNG. I could only call during commercials! Does that sound familiar? Who’s sorry now?” Lofton shared how DS9 changed his life. “I was doing commercials,” he said. “I was just a teenager. Through Star Trek and the opportunities it gave me during and after, I’ve been able to live so many of my dreams, meeting people and traveling the world.”
Dorn was followed by more Klingons: Robert O'Reilly and J.G. Hertzler and Gwynyth Walsh, who were genially boisterous and reveled in their Klingon-ness. Initial forays into Klingon language were suggested by James Doohan for The Motion Picture, they explained, and the full language was developed by Marc Okrand, who later became O’Reilly's coach. "I wasn't fit to be human... so I became a Klingon!" O’Reilly announced. Hertzler revealed, “I became an actor so I could live a thousand lives in one lifetime." He then told everyone that the two Bat’leth guitars he and O’Reilly used over the weekend would be signed by many of the actors at the convention and then auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the money to benefit his charity, Wounded Warriors, which provides assistance to war veterans.
The Enterprise boys -- Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer and Anthony Montgomery – were on deck and actually gave the Klingons a run for their money. They were raucous and rowdy, and having a wonderful time. Their antics – sadly -- can't be reprinted on a family site(!). See what you get for missing the action!?
Also on Stage C: several debates. At the Voyager debate, “Scorpion,” “Year of Hell,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Endgame” were all considered for Best Episode honors. The winner? “Endgame.” Why? Two Janeways, a mention of Picard, solid side stories, a great ending, everyone at home was on tenterhooks (would the crew get home?), a great depiction of how much technology had advanced, and it showed just how far Janeway would go to save her crew.
At the CBS Action booth, fans stood before a green screen to audition to be a guest Trekologist for a day and present a link alongside full-time Trekologist Raules Davies. “People still have time to audition,” Gillian Smith of CBS Action told us. “We’ll be here from about 11 a.m. to noon (on Sunday). It’ll be fun, and someone will be our guest Trekologist with Raules.”
Once the crowd exited the Main Stage, staffers patrolled the doors and official-looking folks descended on the space. It was near time for DSTL’s effort to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of Star Trek Characters, or, really, Trek fans in some kind of full Trek regalia. Fans strode in – Borg, Tellarites, Klingons, Starfleet officers, some daring redshirts, Mr. Homn, a few Orion girls – and were assessed by Guinness folks and accounted for. A short while later, a DSTL official announced, “Hello, record breakers! There are over 1050 of you.” The actual number: 1083. Everyone had to stay in place for 10 minutes in order to make it official-official, and there could be no foam hands (given to all who participated), no lanyards and no glasses. 10, 9, 8… 1, OFFICIAL. “You should all be proud,” the crowd was informed, and they were proud, cheering like mad. StarTrek.com spoke to Steven Hulford, a Brit sporting Trek yellow today, and who once was part of a record-breaking event featuring the most Elvises singing “Viva, Las Vegas” in the same place at the same time. “This was fantastic,” he enthused. “The whole day was amazing. Some of the costumes were amazing, outstanding, amazing. It’s amazing, the effort people go to.”
Visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow to read our recap of Sunday's events and click HERE to read our Day One recaps. And if you're in London, it's not too late to join in the fun at Destination Star Trek London. Click HERE for details. For anyone else looking to share in the experience follow us @StarTrek on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.