Published Oct 5, 2014
Nimoy Beams Down to Destination Star Trek
Nimoy Beams Down to Destination Star Trek
By StarTrek.com Staff
Day three of Destination Star Trek brought the event to a rousing conclusion, as thousands of fans descended upon London's ExCel to meet Trek actors, get autographs, interact with fellow fans, compare costumes, shop for Trek products and much, much more. The doors opened at 9 a.m. and StarTrek.com was on the scene to capture all the action in words and photos. Here are the highlights...
The Women of Star Trek panel brought together Suzie Plakson, Hana Hatae and Alice Krige. Krige recounted the complex process necessary for the Borg Queen's torso to be joined with the rest of her body in that iconic First Contact scene. It involved lots of crew, a crane, assorted moving parts, etc. As a result, she "had to re-voice pretty much all of the Queen's dialogue, because there was so much machinery around the Borg Queen." A fan asked what the ladies hoped for the future of mankind. "That's kind of an epic question for 9:45 in the morning," Plakson said to laughter. "But I can say fresh air and clean water. If everybody could relax, that'd be swell, too." Hatae noted that she stopped acting after DS9, but she won't rule out a return to it in the near future. " I was offered a few things the past few months," she said. "I've got to see what they come up with, so hopefully I'll be working on something."
Throughout the day, fans also watched Voyager's Message in the Bottle in the screening room, enjoyed the Klingon Zone and had their Star Trek caricatures drawn in perfect Starfleet uniforms.
The weekend's third One Trek Mind Live panel - Best Star Trek Crew - brought fans to the Excelsior stage for a lively debate. As Jordan Hoffman pointed out, the challenge was to find the perfect crew... but fans would also need to consider how the crew would work together. With fans voting for the crew's doctor, Robert Picardo - The Doctor himself - surprised everyone to pitch himself as the perfect choice.
On the Enterprise stage, Jeri Ryan argued that Seven of Nine "was like an unruly teenager when she started to push back against authority. Everything is a discovery for her." Ethan Phillips used to make her laugh all the time and "...the single hardest part of the character was keeping a straight face" because there were scenes with Neelix "where I couldn't make eye contact with him or I would start giggling."
Colm Meaney called DST3 "a wonderful experience for me. I got to see all the Next Gen guys again... haven't seen most of them for many years. But we picked up again as if we hadn't seen each other for two days." He told the audience that O'Brien almost never happened for him. "The audition was in the evening, which was very unusual," he said. "There was a boxing match on that night that I really wanted to see... I almost didn't go [to the audition]. Thus is the course of history charted." Between TNG and DS9, "DS9 gave me the opportunity to develop the character. TNG was fun, but there were already seven characters, so there really wasn't room to grow O'Brien."
Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton and John de Lancie played off each other nicely and looked to be having as good a time as the fans. One fan asked the guys if they could have their Trek character cross over to another, non-Trek show, which one they'd choose and why. Dorn's reply: "Worf would fit very well into The Walking Dead. He would almost be incognito." Another fan asked de Lancie about possibly playing Q again, to which he self-deprecatingly noted, "I'm supposed to be immortal, but as you can see, things are changing." And Burton earned a rousing round of applause by crooning the Reading Rainbow theme song.
Bruce Greenwood loved TOS as a kid. "I watched it religiously," he said, "but mostly to see the hot chicks in tight outfits." Despite Pike's demise in Star Trek Into Darkness he hopes to see Pike return, "Maybe when Khan's blood brings him back. Or in a dream. Or maybe a memory." When his time on stage ended, Greenwood surprised everyone by jumping off the stage and walking into the aisle to shake hands, chat with fans and pose for a few selfies.
Sunday's costume contest once again identified the best costumes in female, male, alien and group categories. And the winners were:
Ethan Phillips was in funny form, firing off jokes in rapid succession and playing off moderator Jordan Hoffman. A fan asked what the strangest thing he cooked on Voyager was. "Ebola root stew," he cracked. Does he like to cook? "I can't cook," he said. "And I hate it. I'm so bad, in my house, we've got a stove that flushes." Gates McFadden then put in a cameo appearance, greeting Phillips from the floor and waving to the crowd.
Moments after that, Robert Picardo joined Phillips on stage and they exchanged a barrage of insults, much to everyone's delight. Near the end, Phillips revealed that he's voicing Neelix for Star Trek Online and noted, "It was cool to see Neelix lines again... after 13 years."
Soon after Phillips and Picardo exited the stage, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden and Denise Crosby settled into their chairs for a group talk. One fan asked if Sirtis was ever too honest and blunt for her own good. "I just say what I think," she noted. "No filter." To the fan who wondered what Trek villain McFadden would have liked to play, she replied, "The Borg Queen or Q. That would have been fantastic." Crosby recalled a unique encounter with a fan. "I was in Montreal for a convention and I met a woman who told me seeing Tasha gave her the strength to go into security (as a career)," she said. "She was a secretary, and it was a dead-end job to her. She watched TNG and saw a woman as strong and physical and in command. She came all the way to Montreal to thank me... And I was floored."
A special highlight for many fans was a Skype chat with Leonard Nimoy. He looked well and sounded good and even opened his session by singing Spock's song from the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," accompanied on guitar by his grandson, Jordan. A fan asked if he recalled meeting William Shatner pre-Trek on an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Nimoy said, " I remember meeting an actor. He would talk... Like...This. He... Punctuated... Everything... With... Pauses. I think that was Billy Shatner." He wouldn't rule out appearing in the next Star Trek movie, noting he's been in contact with Roberto Orci. And he graciously answered a question about what's on his bucket list by saying... "Whoa. Not much. Not much. A bucket list suggests there are things you've not done, that you still want to do. I have a wonderful life. I have a great family. My career has been very fulfilling. I've worked all over the world. Star Trek has been very good to us and afforded us a very nice lifestyle. I get up every morning happy, ready for another day. So, my bucket list is getting up and having another day in this wonderful life."
William Shatner was next, in the flesh. A fan mentioned that Nimoy had just spoken by Skype, prompting Shatner to talk about his old friend and longtime co-star. "He was a smiling Spock in the first pilot," he said. "When he got the second chance (in the second pilot), he grasped that role and became this extraordinary character he made. To me, the writers followed what Leonard did, his lead. That's very rare. It's usually the other way around." Another fan pointed out how much younger than his years Shatner looks and asked how he does it. He smiled and explained, "I'm not really here! It's genetic, I'm sure. I try to keep in shape. Years ago, I fell in love with horses. I already loved women, children and dogs, and then I fell in love with horses. It's provided me with motivation to stay in shape. I want to have the energy to entertain you, but I also want to be able to keep riding."
And closing out the festivities were DS9 recurring actors and fan favorites Max Grodenchik, James Darren and Aron Eisenberg. "When I started on DS9, I started my singing again," Darren said happily. The key to DS9, opined Eisenberg, "was that there was real life to all the races. We all have the same dreams, even as Ferengi." Eisenberg caught Grodenchik laughing at something, but Eisenberg wasn't sure what. "I'm not laughing at you," Grodenchik reassured him. "I'm laughing at what's going on in my brain."