I Survived my First Star
Star Trek the Official Convention 2003, London
3-5 January 2003
I am sitting right now in Caffè Nero on Edgware Road near
Paddington, I am waiting for the reading of AR Gurney’s called
Love Letters to start, it is with Gates
McFadden (Doctor Crusher) and Michael
Dorn (Mr. Worf). They both spoke today at the convention and
it was quite nice to learn that Doctor Crusher is investing in Médecins
Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and is now
living in the south of France where she is opening a new theater
(near Montpellier). She appears to have played in many different
things since the end of Star Trek TNG but some projects are not
out yet, others never reached England and perhaps, being the sci-fi
freak that I am, I never bothered watching those shows.
Star Trek The Adventure, London
18 December-April 2003
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asked one question to her today, and I am very pleased with myself
that it turned out to be the most interesting one of them all.
I said that in the episode Cause
and Effect, she hums a song in her quarters before she records
the voices from previous loops. I asked her what was that song
and if she could sing it. She was very impressed with my question
that appeared to fall from nowhere and she asked me if I heard
anything about the story behind that song. I said no, but that
I liked it. She said that originally they filmed her singing a
song she composed for her new born son Jack but that Paramount
studios and their lawyers thought it sounded too much like another
song (my guess is that it could be a song from the movie Beetlejuice).
She said she had to quickly record another song instead. She did
not know what the song was but she sang for us the original song
that we never saw on TV. Pretty song too.
Worf I had the honor of being the last person to ask a question,
it was again about one of my favorite episode called Parallels.
I said that in that episode we saw what he could have been and
done in parallel universes (being with Troi, being Commander of
the Enterprise). I asked him what he would have liked to do if
he could have chosen a different path for his role in the series.
He said that he would have liked to play a bigger role in the
Klingon internal affairs, like the real power behind the council
and the emperor. He added that it may still be possible, you never
know in the world of Star Trek. I wanted him to speak about Parallels,
but he did not take the hint and he kept it general. He is pretty
certain that Nemesis is not the last movie they will make. I sure
My other impressions of the convention are that it is a money
grabbing experience, overall I spent £205 for two days without
any extra or autograph that can cost up to £46 each if you
wish to have William
Shatner’s signature (they should be ashamed with themselves!!!).
It is very much like Star Trek the Adventure, the other big exposition
that opened in late December in Hyde Park London and that has
finisehd at the end of April 2003 (perhaps it will continue until
May 2003). That Adventure show is great, and you get the chance
to be on the bridge of the Enterprise NCC-1701 D, with real special
effects that are just wonderful. There is also an incredible amount
of props and other things, like the real bridge of the first Enterprise.
You can always get away without spending all your money, but if
you are a real fan, it will not be possible. That Adventure show
is touring Europe in 2003, so you might want to check the Star
Trek websites for dates and locations.
I said that I barely survived my first Star Trek
convention because this morning, after going for two days, I thought
I would self-combust. I felt ashamed of everything I said when
I met those actors. For a start it was embarrassing to meet those
actors that were on one or two episodes of the original series
and not knowing who they were, and even worse, not caring too
much. I don't dispute that these three women (Barbara
Nuyen and Celeste
Yarnall) are just as great looking today as they were originally
in the series but they appear to be there either for the money
or their career. They pushed us to buy their autograph, photos
and books and I almost got angry because it prevented us from
having a normal conversation. My publisher in Paris asked me to
go to some book fairs in France in 2003 and it does not inspire
me too much, I don’t want to end up pushing people who don’t
know me to buy my books!!! I cannot blame these women though,
it is always difficult to try to get things going, to be part
of the business again. I believe also that this is just my own
embarrassment for not knowing them too well. I suppose this would
be another story if I did love the original series as much as
the four others or if I had seen the several great movies these
women were in.
another note I was thrilled for example to meet Morn directly
shipped from Deep Space Nine (Mark
Allen Shepherd, and can you believe it, I just saw on imdb
that he has not been credited for his work on Deep Space Nine
though he is virtually there at every episode).
I met as well one of my favorite actresses of
all time, Carolyn
Seymour who is a famous Romulan on the Next Generation (Contagion
of the Enemy), was that woman responsible for the Space Program
on her planet in the episode First
Contact (TNG) and was also that bitch Mrs Templeton in the
holo-novel of Captain Janeway in the episodes Eye
of the Needle, Cathaxis
of Vision. I very much liked her in Quantum Leap as well,
she played many episodes there as Zoey. Very sad that she was
not in the movie Nemesis. She has also been in many other TV shows
would have to say that my most pleasurable experience though was
when I was eating a chocolate bar and a bag of crisps when I suddenly
came face to face with Chase
Masterson who plays Leeta, the sister of Kira Nerys on DS9.
Worse, the only thing I could say was: I liked you in Sliders
(she played in one episode, she was the sister of the main girl).
I think she thinks that I think that I did not know she was in
Deep Space Nine, that I mistook her for the main character in
Sliders. How embarrassing. She had a piece of paper with some
emails on it and she asked me to add my email address. God, I
surely hope this is not the extent of her marketing campaign for
her next movie called Inhuman
(Creature Unknown) where she has the lead role. Stupid as I am
I said: that looks more like Buffy the Vampire than Star Trek,
and she answered: this is Sci-fi.
I would have liked to say that it should be classified as Horror,
and not in the same section as Sci-fi. Thank god I did not get
into my theories that there are two types of Star Trek fans, the
first kind love the science and usually like Stargate as well.
The other kind love Buffy the Vampire and Angel and usually don’t
care much for the science though they are not put off by it. I
don’t care much for monsters, unknown creatures and obvious
fake vampires right out of LA, unless there is at least 5 minutes
of great science dialogue somewhere in the movie. I do love Masterson
though, and not for her breasts either.
of course, quiet in his corner, there was Scott MacDonald who
was a Klingon, Tosk, a Romulan and appeared in five or six episodes.
Full information in his website Temple
At the auction I promised myself that I was not going to buy anything.
Then there was this great final where they kept adding things
and you could have the whole lot in one shot. Everybody was betting
and out of curiosity, almost, I put my arm in the air. Suddenly
everybody stopped betting. I had to buy the whole lot for 85 pounds,
including an autographed photo of Sulu (heek!!!).
second day started with Chase Masterson speaking and singing,
and while our head were still spinning, Alexander
Siddig alias Doctor Bashir came on. I don’t understand
why some actors are trying their best to look bad when they can
look so great on TV. He had long hair and a beard, the contrast
with his photo on the screen was just too much. But his very nice
personality was still there and he certainly proved to us that
he was as charming as when he plays James Bond in the holo-suite.
He also appeared lost and my question to him proved to be too
am not certain if it is my fault or if it was his memory that
was the problem, but it was very embarrassing. I asked him if
he had to act any differently when he was replaced by a founder.
Well, perhaps the question was not clear enough, he had to first
figure out that a founder was a changeling and was asking me if
he had ever been a changeling. And then he asked me if I meant
when he was a prophet. Uncertain if he was not fooling around
with me in order to be funny, I could not say another word after
my question, and he finally said that he would have to come back
to me with his answer. I would have liked to disappear in a wormhole
at that point, it almost made me think that I should not attempt
to ask Captain Janeway a question.
for the two hours before Kate
Mulgrew came on, we were wondering what question I could ask
her. Unfortunately in the first 2 minutes before the questions
she had answered them all. Moreover she was asking the people
who wanted to ask a question to come to the front to speak in
the microphone. Since only kids have the guts to do so, only 14
years old and fans dressed as trekkers with mental problems went
to the front. So the question period turned into: I love you Kate,
you are my biggest inspiration in life. At times it was even more
embarrassing than my own incomprehensible questions to Worf and
Bashir. So at the end, feeling bad because she did not looked
at me because I had not ask a question, I walked to the front
without looking at anyone. When I reached her at the table where
she was going to sign autographs, I touched her and stupidly asked
her while touching her arm: can I touch you? For a moment there
I think she was afraid, she did not know what was my purpose,
if perhaps I was insane and do something horrible. That look came
back to haunt me for days, I cannot believe I could not say instead:
I really admire you, you are my inspiration in life (like those
kids). I had to say: Can I touch you! Thankfully I immediately
said: thank you very much, and suddenly relieved that I was probably
just a fan that for some weird reason wanted to touch her, she
answered back: thank you very much.
So, that was my first experience at a Star Trek
convention, I am not certain if this is going to be my last. I
guess we will have to wait next year to find out.
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Roland Michel Tremblay
27 April 2003
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