Las Vegas Convention Report - Day TwoBy Kristine Huntley
Posted at August 6, 2003 - 10:02 AM GMT
Billed as "the wildest Star Trek convention ever", Creation Entertainment's Official Star Trek Las Vegas Convention last weekend boasted a galaxy of Trek stars, including William Shatner (James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway), Armin Shimerman (Quark), Marina Sirtis (Marina Sirtis), Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) and many more.
The second part of Kristine Huntley's report covers the events of Saturday, August 2.
The convention got started right away with popular Deep Space Nine star Armin Shirmerman. Armin told fans how he's been keeping busy writing a new novel, guest starring on Crossing Jordan, and working on a movie. Asked the usual favourite episode question was "Far Beyond the Stars", which he called "perfect science fiction". He went on to say, "It shows you who the real heroes of the show are: the writers. Star Trek risks asking the really hard questions. We don't necessarily come up with the answer, but we still ask the question."
Armin's least favorite episode was "Profit and Lace": "Someone had a brilliant idea — why don't we put Quark in drag? And that was the end of it." He bemoaned, "Once I put the suit on, everyone had to pinch me!" When asked about a favorite moment with frequent sparring partner Odo, he was unable to pick one. He praised actor Rene Auberjonois, saying their scenes were the highlight of his time on DS9. "Rene is a phenomenal person. Our friendship continues to this day — we see each other regularly." Armin also took questions about his work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, expressing glee over the way his character was dispatched ("I wanted to be eaten!") but doubting he would show up on Buffy's sister show, Angel.
Roxann Dawson (B'Elanna Torres) took the stage next, and fielded several questions about directing Enterprise. She discussed the pon farr storyline in "Bounty" at length: "I thought it showed another dimension of [T'Pol]. Jolene and I talked a lot. What she was being asked to do was both risky and vulnerable and I wanted to make sure she was comfortable with that. Jolene really went for it." Roxann also talked about the trilogy of novels she has been working on, encouraging fans to buy the novels off her webs ite, as the proceeds go to charity. "Lineage", in which B'Elanna wants to genetically change her unborn daughter, was Roxann's favorite episode.
Alexander Siddig (Dr. Julian Bashir) graced the stage next, joking with the crowd about the Hilton's Quark's Bar, and the vegetarian entree that was named after his character. When asked about Bashir's genetic enhancements, he said, "They didn't quite know where to go with it." He noted the potential for interesting exploration of character in putting Bashir in a situation where he was forced to lie, but lamented, "It didn't really go anywhere, but I did like the specific shows."
When a fan asked him about ex-wife and former co-star Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys), he joked, "She's actually got another husband, which is a great surprise to me!" Nana, who had been signing autographs behind the stage, came up to the stage and hugged Sid as the crowd cheered. Sid also discussed an upcoming appearance in MI-5 (known as Spooks in Britain), and also his frequent on-screen deaths. "I figure if I die on screen, I might survive as an actor," he joked. He also got the crowd laughing when he referred to the Deep Space Nine prophets as the "guys who hung out in the cloud".
Robert Beltran (Chakotay) walked onto the stage to the tune of the Voyager theme, commenting, "I love that music. It makes me want to pu--cry." One of the first questions he took was about his feelings about the Chakotay/Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) relationship that developed at the end of Voyager's run. "I wish they could have rewritten it," he said. "In fact, I'd go back and reshoot it if they would. I wasn't so crazy about it."
When asked about a relationship with Janeway, he said that early on in Voyager's run, Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) would ask him, at 7:00 a.m. when filming began, "Robert, do you think Chakotay and Janeway should get it on?" He finally got the "which one?" question about Janeway or Seven, and he protested, "Why are the boys left out of the equation?" He jokingly answered that he would choose Paris, before going on to answer with a member of species 8472 rather than choosing between the two leading ladies.
Dominic Keating (Malcolm Reed) was fresh off a five-city convention tour of Australia, where he'd met a woman with his face — along with several other Trek stars — tattooed on her body. He was dismissive of TV Guide's recent cover story on Stargate SG-1 which ran with the headline 'Forget Trek! Stargate SG-1 is now sci-fi's biggest hit!' "Trek's been around for 30 plus years," Keating said. "How can you suddenly describe Stargate SG-1 as the granddaddy of sci-fi. I don't think so, mate!" He observed that the Star Trek issues of TV Guide are top sellers for the magazine.
When asked about changes for the third season, Dominic described Jolene Blalock's (T'Pol) new look: "Jolene is very much sexier. I didn't recognize her — he's very much kittied out. She's not part of the Vulcan High Command [anymore] or Starfleet, so she wears whatever she wants."
Connor Trinneer (Charles 'Trip' Tucker) and Anthony Montgomery's (Travis Mayweather) shooting schedules prevented them from appearing on stage, but both were on hand in the dealer's room to sign autographs. When asked about the rumors about Trip and T'Pol growing closer in the upcoming season, Connor said, "She's helping him sleep. She's asked by the doctor to use Vulcan acupuncture to help him sleep. It could go anywhere. If I were to predict, we'll get to know each other better."
Connor also hopes for more focus on his character's friendship with Captain Archer. "I hope [Trip] pisses him off and vice versa. I hope they explore the depth of friendship." He also talked about his character's inevitable confrontation with the Xindi, "I don't think he's going to be very happy. I think he does wear his emotions on his sleeve, but the most important thing is the ship. He can't be a renegade member of the crew."
Anthony also expressed enthusiasm for the new season. "It's going to be intense, exciting, a lot edgier. Get ready for the ride!" He also said that Mayweather is "going to show a lot more confidence" in the upcoming season.
Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois, a DS9 couple, were reunited in a brief theatrical piece. Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov) also appeared on stage to promote the new movie he's written, Illegal Alien, which stars Robert Picardo.
Comedian Rita Rudner was on hand to introduce the final guest of the day, Kate Mulgrew. As the Voyager theme played, Kate walked onto the stage and said, "I cry everytime I hear that music". Kate has kept busy playing Katharine Hepburn in the play, Tea at Five. She described the positive influence Janeway has had on young women as "the single greatest byproduct of Voyager".
When a fan asked her how much Janeway was like her, Kate responded, "We're very much alike. I love her discipline; we share a great constitution, a same passion, her humanity and her complexity as a human being." Her husband was in the audience and at one point she said, "I would love to do a great number of things, but if I do not go home and get into that kitchen, there's going to be trouble. I'm going to spend some time with my beloved husband."
When asked about the controversial decision to replace Kes with Seven of Nine, she praised Jeri Ryan while lamenting that they never found a place for Kes. "Seven of Nine was a brilliantly-written character, impeccably played. Jeri Ryan is a wonderful actress." She went on to add that if there was one thing she could change about Voyager, it would be "that there would have been room enough for all of us."
Part three of our Las Vegas coverage, featuring William Shatner (James T. Kirk), John Billingsley (Phlox), Nicole deBoer (Ezri Dax) and more, will follow tomorrow.
Kristine Huntley is a roving reporter for the Trek Nation.