William Shatner (Captain Kirk) asked Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) to guest star on his new sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, while Jeri Ryan reminisced about her time in the infamous Seven of Nine catsuit on Star Trek: Voyager on the third day of Creation Entertainment’s Las Vegas Star Trek convention.
Ryan was the first guest to take the stage on the morning of Saturday, August 7th and was almost immediately surprised by former co-star Garrett Wang (Harry Kim), who rushed onto the stage to give her a hug. “The last time I surprised someone on stage it was Kate Mulgrew, and I was wearing a fake mustache and I almost got killed by Creation security,” Wang quipped.
After Wang’s exit, Ryan filled fans in on her new project, the ABC drama Body of Proof, which she is filming in Providence, Rhode Island. The show will air on Fridays at 9pm in the fall, and will most likely debut in October.
Ryan fielded questions from fans, including one on which episodes she liked best. “my favorites were always the ones where Seven was exploring her humanity,” she said, referencing “Scorpion, Part II” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Ryan also shared that the full Borg make up and costume took five hours to put on, and called the body suit she wore on a regular basis on the show a “feat of engineering. “Robert Blackman is amazing,” she enthused of Voyager‘s costume designer. “He had to create the very elaborate corset underneath [the costume].”
Though Ryan jokingly referred to the men on the show as “psychopaths,” she noted that they were close during and after the show. “I know the guys all kept in touch and they were all getting together for a guys night [after the show ended], which I sometimes crashed,” she said. “But I suck at keeping in touch.”
Ryan cited actresses Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton and actor Sidney Poitier as her inspirations, and revealed her dream role to the audience: “My dream role is Hamlet,” the actress said. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Wang wasn’t the only Voyager castmate to surprise Ryan on stage; Robert Picardo (The EMH) took the question mike at one point, asking Ryan, “Do you think bald men are sexy?” After a reunion with Picardo, Ryan went on to reveal that she was offered the part of Seven of Nine several times before she finally accepted it. “I passed on it a few times before I did it,” she said of the role. “Something would always come up, and I kept thinking it was going away, and then it would keep coming back.”
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actress Chase Masterson (Leeta) followed Ryan onto the stage, telling fans she had just been asked to participate in the Star Trek Online game. “I’m extremely thankful for Leeta the Dabo girl,” Masterson said. “She was a pretty limited character, but there was a certain depth to her relationship with Rom in the fact that she loved him for who he was on the inside. I wish there was more to Leeta.” When asked about her dream role, Masterson revealed, “I’d like to play a doctor or an attorney, someone brutally intelligent.”
The early afternoon saw the reunion of Voyager castmates Wang, Picardo, Ethan Phillips (Neelix), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Jennifer Lien (Kes) and Scarlett Pomers (Naomi Wildman). The panel first reflected on leading lady Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), with Wang commenting that Mulgrew had “the cool aunt thing going on.” Phillips noted that Mulgrew “never forgot a line” and was a “total professional.” Lien added, “I could take risks and try things [in scenes with Mulgrew] because there would be a good base there.”
Picardo revealed he didn’t embrace his role as the holographic EMH right away. “I thought I’d gotten the worst role: a colorless, humorless, computer program,” he said, going on to add that it wasn’t until the show’s second episode when Kes brought him a soil sample to analyze that he got a handle on the character. “[He was] the star relief pitcher forced to pitch at softball practices for twelve year old girls,” he said of his knowledgeable character. “His ego is bruised; he wants the respect he thinks he deserves.” Picardo joked, “Where the Doctor’s slightly gay streak came from, I don’t know.”
Pomers shared that she was grateful that her castmates afforded her the respect adult actors received. “Voyager is still my favorite show I’ve ever worked on,” the actress said.
Russ shared that his favorite episode was “The Haunting of Deck 13,” in which his character was stuck in a Jeffries tube with Neexlix. “There was no air,” he said, “except for the air Ethan provides.” The comment prompted Picardo to share that Russ was known as “The Man, the Myth, the Methane” by his castmates.
Wang admitted he found the human characters on the show to be somewhat frustrating to play. “We were asked to downplay the human characters, to be really two dimensional [because it was] thee only way to make the aliens look real,” he said. “I thought the human characters needed to be rougher and tougher. I thought [that request] was incorrect, honestly.” He added that it was difficult to “add emotion to characters when it was frowned upon by the producers.”
Star Trek‘s legendary duo Nimoy and Shatner took the stage next, first separately before sharing the spotlight together. Wearing a shirt that read “LLAP” for the famous “live long and prosper” Vulcan salutation, Nimoy told fans his latest photography collection, “Secret Selves,” is comprised of “photographs of lost identities,” while Shatner discussed his four current television shows: Aftermath, Raw Nerve, Weird or What, and the upcoming $#*! My Dad Says. He also discussed his upcoming documentary, The Captains, about the various captains in the Star Trek franchise.
When the subject of the new movie franchise came up, Shatner acknowledged, “I saw that wonderful motion picture!” When Nimoy was asked about whether he would consider appearing in the next Star Trek film, he said, “I don’t think there would be any need for me as Spock. There is no plan for me to be involved in the next movie; my expectation is that it will not happen.” He praised actor Zachary Quinto, who portrayed his iconic character in the film: “Zachary Quinto is a very talented and well trained actor. I am very proud that the character has new life.”
During their time on stage together, Shatner asked Nimoy to guest star on his new comedy, $#*! My Dad Says. Nimoy demurred, saying, “If I did guest appearances on all of the shows you do, I wouldn’t have a minute to myself!” Shatner lamented, “Every time J.J. [Abrams] calls, you say yes! Every time I call, you say no!”
Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Jonathan Frakes followed the classic duo on stage, apprising audiences of his latest directing gigs, including episodes of Burn Notice, The Glades, Castle, NCIS and Chuck. “I wouldn’t want to be trying to support my family as a fifty-something actor,” Frakes said.
Frakes was equally frank when sharing his thoughts about the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, “These Are the Voyages,” saying, “There’s a bad idea. Rick Berman called it a ‘Valentine to the fans,’ and I thought, ‘where’s the Valentine?’ [It was] ill-fated and not a great idea, but it was fun to be with Marina [Sirtis, Counselor Troi].”
When a fan asked Frakes if he’d ever been on a “date” with Sirtis, Frakes said, “Marina took me to see her friend Sting!”
Enterprise creator Brannon Braga was the last guest to appear on Saturday, and he told fans that his next project is a Fox television show entitled Terra Nova, which will debut on the network in May of 2011. The show is set in the distant future and the distant past, and deals with time travel, which Braga acknowledged is a favorite subject of his.
Braga acknowledged that his recent stint on the show 24 was “the most difficult show I ever worked for. Nothing that happened in 24 would ever happen in real life.” His favorite of the three Star Trek shows he was involved in was Voyager. “I had the most fun doing Voyager,” the writer-producer said.
Braga talked frankly about his hopes for Enterprise to be a darker and grittier show than it turned out to be, saying, “The studio didn’t like it. They wanted it to be a starship show.” He went on to discuss the look of the Star Trek prequel: “We took a little flack on the Enterprise because the set looked more futuristic than the original series,” he commented. “We had to make it look cool. I’d point to the J.J. Abrams movie—that bridge looks more futuristic than anything I’ve seen. But who cares? I think it’s more about the characters and the stories than production design.”