Las Vegas: Trek Alumni Talk Past, Future PlansBy Michelle
August 16, 2007 - 10:36 PM
The official Star Trek web site reported from the sixth annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, covering dozens of guests and gossip about the state of the franchise.
Patty Yasutake (Ogawa) and Suzie Plakson (K'Ehleyr, Tarah) were the first guests, sharing the stage at 10 a.m. on Thursday, followed by Tim Russ (Tuvok). StarTrek.com quoted Russ, who appeared in this summer's fourth film in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard, joking that "They're already planning the next sequel...it'll be called 'Die Already!' Or, 'Die, For Crying Out Loud!'" He also discussed his fall sitcom with Christina Applegate on ABC, Samantha Who, whose pilot was directed by his Voyager cohort Robert Duncan McNeill. And Russ showed a new trailer for Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, the internet film featuring several other Star Trek alumni.
When rare convention guest Dwight Schultz (Barclay) took the stage, he said that he was a Star Trek fan who had written letters to NBC demanding that the show be kept on the air for a third season. When he learned that he would be on The Next Generation, though, he was expecting "some exotic alien with pulsating veins", only to learn that he would be playing "a nerd. How did they know me so well?" Upon discovering a roach crawling across the stage, he added, "I've never shared the stage with a roach before. Jonathan Frakes I kissed in Pennsylvania, but nothing like this."
Catherine Hicks (Gillian Taylor) said that appearing in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home made her conscious of the plight of the animals on whom the film centered. "There is no reason on Earth to slaughter whales," she said." You can read that it is now really bad once again." Her recollections of the cast were warm and friendly, and she used to tease her Seventh Heaven co-star Stephen Collins that her Star Trek movie had been better than his.
Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher), too, said that Star Trek had affected her real-life interests, sometimes in amusing ways. When she was in an emergency room with a ruptured appendix, the doctor operating on her "treated me like his colleague...he went into every excruciating detail about my operation, I'm not kidding you!" She explained her absence from The Next Generation's second season as being the result of a disagreement with one particular writer, whose departure paved the way for her return. "We had a difference in how mothers are perceived," she recalled. "I felt that someone who is the chief medical officer can have a heart-to-heart talk with her child [but] the lines were tending more toward 'Here's your lunchbox, honey.'"
StarTrek.com's Friday coverage kicked off with George Takei (Sulu), who remembered being astonished at the size of his first Star Trek convention and said he appreciated that fandom had become multi-generational. Takei expressed pleasure with the casting of his Heroes colleague Zachary Quinto as Spock in the upcoming Star Trek film, saying, "There's an amazing resemblance, you know — that lean physiognomy and the saturnine features that they both have. And they're both very, very talented actors. Zach is fantastically hateful as Sylar." He said that Heroes will return on September 24th and he will return with it.
Walter Koenig (Chekov) followed Takei, bringing an unfinished trailer for a new movie that he wrote and directed called Inalienable and starring Marina Sirtis (Troi). Asked to recite his speech about "nuclear wessels" from The Voyage Home, Koenig said that he would do it "if everyone promises me they will check out my website and read about the troubles in Burma." He had recently visited Thailand with his son and was shocked by the destruction of villages and people that they witnessed. "I met with political prisoners, orphans, the woman who runs a medical clinic. They are actively trying to not only return to a state of personal health, but return the government to a state of health. The UN needs to pass a resolution to condemn the atrocities happening there," he said.
Vaughn Armstrong (Forrest) revealed that he had auditioned several times to play Riker, while Dominic Keating (Reed) announced that he too would appear on Heroes next season and added that he thinks the reason Reed didn't get many romantic scenes was because "I was gay. That's how I played him!" Terry Farrell (Dax) was the last guest of Friday evening, saying that she had not made many appearances because these days "I'm a mom and a homemaker — you can't do that and act" and she enjoys sewing and quilting. Older and wiser now, she said that she believed the 300-plus-year-old Dax should have been "much more grounded — more tolerant of others, more gracious," and recalled that in the early days of Deep Space Nine, she was told, "'Just go watch 'Star Wars' — you're just like Yoda'" to which she replied, "Well, THAT was no help."