Trek Actors Hit Grand Slam XIII

By Michelle
March 15, 2005 - 7:52 PM

Several Star Trek actors appeared at the Grand Slam XIII convention in Pasadena, California last weekend, speaking on topics from their involvement in the series to current films and charity work.

Original series stars George Takei (Sulu) and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), Next Generation's Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) and John de Lancie (Q), Deep Space Nine's Chase Masterson (Leeta) and James Darren (Vic Fontaine), and Voyager's Robert Picardo (The Doctor) were all guests on Friday, March 14th, addressing a somewhat smaller crowd than at previous Grand Slams, according to Takei, the first speaker, said that fans disappointed by the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise should look for a silver lining in the cloud, since the original series became far more popular in syndication than it had been during its broadcast and the surge of fan support made the movies and subsequent series possible. "There are always possibilities," he reminded the audience.

Nichols, who was greeted with a standing ovation, talked about her experiences with NASA and her work recruiting women and minorities to work for the space agency. She and Takei also sang, along with Darren and Masterson, at the cabaret that evening. Darren, who had traded spots in the lineup with Nichols when she got stuck in traffic on the way to the convention, discussed his friendships with people in the music business and with actor-singers like himself including Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. Fellow DS9 recurring performer Masterson told a story about Avery Brooks teasing her for having done an infomercial.

Told that her character was strong, sexy, beautiful and smart, McFadden replied that those qualities were a reason she accepted the role of Dr. Crusher, plus the fact that she would play a mother. Asked whether she was sorry her character had divorced Picard in "All Good Things...", she joked that she got a great settlement. de Lancie said that he preferred more physical jokes, though his funniest moment on Star Trek had not been meant to be a prank: Q was supposed to be naked, but his g-strong kept getting in the shot, so he took it off and shot the scene in the buff.

de Lancie named Voyager's "Death Wish", a serious story about the write to end one's life, as one of his favourites. Voyager star Picardo used his stage time to raise money for three charities, auctioning off a large panel from Engineering and his call sheet from his last day of work on the show.

The original report, with notes on Jerry Hardin (Mark Twain)'s appearance, is at

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