Convention First-Timers Celebrate Trek

By Michelle
September 18, 2006 - 7:59 PM

A number of first-time convention attendees paid their respects to Star Trek and its fans at last month's Las Vegas convention celebrating 40 years of the franchise. has a report on "The Newbies", including Mariette Hartley (Zarabeth), Robert Foxworth (Leyton, V'Las), Andrea Martin (Ishka) and Kim Darby (Miri). Diana Muldaur, a two-time original series guest star and Next Generation regular as Dr. Pulaski, also made her first convention appearance in more than a decade.

"I'm a virgin, so please be gentle with me," Hartley joked with the fans, saying that she had always been lucky in her television roles. Of Spock, she declared, "I had no idea that he had never gone to bed with anybody else before me...schtupping Spock was not my idea of a huge acting career choice." She had no idea at the time of "the immensity of the influence" that the episode would have, though DeForest Kelley (McCoy) was her friend and neighbor. As for William Shatner (Kirk), Hartley worked with him on Cade's County and joked that she resisted his charms because "he's too short for me."

Foxworth appeared on both Deep Space Nine and Enterprise but is remembered as well by Gene Roddenberry fans as the star of The Questor Tapes. He said he was warned early in his career that science fiction didn't sell, but he considered it a privilege to have worked with Roddenberry. "I was always amazed at the generosity of spirit and the intelligence of the man. He was a remarkable guy," Foxworth said. He believes it would be difficult to bring Questor back as a series, "but I think Questor could offer an opportunity for us to get beyond popular culture as only a consumer-driven or consumer-feeding instrument, and because of the nature of what I recall Questor as being, get to deeper questions of living, which I think is really important...and oddly enough I think an android could help take us back."

Martin played Moogie for a single episode before Cecily Adams took over the role. "I loved everybody that I worked with...but I had a really, really difficult time with the prosthetics," Martin recalled. "I was very claustrophobic, and I couldn't hear." Though she loved the character and playing opposite two very different Ferengi sons, she couldn't bear the idea of returning to the makeup chair for the role. "I have two sons of my own, so it was easy to be their mother, and really relate to two kids," she said, expressing maternal affection for Quark and Rom.

Darby appeared onstage with convention veteran Grace Lee Whitney (Rand), who agreed that they both had crushes on Shatner's Kirk. "It wasn't a reach for me at all — I really fell in love with William Shatner, I really did...I don't know if Bill Shatner knows that — he probably should know that I fell deeply in love with him," Darby admitted. "I thought it was a really terrific show, and it was wonderful because I felt like I did very good work in it."

"One of the main reasons I'm here, if not the entire reason I'm here, is to celebrate Gene Roddenberry," said Muldaur, who credited the Star Trek creator with discovering her. "I cannot tell you how inventive and how creative everybody was who worked on that show, from the actors, the makeup, the hair, the camera...I will never forget it as long as I live," she said. "The qualities that I admired so in him were his creativity, because in Hollywood they buy you because you're creative and then they try to take it all out of you, to make you commercial, and he never ever gave in." She said she was never told exactly why she was given only one year on The Next Generation, but wasn't sorry to have left because it allowed her to do L.A. Law.

The full report is here.

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