At the Television Critics Press Association Press tour (we don’t know what that is either!) Bryan Fuller spilled some goodies about the new Star Trek series Discovery.
If you haven’t read all about it, check out this article from Variety who were reporting live from the event. Then come back whilst I speculate with my thoughts!
Here’s a cheat sheet of the news thanks to Screen Junkies.
Just as a caveat to the above, I can’t find any direct source that states the series will be set in the Klingon Wars. It’s probably a good guess as a lot of events have been ruled out such as the Romulan war (Battle of Axanar) and The Kobayashi Maru. Bryan Fuller did mention Amanda Grayson too but it didn’t read as definite that her character is included.
Whilst in Vegas, Carole and I spent a lot of time speculating with others when we thought Discovery would be based. I believed it would be based in the 29th Century, that it was a timeship and each season it would cover a different point in Star Trek history, filling in all those loose ends or raising new questions…. by the way, if you like that idea CBS… call me! I have more ideas!
To Celebrate the Sky Cinema dedicated Star Trek Movies channel, Sky Cinema are giving us the chance to pick our own crew!
It’s not easy! We spend many hours discussing this amongst ourselves and with many of you. In fact, we were talking to Jordan Hoffman from the Official Engage Podcast just a couple of weeks ago about the complexities of picking your own crew. Its not just about the individuals, its the relationships and how crew members complement each other. Whilst the likes of Spock, Data, Seven of Nine, Odo and T’Pol are brilliant characters. Would they all work well together? probably …. but the ship might not be as exciting without people like Dax, Tom Paris and Geordi for them to bounce off.
As you can see from the video above, Picard is a legend amongst the new cast! And rightly so. Also, they need to watch more Star Trek!
Hope you’re enjoying watching back to back Star Trek movies on Sky Cinema as much as we are! Which movie have you watched the most? And Let us know who you pick for your crew…..
Saturday had an intensive schedule which was difficult for us because we had not got very much sleep! See our last post for more details
The Women in Star Trek panel was one we were keen to attend as we greatly admire all the panelists that consisted of; Kate Mulgrew, Mary Czerwinksi (Glue Guns and Phasers), Bjo Trimble (from saving Star Trek fame), Dr Kayla Iacovino (TrekMovie.com), Jarrah Hodge (Women at Warp) and Amy Imhoff (Shoes and Starships). They each spoke about how Star Trek had inspired feminism and their own personal choices with the biggest laugh going to Kayla who is an actual ‘Vulcanologist’.
Bjo Trimble is already a woman we look up to but this panel inspired us even more. She talked about being the ‘little house wife who spoke out’. She mentioned that when she and her husband started the campaign to ‘bring back Star Trek’ (when it was threatened with cancellation) the majority of letter received were from women. It were also women that inspired early merchandising ideas too.
The Merchandising issue is something we feel quite passionately about and something we’d love to help rebalance. Whilst walking around conventions we see women in wonderfully inspired costumes, often created by themselves because there is not much of a market to purchase it. Even large specialist producers such as Anovos have limited options for women.
Kate Mulgrew spoke about how she accepted her own individualism from the day she was born, that she always saw life as an equal playing playing field and that she is lucky to be Kate.
We often groan that ‘women’ and Star Trek are treated as another category, like Starships but this panel went deeper. It allowed us to reflect on how Star Trek has inspired us, although the ‘as women’ part of the question is hard to answer as it requires a basis for comparison which we do not have.
The panelists highlighted the tremendous impact Star Trek has had on women by hearing their stories. Characters like Captain Janeway are continually attributed to growing the confidence of women around the world which is why it is so important to keep these role models at the forefront of our television sets. We must also congratulate the convention organisers for recognising the importance of this subject and giving it a top slot in the convention schedule. The busiest day, at a peak time in the main hall. Well done to all involved.
Walter Koenig entered the stage dancing whilst 5 Year Mission played ‘Back in the USSR’. He began, like many of his comrades (see what we did there!) by paying tribute to all those we have lost, including Anton Yelchin which he said had been very hard on him.
@GineokwKoenig starts to weigh in on Gay Sulu before throwing his arms in the air and saying “ah forget it!” Summing up how we all feel
Because we couldn’t physically move from our seats we stayed for the StarTrek.com ‘s Treasures Talk. Now I know we take the pakled out of official Star Trek Merchandise at times but that’s because we still have nightmares about that cheeseboard and BBQ set and what’s the point of bobble heads!? But we are glad we stayed for this talk because there are actually lots of good things planned. Including for us Europeans (yes that still includes us Brits!).
In Germany there is a theme ride is beaming down described as ‘a roller coaster experience’ based around Star Trek. For the UK we have the Star Trek Art Exhibition touring including Blackpool, Birmingham and London.
Two of those locations already have Star Trek events planned that may host the Art (we’re just guessing, it seems logical) Star Trek The Exhibition is already in Blackpool and we have Destination Star Trek Europe in October. So I guess we have to wait and see for something to be announced in London?
They’re releasing a Vulcan Travel Guide. We hear it’s worth much more in the Kelvin Timeline! #TooSoon
— Trekkie Girls (@TrekkieGirls) August 6, 2016
William Shatner does a lot of conventions these days. But this pleases us no end. Long may it continue! It doesn’t matter how many he attends, he ALWAYS fills the room. You can hear fans talking in huddles at the Starbucks queue (which were omnipotent) discussing what their ‘must see’ panels are and you can bet William Shatner is up there.
Remarkably a question was asked by an audience member that Shatner had never heard before. It was from 11 year old Lincoln (as all the best questions are from 11 years olds) who asked “What would you have done differently if you saw a Gorn outside your plane window instead of a gremlin, in the Twilight zone?”. Shatner gave a rather in-depth response!
He also spoke about his disappointment to have not been asked to appear in any of the new movies and expressed his desire to appear in Discovery.
The panel ends on a real tear-jerker as an audience member tells Shatner how much we all love him and how he is never truly lonely. Holographic tissues on standby!
This is a big difference between UK and American conventions. You’re much more likely to hear the ‘from the heart’ personal stories being shared from the audience.
Another Captain panel for us and its the delightful Scott Bakula!
We got the sense that Scott was more aware of what was happening on Star Trek Discovery as he mentioned having seen some of the makeup and costume designs. He had talked to Brian Fuller recently. He hinted that Captain Archer might be alive in the new series timeline which we now know will be set 10 years before Kirk’s command of the Enterprise.
Later that evening (after a much needed nap!) we went to the much anticipated Saturday Night Gala Concert performed by the Nevada Pops Orchestra. They play a selection of famous tunes from all series and movies. All the ones you want to hear.
A lot of people raved about this and go every year. Whilst we’re glad we went and we thought the orchestra played well, we don’t think we’d go again. If you haven’t ever seen the music of Star Trek played live before than we’d definitely recommend this once. But we have been very fortunate and spoiled for seeing these performed with a much larger orchestra, at the Royal Albert Hall, conducted by Michael Giacchino. If you have seen one of the Star Trek Live concerts touring, you’re not going to beat that.
‘Klingon Karaoke’ on Thursday night we enjoyed listening to fans with incredible voices (and signing credentials to back them up) wow those of us mingling on the dance floor.
When Connor Trinneer, Dominic Keating and Chris Doohan took to the stage, the audience were in hysterics.
Then there’s the regulars who’s antics fill us casual attendees feed each August. Seeing the famous ‘Eric Allan Hall’ sing was a real treat. Eric is such a good Data cosplayer we can’t say for sure that he isn’t a Soong Android.
The day started by buying more MAC for Star Trek (we know, we don’t need to even insert the Picard face palming meme because you’re already imagining it!)
Star Trek.com presented the ‘Missing footage panel’ with Roger Lay Jr (Producer), and the production team Michael and Denise Okuda, Phil Bishop, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth. This was a panel we were very much looking forward too. Like many of you we had heard the news that the Roddenberry Estate had in their possession a vast amount of footage from The Original Series.
Most of it was odds and ends from the beginning or end of a scene that were swept from the cutting room floor. But there are some gems amongst them. Our new favourite person Scott Mantz (who is always happy and chirpy – think Data scanning for lifeforms) was fortunate to see some of these cut scenes and was happy to spill the beans for us.
One of the clips was an extended and alternate scene from Guardian on the Edge of Forever; after the kiss between Kirk and Edith Keeler. Some additional dialogue is included where Keeler uses the word ‘forever’ connecting it to the title of the episode.
Another wow scene is from “Who Mourns for Adonais?”. An ending has been found where Spock and McCoy mention that Lieutenant Palamas is pregnant with Apollo’s baby!
Can you imagine watching these for the first time?! We think we know Star Trek like the back of our hand and now suddenly there’s something new after 50 years! We’ll get to see it at the end of this year!
Chase Masterson certainly had the best entrance to her panel. Cheerfleet (a troup of Starfleet Cheerleaders that we instantly regret not joining) marched onto the stage and did what cheerleaders do to welcome her onto the stage. They then presented her with her very own Cheerfleet uniform making her an honourary member!
Chase performed for the audience, belting out ‘Fever’. She spoke about her amazing work mentoring, standing up against bullying, working with the UN (seriously, if she was British she’d be knighted by now!).
Chase put in 110% effort into this convention. She sang every night at the Roddenberry lounge, her signers table was always full and she takes time to speak to everyone who visits her. When we caught up with her at the end of the convention she was exhausted (but still fabulous!) yet she still went on to sing to crowds later that evening.
Ohhh Myyy, its time for George Takei! The Leonard Nimoy Hall was PACKED! Takei (who is king of the internet) is a must see at conventions. He is inspirational not just for those of who are considered a minority in terms of their appearance or sexuality but for all us who aspire for a world of liberty and equality. Like the rest of the TOS cast he is a great role model for older people, something that all of us, if we are very lucky, will become.
He spoke about his upbringing, his parents, his internment and the fear of history repeating itself in light of the current political climate.
Now we don’t gamble but we had to place bets on how many audience questions it would be until someone asked ‘THAT’ question followed by ‘THAT other question’…. You know the ones. Gay Sulu and William Shatner.
They were second and third if you’re interested. His response to Gay Sulu was the same as is publically known. He felt it was a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry’s creation of the character Sulu and that it could be construed that Sulu was closeted. We have to agree with Simon Peggs logic on this and although we are surprised at George’s response we respect that even though he would have seen that most fans disagree with with, he has not backtracked on his opinion and hasn’t shied away from the speaking about it.
Then it was THAT other question, we can’t remember the exact question but it was something like “blah blah blah You and William Shatner?”
The audience groaned. George’s response was with good humour stating that it’s something Shatner made up a feud between them each time he needs to sell a new book!”.
The Voyager and TNG panels are a spectator sport. Watching the banter between the cast feels like you are a fly on the wall. We can imagine this is just what it was like on set.
We know they are all actors but my god (the one from Star Trek 5) they are all good at impressions! Michael Dorn did a very good Troi and the space jelly scene from Encounter at Farpoint that we hadn’t heard before.
As we go to more conventions we are aware we are unlikely to hear anything new from the actors however it is always a pleasure to watch, listen and most importantly laugh.
However we did learn something new and that was why ‘Data’ is pronounced ‘Day-tah’ and not ‘Dat-ta’ (unless you’re rude like Pulaski). Apparently there was an on-set rule that the first person to say a noun would make that pronunciation canon. Patrick Stewart first said ‘Day-tah’ in his best Queens English, thus setting the standard. Brent Spiner made an observation that this has affected the American-English language causing a cultural shift in how the word is pronounced.
We love this notion that the first person to pronounce a word made it canon. The beastie boys need to re-release “sabotaaaaage” #STLV50
We attended the Roddenberry Entertainment panel as Rod and Trevor Roth are Executive Producers on Star Trek Discovery and we want to listen very intently to anything they have to say. The panel opened with a video of Nichelle Nichols singing Happy Birthday to Star Trek. We haven’t heard her sing in years and although a recording, it was still a pleasure.
On the most part the panel was a repeat of the missing footage however then the audience asked questions and there was only one thing on our minds… DISCO!
Rod Roddenberry (do we even need to mention that he is Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son?) spoke about how he was reluctant at first to take the position as Executive Producer as he felt Star Trek was very much his fathers but it was Bryan Fullers involvement that changed his mind.
“Bryan Fuller is amazing. He is like us and he gets Star Trek.” – Rod Roddenberry
Someone asked the question “Would their be a transgendered character or person with internal conflict in Star Trek Discovery?”
Trevor and Rod responded that they can’t give any specifics or details (because of the suits!) but Bryan Fuller was keen to explore the human condition.
Just as we thought they had diplomatically navigated the question Rod exclaims “You won’t be disappointed!” (we actually heard phaser rifles load and take aim!)
We schmooze around the signers room, big hello to Melanie Smith (Ziyal and honourary Trekkie Girl), our favourite person Larry Nemecek (fact: he always had the longest queue at his table).
We run to the Roddenberry lounge for a Champagne toast to Star Trek (This is soooo us!) An amazing cake comes out, we all toast and sing happy birthday to Star Trek and we run to our next appointment with the fantastic Jordan Hoffman at the Official Engage Podcast. They had locked him in a little room to keep him out of trouble but nonetheless it was great fun talking to him, even though our brains go blank as soon as a microphone gets near us!
That evening we were lucky enough to attend the Captains party at the Voodoo Lounge at the top of the Rio which is an amazing event and incentive to purchase one of the packages. We got there just in time to hear Ethan ‘Johnny’ Phillips starting his side splitting comedy routine. These jokes were dark and wrong…. our sort of humour!
Then the band ‘Sons of Kirk’ played their set whilst we admired an epic fireworks display. Although they were celebrating 50 years of Caesars Palace, we like to think it was for Star Trek.
We met up with some old friends and new, Neil, who Sam had met on the flight out, The guys from 5 Year mission – the house band who worked their drumsticks off all week, the guys from Sons of Kirk; Mike, Gary and <name> and of course Jim Moorhouse aka @EnterpriseExtra aka #TheFanWhoFiredThePhasers … and probably the shields too?!
Jim had given his own panel about his experience as an Extra on Enterprise…. Where he fired the phasers! He is a blast, a true gent and we love listening to his stories. Maybe he might fire the phasers on the Discovery one day?? Make It So!
Evenings like this are the best reasons to go to conventions, how often do you have the chance to meet people you hardly know, but feel connected and safe discussing your dream crew, when you hope the new series will be set, your vision for Star Trek’s future?
We must briefly mention Barfleet (briefly because that’s all we recall!). Barfleet is a group of fans who hire a suite at conventions and turn it into a BAR!!! That’s right! What a great idea. There are strict rules about no photography and they ID everyone coming in but it’s a fantastic idea that we should bring to the UK. What an incredible bunch of people who give their time and money so others can have fun after hours at conventions. You are true philanthropists carrying forward Star Trek’s philosophy…. By giving us alcohol!
We did not feel so good about this idea the next day though.
The five day long convention has passed us at Warp Speed! We’re sorry we didn’t do daily blog posts but we barely had a chance to eat or sleep! Hopefully you caught our extensive twitter feed covering all aspects.
The convention formally opens at 2.30, we’re not sure why so late there must be a logical reason? On a selfish level this is fine as Sam has only just landed!
We spend the afternoon getting our bearings, walking in and out of panels, drooling over the vendors room (especially the MAC Station – more on that soon!) and bear hugging old friends and twitter acquaintances.
Something we discovered early on was that we were suffering ‘missing out syndrome’. This might sound insulting if you weren’t able to attend the convention and wished too but even at the event itself, there is always something else going on. When you’re sat in the main hall, you are missing out on what’s on in the secondary hall, when you’re in the Masquerade bar, you’re missing out on seeing friends at the Quarks. It’s not a bad problem to have and there isn’t too much you can do about it.
Popular question of the week no.1
Q. Have you ever been to to STLV before?
A: Sam attended in 2008 back when it was at the Hilton. We both visited in 2010 (again Hilton) but for a short visit as part of Sam’s Hen/Bachelorette Party.
After trying to sleep of the jet lag and a slight wardrobe malfunction on Sam’s part we decided to check out the venders rooms. We cannot give enough credit to MAC Cosmetics who sponsored the convention. They went above and beyond! We have talked before about their limited edition Star Trek range which will be available from September, it was introduced at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago and also made available for early purchase at the event.
We have to tell you about the set. It was a large bridge shaped set split into four ‘Stations’ including Engineering, The Transporter and 10 Forward. MAC provided 100 makeup artists and were offering free makeovers all five days!
We spoke to Ben from MAC Hawaii and he gave us some insights to how this came to be. Apparently MAC and CBS been in discussions for a while about collaborating as both feel there are many similarities in the ethos of Star Trek and MAC. Values of equality are at the heart of each. Therefor it was a a natural fit.
In regards to the set, the events manager at MAC Cosmetics used to work for Disney and is a perfectionist. A lot of time was spent digging through the CBS archives to ensure the accuracy of the set in terms of colourings and designs. Fun Fact; the tables from the 10 Forward section are the actual tables from the show!! (yes, then we had to touch them like Picard, Data and the Pheonix!)
But much credit must go to the actors they hired for the parts of Seven of Nine, Uhura, Troi and Vina (the figureheads of the Star Trek Mac range). The casting was spot on. Each would do a skit. Uhura would sing ‘Charlie is our darling’ with every bit as much skill and beauty as Nichelle Nicholls. Troi recreated the scene from In Theory discussing love with Data. Vina performed a dance and Seven of Nine nailed the drunk scene from ‘Timeless’. We had to listen carefully to check if it was dubbed. It’s not, she has truly captured Jeri Ryan’s portrayal of this scene.
Carole treated herself to a makeover and then we proceeded to buy almost everything. We were going to have a considered think about what buy but upon hearing that our favourites were already running dangerously low, we stocked up.
Although we have no regrets buying it we did come away feeling a bit like Harry Kim in the pilot of Voyager when he encountered Quark trying to sell precious gems!
The transporter set was another great feature and free content for us Convention goers. With so many ‘pay for’ photo shoots its nice for attendees to have photographic souvenirs that say ‘we were there’ but allow us to save our money for meeting the guests. It also allows brand interaction for those who aren’t interested in the makeup. MAC record a transporter effect and the video is beamed to your email account immediately.
The effort achieved by the likes of MAC and the Star Trek Beyond Fan event have set a new bar for interactive Star Trek content, providing greater warmth, affinity and personal contact with Star Trek.
The popularity of Comic Cons around the world is sky high, with ‘geek’ becoming more mainstream. Star Trek fans were the first in organising conventions, but we feel conventions need to keep pushing the comfort zone of their traditional format of should we wish for new fans to join in, becoming more event/show driven. In the words of Captain Pike “We dare you to do better.”
Q: What was your highlight of the week?
A: There were many, but a top one was certainly the Whoopi Goldberg panel.
Appearing at her first ever Star Trek Convention, Whoopi brought energy, enthusiasm, humour and heart to the main stage.
The story of how Whoopi came to be on TNG is well known, that she was inspired by Nichelle Nicholls’ Uhura. She revealed that she liked to think that Guinan was related to Uhura in some way.
Speaking of relations, she gave the audience some secrets into Guinans background including that Gene had told her that Guinan may have been Picard’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother.
She also elaborated on Q and Guinans background, that they were neighbouring races which had similar powers but different philosophies on how to use them.
Because of all these connections Whoopi and Scott called on us to get #BringBackGuinan (for Star Trek Discovery) trending on twitter and spam Bryan Fuller until he acknowledge it!
Now we must pay tribute and respect to the moderator of this panel, Scott Mantz. We had the privilege of meeting Scott at LA (Did we mention we went to the Beyond event in LA?). We had a good chat about the trailer and preview and we knew he was our sort of trekkie from the moment we met him. Scott is a producer/presenter on Access Hollywood and general Star Trek Guru. He brought SO much energy to the stage it was infectious. He was upbeat, with experience of working with the biggest names in hollywood as well as an eidetic memory of Star Trek.
If Scott was moderating a panel, we took that as a mark that it was going to be entertaining and the one to pick.
“The think that Star Trek never let go off was hope” Whoopi. Just as relevant today as it was when Star Trek started #STLV50
The main panels concluded with a wonderful Tribute to Nichelle Nicholls who spoke well and with pride about her contribution to the advancement of women and especially black women.
The audience joined in sharing their tributes and thanks to Nichelle which left no dry eye in the hall. The most touching tribute was by Whoopi Goldberg who joined the stage and thanked Nichelle for being her inspiration. The love!
Whilst the main hall panels had finished, we ran over to the secondary stage to checkout the news from the Okuda’s regarding the release of Star Trek The Encyclopaedia.
‘The Beast’ as its known weighs a whooping 11 pounds and took years for the Okuda’s to rewrite plus add an additional 300 pages!
They created a key to separate the prime and Kelvin timeline whilst stressing that they wanted to give importance to both timelines.
Interesting fact; the term ‘Kelvin Timeline’ which has seemingly appeared from no-where, was coined by the Michael and Denise Okuda. They were originally considering the name ‘Spock Timeline’ but it wasn’t specific enough. The USS Kelvin incident was the starting point for the timeline, and thus got the name.
We salute Michael and Denise for their contribution and dedication to the encyclopaedia and particularly their stance on the Kelvin Timeline. We do feel that it needs more equality in its contribution to Star Trek particularly for it’s celebration of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary.
Look out soon for our report on the rest of the show….