The second day of the 2012 Las Vegas Star Trek convention got started at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning with an on stage appearance by Grace Lee Whitney, who played Janice Rand in Star Trek: The Original Series. Whitney was followed by Voyager’s Garrett Wang and the Executive Producer/Writer of DS9 and a producer/writer on TNG and, Ira Steven Behr.
While on stage Behr discussed some of the challenges he faced when he began working on Deep Space Nine after his time with The Next Generation. “On DS9 we had more power than people realized. We just took it.” said Behr.
On the topic of some of the restraints the Star Trek franchise had on it prior to DS9, Behr said “Rules and creativity are not necessarily the best bed fellows.” He credited Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek’s morals and said Gene would have had a problem with some of the religious aspects of the show. Behr said Paramount proposed the idea of giving the DS9 space station the ability to travel, in order to venture further into space. Another idea proposed by Paramount, according to Behr, was to kill off the character of Julian Bashir.
Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating of Enterprise were up next. The two former castmates told fans about a prank on Scott Bakula by the entire cast and shared other favorite moments on set. One female Trekkie thanked Trinneer and Keating “for doing so many scenes in [their] underwear,” clearly a top fan comment for the day.
Speaking of female fans, the “Trek Girls: Who Is a Trek Girl and How Did She Become One?” moderated by Ashley Eckstein of Her Universe, with guests Mary Czerwinski, Charity Wood and Kayla Iacovino took place in the secondary theater.
“Fan input does make a difference. You should know how powerful your voice,” Eckstein told the fans, which included some man, and engaged them in a lively discussion. Czerwinski pointed out that the J.J. Abrams movie has brought in a shift in fan base,” “There are more women, people of all ages,” she said. “That’s really hopeful.” Talking real vs. fake geek girls, Czerwinski said “We have to embrace sexy people.”
Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment discussed some of the company’s new projects, including “Trek Nation,” “White Room: 023B” and the new “Mission Log” podcast.
Fans of all backgrounds looked forward to the stage appearance of Diana Muldaur, Chief Medical Officer Katherine Pulaski in TNG’s second season years after her TOS appearances. She shared that her TNG work started with a phone call from Gene Roddenberry, who thought she should be doing the part. She had also participated the pilot Planet Earth for Roddenberry. As she stayed on the TNG cast for a year only, she commented, “I was there for Gene. I’m not sure they were that happy with me. I worked very, very hard. I think you could see how hard I worked.”
In the next session, called “Making History,” several supporting actors, Andy Robinson (Garak), Alexander Enberg (Ensign Vorik), Eddie Paskey (Lt. Leslie), Patti Yasutake (Nurse Ogawa), Michael Barrier (DeSalle), Arlene Martel (T’Pring) and Elizabeth Dennehy (Lt. Commander Shelby) shared memories of their appearances. Robinson shared he thought he had over-humanized Garak by the end of DS9. “He should have been someone you never believed or trusted,” the actor added, “if you had half a brain.” Paskey remembered a prank that the TOS cast and crew pulled Leonard : they put his bicycle in the rafters above the sickbay bed before a scene he was about to film. Nimoy laughed.
The “Star Trek Guests Celebrity Panel” featured Virginia Madsen (Kellen), Lycia Naff (Ensign Gomez), Hallie Todd (Lal), Lisa Wilcox (Yuta) and Michael Snyder (Crewman Dax). Todd shared that she passed on the role of Data’s daughter, Lal, three times because she was afraid of it and did not want to be bad. She ended up loving it. Interestingly, Todd’s father also appeared on Star Trek, as the bartender in a fan favorite episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles.”
Lycia Naff shared fond memories of prepping lines with Levar Burton before their first scenes. Working on set with Levar felt very different, though, since she could not make eye contact because of the VISOR! Naff, who was still an inexperienced actress, when she appeared with the legendary Patrick Stewart, still has nightmares from her famous scene, which required that she ‘accidently’ spill chocolate on Captain Picard. The scene needed multiple takes as she never threw the chocolate high enough. Naff added that she remains scared by Stewart’s delivery of his line. Michael Snyder, who was much more experienced, had already appeared on Broadway with Leonard Nimoy, and revealed that he got the role on Star Trek VI by contacting Nimoy.
A later panel focused on Star Trek music, “Exploring the Star Trek Music Renaissance.” La-La Land Records announced the arrival of the ultimate 15-CD The Original Series Soundtrack Collection. The CD will come out this fall and feature unreleased music.
Later in the day, Star Trek collecting expert and TrekNews.net’s own John Tenuto presented “25 Years of the Official Star Trek Fan Club.” Tenuto discussed the fan club’s place in Star Trek history, how it connected fans from around the world and more.
Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for coverage of all four days of the 2012 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.
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