Barry Jenner +++ Tony Curran +++ Jay Acovone +++ Holly Marie Combs +++ Shannen Doherty +++ Nichelle Nichols +++ Natasha Henstridge +++ Garrett Wang +++ Nalini Krishan +++ Diana Muldaur +++ Richard Dean Anderson +++ Max Grodénchik +++ Aron Eisenberg +++ Amanda Tapping +++ Nana Visitor +++ Nicole de Boer +++ Bai Ling +++ Suanne Braun +++ Michael Shanks +++ David Warner +++ Roxann Dawson +++ Alexander Siddig
Alec Peters +++ Rob Burnett +++ Rüdiger Schäfer +++ Uwe Anton +++ Roadshot +++ Bettina Wurche +++ Rainer Kerske +++ Hubert Zitt +++ Raimund Peter +++ Tsuneo Sanda +++ Claudia Kern +++ Larry Nemecek +++ David Gerold +++ Dr. Mona Abdel-Hamit +++ Tobias Richter +++ Lee Stringer
This year I was looking forward even more than usual to the FedCon because with Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs two of the Charmed Ones were announced. However, I didn’t expect this year’s FedCon to be as much fun as last year’s, when John Barrowman, Ben Browder and Casper van Dien - some really crazy guys - had been there. I couldn't have been wronger …
As usual I arrived early, at about 9.20am, checked in, bought some additional autograph tickets and explored the territory. Soon I met some friends, I had not seen since last years Trek-Gate, and we catched up. At 12pm there was the first meeting, tvparadies.net, which is always a lot of fun. However, I had to leave early to meet the delegation from tardis-torchwood.com. Ah, I am part of just too many forums …
Faster than expected it was time to watch the first panel
Admiral Michael Ross from "Star Trek – Deep Space Nine"
He had the honor to hold the first panel and made it quite entertaining.
He told us a really amusing story: After working together with Michael Dorn (Worf) at the set of DS9, he went to a party, where he talked to a black guy. At some point he asked him what he was doing for his living – and the guy turned out to be Michael Dorn, whom he had never seen without make-up before …
He also told us, that he has developed his own personal background für Admiral Ross, in which he had a daughter who died in the Dominion War, which is the reason why Ross does not want anyone to handle this loss ever again.
Barry Jenner is by the way a real police oficer in Los Angeles and he showed us his badge.
Charles Kawalsky from "Stargate SG1" and Joe Maxwell from "Beauty and the Beast"
Jay was the next on stage and I was really looking forward to his panel, 'cause the original Beauty and the Beast is one of my fav Tv shows.
Major Kawalski is a very poular character and I believe most fans of "Stargate" are pretty sad he died pretty early (in the second episode of the show). Jay told us the reason for this: John Diel, who played Kawalski in the original movie had no interest to work on a Tv show and so the screenwriters let him die very soon. However, as it turned out John Diel was not interested to work for a Tv show at all and his role had to be re-cast. That was when Jay got the role and he was definitely intersested to play the charakter for a longer time. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to change the scripts for the 13 first episodes at this point …
Jay starred also in some famous movies like Terminator 3 and Independence Day, but is not so much relying on acting anymore. He is building houses instead.
To me he looked as I had imagined him to be: Kind, sympathetic and very humorous.
Ann Mulhall and Miranda Jones from TOS
Dr. Katherine Pulaski from TNG
She came on stage together with Richard Arnold who was supporting her.
Ms. Muldaur can look back on a long and successful carreer as an actress and her roles in TOS and TNG are for her just another job in this career, accordingly vague were her recollections. However, she remembered William Shatner was always in a mood to play jokes. And she liked working on the TNG episode Elementary, Dear Data cause of the costumes and the setting.
She really seemed to enjoy her panel and so did I.
Next point on my schedule was the photo shoot with the gorgeous Amanda Tapping. I took a photo with her at the Trek-Gate last year, but couldn’t resist to get another one. As always there was a long queue, but having a Gold ticket I didn’t have to wait long, and so it was no problem to be back in time for Natasha Henstridge's panel, which took place in the main hall.
Sil from the "Species"-Movies
Taylor Wethersby from "Eli Stone"
It was her role as Sil in the Species movies that brought her to FedCon. I watched the Species movies for the first time, when Natasha was announced for FedCon (and I really like them … well, some more than others). However, she's also played Taylor Wethersby in Eli Stone. This, I had seen before and enjoyed it very much.
When she came on stage, it was very obvious, that she didn’t exactly knew what she was expected to do. However, after a short while she got it. My impression of her was, she is a very kind and natural person.
Of course, her role as Sil was a big topic at her panel and she let us know, that she did not see Sil as a monster, but as a living being driven by instincts. So, Sil is not good or bad, but just doing what is necessary for her and her species to survive.
She feels strongly about the stupidity of the beauty mania, of pretending to have everlasting youth, in spite of the fact that each of us becomes older. She herself for example has given birth to two children. And everyone is changed by the experiences of life. (By the way, I think she still looks beautiful, in some ways even better than, when she was about 20 years younger).
I never understood why the Opening Cermemony is not the first thing in the programm, but that’s FedCon ;)
It began with a FedCon song interpretated by this year’s Masters of Cermony, Nessi and Kris.
Talking about the MoC – I really missed Garrett in this role. He’s got a special way to interact with the actors on stage, to help them with their panels when it’s necessary (Natasha Henstridge for example was very unsecure what to do in the beginning of her panel. It was her first time at FedCon and it was all new to her). Please don’t take me wrong, Nessi is a nice person and she also got a very special kind of humor, but … you know, four days of her kind of humor have been slightly to much for me, from some point on she really started to annoy me. I know, it was her first time as MoC, but the role was just too big for her. Kris, who moderated the panels in the room Düsseldorf, was much better. It was his first time at FedCon ever, but he really moderated, whereas Nessi just announced the actors, mostly with exactly the same words … As far as I know, the FedCon GmbH and Garrett sadly couldn’t agree about financial details and at the moment, it does not look very likely, that Garrett will be MoC at FedCon again – but I really wish he would return in this role one day.
However, back to the Opening Ceremony. After the FedCon song Defcon Unlimited presented a light saber fight, which was pretty cool.
After that it was time for the singing Sushi Chef again.
And finally the lectorers, special guests and the actors came on stage. A kind of special highlight here, was the japanese artist Tsuneo Sanda, who drove his female interpretator almost to despair, with his long speeches and and would not be distracted even by the increasingly loud laughter of the audience.
A very special highlight was Nichelle Nichols, who greeted the audience with a song (gosh, such a great voice!
Richard Dean Anderson
Jack O'Neill from "Stargate SG-1"
Angus MacGyver from "MacGyver"
RDA on the stage is … something special. It’s always a lot of laughter. Not because what he is saying, but the way how he is saying it. He’s got this particular O’Neill manner (including saying "What?" very often) … Also always very funny is his runing gag, when he looks at his hair on the big screen (Every year it becomes thinner…“). He answered questions about his different roles (MacGyver, Jack O’Neill) and his personal life, always being very humerous.
It was his third appearance at FedCon in four years and he's still one of the main highlights of the con, not only for me, but also for most visitors.
B'Elanna Torres from "Star Trek: Voyager"
She did the last panel of this day and that was a great way to end the day. She also seemed to enjoy being on stage and the audience enjoyed her being there.
She talked a lot about her work as director, for which her role as the tough half-klingon B’Elanna Torres has been a good preparation, she said, because like B'Elanna, as a woman she has to fight for acceptance. In this profession it's still very hard to become accepted for women. However, she also talked about her time at Star Trek Voyager of course. In retrospect she feels pity for Robert Duncan McNeil, whose wife was pregnant the same time as Roxann while filming Voyager – so he had to deal with pregnancy hormones at home and at work … She also told us, that she liked the episode Faces a lot, because it helped her to define B’Elanna’s character.
Her panel was very entertaining, too. It was a great finale of the first Con day.
Max Grodenchik & Aaron Eisenberg
Rom & Nog from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
Day 2 began with the Fernegi panel – and it was most entertaining. I’m pretty sure, they gave some honest answers, but mostly I remember them joking around and being very enertaining.
Aron told the story of the famous Ferengi dance scene and how nervous he was not really knowing how to dance Ferrengi style. Even more funny was Max’s story how he, who is a really good baseball player in real life, had to pretend to be a very bad one (he used his left hand), whereas all the other actors, who were not so good players, had to play as if they were real cracks.
It was a really funny and entertaining panel. I would love to see the two of them at FedCon again.
Datak Tarr from "Defiance"
He was also one of those I was really looking forward to see. I really like Defiance and Datak tarr is my fav charakter in the show (Hm, I seem to prefer mostly the bad gus: J.R. Ewing, Datak tarr, Rumplestilstkin …).
He shared a great anecdote with us: While filming Definace in Toronto, he wanted to visit a sports bar to watch a soccer game. The producer gave him the permision – but he had to wear the costome and the make-up of Datak Tarr …
Tony had to answer a lot of questions concerning Defiance and his role as Vincent van Gogh in Doctor Who, and he was really great at interacting with the audience while doing this. I got the impression, not only at his panel but at the autograph session, too, that he is really interested in his fans. And I would be very pleased, if he would come to FedCon again, preferably soon.
Actually, I originally had planned to listen to Hubert Zitt's lecture about beaming next, but decided to skip that and to take part of the second meeting of tvparadies.net instead (this time a member of Team tapert.de - also a community I am a member of - joined us). This year my schedule was incredibly full, and as I wanted to spend some time with my friends, I took the chance to have some spare time.
Lt. Uhura from "Star Trek - The Original Series"
Like Diana Muldaur, she shared the stage with Richard Arnold, who supported her. And again, as at the opening ceremony, she became standing ovations.
She told us that she is planning to release a new album. I am really looking forward to this.She also told us aboot her meeting Duke Ellington, when she was about 14 or 15 years old and how it was to sing with him and his orchestra, about her meeting Martin Luther King and about her meeting US President Barck Obama. At this point the famos photo of her and President Obama doing the vulcan greeting was shown and she told us it was actually his idea to make the vulcan greet.
She also talked about the famous kiss between Uhura and Kirk: Originally it was planned,that the kiss should be between Uhura and Spock, but Bill Shatner insisted that it should be the Captain who kissd her. So he asked Leonard Nimoy, if he had a problem with this. Mr. Nimoy said, no, not a problem - just one condition – he’d like to show him how it’s done first …
Hathor from "Stargate SG-1"
Her panel took place in a room called Düsseldorf. I had no expectations at all about her panel, but being a big SG-1 fan I simply couldn’t miss it. And it was great. Suanne is very entertaining and funny. She does stand-up comedy, too, and during her panel the comedian in her sometimes took over. Suanne shared with us a handful of anecdotes, connected to her role as Hathor, and it was very amusing indeed, not only what she told us but also the way how she did it.
The end of her panel took me by complete surprise, I hadn’t realized, that so much time had passed. It’s true: time flies, when you're having fun.
Major Kira Nerys from "Star Trek - Deep Space Nine"
Her panel took place in the main hall, again. When you have to change rooms, there is always a danger to miss the beginning of the next panel, but this year that luckily never happened to me.
I have to admit, Major Kira Nerys is not my favourite character on DS9, but Nana Visitor is just great. A beautiful and very likeable person. On stage she was full of energy and in a really good mood.
Kira Nerys was always very important to her and while filming DS9, she was very protective of the character, e.g. script ideas she thought of as unfitting, like having an affair with Gul Dukat.
She also told us the secret of how to have a good relation with Avery Brooks: One just has to listen to him!
But DS9 wasn't the only topic on her panel. Nana is not just an actor, but a great singer and dancer, too, which she promptly proved by performing the song 'All That Jazz'.
And she is also a proud mother; she couldn’t resist showing us a picture of her son, who is 17 years old by now. She remembered, when he was four and was asked, where he lived, his answer was: Star Trek, California.
Bai Ling & Nalini Krishan
Back in the room Düsseldorf, it was time for what was called 'the Star Wars panel'. Yeah, right. Nalini Krishan had a mini role in the new movies and the part of Bai Ling was cut out. Whatever, I went to this panel for Bail Ling, who had a pretty cool role in one of my favourite movies, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and who starred in some other pretty cool films, like The Crow, Crank 2 - High Voltage or Wild Wild West.
Most questions in this panel were for Bai Ling and she turned out to be a really thoughtful person, in contrast to her image of just being sexy. She also had some funny anecdotes to tell. While filming 'The Crow', for example, when she talked with Brandon Lee, he told her he was Chinese, too, and the son of the famous Bruce Lee. Bai Ling had to confess, that she had never heard of Bruce Lee and he couldn’t believe it. Bai Long did some research, and of course she knew Bruce Lee, but only by his Chinese name. Next day she told Brandon this and that she’s in fact a fan of his father. Talking about 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow', we learned that Jude Law was not very good at doing his fighting scenes and in one scene she even injured him.
After the photo shoots with Garrett Wang and Holly Marie Combs it was time for the next panel.
Ensign Harry Kim from "Star Trek - Voyager"
Garrett on stage is always a lot of fun. He’s a real stage bitch. At the beginning of his panel he posed for photos, so that everybody could get a nice picture. Then he kicked into full gear. His jokes (a lot of FedCon insiders), voice imitations and stories made me and the rest of the audience laugh a lot. One of the main topics was that he never got promoted; he's still Ensign Kim at the end of the Voyager’s journey. Or was it 'Handsome Kim'? (A fan once told him, he always understood 'handsome Kim' when Janeway said 'Ensign Kim'). Being asked for his strangest experience with a fan, he told us about a convention in Birmingham, where a woman in wheel chair waved at him very friendly during the autograph session. Later she came directly up to him and was totally drunk. She grabbed him by the collar, pulled him halfway across the table and whispered: "Will you be my midnight candy tonight?" Garrett friendly rejected the offer and she got angry, slapped him in the face and wheeled away … He also proudly presented his new German vocabulary.
Holly MarieCombs & Shannen Doherty
Piper & Prue Halliwell from "Charmed"
The two 'Charmed Ones' have been the guests, I have been looking forward to the most. Like Tony Curran they haven't been able to join the opening ceremony and so I was very excited, when they finally entered the stage.
Like RDA Shannen is also very engaged with Sea Shepherd and so she took one of the Sea Shepherd activists on stage and let him explain what Sea Shepherds is about and what they do.
She also talked about the work on Charmed and the close relation of all the crew members. Every week she bought lottery tickets for the whole crew and one day her make-up artist asked her, if she had checked her numbers yet. When she did it, she realized she had won 60 million dollars, she ran out and shouted that she were going to quit … However, luckily for us fans, it was just a joke they played on her ;)
A very interesting information they gave us is, that they're going to start filming a new TV show together in June.
Richard Dean Anderson & Amanda Tapping & Michael Shanks
Col. Jack O'Neill & Major Samantha Carter & Dr. Daniel Jackson from "Stargate SG-1"
The next panel was a world premiere: For the first time ever RDA, Amanda and Michael were on stage together. And a lot of people wanted to see this. So before it began, everyone, except Gold and Platin ticket holders, had to leave the room. Weekend ticket holders were allowed to come back but Day ticket holders had to watch the panel on a big screen in room Düsseldorf. However, the stars joined them before and afterwards, too.
So, what can I say about the panel? Well, I’m pretty sure, some serious answers must have been given, too, but most of the time it was pure fun. We laughed a lot and so did Michael.
Possibly good news for me and a lot of people, who are also Sanctuary-fans: Amanda gave us hope, that we might see Dr. Helen Magnus again: Although Amanda and Robin Dunne do not own the rights for the show at the moment; they are trying hard to get them. And once they have them, they're planning to do some TV movies. So, it may take a while, but there is hope.
They did overrun by quite a long time, but after one and a half hour it had to end.
First thing on my schedule was the photo shoot with the Charmed Duo.
Alexander Siddig & Nana Visitor
Dr. Julian Bashir & Major Kira Nerys from "Star Trek - DS9"
From the way they interacted, I got the impression, that they are still very close friends. Sometimes it felt like watching a screwball comedy, it was a lot of fun.
Alexander told us about one of his worst shootings: He had to work with Vanessa Williams and she was wearing a very sexy bathing suite. However, he couldn’t enjoy it, and that she couldn’t quite understand. The reason was, the night before Nana had given birth to their son and Alexander had to leave wife and child immediately to go to work … really bad timing …
Working on DS9 changed both their lives: Nana told us the devotion of the fans and their attention to every little detail made her paying attention to details, too. And Alexander said, becoming famous and wealthy in such young years has been a burden to him
Also very amusing was to watch their reactions to some of the wallpapers that were shown.
Next I went to the photo shoot with Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg who were wearing their Ferengi make-up and costumes.
And now it was time for the first autograph session. This year I wanted autographs from 20 actors and had designed 29 templates. Normally, I try to get all my autographs in the first autograph session, but this year I had to leave early for some photo shoots.
Between 3 pm and 6.30 pm I had photo shoots with Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Nichelle Nichols and Shannen Doherty. It was in a way amusing. Having a Gold ticket I never had to wait long for my photo, but then I had to wait much longer, for the queue for the next photo shoot to be opened ;)
Samantha Carter from "Stargate SD-1" / "Stargate Atlantis"
Dr. Helen Magnus from "Sanctuary"
I got lucky to be able to see her panel. Actually it should have started while I was still doing my photo shoots and when I went to the main hall, I originally planned to watch the Costume Contest, and ended up being very pleasantly surprised, when I realized that there had been delays in the program execution and I was able to enjoy Amanda's panel.
When she talked about Sanctuary for Kids, it was very obvious how much this means to her. She was really emotionally involved when she talked about it.
Of course, her TV shows Stargate and Sanctuary also were topics. Like most fans, she likes the SG-1 episode Moebius a lot, because it gave her – and the other actors – the possibility to show some different aspects of their characters.
Talking about Helen Magnus, she stated that she often couldn’t really understand her, for example having a child and knowing that it was a given, that she would outlive it, was something Amanda could never have done.
A panel with Amanda, is always a great pleasure, she’s always so nice and tries to answer every single question satisfyingly, even if some questions happen to be a little bit strange.
The Costume Contest was next. Sadly, I was kind of disappointed this year. There weren’t as many competitors as last year and to me it seemed last year they have been more imaginative. I really liked two or three of the acts, but …
Holly MarieCombs & Shannen Doherty
Piper & Prue Halliwell from "Charmed"
Now it was time for my personal highlight of this year’s FedCon, the second panel of the Charmed Duo. And it was even better than their first one. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed their first panel, but I got the impression, they were suffering from jetlag and did not really know what they were expected to do at the beginning.
It’s a known fact that Shannen and Holly Marie are best friends and one could really see this. They also talked about being friends when having so different characters.
Sadly, there will be no Charmed reunion movie cause of the owner’s rights.
There was a very touching moment, when Shannen hugged a fan, who was too nervous to ask her question.
Shannen was very enthusiastic this time, at the end of the panel she pushed the audience.
Roxann Dawson & Garrett Wang
B'Elanna Torres & Harry Kim from "Star Trek: Voyager"
It was another fun panel. No wonder, Garrett was on stage. However, Roxann was also very funny. One question was, what they’d think, their characters would do at a Barbeque ten years after the Voyager’s return and she said, among other things,: “Ensign Kim would …” – Poor Harry Kim, he seems to stay an ensign for the rest of his career ;)
Garrett received much acclaim for his remark that the first part of the Voyager final episode Endgame was fine, but the second part till the end suffers from a case of 'too much done to quickly'. If he could have written the finale his proposed alternative would have been: After a regular episode of 45 minutes, Voyager should have ended on television with the words "To be continued in a theatre next to you".
When we arrived, we immediately went to Nichelle Nichols autograph queue.
After I got it, I went to the autograph session to get the autographs I didn’t manage to get the day before.
For the next couple of hours I was standing in a queue to get my autographs from Richard Dean Anderson. Sadly I missed the panel of Nicole De Boer for that …
RDA & M. Shanks & A. Tapping & J. Acovone & S. Braun
The last panel of this year’s FedCon was a SG-1 panel with 5 actors. And it was great fun, too. However, not as much as the group panel on Friday. I think it’s because there is this special chemistry between the members of the main cast, and Jay and Suanne didn’t really fit in. However, it still was very entertaining and the best answers came from RDA (“What?”) and Jay (“I was still dead!”).
Way too early it was time for the closing ceremony. However, it contained some of the con’s highlight moments: A (faked) kiss between RDA and Amanda Tapping. Nichelle Nichols was singimg again. And Max Grodenchik declaimed a self-penned farewell poem in German.
FedCon 23 was different from FedCon 22 but in its own way at least as good. I had a great time and I am looking forward to FedCon 24, dreaming of a great Charmed group panel with Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan, Brian Krause and Julian McMahon … and hoping that Garrett will be MoC again ...