Robert Picardo at TREK GATE TO YOUR STAR 2014
And again it was time for my favorite convention. I’m so happy I could go there, ’cause I fell ill just a few days before the con weekend.
This time the TGTYS took place in the Hilton Düsseldorf and I have to say it turned out to be a better location than last time.
I got up at 4 am on Saturday to be there in time and I didn’t get much sleep the whole weekend – but excitement kept me awake and I didn’t feel tired before Monday ;)
The first program point was – of course – the opening. Originally planned for 9 am, but the organizers decided to wait, until all guests were in the hall, it was delayed a little till 9.40 am. So they had to shorten the opening a bit, I think, but all actors and authors were introduced on stage and were able to say hello.
Dr. Will Zimmeman from "Sanctuary"
Robin Dunne had the first panel. I must admit, I didn’t know much about him before this con, I had seen him in Sanctuary of course, but I didn’t know anything about him as a person. However, I learned pretty soon, that he is a stage bitch with a very special kind of humor.
His forst action was to fetch a young lady from the audience on the stage, which should help him out with German knowledge: He wanted to know the absolutely worst
German term of abuse
Then the real Q&A began and Robin told us the story of how he accidently(?) touched Amanda Tapping’s boobs while filming Sanctuary …
He also talked about his current projects, like his role in Defiance, and of course Space Milkshake was also a topic: He told us the movie will be available to download in the near future.
He also told us an anecdote with Mel B of the Spice Girls. In the "Daily Telegraph" a picture of both of them was published with the following title: "Mel B with man on her side." Apparently nobody knew who Robin Dunne was.
Time goes by very fast when you´re having fun and so I was really surprised, when his stage time was over so soon.
(By the way, I tried to make some notes during all of the panels, but I was laughing so much this weekend …)
Guinness World Record Holder: "Most Special Effect Make-up Characters Portrayed in a Career"
I was really curious about him but I missed his panel becauce the photshoots with Robert Picardo and Amanda Tapping took place when he was on stage. (That was annoying. At last year’s TGTYS there were no scheduling overlaps and I really enjoyed it. However, I’ve been told that next year, there will be only 5 actors, to avoid any further scheduling overlaps.) However, I managed to chatted with him a bit later on and found him a very nice, polite and interesting person.
Simone Walleck & Tom Daut
For the first time there were also two authors at the Trek-Gate, who presented their works and gave readings. Simone Walleck presensted her book "Láhnest und die Spirale der Macht" and Tom Daut his project "Die Sinistra". Sadly, I was only ably toin these readings partly, but I talked with them later.
I really like them and their books and I would like to see them at the next Trek-Gate again.
Here are the links to their homepages:
Samantha Carter from "Stargate SG-1" and "Stargate: Atlantis"
Dr. Helen Magnus from "Sanctuary"
At 12.15 pm the time had come for the queen of the con to enter the stage. She was received with exuberant applause – and with a basket full of Ritter Sport chocolate that was given to her by a group of Stargate fans.
Next she talked a bit about her current projects and how she enjoys working as a director.
Of course Stargate was a big topic of her panel and I was surprised to hear how intensive her preparations for the role of Samantha Carter have been: Not only was there a military expert who made sure, that they behaved correctly (that I knew already), but when Sam was talking technobabble, Amanda insisted to get an explanation what she was talking about.
She also spoke about her kissing scene with David Hewlett, when his wife was watching the shooting … and how excited she was when Marina Sirtis took a role in SG-1 ‘cause Amanda is a "Marina Sirtis fangirl".
I was also a little surprised by her answer to the question what her fav Character in SG-1 is: It’s Jacob Carter and she also spoke about the first scene she and Carmen Argenziano had together, it was the one when Jacob was about to die and it was shot a 6 am … and since then she and Carmen are friends.
She was also asked if she would like to play a role in "Doctor Who": She would love it, she could even imagine to play the Doctor – provided that the world was ready for the first female Doctor.
When Robert Picardo came on stage and Amanda’s panel was over I couldn’t believe an hour had already passed …
The Doctor from "Star Trek - Voyager"
Richard Woolsey from "Stargate SG-1" and "Stargate Atlantis"
Robert Picardo didn´t have a panel of his own, but he was MoC and used the time he had on stage for short Q&As … and for announcing seminars that Tim Russ should hold in German, like “The Vulcan neck pinch and your sexual fulfillment” … and for singing “Felings” Tuvok-style … And he would also like to play a role in “Doctor Who” - finally, as he already did a nameless Doctor for seven years.
However, when Amanda Tapping´s panel was over, he sung the ultimate stalker song, as he called it, with us: “You are my Sunshine”. It was fun, I had never seen some passages of the song acted out in that special way … however, he was right …
Lieutenant Tuvok from "Star Trek- Voyager"
After the photoshoot with Robin Dunne it was time for the panel of Tim Russ. Mr. Picardo told us to ask him about "black don’t crack" but noone even got a chance to ask, as Tim explained it immediately: It referred to the fact, that he used to look younger than he was and therefore often had trouble getting the roles he wanted.
Tim likes the German voice of Tuvok, and he told us a really funny story about his Spanish voice: He was in a hotel in Spain and had some trouble with the TV in his room. Someone came to repair it and the first thing they saw than was Tuvok talking with his Spanish voice.
There was also an amusing story about the episode "Waking Moments", in which, in a dream of Lt. Paris, Tuvok forgets to put on his uniform and arrives at the bridge naked with the entire senior staff present and laughing at him: Tim asked the prop master to give him a really long sock ...
He then spoke about a joke he would have liked to make, but never had the opportunity: Tuvok singing a rap song with a huge Afro on his head.
Someone asked him to sing his Voyager version of the "Love Boat" theme song – it was so funny:
"Space, exciting and new
Won't you come aboard
We will transport you and fun
With alien ships
They've got plasma rays
At their fingertips
On Voyager, it always sems like there's someting wrong
On Voyager, we've been without sex for far to long
See life, [...]
There's no guarantee, you'll come back alive
Oh no, we've lost our warp drive
Shields are down again
Well, that's no surprise
On Voyager, we wön't come home for so many years
On Voyager, nobody goes to the bathroom here"
He also was very enthusiastic when he talked about "Star Trek: Renegades".
After Tim’s panel it was time for the photoshoot with him. After that I had a little free time, and then it was time for the photoshoot with Marina Sirtis.
Counsellor Deanna Troi from "Star Trek - TNG"
The last panel of this day was the one of Marina Sirtis.
She left no doubt about the fact, that she herself has with her parade role as a Deanna Troi nearly nothing at all in common: She exactly finishes speaking what she thinks and, besides, is incredibly witty.
Asked about "The Rikers in Space", a Star Trek sitcom, she made clear, that this show probably never will be made, because now JJ Abrams’ version of Star Trek is in the focus of Paramount.
Once Abrams Trek was mentioned, she was asked what she thinks about the new movies: She said she is happy that the franchise is continued, but they are just popcorn movies, with great action and sfx but without a message, far away from Gene Roddenberry’s idea of Star Trek.
However, she liked "Galaxy Quest" a lot, which was a real hommage to Star Trek … but if Sigourney Weaver was meant to be Marina, she would have needed bigger boobs …
She also shared a lot of memories and anecdotes about TNG with us, which was great fun.
And she is also a fan of Doctor Who, her fav Doctors being Tom Baker (yes!) and Christopher Eccleston. She would like to play in the show, especially together with her friend John Barrowman (that´s something I would love to see!).
There were two, one on Saturday, one on Sunday. On Saturday I got my autographs from Tim Russ, Marina Sirtis, Bill Blair and Robert Picardo.
VIP-Dinmer / Tim Russ concert
I was to late to buy a ticket for the VIP Dinner (but hey, I already have one for next year’s dinner) and it had been a long day, so I decided to give it a miss and go home. You know, I like music, but …
Sunday began with the Star Trek Photoshoot (Bill Blair, Marina Sirtis, Tim Russ and Robert Picardo).
Star Trek Panel
Bill Blair, Tim Russ, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo
There were two group panels on Sunday, the Star Trek panel was the first.
The Star Trek Reboot was again a topic, and they all agreed, that it is good that the franchise is continued, but they don’t really like the Abrams Trek movies. Tim Russ called them "pocorn movies", Marina metioned they are loud, and Robert pointed out that they were made for a young audience ...
When they were asked how it was to work together with Majel Roddenberry, Marina became very emotional, she had to fight back tears, because Majel had been like a mother for her.
However, there were also a lot of funny moment, i.e. when Tim Russ mentioned he lived in Turkey for a while and Marina reacts really upset and asked him why he lived in Turkey and not in Greece (The answer was, his father was a soldier and he was stationed there)
Always funny was a question, that a young lady asked every guest star: "If you were a prop in your show, what would it be?" It’s really interresting how many people want to be someone else’s chair … However, the best answer gave Bill Blair: "I am a prop!"
My last photoshoot was the Sanctuary photoshoot with Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne.
Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne
The last panel of this con was shared by Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne. And I have to say, it was the most fun. Amanda and Robin are really good friends and together they are terrific. Amanda laughed a lot on stage and the audience had also great fun. A first comedic highlight was Robin performing his dance from the Bollywood episode (well, part of the dance). Later he dropped his pants, but he did it for a good purpose, the money the audience spent for it – over 600 Euros - was for "Sanctuary für Kids".
Meet & Greet with Amanada Tapping
At 4.15 pm it was time for my personnel highlight of this con: A meet&greet with Amanda Tapping.
We were 10 fans and Amanda greeted everyone with a handshake. Then we were sitting in a round … and Amanda broke the ice when she let everyone introduce himself. Amanda showed real interest in us. So, after we all got to know each other a bit, we started asking her questions. I asked her if there have been any plans for the plot of the fifth Sanctuary season (she had mentioned in the Sanctuary panel, that they were all really surprised when the show was cancelled) and she told us, that in season 5 the focus would have been on the 150 years Helen Magnus lived twice and by showing that a lot of characters would have returned. Then she asked us what we would do if there was more than one of us. Someone asked her about her directing the last but one episode of the second Contiuum season and she was really enthusiastic about the roof fight scene.
It was really a great half of an hour!
When it was time to say good bye she gave everyone a big hug …
Oh, and then she noticed a Sanctury tattoo on someone’s ankle and took a picture of it.
It was also big fun. I auctioned a limited edition signed picture of Bill Blair for 70 Euros. When Robert Picardo presented his items, Roger changed clothes with Alex, so he could present a signed T-Shirt … Later an autographed T-Shirt worn by Robin Dunne was auctioned – the lucky Lady who bought it, was allowed to take it off him personally. And some dog tags worn by Amanda Tapping were sold for 400 Euros!
On Sunday I get the autographs of Robin Dunne and Amanda Tapping.
At the beginning of the autograph session he took the time to chat a bit with everyone. And I don't think that was a problem for the ones waiting, cause the qeue wasn't really long, I think about 20 or 30 people. However, suddenly Julie Caitlin Brown - his manager - appeared and told him to hurry up. He followed her instructions (who would not, she is a really impressive person) and so it was more like a photo-session at FedCon than Trek-Gate. Thank you so much, JCB - in case, you didn't know it, for the fan the personal meeting, the chance to speak a few words with the star is most important. I mean, I could also buy an autograph on the star's website or write him a letter, what would be cheaper ...
All to soon the Trek-Gate 2013 was over ... One last time every actor (except for Tim and Marina who had to leave earlier), the authors and the complete team (including all the helpers) came on stage.
My personnel comment
It was a great weekend, a very "close to the fan" convention. The climate has always been family and the stars could
be any time mingling with their fans (who always respected the private sphere
of the stars). It was, you know, an event where stars and fans have been on eye-level.
I had a great time with a lot of friends and with some very sympathetic and always good mooded stars.
As I said at the begining, the Trek-Gate is my favorite convention and I'm already glad about the Trek-Gate 2014.