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VegasCon09 – Thursday Kicks Off Con With Frakes & Dorn Clowning + Klingons Singing + more

The Creation Entertainment official Star Trek Convention kicked off on Thursday in Las Vegas with a lot of Klingons, TNG heavyweights Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes, and a number of Trek guest stars, including some convention first timers. The day ranged from debating new Star Trek movie, to singing, behind the scenes scoops. We have a full report of the day (and evening party) with pictures below.

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STAR TREK VEGAS CON – THURSDAY
 

Dorn and Frakes
The big event from Thursday was the joint appearance of Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn. The two are often paired up at cons and are known for the raucous appearances where they don’t hold back. Thursday was no different, with Frakes quickly starting with some quips about how Dorn lucked out when Denise Crosby left TNG in the first season, noting "nice career choice Denise." Frakes also razzed Dorn about his shaved head, then not missing an opportunity to take it to the next level, saying "as if the Generations movie wasn’t about two Captains in search of one good hair piece."

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Michael Dorn sporting the Picard look

Dorn quickly moved on to the new Star Trek movie, asking the crowd how many liked it, prompting big applause and Frakes shouting "I loved the new movie." Dorn first stated it was a "good movie" but then went into how he found a problem with Nero and how he was "going around the galaxy and parking" in various planets and drilling into them. Saying "you think someone would say, what the hell is going on up there…they are drilling into the planet…that can’t be good." Frakes went out in the audience and started goading Dorn on, asking him about the coincidence of Spock Prime and Kirk meeting in the cave, saying "how did that work for you?" Although Frakes was enthusiastic about the Star Trek movie, he did lament how Abrams and his team got a huge budget saying "that’s over twice as much as we had."

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Jonathan Frakes spent much of the time roaming with the crowd

Frakes and Dorn talked a lot about the atmosphere on the set of the Next Generation saying that they were professional "between action and cut," but the rest of the time it was "crazy." Apparently the actors were so out of control on the set that Joe Scanlan, who directed four TNG episodes, walked out and vowed to never direct for the show again, and he didn’t. When asked, Frakes said that of the cast, Brent Spiner was the biggest cut-up on set. The pair did talk seriously about a few things, with Frakes seemingly embarrassed about his role in the "These are the Voyages" finale of Star Trek Enterprise, which he said "stinks." He gave Enterprise star Scott Bakula praise, noting how cool Bakula was about he and Sirtis guest-starring in the Enterprise finale, noting how if it was his show he would have been pissed off.

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Frakes and Dorn even crack themselves up

Frakes and Dorn even had surprise guests joining them on stage. First to pop out was Elizabeth Dennehy (Shelby from TNG’s "Best of Both Worlds"). She supplied some laughs as she talked about how great Michael Dorn looked, which Frakes kept going on about during the rest of the set, noting how she didn’t say the same to him. At one point Frakes lamented "Where is Minuet?" and a few minutes later, Carolyn McCormack came out for the Riker/Min reunion. .

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Elizabeth Dennehy joins Dorn and Frakes on stage

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Frakes was happy to see his ‘Minuet’, Carolyn McCormick

Klingons
There was a bit of a theme to Thursday, with a number of Klingon guest stars. This started off with a "Klingon Salute" panel with Tony Todd (Kurn), Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr), John Schuck (STIV & STVI Klingon Ambassador; DS9: Parn; ENT: Antaak), Spice Williams-Crosby (STV: Vixis; DS9: Klaestron), and William Morgan Sheppard (ST09: Science Minister; TNG: Dr. Ira Graves; STVI Klingon Commander; VOY: Qatai). All the actors spoke fondly about playing Klingons, which they said were "operatic" and "larger than life" characters, with Todd going on to say playing Worf’s brother Kurn "was the most fun I ever had." Spice Williams talked about the challenge of playing a Klingon, notably learning to speak Klingonese, saying that language expert Marc Okrand at one point put his hand in her mouth to teach her how to get the guttural sounds just right. Plakson closed out by talking about being introduced to Gene Roddenberry, who spoke to her about the "wonder of playing
aliens."

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Klingon Salute panel

Later in the day Las Vegas had a special moment when the Klingon Chancellors Martok & Gowron visited (aka JG Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly in full Klingon makeup and costume). The pair stayed in character for their set, which included two a number of songs (one of which was a hip-hop song). Martok said that he liked the new Star Trek movie, however he had one issue with it, yelling "where were the Klingons?!"

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Gowron (O’Reilly) and Martok (Hertzler) attack the stage in Vegas

Max Grodenchik
Another non Klingon regular guest star was there, Max Grodenchik, who came out wielding his "Ferengi Rules of Acquisition." Starting off low-key and poking some fun at himself, the actor joked about how people come up to him and say "Armin, I loved you on Deep Space Nine" (referring to Armin Shimerman, DS9’s Quark). But Quark’s brother Rom then livened things up with his own song, doing a Ferengi rap that had the crowd laughing.

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TNG Guest Stars ladies
In keeping with their goal of bringing a number of first time convention attendees, Thursday had appearances from two actresses that both appeared in two episodes of The Next Generation. Elizabeth Dennehy (TNG: Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Paula Shelby) was on first and she said that to this day she still gets fan mail for her two-part episode guest spot from 1990, noting how that summer she was more famous than her father (actor Brian Dennehy). The actress said when they filmed season 3 cliffhanger part 1, it still wasn’t clear who Shelby was, noting "was she a good guy or bad guy, is she going to hook up with Riker?…they kept it all vague cause they didn’t know."

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Dennehy talks about how Trek fans still remember after two decades

Carolyn McCormick who appeared as Riker’s fantasy woman Minuet in two episodes of TNG started with questions, and actually ended up mostly being asked about her other work, including Spencer for Hire and especially Law & Order, where she has appeared as a regularly recurring character over the last nine years.

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McCormick answers a fan question about Law and Order

Alex Henteloff
Another one of the ‘first timer’ guest stars was Alex Henteloff, who appeared at Fleixicorp’s Dr. Nichols in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The actor started off noting that transparent aluminum, which his character go the formula for in the film, was recently discovered for real. Henteloff joked ""I expect I will share the royalties, when they come in." Henteloff is no longer acting, but one of his current projects is writing theater reviews for Casa Magazine. He recalled a ‘small world’ story about how he was reviewing "a play in Westwood" where he looked over and saw Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto in the audience. I talked to Henteloff after the show and confirmed that the play was "Farragut North", and asked him about the star Chris Pine. Henteloff said he hadn’t seen the new Star Trek movie and so he didn’t realize the connection, but thought Pine was a good actor.

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Henteloff appears at a con for the first time

 

NIGHTTIME: Roddenberry Party
Creation had an official con party at the Stratosphere Hotel, but the TrekMovie team went to the Roddenberry party at the Hard Rock. The joint was hopping, with a retro vibe due to the music selections mostly coming from the 70s and 80s. There was a raffle, an Orion slave girl in a dancing cage, and even some celebrities, including Cirroc Lofton who got a birthday cake. As there was an open bar (thanks Rod), it was a good time for all.

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Rod thanks crowd for coming before giving out prizes

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An Orion in her dance-octogon

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Cirroc Lofton gets a birthday cake, Garrett Wang

MORE PHOTOS
We have more photos than those above. Below is the full slideshow of all the Star Trek Con stage images, plus more images from the Roddenberry party.

 

More to come
Stay tuned to TrekMovie.com for more wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 Las Vegas Star Trek convention

Sort by:   newest | oldest
Datalore
August 7, 2009 3:43 pm

First- And SOOOOOO jealous I’m not there…

August 7, 2009 3:43 pm

Thanks for the awesome update! These are rocking!

zhi
August 7, 2009 3:48 pm

Waiting for some old timer to complain about something in 5…4….3….

August 7, 2009 3:49 pm

.
Nice to see the guys but…

Why is Michael Dorn so thin….?
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Jean
August 7, 2009 3:59 pm

WOW … INCREDIBLE.

I cant believe I missed it :( .

INCREDIBLE REPORTING ANTHONY! The whole article rules… feels like Im there.

I wish I was so there to see Johnathon Frakes… but knowing me I’d be speechless like I was with Kate Mulgrew – I think I got out a hi when I met her… but I think I just basically nodded not knowing what to say —> Best time of my life lol.

TrekMovie.com rules!

August 7, 2009 3:59 pm

*crying bitter, bitter tears*

captain_neill
August 7, 2009 3:59 pm

Since the movie got so much of an applause I will yield in my criticism about the changes. I am glad it provides a future for Star Trek, Guess my problem I liked Star Trek the way it was.

I so much wish I was at Vegas this year, I def want to be there next year.

Anyone going next year?

Out of curiosity where there any nay sayers to the new movie at the con?

captain_neill
August 7, 2009 4:02 pm

I love the new movie and would have cheered myself, I was only asking to see what the consensus was.

One of the things I wish I was at was the discussion about the movie.

Cannot wait to get to Vegas next year.

captain_neill
August 7, 2009 4:03 pm

4 I was wondering that myself

captain_neill
August 7, 2009 4:10 pm

Michael Dorn looked very thin in those photos

Jonathan Frakes seems to e the hoot he always is, a very cool guy.

Adam E
August 7, 2009 4:36 pm

#4 Buzz: “Why is Michael Dorn so thin….?”

I would have recognized without the caption. If I was there I would’ve recognized his voice.

AJ
August 7, 2009 5:04 pm

Wow. Keep up the coverage, Trekmovie. Sounds like a blast.

captain_neill
August 7, 2009 5:06 pm

I am really anxious to know what the feed back regarding the film was with the fan base at the con/

Have there been any vocal complaints from hard core fans or have they all accepted it. I just want to know consensus at the con since I was not able to make it this year and eager about the discussion on it

Magic_Al
August 7, 2009 6:01 pm

Having the “transparent aluminum guy” appear shortly after the actual discovery was brilliance and/or serendipity. It did take quite a few years to work out the dynamics of that matrix.

Is Michael Dorn still flying around in his own jet fighter?

August 7, 2009 6:09 pm

This looks like soooo much fun, and great to see such a strong Trek vibe again. I’m gonna have to get to one of these big Con’s real soon

The Bear
August 7, 2009 6:12 pm

Minuet, she is still oh so beautiful…! I’m off to the holodeck.

“Program complete. Enter when ready.”

Kent Butabi
August 7, 2009 7:07 pm

yes, I too was kind of shocked at the pic’s of Dorn. I hope he is doing OK.

Amy
August 7, 2009 7:08 pm

Frakes is sporting the Shatner look but Dorn looks nice and fit.

Martok and Gowron got a bad case of the frizzies.

jocor
August 7, 2009 8:29 pm

Dorn IS way thin. There aren’t enough pictures to tell if he’s super fit or has cancer or something. Plus he looks so white. I thought he was a white guy before I read the caption.

It’s weird.

So either he’s doing GREAT or is very sick. I’ll hope he’s okay.

I really like those two.

AJ
August 7, 2009 9:14 pm

Why is Michael Dorn so thin? One does not de-bulk to such an extent without a good reason. I hope all’s well. Nice to see Frakes again, too. Time for them all to highjack a starship and hang out with Gowron and Martok.

SciFiMetalGirl
August 7, 2009 9:36 pm
I was able to go to the convention for Thursday. I searched high and low looking for Anthony, but he was nowhere to be found, yet again. Apparently I kept “just missing him!” All in all, I had an excellent time! I’ve been to many cons, so seeing so many of the “first-timers” was especially fun! I have to say that Carolyn McCormick looked amazingly beautiful, and even prettier now than when she played Minuet! Yeah, Michael Dorn looked very slim, but I saw him wandering around in the vendors room. The impression that I got was that he was living a healthier lifestyle. The general consensus from everyone that I got about the new movie was overwhelmingly positive! Sure, everyone had their own nits to pick, as all Star Trek fans seem to do, but overall everyone seemed to have liked it! Martok and Gowron were great! They play amazingly well off of each other! The photo-op line for them was huge! But it was well worth it since the chance to have a pic with them was just another chance for them to do some more one-on-one cut-ups, with the pic as a bonus! I attended the Stratosphere party, which was a lot of fun! The entertainment of the evening was Armin Shimmerman, Max Grodencek, Jeffery Combs, and several others doing their assortment of comical songs and routines! Quite a hoot! But of course, the best part for me, was the chance to meet up with old friends… Read more »
redshirt
August 7, 2009 10:06 pm

People, Michael Dorn was likely working out hard to keep his Worf physique — just consider season 1 Worf/Dorn. He looks fine.

toddk
August 7, 2009 10:36 pm

I am so delighted to see these trek actors having so much fun, embracing their legacies and hamming it up for the fans.

Even though the years have changed how the actors look, I’m still hoping that an animated TNG series might be possible.

jocor
August 7, 2009 11:19 pm

22. Redshirt….

Yeah, but then he got fat.

Not big-fat. Middle aged fat.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not any of our business and I don’t want to look or sound critical, but from a few pictures semi far away, at his age one has to wonder is he ill or is he in the best shape of his life.

Minuet — a relatively irrelevant character from a LONG time ago, that’s still making money on Star Trek thanks to its incredible endurace — looks INCREDIBLE. She’s enduring almost as well as Star Trek. She’s probably 30 years older than me and WOW.

captain_neill
August 8, 2009 1:57 am

I love thatmosphere at the Vegas con, wish i was with you all right now.

Well I will be back next year

Olley Olley Olley
August 8, 2009 2:57 am

#22

i’m a bit worried about Dorn tbh.
he looks unhealthly thin

Maurício
August 8, 2009 4:52 am

Michael Dorn looks awfully thin. What’s happening to him?

Millenium Vulcan
August 8, 2009 6:04 am

Looks like a real good time and fun atmosphere.

Wish I was there.

Frakes is riot, what a character.

Millenium Vulcan
August 8, 2009 6:10 am

Looks like a real good time and fun atmosphere.

Wish I was there.

Frakes is riot, what a character..>

August 8, 2009 6:45 am

What happened to Dorn? Is he sick?

MORN SPEAKS
August 8, 2009 7:29 am

Cool! Thanks!

Jean
August 8, 2009 8:31 am

Geez I hope he’s ok … looking at the pictures he does look thin.

Hope everythings ok. He does look to have a smile on his face and theres a photo of his laughing… so those are good signs :)

Capt. of the USS Anduril
August 8, 2009 8:45 am

I’ll tell you why Dorn’s thin. He doesn’t have to stay bulked up to be Worf any more. ;-)

I wish I could be there, I haven’t been to a Star Trek convention in…probably 14 years. If I could’ve afforded to go, I would have.

Anthony, did Hertzler and O’Reilly sing the famous Klingon drinking song?

August 8, 2009 9:03 am

Nice article Anthony, sounds like a fun time… however, it needs major editing

pissed of (?)
a bit of a them (?)
got a birthday Cake (?)

Wish I could be there. -sigh-

SciFiMetalGirl
August 8, 2009 9:29 am

For a Thursday, there was quite a crowd!

I also like the fact that the actors seem much more at ease with the audience, and they seem to feel more free to move about and interact with everyone!

CaptainDonovin
August 8, 2009 10:10 am

Great updates, keep ’em coming. As for Dorn, I’m sure if he was sick we’d have heard something. Things like that get out into the Trek community.

TJ Trek
August 8, 2009 10:54 am

I always loved Ciroc Loftin, Especially the fact that he was learning to be a gangly Teenager on TV

They call me Stasiu
August 8, 2009 1:05 pm

Red-heads make great Klingons! ;-)

August 8, 2009 4:14 pm

Gowron and Martok really excellent.

August 8, 2009 5:24 pm

Imagine how much fun it must be for ME! My partner and I are running the damned thing! Star Trek RULES!

Anthony, thank you for the beautiful and complete coverage, wow!

captain_neill
August 8, 2009 5:50 pm

Would love to see Gowron and Martok, the photo op would be a prized possesion.

Bob Tompkins
August 8, 2009 9:05 pm

Weight loss at an older age [45+] ALWAYS looks unhealthy, particularly in the chin and neck areas. Every time I lose some weight people get more worried about me.

My wife, who still battles cancer, gives somewhat of an idea of what to look for when someone is not healthy. The lower lip begins to droop, pulling away from the lower teeth exposing them. The teeth are the key in looking for unhealthy weight loss.

She has asked me to keep a journal of all the changes she is going through. It sounds ghoulish, but with her cancer being diagnosed as probably having a genetic basis, we though this a wise course to take; we’re always searching for clues and answers for our children and present and potential grandchildren.

My guess is Mr. Dorn is fine and has just decided to lose some weight. I hope I am correct.

SciFiMetalGirl
August 8, 2009 10:58 pm

Wow! Adam Malin is in tha’ house!!!

Thank you (and Gary too!) for doing this for so many years! You guys run a great show, keep things running smoothly, and keep it fresh! You are truly some of the luckiest Star Trek fans ever, and deserve a huge congrats for that!

Adam, you ROCK!!!

Seleya
August 9, 2009 10:35 am

While playing a Klingon, Mr. Dorn wore a ‘muscle shirt’ – pads made to look like muscles. Perhaps he was always somewhat thinner than people imagine.

trekologist
August 9, 2009 2:09 pm

OMG too much stardom on one place, I would have lost it! Us trek fans LOVES us some crew ;-).

August 10, 2009 8:50 am

Very much wish I was there. Great atmosphere, lots of laughter and fun, everything it should be. Lets hope when they come back, its just as good if not better!

August 10, 2009 7:00 pm

Absolutely fantastic con! Sadly I could not get my netbook and the internet connection in the Hotel to play nice so I wasn’t online but once for a second all week. I just got home (boo!!!) and now must face reality. Very very tired. Never stopped all week between family obligations and the con — and seeing so many friends there too. Great reunions! Great guests. Really had a blast.

siskofan
August 16, 2009 7:23 pm

Mr dorn was always thin watch him in CHIPs

August 8, 2011 2:58 pm

That seems fine however , i am just still less than sure that I prefer it. Regardless will look far more into it and decide personally! :)

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