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This weekend the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation are in Canada at the Calgary Expo to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series. TrekMovie is there all weekend and on Friday the first event featured a couple of the ladies of TNG, Denise Crosby and Gates McFadden. See below for our Friday report.
Calgary Expo Star Trek: TNG Reunion – Friday Report: McFadden and Crosby
Calgary kicked off its 7th annual Entertainment Expo Friday afternoon, and with expected numbers well over the fifty thousand mark, this promises to be a glorious event. The Canadian city, known for the famous Calgary Stampede, has always prominently featured Star Trek among other sci-fi, comic, and anime/manga genres for the last several years. This year, though, Calgarians and Trekkies alike were floored when the guest line up was announced. Joining legends like Stan Lee and Adam West, the entire cast of Star Trek: Next Generation agreed to beam in for the weekend.
Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar) and Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) appeared together on stage Friday evening, sharing anecdotes about their friendship and evolution from Star Trek. Though McFadden admits that she had not been friends with Crosby during their time om the show, they now work together on theatre projects. Crosby also credits McFadden for "[bringing] us as actors into finding our own," dedicating much of her success to the guidance and friendship forged between the two ladies of Trek.
In response to fan questions, Crosby and McFadden recalled some of their most compelling memories of Star Trek. They shared a laugh over learning the confounded ‘Treknology’. Crosby admitted that, standing behind her console on the bridge, she wasn’t quite sure how to use the device in front of her. Crosby broke into absolute hysterics as she acted out how, at first, she’d frantically hit buttons, then related the advice given to her by Trek’s own Michael Okuda: "I think you only have to push one!"
Gates spoke of directing The Next Generation "Genesis" episode, laughingly commenting on the animals that had been brought in for the crew’s devolution. Though Spot was apparently cooperative, Gates admits she "had trouble reaching the iguana."
Denise brought the audience to tears when she shared a powerful story of her work while making Trekkies 2. She had offered to host a Star Trek convention there, something Serbian Trek fans had never dreamed would happen in their war-torn country. A Serbian farmer came up to shake her hand and told her that Star Trek had saved his life. "While the bombs were falling outside," he told her, "his family had Star Trek," and the better future that it promised was enough to keep them going.
Both McFadden and Crosby remembered fondly their time in Trek, noting that the theme of a better future is what makes it so enduring. "Go Star Trek!" exclaimed McFadden! Denise Crosby and Gates McFadden currently work together in the Ensemble Studio Theatre company in Los Angeles, where Gates is the artistic director.
Friday’s Star Trek events ended with photo opportunities and cast signings. Wil Wheaton was spotted backstage at James Marsters (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) concert later in the evening. Most surprisingly, Garrett Wang decided to attend, showing up, sharing love with his fans, and helping out at the booth for Spock Days in Vulcan, Alberta."
My photo with Gates
Stay tuned for more TrekMovie coverage or Calgary Expo and the TNG reunion, including the Saturday evening 9-member panel TNG mega panel.