CalgaryExpo Saturday: Star Trek: TNG Cast Reunion Report & More Photos | TrekMovie.com
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CalgaryExpo Saturday: Star Trek: TNG Cast Reunion Report & More Photos April 29, 2012

by Alex Martinuik , Filed under: Celebrity,Conventions/Events/Attractions,TNG , trackback

Saturday evening drew visitors from around the world, to share the first convention reunion of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast. The nine members of the crew were in Canada at the special "TNG: Exposed event at the CalgaryExpo. See below for a full report and even more pictures.

 

TNG cast laughs at memories of the good old days

The special event held at the Calgary Stampede Corral began with surprise guest, Star Trek Voyager star Garrett Wang, who introduced the event. Wang was followed by a riveting speech by Marvin Rush (who directed some episodes of TNG) who noted how "We live in Star Trek," citing iPads, flip phones and other modern technologies that have since come true after their debut on Star Trek. He concluded that he believed Star Trek will be remembered as a documentary, rather than a drama series.

Next came a couple of short videos with the first being a new tribute made for the con featuring Trek legends like George Takei, Walter Koenig, Robert Picardo, and John De Lancie. "Gene Roddenberry deserves the credit for the utopian view of human future," explains Takei, "[he] captured the ingredients that made it long lasting and loved." Robert Picardo, too, spoke of Star Trek’s importance: "Would there be a world of sci-fi without Trek? I can’t imagine it." Edward James Olmos, of Battlestar Galactica fame, also professed his love for Trek – though he admitted he’d prefer his own first officer to Riker in the Battlestar universe. Calgary’s Trekkie Mayor Naheed Nenshi, pictured in his office complete with First Contact poster, contributed a welcome video from the City of Calgary, concluding with the Vulcan salute.

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Garrett Wang and Mayor Naheed Nenshi (via video) welcomed the TNG crew to Calgary

And then, finally, one at a time, TNG’s familiar faces were brought out by the hosts of Space Channel’s innerSPACE in order of their fictional rank. The corral, normally filled with the echo of 7,500 hockey fans, instead shook with applause from the standing ovation of Trek fans.  The actors began by discussing their experiences in Trek, from their first thoughts and worries to their final realization that it was something truly special. Marina Sirtis confessed that, originally, she had not been happy with the role, but by season three she had realized they’d done something right.

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Marina Sirits, Michael Dorn and Denise Crosby

The legendary cast continued to discuss their best memories from the set. Michael Dorn shared an hilarious anecdote about how stray cats were using dirt on a Paramount stage that was supposed to be the earth of a foreign planet and Patrick Stewart had to crawl around in this improvised kitty litter, exasperatingly exclaiming "I don’t know how I got here! I’m crawling through cat shit!" Gates McFadden joked that her favorite moment "was when I finally found the button to turn Data on!" At this point, Brent Spiner rose and reached comically for the button on his pants – and both Gates and the audience exploded into laughter.

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Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden and LeVar Burton at CalgaryExpo

Jonathan Frakes recalled his first con where jaded original series fans were less than welcoming and how he spotted a sign on a merchandise table saying "Buy any action figure, get Riker free!" Requested by the crew of the International Space Station, Patrick Stewart described his conference call with them, asking "Why would a real spaceman want to talk to a fake one?!" The ISS crew professed their love for the TV shows, and sent him a photo of the entire crew in their Star Trek uniforms. Much to Stewart’s surprise, this had not been Photoshopped; the ISS team had worn their replica uniforms into space.

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Patrick Stewart talking at Calgary Expo, with Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton

Lucky fans then asked questions, one of the first suggesting an animated reboot of the series. Patrick Stewart agreed, but "only if it was done by Seth McFarlane!" The pinnacle of the question period was a surprise visit by Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica), a good friend of Wil Wheaton’s. After friendly banter and an impressive bout of Treknobabble concerning the speed of neutrinos, Wil turned to Aaron for his real question: what was it like to be back on stage with these people? In his answer, Wil Wheaton had a personal confession to share with the audience, that he had only told the cast at dinner just an hour earlier. "What I was unprepared for [in leaving] was how much I was going to miss the people that are on this stage … To be here tonight, for me, it’s very much for me – it’s like coming home." Each star was visibly moved and, in tears, Marina rose to cross the stage and embrace him. They reassured him that he was just a kid at the time – they knew that then, and they knew they would always be there for him. "To tell you the God’s honest truth you were a pain in the ass," said LeVar Burton, "but you were our pain in the ass!" Amidst LeVar and the casts’ humorous affection, there truly was not a dry eye in the venue.

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Marina Sirits moves in to hug Wil Wheaton while Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes watch

Clearly, an audience favorite was Jonathan Frakes, who was teased by his cast mates into redoing his line from TNG’s "Where No One Has Gone Before" – "It wasn’t him, it never was – it was his assistant!" He stumbled repeatedly, unable to recite the line as it was structured, but his attempts had everyone in the house in absolute stitches. Upon the conclusion of TNG’s "All Good Things," Michael Dorn remembers everyone spontaneously holding hands around that iconic poker table – and says that after that last scene was shot, he had never cried so hard in his life. "We had fun for seven years," he says, looking fondly upon his Star Trek family. "I have the opportunity to spend time with the people I laugh best with this weekend."

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The whole cast of TNG reunited on one stage

The surprise of the night though, was Space Channel’s Teddy Wilson asking Patrick Stewart to choose his favorite adversary. After brief consultation with Frakes, Patrick agreed that Damon Bok of the Ferengi had easily been the worst. "I came to love the Ferengis in time," he commented, but then amidst the thousands of cheering fans, there came a voice from the back of the corral…"WHAT A BUNCH OF POOP! I got a- I got a flower delivery here for a John Luck Pycard!"

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John deLancie was a surprise guest

To everyone’s surprise, including the Next Gen cast, John deLancie came marching up the aisle, bouquet of orchids in hand. He was welcomed, embracing all of them and joining in on the fun. As Stewart noted, the very last scene of TNG’s All Good Things was shot at 2am and was dialogue between himself and deLancie. Stewart distributed the flowers among those on stage, giving his love. Then, Gates McFadden took each sprig back from the cast with a gentle kiss for each, until Stewart, with whom she acted out a passionate kiss – sharing the best kiss for Stewart, drawing cheers and applause.

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Patrick hands out sprigs of flowers

Wil Wheaton, in his ultimate Geekdom, asked Patrick how awesome it was to be an X-Man. Patrick laughed, and explained how wonderful it was to work with all of the actors – and he considers Hugh Jackman to be adorable.

As always, the cast members demonstrated exceptional class. "We share a bond that is unbreakable," said Burton, expressing gratitude to Calgarians for their humble welcome, "and we thank you enormously for caring for the people that we have played all these years." The TNG:Exposed Event was truly a landmark in Trek history. With home grown conventions able to showcase such talent and bring in Trek fans from around the world, there is great hope for the franchise.

And, as a certain Android might say, the sky’s the limit."  

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The TNG cast bid farewell

More from Calgary

Stay tuned for more TrekMovie coverage or Calgary Expo and the TNG reunion, including coverage of the Sunday panels.

All photos by Alex Martinuik

Alex Martinuik (aka "The Star Trek Girl") can be found on Twitter at @thestartrekgirl. She also has a regular video blog on YouTube (Warp9Engage).

Comments

1. TheSchlaack - April 30, 2012

Amazing article. Wish I would’ve been there.

2. StevenPDX - April 30, 2012

Great to see everyone together again! I’d love to se them in action again!

3. Jason - April 30, 2012

I really miss those guys! They made my childhood great!

4. captain_neill - April 30, 2012

I wish I was there. This would have been amazing.

With me being unemployed at the moment and other things creepy up in life the Star Trek cons is getting harder to afford.

Hope to get to another one soon.

I have met all the Next Gen cast over the past few years though And more.

5. Trekkie626 - April 30, 2012

I got chills just reading about it. In a good way

6. WillH85 - April 30, 2012

Sounds like a great event to be at. Even Aaron Douglas. I loved him in BSG. I wish there was a way for TNG to come back in some form, but I doubt it’ll ever happen. We have some good memories, though.

7. Romulus - April 30, 2012

wow, Wil Wheaton is turning into Jonathon Frakes

8. SciFiMetalGirl - April 30, 2012

That sounds so amazing! I love the couches! Everyone looks so relaxed and at ease enjoying each others company!

9. CmdrR - April 30, 2012

So good to see some genuine affection. It adds something to watching the re-runs, to know these folks actually like each other.

10. phil - April 30, 2012

all good things still a great end to a series, should’ve kept it for the movies instead.
and even though nemesis wasn’t considered to be that great i still think about it more than abrams trek.

11. VulcanFilmCritic - April 30, 2012

Has it been 25 years already? The years have been rather kind to the crew of ST: TNG.

12. steve-o - April 30, 2012

god i wish i had been there. When I was a child in the late 80′s/ early 90′s this ensemble of people became a family to me.

13. CAPT KRUNCH - April 30, 2012

Gosh..that would have been awesome to see them all together again…even WHEATTONNNNNNNN! Since Big Ban, he has become one of my favorites now LOL!

14. phil - April 30, 2012

if upn were still around i know we would have an awesome reuinion tv special.

15. Roobydoo - April 30, 2012

Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing Stewart and de Lancie at Ottawa Comiccon in a couple of weeks!

16. Chain of Command - April 30, 2012

@11 Yep…..25 and counting. Depressing to get old, isn’t it? LOL

I don’t see why the cast can’t get together and do something else together? Who says it has to be “trek” related. They obviously all get along and enjoy working with each other. Heck, they could do a play.

Actually, with the sense of humor those guys have they should do a spoof of TNG or something. Besides, is it the show people miss, or the cast?

17. Drongo - April 30, 2012

I would love to get a video copy of this event. Do they produce those?

18. Charmer - April 30, 2012

I had the opportunity to be there myself, and it was every bit as good as this article described, and more! There were even opportunities to have your picture taken with the whole cast, as well as have them all sign autographs as a group. A dream come true!

19. Dennis - April 30, 2012

Garret Wang resembles how Joseph Gordon-Levitt might look if he maintained his High School hair from 3rd Rock from the Sun.

20. Matt Wright - April 30, 2012

Thanks Alex for excellent coverage!

This must have been just amazing to be there. I so wish I could have gone! The entire cast of TNG together, I highly doubt it will ever happen again.

I really hope videos of the reunion panel make it up online.

21. Captain of the USS Monte Carlo NCC-1986 - April 30, 2012

I liked ST 09 but i would LOVE to see one last TNG film, done right, of course, and bring Data back. that B4 sublot was ‘meh’ and no real death occurs as in ‘countdown’ he overwrote B4 which we all saw in Nemesis end anyways. Maybe Spiner needs to have them all on ‘Fresh Hell’ re-enacting some scenes from TNG just for fun. :)

22. Captain of the USS Monte Carlo NCC-1986 - April 30, 2012

Garett Wang’s best performance in Voyager was in Timeless as the older Harry Kim, so obsessed with restoring the correct timeline. that was some kahunas and dramatic acting. other than that, didn’t really like him much. but that was a GREAT episode of Voyager.

23. MrScot - April 30, 2012

We really need one more film with these guys – a good story(linked with the current crew perhaps) a good director(Joss Whedon, his Avengers movie is excellent) and give them the send off they deserve.

Spiner could be made to look younger with cgi no problem.

24. FrankG. - April 30, 2012

how could this not have been recorded for others to enjoy. anyone know where we can get this on video?

25. Nick Cook - April 30, 2012

I really miss these guys. I know it’s fashionable to bash TNG round these parts, but this was *my* crew. I may have spent my childhood with Kirk and co, but I grew up with these guys, and they’ll always be my favourites.

Wish I could have been there! Looks like a great event.

26. Do You Wanna Dance - April 30, 2012

I agree with @17. Would love to get a copy of the video. Thanks for the article, and no offense, but I’m sure it doesn’t hold a candle to actually being there for the full length of the event, hanging on every word of the cast and audience.

27. They call me Stasiu - April 30, 2012

Thanks to the author and TrekMovie for the coverage!

28. CaptainDonovin - April 30, 2012

Damn that looked awesome. Thanks for the report.

29. Canadianknight - April 30, 2012

Great write up Alex. Captured some of the best moments very very well!

One thing I need to add…

When Wheaton asked Sir Patrick “how cool is it to be an Xman”…

Sir Patrick responded with “It was very cool… but the coolest part was going into the makeup trailer every morning, and seeing Famke Jannsen, Halle Barry, Rebecca Romjin, Anna Paquin all getting ready” (or something close to that)

Wil, (and just about every male in the place) nodded in agreement. ;)

30. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - April 30, 2012

Alex

Wonderful article. You have me in tears right now. To have been there to see that in person would have been very special.

31. Alex - The Star Trek Girl - April 30, 2012

I’m really pleased that you guys all liked the article! I really wanted to capture how truly emotional it was – those people mean the world to their fans, and to each other.
Live long and prosper, all of my good friends! I look forward to seeing some (preferably all!) of you at a convention sometime.
Keep on Trekkin’!!!

32. DJT - May 1, 2012

Wish I could have been there.

33. Ruue - May 1, 2012

Great article…thanks so much.
wish i was there…
TNG brought me to Trek so the series will always have a special place in my heart

34. V. Peters - May 1, 2012

I love this, they have really inspired me, their influence can also be seen back in my movies! Long live Star Trek!

35. Tomvla - May 1, 2012

Very good reporting and photos, Alex. Thanks for posting!

36. I'm Dead Jim! - May 2, 2012

I was eight years old when TOS originally aired and, of course, that crew is special to me but I am partial to THIS crew of the Enterprise. Picard is my captain. I hope we can soon see and even BUY video of this event! Seeing them together like this makes me believe they’ve got a few more missions under their tunics. Please, please make it so!

37. joey jojo jr shabado - June 8, 2012

wow. look at Johnathan frakes bald spot! I bet he regrets calling Patrick Stewart “Old Baldy”.

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