Thursday was opening day for the official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. Heading up the bill was Karl Urban, who talked a bit about the 2016 Star Trek sequel. Also on hand was most of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a cantankerous Harlan Ellison and more. See below for our Thursday recap with lots of photos.
STLV 2014 – Thursday Wrap-Up
Erica Anderson contributed to this report, photos by Andy Britton and Kayla Iacovino for TrekMovie.com
Urban Betting On Sequel – Ready To Play Bones For 25 Years
Karl Urban was the headliner for the opening day of the Star Trek con. The new Doctor McCoy started off revealing that he had dinner Wednesday night with the "TNG guys" and they also "hit the casinos" to do some gambling. And in that vein, with regards to the next Star Trek movie, he said he would "put a fiddy" on it getting made. He hinted that he "knows stuff" but refused to divulge any spoilers beyond saying that the film would be set during the time of the five-year mission and he was "super thrilled" about the direction it was headed. As for the future, Urban said he would welcome playing Star Trek for years to come even "twenty-five years down the road."
Karl also talked a bit about how he was one of those duped by the famed Chris Pine and Simon Pegg’s infamous "neutron cream" practical joke, even lamenting how director JJ Abrams "was pissing himself" laughing over it. But Karl noted "I’m planning my revenge."
Karl also talked about watching Star Trek since he was a Kid and so playing McCoy – who he said "anchored the show = "was humbling and an honor." He also noted that he felt the original Star Trek "pushed the boundaries of television."
Speaking of sci-fi doctors, the actor revealed that there was one point when he reached out to the producers of the new Doctor Who in hopes of getting on the show. There were some talks but in the end his schedule with shooting Dredd conflicted and he couldn’t do it.
Men of TNG
Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn and LeVar Burton did a joint panel and showed their usual great chemistry and playfulness. After some playful heckling of the "5 Year Mission" band, the group did settle down to take some questions. Dorn talked about joining Star Trek: DS9 and said his experience was probably more enjoyable than Diana Muldaur (who joined TNG in season 2 as Dr. Pulaski) because he wasn’t replacing a character. The actor also revealed that the writers had planned Worf’s romance with Jadzia during his first season but didn’t reveal it to him until his second season.
Dorn was also asked about his Captain Worf TV series idea and he again reapeated "there is always room for Star Trek on television." He also said that the idea has been proposed but nothing has happened, lamenting "you know the business." Spiner joked that Dorn has a captain’s chair in his house and he sits in it practicing saying "let’s see what’s out there." he also said fans should write to CBS asking for a new Star Trek TV show, noting "we need one." And regarding if Dorn would join Brent, LeVar and Wil Wheaton in doing a guest spot on The Big Bang Theory, Dorn was firm in saying "no…not interested."
LeVar Burton was asked to contrast his roles as Geordi on TNG and Kunta Kinte in Roots, concluding that Kunta was the more "culturally significant."
The group also revealed some of their Star Trek: TNG gripes. Burton lamented his VISOR, noting "it gave me headaches." While Spiner talked about how he hated the long stints he had in the makeup chair because "I couldn’t touch myself."
The TNG boys were also briefly visited by Nichelle Nichols who had kisses for all of them.
Women of Star Trek TNG (and bonus DS9)
Thursday also featured a panel of the women from Star Trek: The Next Generation with Denise Crosby, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis. McFadden entered the stage with a little tap dance to show she is still the dancing doctor. They were soon joined by Star Trek: DS9’s Terry Farrell who talked about how and she and Marina used to live together, and were friends before Terry was cast on DS9.
The ladies told some takes of interesting fan encounters. Terry told a funny story about how a fan once licked her hand at a convention in London, to which Marina replied that she had one exception to her no licking rule: "Karl Urban can lick me all be likes." Denise Crosby said her favorite fan story was when she was in an elevator with the bands Nirvana and The Red Hot Chili Peppers when the drummer for Nirvana said to her "you’re f–king Tasha Yar," which led to them all going to the Saturday Night Live after party.
Unfortunately Denise Crosby said she couldn’t reveal any details or spoilers for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.
Harlan Ellison Gets Profound and Profane
In a very rare con appearance, "City on the Edge of Forever" scripter and sci-fi author Harlan Ellison held his first of two panels on Thursday, which was full of humor and quite a bit of profanity. His curmudgeon-fest panel was filled with missives from his life to his opinions on lima beans, Shirley Jackson, the Middle-East, the owner of the LA Clippers and more – all spiced with some colorful metaphors. For example, he noted "I wrote one episode of The Flying Nun because I wanted to f–k Sally Field." But after that bombshell he refused to divulge if his plan worked.
While Ellison comes off as cranky he contended "I’m a nice guy, but I have a very low bulls–t threshold." And he wasn’t afraid to turn his ire on fans at the event, at one point yelling "Just ask the f–king question!" to someone who was rambling on at the mic.
And apparently Ellison’s cranky personality isn’t just a result of time, he retold a story of how after he was drafted he was sent to the Army Rangers training school after punching a fellow draftee in the neck. His strategy for survival in the Army was to "act as a Cyrano" by ghost-writing love letters to the girlfriends his fellow soldiers. And he has been writing every since, noting that he published his 107th story this year.
And of course Ellison is famous for being protective of his work. He proudly talked about one of his lawsuits, noting how he won the suit over the story for The Terminator and got acknowledged in film’s credits. He was also willing to weigh in on what he sees as theft of other people’s work, first praising the Showtime series Penny Dreadful (created by Star Trek Nemesis scribe John Logan) as one of the only good things on TV, but then noting how it is a "rip-off" of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Ellison did get around to talking a bit about Star Trek and his episode "City on the Edge of Forever," noting that he wasn’t a fan of guest star Joan Collins, noting that she thought her character of Edit Keeler was based on Hitler’s girlfriend Eva Braun.
Apologies for poor quality Ellison Pic – our main camera was not available during his panel – will try to update with higher quality from another source.
Women in Trek Fandom
I participated in a panel hosted by Mary Czerwinski (DVD Geeks, Glue Guns & Phasers) along with Jarrah Hodge and Asia Demarcos.
More Panel Photos
There were a few other panels for the day that we weren’t able to cover but here are some pictures to share.
TOS Guest Stars (Michael Forest, Bobby Clark, Lawrence Montaigne, and Felix Silla)
More Photos from around STLV
Fancy new entry graphics for main hall entrance
The band 5 Year Mission play on each guest and entertain the crowd between panels.
Trek balloon animal guy
Transporter photo op
There is much more new cool stuff from around the con that we will be sharing in the coming days.
Much More To Come
There are three more days of Star Trek Las Vegas, so look for reports on those, plus product announcements, cosplayers and more