VegasCon 08: Thursday Report with Sirtis & Spiner, Roddenberry, Lee Whitney, Forbes + more

Thursday at Creation's official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas had a good mix of series regulars like TNG's Brent Spiner and Marina Sirts, to fan favorite guest stars like Grace Lee Whitney, Michelle Forbes and Majel Roddenberry. TrekMovie has a report on all the star appearances plus lots of photos below.



TOS Guest Stars : Forest, Smith and Whitney
Thursday kicked off with old school Trek vets Michael Forest (Apollo), Sandra Smith (Janice Lester) and Grace Lee Whitney (Rand). Whitney started off giving an overview of her times appearing on Trek from the first season of TOS all the way to the movies to Voyager to her time on New Voyages. She said that Star Trek creator envisioned Yeoman Rand as Gunsmoke's 'Miss Kitty' to Kirk's Matt Dillon.

Whitney also gave a detailed explanation about how her famous beehive hairdo was done, saying "they got two wigs, wove them together and nailed them to my head every morning."

Forest said that he first was reticent about playing Apollo in "Who Mourns for Adonais" after he heard he would have to wear "a gold lamé tutu," but he was very glad to have become a part of Star Trek. He also recalled a funny story of when he was working with Leonard Nimoy on a low budget film before "The Cage" had been shot, and Nimoy recounted to him what it was like to do a test for Spock, saying "they had me with these rubber ears and I looked like Pan–I'll tell you something, if this show goes, I'll eat your hat."  

Smith was asked about playing Captain Kirk (or Kirk trapped in a woman's body) for "Turnabout Intruder." She noted that "the difficulty with Bill (Shatner) is that his body language is very specific" which got a big laugh from the crowd.

Maximum Rom
DS9's Max Grodenchik (Rom) joked around quite a bit with the audience, even telling some Ferengi limericks. He recounted his past history at conventions and how he was once told by con organizers that he was much too slow during signings and held things up. Regarding the arc of his character, Grodenchik said that Rom "tried to be a good Ferengi, but then realized he just wasn't good at it."

Michelle Forbes
Although Michelle Forbes was at a Star Trek convention, most of her questions actually focused on her more recent work, especially her two stints as Admiral Cain on Battlestar Galactica. She spoke glowingly about the show and how 'brave' it and co-creator Ron Moore were, but she doesn't expect that she will be back after being killed off twice. She also spoke about how she agreed with Ron Moore's decision to create a romance between Cain and Gina (played by Tricia Helfer), because gay relationships were "so obviously missing" in sci-fi. Regarding why she didn't sign on to be a series regular on Deep Space Nine (for a role that was changed and cast with Nana Visitor), Forbes said she was young and "didn't want to get married" to a single show for seven years and still doesn't regret the decision.   

Sirtis and Spiner
TNG stars Brent Spiner (Data) and Marina Sirtis (Troi) were goofing off and cracking up the crowd from the moment the hit the stage. Although this was a rare joint appearance for the pair, they had chemistry like an old vaudeville act. Brent did impersonations of LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart (many times), while Sirtis dished like saying she 'hated' Michelle Forbes back in the day for being so "young and beautiful and smart." After Brent Spiner brought the new Star Trek film and complimented JJ Abrams and the new cast and said he "expected it to be terrific," Sirtis joked "I hope it sucks," but she quickly said she was kidding and hoped the film generated more interest in Star Trek. 

As for projects they are hoping to do, Siritis said that she had recently contacted Russell T. Davies to see if she could get a guest spot on Doctor Who and Spiner said he was hoping he can turn his recent album Dreamland into a concert. Regarding 

Rod Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, was first joined on stage by Trevor Roth who helps run and they covered much of the same ground as in their Comic Con panel (see TrekMovie report). Rod was then joined by his mother Majel Roddenberry (Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi) for a rare con appearance. Majel fielded questions ranging from what were the future plans for Number One (of "The Cage"), answering "there were no plans for anything, we couldn't make plans for anything the show hadn't been picked up", to what it was like meeting JJ Abrams and visiting the set of the new Star Trek, to which she stated "the new movie? I love the new movie."

Okudas talk TOSR
In the secondary ballroom, long-time Trek vets and Star Trek Remastered producers Mike and Denise Okuda did an overview of the project, starting from the beginning (where apparently the Okudas had to be talked into doing it by fellow producer Dave Rossi). They provided a nice summary of the hows and whys of the project and showed some interesting behind the scenes shots, like the one below of the entire Remastered team (sorry for the fuzziness but lighting was not optimal, TrekMovie will try to get a copy of the original slides). Mike also showed off a new version of the compilation reel that he showed last year, now with clips spanning the entire run of TOSR (this is also something TrekMovie will try and get a hold of).


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Are brent and Marina making out???

Hey, Marina still looks good for me. Lucky Brent!!

What’s up with Majel’s eyebrows?

Great report! Thanks so much! Truly appreciated.

…the adventure continues…

I always loved Ro Laren. Michelle Forbes looks great.

Great coverage – as always! Wish I was there too!

Thanks, Anthony. Great con reporting.

I will watch Michelle Forbes in anything she does. Not only is she a great actress, but she ain’t exactly tough to look at. Best part of a so-so episode “Conundrum” was Forbes and Sirtis joining forces to psychically shrink Frakes’ manhood.

What a nice preliminary report. I cannot wait to read more about this supreme con!

I am happy tp see Majel again. Frankly, I was worried since I’d heard so little from her in recent years. If only I could meet her in person someday.

Marina looks vivacious as ever.

Seeing everyone in the pictures sure makes me wish I could be in Vegas this week.

Keep on trekkin!’

It would be a nice touch to have Majel still voice the computer on new Trek. I’m sure everyone feels that way, so maybe it will still happen, even if in a small way?

Ahhhh…Michelle…”my belle”…lol!!!

#9: I agree.. and have thought about that too.

I wonder if she (Majel) and Marina got together while in Vegas. it’d be cool if they were on stage together… mama and daughter… (smile)

Yay old school. As far as that goes….we’ve got Michael Forest up there……where’s Charles Napier these days? I’d love to see him up there. And I keep hearing what a character Gary Lockwood is. Be nice to hear from him too.

And on the newer school front….yay Marina. I like her.

Hey Anthony! See if you can find out any scoop about the computer voice in Trek XI. I asked Majel and she said “It could still happen” regarding her being the voice.
I’m not sure she is “all there” so use your connections and find out for us!!
It’s so hard to imagine a Star Trek production without her computer voice.

It feels a little bittersweet to see some of these folks after so many years. Michael Forest is looking pretty fantastic, especially considering he’s 11 years older than Sandra Smith, yet looks about 10 years younger!

And of course, Michelle Forbes looks completely annoyed to be there as always. Haha. Not a ‘con’ person myself, but I probably would have enjoyed a number of these panels.

I actually derive a good deal of pleasure out of the fact that these actors and actresses have had an opportunity to have done something like Star Trek, which has given them something they can live long and prosper from. There are so many actors who never get a chance at anything, or struggle tremendously to land a bit part, or make a splash then vanish into oblivion. The Star Trek fans have always been very supportive and loyal to all actors associated with Trek, and I think that shows what a “family” Star Trek really is.
I met Majel Roddenberry at a convention once, and I found her to be a beautiful, warm and humorous woman, and this was not very long after Gene had died. Her strength of character really shined, and it was obvious to me that she really loved the fans.
As for the TNG people, I can understand they are still stinging over the way they went out, but I think they must also know how much the fans really appreciate them.
Marina and Michelle always raise my temperature…

Michael Forest still looks impressive — he went from a handsome young man to a handsome old man. 200 credits on IMDB not including his stage career.

Michelle Forbes tends to play strong women with an edge. Some would use a more negative term, but you know the type of character. I’ve often wondered if the actress is doing a really good job of acting, or if she’s playing characters who fit her real personality.

In other words, I’d like to see her play some helpless, sappy character who cries when a bug dies. I wonder if it’s in her range.

If anyone has any insights, it would be interesting to know your thoughts.

“You will gather laurel leaves! Light the ancient fires! Kill a deer! Make your sacrifices to me! APOLLO HAS SPOKEN!”

“The eons have passed, and what has been written has come about. You are most welcome, my beloved children – your places await you!”

So have the Roddenberry’s seen the cut of the film that JJ just locked. Cause Rod said he loved it, so has he seen it, or just loves the idea of it.

Hey Anthony, anything more on Grace?

Like, say, a transcript or something?

Anothonys reporting makes me feel like I could be there. Since i was there for the 40th Anniv. I basically know how the con works what they do etc…keep up the awesome reporting and pix anthony.

My gal Sheri briefly met Rod and Majel two years ago at the con. After they spoke she went to the lil girls room and majel and rod were in the hall. She was in her wheelchair and he was with her…She forgot her camera or they would have posed for her. They were real nice to her. She has a slight hanicap cleft palette so she is a lil bit hard to understand but they were so nice to her and patient. I kicked myself for not going with her when i found she met them.

I would love for Majel to be the computer voice…did they even have a computer voice in the menagerie? I dont remember oh well…Canon be darned….the male computer voices in TMP sucked! Majel always will be the correct voice for me.

And she has been so active creatively. She was behing the Earth Final Conflict series and Andromeda….both above average scifi shows. I wish she was still out there in tv making new shows….in fact I think Stargate Atlantis has ripped off the villains in the 4th season of earth final conflict with the Wraith. They were very similar….

I wonder if Anthony has heard anyone talking about The Experience Closing….

#20—-It was Majel who ssaid that…not Rod. I think she was talking about her reaction to visiting the set. I doubt she has seen any rough cut. Thus far, the only people who have seen that seem to be a couple of executives at Paramount.

Fun to see the actress who played Janice Lester–her first Trek convention. Good to see Majel there–would love to see her doing the computer voice in the new movie. Marina is looking fairly good, for someone who is in her mid-50s, but Michelle is still the hot babe.

Data and Troi kissing!

#25: Ugh!

Troi’s helping Data on his study of human emotions

#3 prehaps shes playing a vulcan in the new movie??

Great coverage Anthony. I’ve always enjoyed coming to this con but this year — maybe cause we all know the experience is closing — seems more magical. The guests are all so gracious and funny! I can’t wait to see Anthony’s photos from today.

Oh — they are handing out even more posters today beyond what was at Comic Con — Sulu, Bones and Scotty.

Thanks for the shots of Michael Forest, Grace Lee Whitney, and Sandra Smith. Great stuff, Anthony.

I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Roddenberry after-hours party at the Mirage! That was an awesome time, and probably one of the coolest things I’ve been able to do at a con! There was some cool 80’s music that everyone was rocking out to, lots of stars mingling around for some nice phot ops, dancing, and Anthony Montgomery did some stuff off of his soon-to-be-released new album! Way cool!

The party was loud and swinging! Free drinks! George Takei, Robert Piccardo, Anthony Montgomery, the Okudas — all there. And Anthony rapping very well in front of the crowd. Did I mention the go-go dancers there?! :-)

I met Max Grodenchik at Fry’s Burbank,,, a few years ago,,,
He’s a great guy !!!

So, what was the name of the llow budget movie that Michael Forest and Leonard Nimoy worked on together????

Sounds awesome! Wish I could have been there!

Thanks for the report! Those of use who can’t be there appreciate it!

Oh my….I didn´t realize how much fast…time goes….Lxwana Troi is quite diferent….

Michelle Forbes still looks great!

I wonder if Megan Parlen (young Ro) will ever attend a conention? She was an excellent actress and I believe there were even talks about keeping Ro young. Although maybe Megan Parlen is a bit obscure for most Trek fans? :D

I’d love to see a clip of Spiner doing impressions of Burton and Stewart. That’s got to be funnier than any scene from Generations.

Michelle Forbes is great but my heart still belongs to Rand.

My one beef with the new film from what I know so far is that we’re down to one female crew member from the original set and that’s terrible for a sci fi movie in the 21st century. Rand should have been in there and so should Chapel. What’s more Rand should be elevated back up to the principal female lead if Uhura is going to be stuck on the bridge like the good old days.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating again when I say that Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry is one handsome young son of a buck.



It was so awesome to see Marina and Brent together again! Having had the opportunity to talk to Marina up close, all I can say is oh my God, she is practically flawless. Sweet, hilarious, and gracious, and she gave us a tip on some of the best chocolate in Vegas (maybe the world). Vosges Haut chocolat. Thanks Marina!

Great to see Michael Dorn on Sunday and the Voyager crew as well – it was quite emotional. And WOW, Avery Brooks – simply prolific!

Thanks for the reporting on these VegasCon moments.
Marina and Brent kissing-wow, Brent’s a lucky guy.
Thanks too for the pictures and photos of Michelle Forbes. Does she have a website yet? She is one of the most talented actors in the biz. Just watch BG’s Razor and observe this highly talented professional creating the tragic Admiral Cain, a woman who gives up her humanity going after the Cylons. The rage and brutality pushes back unconsolable tears and grief. Powerful.