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
Look at all the cast members! Talk about a Trekgasm!
Boy, Harlan Ellison seems like a really obnoxious jerk!
The story of Denise being in the same elevator as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Nirvana was cool.
But I have to say, Michael Dorn is delusional if he thinks a Captain Worf series is even a remote possibility. It’s never going to happen, despite Worf being a cool character and all. The TNG-era of Trek is done for good.
Terry Farrell still looks great! <3
The Enterprise made out of balloons is hilarious!
Why is Michael Dorn so adamantly against doing a spot on The Big Bang Theory? Weird!
And yeah, Harlan Ellison seems like a grade-A douche. Surprised anybody even went to his panel considering that his attitude isn’t exactly a secret. Why go there to be insulted?
Thank you for the report :)
Man, looks like fun!
Thunderous, thunderous applause for Urban. He probably feels like a god now.
CBS should do another Trek TV show and totally ignore the alternate universe of the JJ movies. They don’t seem to like it so why not show it and destroy it? I would do it that way to show Paramount who is really in charge of the franchise.
I love Karl Urban, and it gives me warm fuzzies that he has been so accepted by the Trek community, even those who don’t care for the new films in general. He’s definitely doing it right.
If the producer for Big Bang came out and offered Michael Dorn a guest spot, he will be crazy for not accepting it. I don’t he would turn it down. A one-day job for a quick buck. Big Bang’s the hottest show on TV with x million people watching every week and the episode will be on repeats forever in syndication. If he wants people to remember him, he should just go in and do it.
Karl Urban is my favorite member of the new cast. I sure hope they give McCoy more than metaphors next time. Personally, I think he is also the hottest looking of the new cast, they actually play down his looks somehow in nuTrek make up – I wish they would let him be himself.
Harlan Ellison is right on both counts, re: Penny Dreadful. Ha!
The ladies of Trek always shine like sexy quasars!
Wow great write-up, thanks!
He can’t be himself because then Bones would be more attractive than Kirk and Spock, and that screws up their whole marketing strategy. They’re just barely keeping him in check with terrible dialogue and extreme side partings as it is.
Only 25 years, Karl? We will keep you longer than that.
Such a shame the rest of the nu-trek cast didn’t bring the quality Urban has. he is the only one who makes me thing of classic Trek when I watch it. Maybe that’s the point, not to think of the old stuff, but to me he was spot on. A classic tip of the cap to DeForest along with his own skill and charisma.
I so agree he has be terribly under used so far. Less Pine, more Urban. And I am a Kirk guy . . .
Definitely the writers need to include a lot more of Urban’s character of Dr. McCoy in the 3rd film. Loved seeing more of Scotty used in STID, but needed more McCoy as well, a lot more. McCoy is the third component of the triumvirate.
I love Karl Urban! He plays McCoy so well; you can tell he really loves the character. I also hope he gets to do more than sling metaphors in the next movie. I like the tiny bits when he gets to “doctor,” I wish they were longer than “tiny bits.”
I also loved him in “Almost Human” — shame, shame, shame on FOX for dropping the show.
Seems like the only science fiction FOX didn’t cancel, and allowed to find an audience, was “The X-Files” — and thank goodness they did.
I imagine Karl will think up a very good prank to play on Pine and Pegg, BWAHAhahaha
I’m afraid that Captain Worf series is not going to happen. Sadly, this version of the 24th century is history. However, I’m rather sure, there will be a reboot version of the Next Gen era shortly. As soon as the current TOS reboot movies are coming to a close, the only way to go further is a new take on the Next Generation. Actually, there would be HUGE opportunity to reimagine TNG against the background of the new movies…
With all those changes in the 23rd century (destruction of Vulcan and parts of Starfleet, Admiral Marcus’ military agenda, Khan’s mingling with Klingon history, future transwarp beaming technology etc), the 24th century could turn out completely different and far more adequat for our modern-day dystopian attitude…
There could have been two huge Galactic Wars in the early 24th century in which Romulans sided with the Federation to bring down the increasing Klingon treat. The Klingons lost GWI, which ended with the Khitomer Peace Treaty, a humiliating forced treaty not unlike Versailles that changed the shape of the Klingon Empire forever. In this version of Trek history, Worf’s father Mogh came to power as Star Emperor Mogh, leading the Klingon Empire into Galactic War II, annhiliating Romulus and killing what’s left of Vulcans and Romulans…
However, the Klingons had to stop fighting as the Borg arrived early in this timeline due to the Narada having been equipped with future Borg technology. The arrival of the Borg forced the Federation and the Klingon Empire into a temporary cease fire to overcome the new threat…
Fourty years later, the new series launches. Jean-Luc Picard (played by Bryan Cranston), a highly decorated war hero takes command of the Hypernova Class Starship Enterprise – NCC 1701-G… (B-F were all lots in battles or disappeared mysteriously)…
His first officer is Commander Lillian T. Riker (Evangeline Lilly), his chief med officer is Doctor Jack Crusher (who lost his wife Beverly under Picard’s command) and there is Counselor Deanor Troy, Star Trek’s first LGBT main character, a transsexual Betazoid on “his” journey to become a true woman.
Geordie is also aboard the ship, well, actually he IS the ship. In this reality, he isn’t just “the blind guy”. Think of him as a mixture of Stephen Hawking and TOS Christopher Pike. Directly attached to the Enterprise herself, he communictes through holograms and computer screens. The Enterprise G has become his body… Designed by Dr Noonian Soong himself (Brent Spiner), the ship is far more advanced that any Star Trek vessel seen before. But what Geordie lacks is a companion, so Soong will create one for him: a female Data, the most advanced android in human history.
Where is Worf? Well, definitely not aboard the Enterprise! Imperial Lord Commander Worf is THE most important villain of the show. As son of cruel Star Emperor Mogh, the eager-to-please sadist commands the entire Klingon fleet, hell-bent on breaking the fragile cease fire in order to start a new War against the Federation. Think of him as the ultimate foe first, Darth Vader meeting Scorpius, but a man with a hidden agenda who might actually turn out to be less villainous throught the later seasons.
But who will be security officer aboard the big E? Okay, brace yourself for Klingon rebel sisters Lursa and B’Ethor, representatives of the free Klingon rebel alliance…
Last but not least we get Jack’s teenage daughter Leslie Crusher as well as Picard’s nephew Rene for the teen angst / young adult crowds…
Okay, just an idea, but something like that could actually work…Truly villainous Klingons, the Walking Borg everywhere around the galaxy, a familiar and yet totally different universe, legendary origins but a fresh, all-new take…
#15 Nony #17 FireDevlin, #19 Marja
I agree!! I too am a Kirk person but less Pine more Urban ANY day!!
He is the one of the new cast who does echo or channel or “get” Prime Trek, TOS in particular. And that’s weird because he has so little to do and when he does, it is ridiculous for the Chief Medical Doctor to do (if you ask me), like opening a torpedo.
It must be the intuitive signals Karl accidentally sends out, even as he looks in Pine’s ear and frowns.
FOX kept “Fringe” going a while. It was a crime to cancel “Firefly” and “Almost Human.”
I have my own “X-Files,” – that’s right, I have been a UFO investigator (very objective and scientific :-) for years. Just in case anyone sees a UFO–
Good Lord, who freaking CARES what that grouchy, bitter old man thinks or says?!? He’s compensating for his miniscule stature & he needs an anger management class.
Terry & Marina look just as good if not better than they ever have. I can’t believe how the TNG make-up crew ruined Marina’s natural beauty. She is STUNNING in person compared to how they had her look on the show. Mesmerizing…
20. Don’t hold the hits in so long.
Well, Urban did say he was super thrilled in the direction for the third movie.
And didn’t he say he wanted a more, old style TOS Trek movie after STID came out?
Harlan is something else. I remember when he came to the University of Toronto in the late eighties and someone asked him about ST & COTEOF at a book signing: his response: “Star Trek is for people who can’t get laid!” That was that, I kid you not and it’s on video tape.
PS – Any time Harlan E. gets uppity about ST, bring up “The Starlost”. ;^)
You gotta love Harlan Ellison. Heck, he has a point of view and you know what it is. Very imaginative and creative mind to be sure.
He’s an original and one of a kind.
More photos here!
When H.E. finally passes away, do we mourn or celebrate (or perhaps both, suiting his asshole personality LOL)… I wish my brother was still alive. His comment about this article would likely be priceless to me… :/
I wanna know what David Warner had to say.
I emailed in a pitch for a show about the egg-salad sandwich I had for lunch. it has a more likely chance of getting made.
I’m being a dick to Dorn. He keeps getting asked about this and his non-answer keeps getting turned into stories.
All I got to say.
Long Live Star Trek.
Love Urban – He is the Perfect, umh…Second McCoy!!
Good man. Unfortunately for him, while Classic Trek kept pushing boundaries in the 1960s, Abramstrek sure as hell doesn’t!
Trek conventions are no longer cult happenings; they are now bona fide cultural events.
27… But like a lot of artists, he evidently has no business sense whatsoever. Have you read his original treatment of “City”? Outstanding, but completely unfilmable on a TV budget. Did he not realize they were asking him to write for a TV show?
It is sad to see people like Harlan Ellison live a life of bitternes. Anybody who takes the time to write a book about how his script was altered has a serious chip on their shoulder. I never understand why people like him get invited to cons. He clearly doesn’t give a rip about Trek fans. Go vent about your miserable life somewhere else.
Always love seeing the TNG cast members together. Their chemistry is obviously why the show was so successful!
Urban has always been happy and thrilled working on Star Trek seeing as he is a fan, so its hard to discern what he means by super thrilled, but I am guessing that it is indeed a deep space mission as the writers talked about, with other elements more akin to original trek.
I am not getting my hopes up with the new movie pushing boundaries. In 2014, all boundaries have been pushed. The real challenge is making something that has never been done before.
With regards to Captain Worf. Agreed, the TNG days are over, not a chance in hell its going to happen. With the decline of TNG movies after First Contact, it would have been cool if they brought on actors/characters from DS9 and VOY for the movies (not just a brief appearance by Janeway on a computer monitor. We never had a DS9 and VOY movie and I think mixing them up would have been better than plodding along with the TNG cast. Then again it was only TOS and TNG that reached soaring heights of popularity. Still, would have been cool.
I love Michael Dorn and his character. But a Captain Worf series?
Yawn. To me, I’d grow tired of hearing about honor and how today would be a good day to die. Ultimately, he wouldn’t die or the series would be over.
Also, I’m personally tired of seeing Klingons, Romulans Andorians, etc.
Yes, CBS, please bring Star Trek back to TV. I’d like to see a Star Trek series on Showtime where it could be a little more gritty. A twelve episode season would allow for more pre production and better stories.
Right now, all we have is the JJ Trek 90210 versions and the fan films.
Had a feeling Urban would steal the day.
Harlan Ellison, still a jerk after all these years. How much was he paid to appear?
Sounds great to me – Star Trek on Showtime!!!!!!!
#36. Thorny – August 2, 2014
The man wrote 12 television scripts prior to being asked to write for Trek. Eleven were for hour long slots and he got gigs to write scripts after that. The one immediately after was for a 90 minute time slot.
If he indeed turned in “unfilmable” television scripts as you surmise, how do reconcile that with the fact that he continued to get tv gigs?
#31. Jack – August 1, 2014
Clearly, Ellison is merely a victim of being a man ahead of his time.
“And yeah, Harlan Ellison seems like a grade-A douche. Surprised anybody even went to his panel considering that his attitude isn’t exactly a secret. Why go there to be insulted?”
Precisely my past experience with him. He may be a great writer…but not a great human being IMHO…
“Harlan is something else. I remember when he came to the University of Toronto in the late eighties and someone asked him about ST & COTEOF at a book signing: his response: “Star Trek is for people who can’t get laid!” That was that, I kid you not and it’s on video tape.”
Typical Harlan…he’s an a-hole. But the sad thing is, he’s proud of being an A-hole.
Hey, even an A-hole produces something pretty much every day.
Not much of it is worth looking at, mind you. Some would even call it crap.
BTW guys have you read this?
Harlan Ellison Takes In Star Trek: Into Darkness
OK I found the clip with Harlan E. It’s from ’89 & a SF show called “Prisoners of Gravity”: the episode titled “Star Trek the Old Generation” (TOS), aired originally in Feb’90 in Canada.
To be fair, he does take on a fairly joking mood here but yes he can be an a-hole at times. It’s pt.3 of the episode @ 1:10 minutes (but beware it still has his abrasive sense of humor).
For those interested in the rest:
About this 20 yr old show:
#48. B Kramer – August 2, 2014
Your link didn’t take me to something on STID but I did find this interesting statement by him:
” I’m dead certain the people who put together ALMOST HUMAN, even if they knew of BRILLO, chose to turn their heads. I did not sue, however, not because I didn’t have the chops for yet another “famously litigious” outing, but because my friend, the show-runner and scenarist, Naren Shankar, was on that series, and I do not sue my friends. ” — Harlan Ellison