Continuing with our Saturday Star Trek Vegas Con coverage we bring you pictures and details from the Voyager cast panel, where Kate Mulgrew got very diplomatic when talking about Jeri Ryan, Tim Russ admitted playing a Vulcan is easy when you have no emotions, Ethan Phillips gets patronizing, and Garrett Wang tries to explain social media to Kate. All that plus more Saturday panels wrap-up, including dancing Ferengi.
Mulgrew, Russ, Wang, and Phillips: Voyager Cast Returns Home … To Vegas
Whether it’s the bridge of a starship, a prison cell, or a stage, Kate Mulgrew is in command wherever she is.
She spoke to a packed hall on Saturday afternoon alongside with her Star Trek: Voyager co-stars Ethan Phillips (Neelix) and Tim Russ (Tuvok). Predictably, the event was crashed midway by Garrett Wang (Harry Kim).
It was particularly thrilling for fans to see Kate, given her recent success with Orange Is The New Black (for which, to any Trek fan who has been on Mars with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears, she has received an Emmy nomination).
“I know it’s far afield from Captain Janeway, but I think Kathryn Janeway would like Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov,” Kate said. “And maybe even bring her a galactic chicken.”
Nothing Kate has done since Voyager has compared to the absolute rigor the show demanded – 14, 16, and sometimes even 18 hour days. Ethan chimed in that he had one day which lasted 48 hours.
Kate interacted with fans with aplomb, remembering the names of some she’d met earlier in the convention. One girl, Rebecca, asked her how much longer she would be an actor.
“Until I die!”
Remembering also that it was Rebecca’s birthday, lead the whole audience in singing “Happy Birthday.”
When one fan said, “I think Voyager had the best two-parters,” Kate quickly interrupted to say, “Really? I think so too!” to gentle laughter. The two-parter in question was Equinox, where Janeway was upset over her rival captain’s cruel treatment of a Delta Quadrant species.
“I’m sure I was furious,” she quipped. The fan asked what gets her, Kate, upset, to which she replied “What’s going on in the Middle East.”
Mulgrew on the relationship with Jeri Ryan
One particularly brave fan noted that Janeway and Seven had very good chemistry on-screen, but what was Kate’s relationship like with Jeri Ryan off camera
Ethan interrupted with, “Thank you – NEXT!” to scattered laughter and applause.
Kate responded with both grace and candor.
“We did not have a deep friendship,” Kate said. “I think Jeri Ryan did a marvelous job in a very difficult role. It was very clear to anyone with eyes in their head that Jeri Ryan’s beauty and sexual appeal were an important part of the numbers. I had thought ‘damn, we were going to forgo all of this with a female captain.’ But the demographics proved the audience wanted more sex and they got it in that beautiful, talented woman.”
Tim Russ – the infinite Vulcan
Tim led the panel off by noting that Trek fans are “the smartest people on the planet.” No one in attendance disagreed.
Kate isn’t the only Voyager alum with some recent Emmy success: Tim won an Emmy for producing commercials for the FBI.
On playing an emotionless character, Russ said, “Most of my friends told me I didn’t have to stretch very much because I’m like that character in real life.”
Garrett said, “I believe Tim Russ really is a Vulcan in real life,” and recounted how when they first met in 1994, he said that Tuvok was just a letter away from Tupac (Shakur).
“Rap music,” Russ had responded coldly. “Rap music is the reason for the fall of Western civilization.”
The biggest obstacle to Tim’s performance was Ethan who, much like Neelix with Tuvok, was always trying to get him to break character and laugh. Ethan recounted his farewell scene in the penultimate episode of the series where he got Tuvok to do a little dance step.
“Penultimate means the second to the last,” he had to explain.
Social media, Q, and family time
Garrett asked Kate, “Are you ever going to get on social media?”
“I don’t understand social media,” she responded. “They didn’t’ have social media in the Delta Quadrant. We didn’t need social media, we had each other.”
Kate said she and John De Lancie had a different relationship than he and Patrick Stewart did, because the two were long-time friends before Q and Janeway ever met.
“He was respectful of Patrick Stewart. He was respectful,” she said. “The bathtub scene (in Q2) was his idea!”
They concluded the panel by bringing out Kate’s son, who is selling his art at the convention, and Tim’s daughter, who is also pursuing acting.
More Photos From Saturday
Here are some more quick shots from other Saturday STLV panels.
Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg made up as their characters of Rom and Nog, lead fans in a lesson on how to dance like a Ferengi.
Star Trek artists and designers Ronald B. Moore, Doug Drexler and Mike Okuda talk Trek VFX with Star Trek Blu-ray producer Roger Lay.
David Gerrold spoke about costume and make-up development throughout the Trek franchise.
Mark A. Altman and our pals at Geek Magazine had a chat with Scott Mantz, Ed Gross, David E. Williams, Chase Masterson and Daren Dochterman about the entire Star Trek franchise, but as most of them are old-school fans, they spent most of it talking about how awesome the original series was (and is!).
More from Saturday (and Sunday) to come
TrekMovie has one more Saturday report coming up (Enterprise cast + Michael Westmore and Terry Farrell). We will then dive into Sunday (including Shatner) and more from around the con.
So stay tuned.
STLV Coverage so far: