Our last coverage of Saturday Star Trek Las Vegas events was a couple of interesting panels – one with castmembers of Star Trek Enterprise talking about the Season 3 Xindi arc, and another with make-up wizard Michael Westmore demonstrating how he did Terry Farrell’s Dax spots…and then she got into her Klingon dress! Check it out below
Enterprise 9/11 and the Xindi arc
The boys of Star Trek Enterprise started out joking around but then transitioned to being more serious for a talk about the season long Xindi arc for the third season of the series.
Scott Bakula set the stage by noting “9/11 changed our show” and specifically influenced the Xindi arc for the third season of Enterprise.
Connor Trinneer noted that the events of 9/11 initially made him reflect that working on a TV show was “unimportant,” however his father convinced him that the show was “incredibly important” to give people a diversion for an hour a week. Connor also talked about how his character’s arc – Trip dealing with the loss of his sister – helped him “work my stuff through in terms of 9/11.”
Regarding Xindi arc John Billingsley had a different point of view, noting how he had “had extremely conflicted feelings about season three.” While he was happy about the serialization and how the writers “popped the tension” with the storytelling, but as a person he felt the show “came down on the side of a certain muscular, militaristic response” to 9/11 and he said he was not “personally comfortable” with that point of view. He went on to say “I wasn’t comfortable with what our government was doing and the way it responded after 9/11.” The comment drew applause from the crowd but some boos as well, with Billingsley noting “I said this in Oklahoma and barely made it out alive.”
Anthony Montgomery talked about how the events of 9/11 have a practical effect as he attended his first con shortly after the event, subbing in for Jonathan Frakes who didn’t want to fly. The actor also noted that his character of Travis really didn’t have much to do during the third season, but he felt most fans appreciated the Xindi arc.
During the Q&A portion the gang were asked if there were any unusual behind the scenes moments, John Billingsley noted that he once dressed up as Scott Bakula’s first wife “scared his children so much it ruined his birthday party.”
When asked about how they prepared to be the “first crew” of the Star Trek universe in terms of future history, Billingsley said “we were committed to be ignorant…we didn’t know anything about aliens, Dominic [Keating] didn’t even know how to open the door.” Dominic added “I read twenty pages of [Frank Herbert’s] “Dune.” Anthony said he actually went out and bought every single episode of Star Trek available, adding “on VHS!” But after watching he cam to realize “we don’t have to do this, so I just allowed myself to do whatever we came up with…for us it was supposed to be all new.”
Scott Bakula spoke at length about the Enterprise finale and sharing the screen with TNG stars Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis [something writer/producer Brannon Braga admitted earlier at the con was an “idiotic idea”]. Bakula said:
Ending a television show – there is no happy way to do it. We were fortunate enough to not be cancelled after season 3…We were fortunate to have a season 4. The idea of the show originally was that we were going to create the Federation and that was going to be the evolution of our journey…We kind of jumped around. We got the Federation going. We got everybody sitting around the same table and said ‘this will work.’ And then they went in that other direction [for the finale]. Brannon did call me and asked ‘are you ok with this?’ But we had not been consulting on scripts in four years and it was not something I felt I had a dialog with, so I had been working inside that structure and I felt it was important do what we always did, what came down on the page. Do I regret it?…For a show like ours and a franchise like this, you are definitely not going to make everybody happy.
Trinneer then quipped “I didn’t care because I was already dead!”
Michael Westmore remakes Terry Farrell as Dax
Another interesting Saturday panel featured Star Trek make-up supervisor Michael Westmore demonstrated what he did for every episode of Deep Space Nine and transformed Terry Farrell into the Trill, Jadzia Dax.
Both came to the stage wearing “DAX-539” tee shirts, because this is the 539th time Westmore has done her Dax make-up.
Westmore explained his technique saying he shakes his hands on purpose while painting them. Terry jokes that it feels like “there are little sperm” running up her face. For cosplayers planning to do their own Dax make-up, Michael explains he uses brown for spots and then accents them with burnt orange. He also noted how each application was a new experience and that he never used a stencil. “I did them by hand and the spots never looked the same way twice.” As each make-up job was a unique work of art, Westmore noted that every time he applied Terry’s make-up on the show he would sign shoulder.
After he finished her spots and Terry left the stage for a wardrobe change, Westmore also talked about some of his other make-up work with Star Trek, including tidbits like how the original Borg were glued into their suits and had to be unglued to go to the bathroom. Regarding inspirations, he said the Jem’Hadar are cross between rhinoceros and dinosaur and the Hirogen are based on Gila monsters. He also talked about Klingon make-up saying that the distinctive foreheads are all based on dinosaur bones.
For fans who want more insights from Westmore, there is good news as he says he is almost ready to publish his memoirs, which he has been writing for 11 years.
Terry then returned in her Klingon wedding gown from DS9, and she looked fabulous! Here are some pictures.
More to come
Stay tuned for TrekMovie’s Sunday STLV coverage including William Shatner and more from around the con
STLV Coverage so far: