One of the more entertaining panels for Friday at Star Trek Las Vegas was the ever charming pair of Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis. The original Imzadis demonstrated their chemistry as they told stories of their time on Star Trek: The Next Generation stars and a bit about their recent work together on The Orville. We have highlights from the pair along with photo highlights from other celebrity panels from Friday.
Frakes reveals star-studded line-up for his new The Orville episode
Frakes started his time on stage telling the story of how he suggested Marina Sirits for a part on the recent episode of The Orville he just wrapped up. Frakes described her casting for a guest spot in The Orville as a “great get” for the show. Sirtis chimed in to say “I’m in a really good episode.”
However Frakes had more to reveal, saying creator Seth MacFarlane gave him permission to announced more guest stars for his latest The Orville episode. Joining Sirtis and playing admirals for the Planetary Union will be F. Murray Abraham (Ru’afo in Star Trek: Insurrection) and Ron Canada (who has guest starred three times for Star Trek, and guest starred in season one of The Orville as Admiral Tucker). Tony Todd (who played three different characters in Star Trek including Worf’s brother Kurn) will be playing a Moclan. And perhaps the biggest surprise Frakes had to announce is Cheers and The Good Place star Ted Danson also appears in this same episode.
Sirtis on Frakes as a director
Sirtis said that in all her time acting, Jonathan Frakes was her favorite director to work with, explaining:
He is a force of nature and he gets it. There are two types of directors. Directors who like to do whizzy things with the camera and shots and all that. And then there the directors who are really good with actors. They usually fall into two separate groups. This one [pointing to Frakes] is both…The studio loves him, the actors loves him, the crew would walk on glass for him. It’s a happy set. The work gets done. There is no tension. There is no angst. You know you are going to get the work done. You are producing a good product. You got a great guy at the helm. It’s perfect, perfect.
Frakes also offered up his own compliment to Sirtis saying that in the editing room for episodes he directed on Star Trek: The Next Generation, if he ever got in trouble and needed to find the right shot, he would always pick a close-up of Marina because she was “an active listener,” especially in conference room scenes.
Sirtis says Denise Crosby leaving saved her job
When moderator Matt Mira commented that it seemed to take a long time for the Star Trek: The Next Generation to figure out how to use Marina’s character of Troi, she quipped back that there were scenes she felt “decorative.” She also recalled how she believed she was going to be fired during the first season:
If she can sense what what is going on, we have to write her out…I was very insecure in the first season because they were always writing me out of episodes and I went from being the favorite, because when I was cast I knew I was their favorite. Gene loved me, it was obvious I was their favorite. And it got to the point where if a producer saw me coming, they would turn around and walk away. So, I knew my job was on the line…I was on the bubble.
Sirtis said Majel Barrett, wife of TNG creator Gene Roddenberry, confirmed her suspicions years later. She recalled Barrett telling her that Roddenberry felt there was “one too many women” on the show and that “you don’t really need a psychologist.” Sirits believes that if it weren’t for Denise Crosby leaving the show during the first season, she would have been fired, saying “she saved my job.”
More photos from STLV
Here are some more photo highlights from Friday’s STLV celebrity panels.
Shakespeare and Star Trek
Deep Space Nine Tribute Part 2
TOS Guest Stars
Eddie Paskey (Leslie), Joanne Linville (Romulan Commander) and Sandy Gimpel (M-113 Creature)
More STLV 2018
All photos by Andrew Britton/TrekMovie.com