Star Trek: The Next Generation at Denver Comic Con

June 20, 2014 by  

Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes Denver Comic Con 2014

Marina Sirtis And Jonathan Frakes At Denver Comic Con

    Denver Comic Con was the site of a Star Trek: The Next Generation cast reunion that I managed to wheedle my way into. William Shatner was moderating so it was the hottest ticket in town; so hot that even with my media pass I was, until 20 minutes before the panel started, on the outside looking in. All the media seats were filled and the line for normal people was very obviously representing a capacity crowd. Shit. That’s what I was thinking about the situation and then all of a sudden I was directed to an area that held a half dozen other media personnel that were patiently waiting to be let in. Once I joined them it was a very motley crew of writers, bloggers, photographers, podcasters and me. We were let into the hall a few minutes before everyone else so even though we didn’t get media seats, we were able to get some awesome aisle seats just to the right of the stage. Photographers love aisle seats because it enables us to get up and move around whilst disturbing a minimum amount of people. It turned out to be a nonissue because once the panel started and the TNG gang started talking I realized that I didn’t want to leave my seat. For about the 4th or 5th time in my life, I just wanted to listen. I’m glad that I did because this panel was full of shenanigans, serious moments and some very worthwhile advice about being a better person. That being said, this will be a very introspective post; much more so than I would assume I’m known for.

Denise Crosby and TNG Cast Denver Comic Con 2014

Denise Crosby And The TNG Cast

    This was a very different panel because it featured actors from a show that ended 20 years ago that was based on a show that ended 40 years ago. That made this panel especially unique because it wasn’t about trying to get spoilers or to get a hashtag to trend on Twitter; it was people involved in a project speaking to other people that love the project. This was not a TNG panel, it was a gathering of TNG actors and TNG fans talking about and asking about things that didn’t have a lot to do with TNG. No one had to ask the stupid and obvious questions about where the show was going or what the actors thought about miniscule details about their characters because the series has already come and gone. All parties involved have moved on since then and become infinitely smarter in that interim. “What have you done and how can you relate to me lately?” would have been a very apt title for this gathering of people. That question was aimed at the audience as often as was aimed at the actors so it was a very Even Steven event. I had the impression that the answers to some of the questions were news to everyone in the room. I don’t think these actors hang out with each other on a day to day basis so this reunion may have been as much a treat for them as it was for us. I also think they have not shared everything with each other so at times I saw the actors entranced by what their colleagues had to say, as evidenced by the photo above.

Blue Alien At Star Trek TNG Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Blue Alien Asking A Question At TNG Panel

    This turned out to be a very emotional event on both sides of the happy/sad spectrum. The dude above used his time on the microphone to tell everyone how his dad hit a rough spot in life, became an alcoholic and, unable to provide for his family, not-so-secretly contemplated suicide. Then, in 1966 his dad watched Star Trek and everything changed. His father saw something that gave him hope so his family grabbed onto that hope and together, as a family, they fought through his father’s troubles. Star Trek helped this man keep his father and enabled him to help all of us almost 50 years later.

Jonathan Frakes Star Trek Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Jonathan Frakes

Levar Burton TNG Panel Denver Comic Con 2014

Levar Burton

    At one point an audience member asked the panel if they had any advice for aspiring actors. Two of them spoke up; Jonathan Frakes and LeVar Burton. I’ll start with what Jonathan Frakes said. He said that if there is anything else you can do, you should do that instead. He used the words corrupt, unjust and unfair to describe the acting profession. He didn’t say a whole lot during the panel, but when it came to the world of acting, he sat straight up in his chair and told us that the real world of Hollywood is nothing like the cinematic world of Hollywood. He strongly advised the audience to find another way to project any creativity they may have. LeVar Burton said he always tries to talk people out of becoming an actor because if he is able to do so, they shouldn’t have tried to be an actor in the first place.

Gates McFadden Michael Dorn and William Shatner at Denver Comic Con 2014

William Shatner, Michael Dorn And Gates McFadden

    There was a lot of laughter and ribbing that went on as well. Over the course of the panel, I developed an opinion of each panelist that I’ll share at the end of the post. For the most part, they all seemed to be friends that don’t see each other that often so I think a lot of liberties were taken and given to one another. This was no Hall H at San Diego Comic Con, this was a very intimate setting with no more than two or three thousand people watching a panel of people that had no projects to plug so I think that intimacy helped the audience and the panelists loosen up.

William Shatner Denver Comic Con 2014

William Shatner Flipping An English Bird

    A case in point would be William Shatner making the gesture above. Marina Sirtis had mentioned that the middle finger gesture in America was displayed as a two finger gesture in England. Shatner wasted no time by displaying it and indicating a WTF look to all of us.

William Shatner and Star Trek TNG Cast Denver Comic Con 2014

Star Trek TNG Cast And William Shatner

    I had never seen any of these actors in person before so I was in the unique position to do two of my favorite things; rush to and pass judgment. As promised, here is my takeaway from each person:

    William Shatner: He is a cult status celebrity and he knows it. He loves to be in the public eye and doing the Comic Con circuit keeps him there and he knows it. There is a unified theory of quantum mechanics and he knows it.

    Michael Dorn: Uses his awesome voice to make great points but remains silent other than that.

    Gates McFadden: Does not have much to say.

    LeVar Burton: Has talent and is able to emote in a way the rest of us can barely dream of doing. I think he loves being able to use what TNG gave him to spread intelligence and learning to the world. If there is anyone that can tear the current Hollywood system down and rebuild it into something great, he’s the guy that will do it.

    Denise Crosby: An angel that embodies all the good in Star Trek and its fans. She is the only member of any of the Starship Enterprises that I would like to have a drink with.

    Jonathan Frakes: A stoic figure, a great man that has done well in an industry that he despises. I hope he helps LeVar Burton tear the Hollywood system apart.

    Marina Sirtis: An enigma that cloaks herself in many layers of nothingness so no one will ever know who she really is. I think she is in love with William Shatner and insisted that we, as the audience refer to him as, “The Shat.” During the panel she claimed that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her yet she was very vocal about OTHER things that bothered her. I think she’s hiding something terrible from her past.

    Introspective; I told you that’s what this post would be. Cheers.

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One Response to “Star Trek: The Next Generation at Denver Comic Con”

  1. Kitto on June 23rd, 2014 7:07 pm

    Ha ha! Well done sir!

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