Stuff from Baycon 88
In the recent Baycon in San Jose, there was an ST:TNG panel which had some interesting info. There were 3 people on the panel: Bjo Trimble, Mike Okuda, and Sandy Fries (I think...). Anyway, without further ado:
· All of the ST:TNG sets are in pieces...with only the pieces in the shot assembled. This is to facilitate access by the crew. (The CAMERA crew, not the Enterprise crew! :-) )
· No next season planning is going on at Paramount, due to the writer's strike. The strike also will delay the start of the next season, depending on how long it goes...
· When creating the series, Gene Roddenberry created a large list of characters. The current cast (at the Farpoint episode) represents those characters that he couldn't bear to get rid of...
· Reason that there are so few starships in the series: it's veeeerrrrrry expensive to show a lot of ships. When it's done, it must be justified during the story conferences along the lines of "Is it vital to the story???" (To which Sandy said: "YES!!", and we got a shuttlecraft in Coming of Age.)
· Whenever possible, stock footage is used to save money...so to those who thought the Klingon ship in Heart of Glory looked familiar, it should. The footage came from ST:TMP.
· Jonathan Frakes is supposed to be a very good actor, but hasn't yet been given an opportunity to strut his stuff.
· Paramount and the ST:TNG Production Office were aware of the change in the way Star Trek was presented in Conspiracy (referring to the gore scenes). They decided to go with it, so that Star Trek would not fall into a rut. The idea here was to do something different. There WAS a recommendation by Paramount that a "Parental Guidance" message be placed before the episode...which was ignored by virtually every station. [Note: one was not provided with the satellite feed.]
· Gene and some other people locked themselves in Gene's office for about 45 minutes to figure out what Stardates mean. In that 45 minutes, they came up with a coherent setup on how Stardates are used, and what they mean. As they were leaving, Sandy (who was one of the participants) said: "But what about Leap Years?"...
· On that same subject, whenever a writer gets tired of trying to come up with a Stardate for a log entry (I suppose, instead of concentrating on what that log entry is supposed to say), they will say something like: "Ship's Log, Supplemental..."
· Of all the characters on the ST:TNG cast, Brent Spiner (as Lt. Cmdr. Data) gets the most fan mail.
· Denise Crosby wanted to leave ST:TNG to pursue other commitments. Because of her commitment to ST:TNG, she was unable to pursue other offers. (Of course, this did not answer the original question which was: "Why did you kill her off?")
Stuff from Baycon 89
Here are some notes I jotted down from some panels at Baycon 89. Thought they might be interesting...
PANELS: "Why do people watch Japanese Animation"/"Solo Panel with Mamaru Nagano"
Rick Sternbach, Mamaru Nagano, staff of Animag and Viz
· The "Next Generation" crew have apparently become anime fans to the point where some anime program has to be running in the Trek production office, or no work would get done! Also, they get "inspiration" from the various anime programming. Of course, he was talking about the Art Department... wonder if the Front Office does the same thing... :-)
· Yes, boys and girls, Captain Picard did indeed say "Nausicaans" when talking to Wesley on Samaritan Snare. However, it was unlikely that Patrick Stewart knew where the reference came from when filming was going on. (He would probably be laughing his head off at the image of three copies of the Princess Nausicaa coming into a bar and looking for trouble...)
· There is a standing list which was made earlier, which contains various names which writers can use for alien planets/races/misc. Of course there are several anime references on that list too..."Nausicaans" came from there...
· Obscure fact time: one of the reasons for doing an American-style "Dirty Pair" comic was the fact that no Japanese manga existed. Well, one does exist, but even Studio Nue had forgotten about it...it was an (atrocious) backup story in some manga...somewhere...
· Since someone asked, Mr. Nagano is the creator and writer for "Five Star Stories". Also, he did some mecha design for the "Gundam" series...
· The Disney style of animation (and merchandising!) has become very popular in Japan...coincidentally ever since the opening of Tokyo Disneyland.
· The current practice of putting OAVs in series format came about because the people behind the OAVs really wanted to do a television series...but there were no sponsors (i.e. big bucks/yen). So, if an OAV does well, then it continues...otherwise it disappears.
· At the main Holodeck entrance/control panel, there is a panel with 6 (I think) lines of default choices for "adventures". Number 3 (the only one I remember) says "Tomobiki Simulator". Rick Sternbach's comment after pointing it out was "Be sure to wear insulated clothing!"
PANEL: "Next Generation Slide Show"
· There is a Technical Manual for the "Next Generation"...but only for in-house use. Maybe there will be one for the masses (if Pocket Books gives the go-ahead).
· Continuity between various stories are the province of the Writers. People from the Art Department can provide technical details (how hot are the Warp Engines at Warp 8?), but the writers have the final say.
· Scientific accuracy is strived for, but some things will sneak through (like -291C), but at least it provides something to talk about...
· Galaxy Class Cruisers have a normal crew/family complement of 1000+ people, but in an emergency evacuation situation, they can accommodate about 15,000 people.
· Control Panels on the Enterprise are user-configurable...that is, they will display information and controls appropriate to the situation. (Rick Sternbach was showing pictures of the OPS console while talking about this...)
· "Why don't Tasha and Worf get to sit down?" - "They have to be on their toes"...
· The Captain's fish is named Livingston...
· The "Deck 11 Dorsal Lounge" used in Haven for the banquet has reappeared in the series as the lounge used in the Outrageous Okona. Due to budget constraints many sets are reused to represent different parts of the ship.
· From Loud As A Whisper, check the conference table ("made to resemble indigenous rock")...among the markings on the table are "Kei" and "Yuri"...
· From Icarus Factor, the ship gymnasium has lots of markings...symbols for Earth, Air, Fire and Water...and other symbols (Kei and Yuri, Akira, Tonari No Totoro and others. Ataru, Lum and Urusai Yatsura showed up on the scrolls hanging on the walls). Try to explain to a director what "Tonari no Totoro" means...
· From Time Squared, the shuttle used was a classic restaurant napkin design. Primary consideration was the fact that it could be built in time to shoot the episode. They've taken to calling this thing a "Shuttle Pod". BTW, the shuttle's name came from a NASA geologist named Faruq El Baz (and I'm sure I'm mangling the spelling...)
· Also from Time Squared, the sign says
"STAND - CLEAR - OF - TRACTOR - BEAM".
· The Macintosh has been invaluable in designing the graphic displays used on the series. In fact, some of the displays were filmed in real-time with the Macintosh driving the displays. (Of course, I don't know if "The Macintosh" means more than one Macintosh...:-) )
· From Icarus Factor, John Tesh showed up as one of the Klingons in the Rite of Ascension chamber. Also, two of the Klingons wore boots from the Planet of the Apes due to the fact that Star Trek V was also filming at the time, and there was a Klingon costume shortage.
· "We look for things to make us go." New quote in the Art Department.
· From Q Who, the Borgs are made up of (among other things) 5 1/4" floppy drive doors.
· Geordi's VISOR went through several designs before they settled on a "common plastic object that we modified."
· From Contagion, the Iconion gizmo that Captain Varley plays with was originally a weapon when the Iconions were warlike. When they changed, so did the gizmo. BTW, surprise surprise! The writing on the artifact says "Kei and Yuri", "Dirty Pair", "Gundam" and "Totoro" on the flip side. In general, there is at least one anime reference which was snuck into each episode.
· From Measure Of A Man, when Riker is showing off Data's arm to the JAG representative, there is a pad on her desk which lists Data's parts... things like the "Nausicaa valve", "Totoro Interface", and others...
· Look for props from the old series showing up in various people's cabins. An old communicator and 3-D chess sets are among the items which have shown up thus far.
· Alternative name for Skin Of Evil...Yar and Tar.
· Nickname for the Dustbuster Phaser...the "Dustbuster". Surprised?
· Macross fighter parts have shown up in various places...check the widget used by Dr. Crusher to put Capt. Picard to sleep in The Battle, and also the psycho-analyzer-whatchamacallit used on Data in Schizoid Man.
· Mike Okuda worked out a Warp Factor chart which shows how fast you go with each Warp Factor. Subspace Radio goes along at about Warp 9.9996. The speed curve goes almost straight up after Warp 9.9. Disclaimer at the bottom: "Estimates only - Your actual mileage may vary."
· Subspace Radio has its limitations...after a certain distance, the signal becomes so degraded that there is no more signal to receive.
· The Stargazer original which sits in Picard's office has a Macross fighter cockpit on the top, and a Shogun Warriors robot on the bottom. When creating the real model used for filming, the model builder, not knowing what the small model was made of, used larger scale versions of the same parts for the 4 foot model.
· From Loud As A Whisper, one of the handsigns shown to Data was the Vulcan greeting turned sideways.
· From Measure Of A Man, part of Data's construction is made of something called "Yurium". (Yuri-um...)
· Also from Measure Of A Man, this is Data's full name as shown by the Enterprise computer (to Cmdr. Riker): Lt. Cmdr. NFN NMI Data. Spelled out, this becomes:
Lieutenant Commander "No First Name" "No Middle Initial" Data.
· NCC-1701A is our beloved Constitution Class Cruiser. NCC-1701B is the Excelsior Class. NCC-1701C is something called the Ambassador Class. Do I have to tell you what NCC-1701D is?
· Le Var Burton is wearing glasses/contacts now. He didn't before the series began. This was one of the primary reasons why Geordi might be losing the VISOR. Whether he will or not, well they didn't say...
Stuff from Baycon 90
PANEL: "Next Generation Slide Show"
Rick Sternbach, Mike Okuda
· Rick Sternbach is the Senior Illustrator. Mike Okuda is the Graphic Designer. Both have now acquired additional titles (an upgrade if you will). Both are now known as
/Technical Consultant. Well, somebody has to tell them how Warp Engines work!!
· In reference to the above, scripts will now come with lines like the following:
Geordi has to fix the warp engines by using the
This is a signal for Rick or Mike to fill in the word with something...well...techie. The actual example they used came from the Captain's Holiday episode. The writers needed some gizmo that would provide a motive for some scientist from the 27th century to come to the 24th century via the 22th century. Something really big. Blowing up a planet wasn't big enough. Well, we all know what eventually came out of this...
· To provide a source for such techie gadgets, they made up 3 lists. Call them A, B, and C. List A and B had adjectives and C had nouns. Put them together and you'll have a phrase of the form:
Gee, with this toy the writers could come up with phrases like: "Subspace Compression Modulator". Neat, huh? Pick a word at random from each of the 3 lists, and you'll have a *new* gadget!! Only one problem now...what do all these gadgets do?
BTW, if you didn't know, Captain's Holiday had a "Quantum Phase Inverter". It...uh...well...did something to stars...yeah, made them go nova...that's the ticket!! :-) (The writer's reaction: "Is that a joke?" The Response: "Of course it is!! Put it in the movie!!")
· Rick does not like doing storyboards, and doesn't...even though it's in his union contract...the Production Staff have learned not to give them to him... :-)
· Differences between Set Decoration and Props: if a character interacts with it (e.g. pick it up), it's a prop. Otherwise Set Decoration takes care of it.
· From Ménage à Troi, there is an audio anime joke...listen to what happens when a Ferengi is talking. Listen for the DaiMon's security code..it starts out as follows: "Computer: Access code - Kei Yuri..."
· Alternative title for Ménage à Troi"..."This is Troi's Brain". (My immediate response: "This is Troi's Brain on drugs...any questions?" :-) )
· The canonical answer to why there are no cloaking devices on board any Federation ship. They've found that cloaking devices don't work with the geometry of the starships shape. It has to do with where the Deflector Emitters are on the hull relative to each other and does not allow for that kind of field manipulation.
Why did the (old) Enterprise work with its stolen one? Due to Scotty's work. However, the operation of the cloaking device blew all of the Deflector Emitters on board the starship...and replacing them ain't cheap!! They had to do it anyway, but the Enterprise had no shield system for two weeks.
Current policy at Starfleet is "Never again..."
· Why doesn't ST:TNG allow Federation use of cloaking technology anyway? (Well, they can...after all, it's only a TV show!!) The real world reason is that it's one of the facets that make the Romulans different from the Federation. Also the fact that any resultant space battles/warp maneuvers would be boring to watch.
"Gee, the invisible Enterprise is taking evasive action away from the bow of the invisible Romulan ship which is bearing down on where the invisible Enterprise was originally." Easy to tape, though... :-)
· Of course, invisible ships do save money...you could have an entire fleet of invisible ships out there, and not have to show it.
· Question to Mike Okuda: "What's your favorite episode?"
Answer from Mike Okuda: "Good question"
· ST:TNG milestones:
· The 6th episode of season 4 will be the 80th episode made of ST:TNG. This is the point where they exceed the total number of episodes made for ST:TOS.
· The last episode of season 4 will be the 100th episode.
· The end of season 4 will mark Mike and Rick having the longest tenure with Star Trek with the exception of Gene Roddenberry and a couple of other people. Rick noted that this was a "scary statistic".
· Rick has acquired something that he definitely didn't want. One of his jokes during ST:TNG's first season (might have said it at Baycon `88...don't remember) was the fact that he didn't want his headstone to read: "He Worked on Star Trek".
During a modelling session (they were building a Form-Core model), a Foam-Core headstone appeared at his drafting lamp with the inscription: "He Worked on Star Trek".
Mike's immediate reaction: "I've no idea who did it."
· The Enterprise on ST:TNG is NCC-1701D. The "D" stands for David Lynch, the Line Producer...(well, it could have been a joke :-))...
· On the Enterprise Dedication Plaque..."The Fifth Starship to Bear the Name". Mike got it from The Blues Brothers where the movie said "Third Bridge at this Site"...
· Often, human figures are used for scale on preproduction drawings of items. For Ensigns of Command, who should be leaning on the dam workings? Why, it's Kei of the Dirty Pair!! In full color too. Funny, since two of the dams were just pencil sketches... :-)
· From Captain's Holiday, the basic design of the pack used by Picard came from Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Remember that one?
· Due to cost constraints, a lot of compromise has to be done between what Rick draws, and what Fabrication can do. It also means that sets have to be reused as much as possible. (OK, so this one is a slight repeat from Baycon `89...). Compound curves in props is definitely out.
· The fusion reactor from Who Watches The Watchers reappeared in The Vengeance Factor slightly redressed. Stickers were added to the reactor...with a variety of anime jokes on them. The camera never got close enough, however...sigh
· From Booby Trap, the original model in the holodeck was suppose to be a mockup of the actual inside of a warp engine. Time (5 days) constraints forced them to be somewhat more modest, and the sliding panels idea was ultimately used for Geordi's model.
· Many items on the drawings are referred to as GNDN. An example of this is the "GNDN Engineering Tool" which appeared on one of the drawings for miscellaneous tools. This is a reference to the old series (ST:TOS) where many of the pipes had GNDN written on them.
· If you're wondering, GNDN stands for "Goes Nowhere...Does Nothing".
· From Who Watches The Watchers: the `Snoop Scope' used by the observation post (it's by the window) is based on the video cameras used by the TMA-1 team from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
· From Hollow Pursuits, the Transporter Test Object used by O'Brien to show that the transporter isn't working is actually a Navy Sonar Buoy Transport Case. For some reason, the ST:TNG production staff has a lot of those...
· From The Emissary, K'Ehleyr's specially modified probe was a redress of a photon torpedo tube (ST:TSFS) which in turn was a redress of Spock's coffin (ST:TWOK).
· From The Schizoid Man, preproduction drawings of Ira Graves' casket were shown. The drawings were credited to "Casket Concepts", and the `brochure' was displaying "The Starfleet Collection". Nobody could figure out, though, why Ira Graves needed a window...
· A poster of Kei and Yuri actually did appear on Wesley Crusher's wall. Complete with double stick tape and everything. David Livingston came onto the set, took one look at the poster and said: "Awww, c'mon, you're kidding!!" Needless to say, the poster came off. This close, we were this close... :-) :-)
· What did appear in Wesley's quarters were fan-built reproductions of a phaser and a communicator. Well, OK, this one was kind of mentioned at Baycon `89 too...
· From Peak Performance, blue candle wax makes great antimatter...
· From Measure Of A Man, Data's arm was made up of whatever happened to be lying on Rick's desk at the time...Exacto knives, model parts, a little R2-D2, etc. Then they gave it to Mike Westmore. (Rick was going to say: "We gave him a hand...")
· The PADDs are those little information pads that everyone carries around. They have LEDs and chase circuits built in to simulate activity. An exchange for all you Macintosh people:
Rick: "What do you think the memory capacity of the PADD is?"
Mike: "It's not quite adequate, but with System 7.0, it'll be ok."
· Tricorders have gotten to be very complicated props. They have a ton of LEDs in there controlled by variable potentiometers (and probably more chase circuits...they didn't say that though). They also have a working hinge so that they can really open and close.
The original Tricorders had a spring loaded mechanism (based on some toy). When they open or closed, the hinge makes a click-click-click-click noise. With the new props, the hinges are silent, so the Sound department is dubbing the clicks back in...
· Alternative name for Transfigurations..."The Tricorder Venture". There is a new design for the Medical Tricorder which is seen first in this episode...and Beverly Crusher is holding it every other shot...
In a tribute to the original Trek, maybe the sound effect for Dr. McCoy's Feinburger scanner will be used for this new tricorder.
· A new phaser has been designed. It's to replace the "Dustbuster". You get the feeling that somebody didn't like the old design? :-) :-)
· The Medical Hypo is based on a present day inhaler. After all, you can spray the inhaler, it has removable cartridges, and is amazingly useful. Rick thought that basing the Hypo on his inhaler was a great idea...at least his doctor is thrilled with the design... :-)
· From the audience: the best common-man description of the Enterprise that I've ever heard. It goes something like this:
The 60's Enterprise looks like it was designed by Chevy.
The 70's Enterprise looks like it was designed by BMW.
The 80's Enterprise looks like it was designed by Mazda.
· From Evolution, preproduction drawings use Yuri for the scale figure on the model of Dr. Stubbs' "Egg". Of course, Yuri didn't appear in the episode itself, but the front of the "Egg" is based on Nanmo's green eye. Nanmo is the Dirty Pair's robot...
The "Egg" itself was based on the Virus Containment Unit from The Child.
· The Shuttle Pod has been used extensively in ST:TNG (if you hadn't noticed :-)). There has been some lobbying from the Art Department to allow them to start using a full-sized shuttle again, a la `Galileo'...
The Shuttle Pod is mounted on wheels, so it is easy to move.
· From BAYCON `89 and Time Squared, the shuttle was named after a NASA geologist: Professor Farouk El-Baz. I had messed up the spelling last year, so I'd thought I'd correct it.
Something new: when Time Squared was shown, Prof. El-Baz was at home with his children. The kids' response: "Dad, it's us!!" Of course, Mike Okuda got a call from Boston University the next morning...
· Other prominent names for Shuttle Pods:
ONIZUKA - for Ellison Onizuka of the Challenger Seven.
LEY - for Willie Ley (?)
PIKE - for Captain Christopher Pike (not John Pike, the president of Paramount Pictures)
· The law on starship engines: there are never odd numbers of engine nacelles on starships (from Gene). Rationalization (from the `Technical Advisors'): it has something to do with Warp Field geometries...
· From The Defector, the Romulan Scout has a nose which can detach from the rest of the ship. The separated nose can serve as a lifeboat.
· From Tin Man, the final product was something that looked like a pine cone, and felt like tree bark. The model maker added some wood knots to it for some reason (for the authentic feel? :-))...
· From Sins of The Father, the shot where there is a data mismatch between the starship log (the Hood, I think) and the data from the captured from the Romulan is known as "The Nixon Shot". I wonder why? :-)
The actual data was all random numbers...
· Often, Mike has to design alien type faces. When doing so, he never assigns an `A'=, `B'= match up to his characters. He's found that if he does so, then from a distance, his alien typeface looks just like English. Even he doesn't know what his letters mean, and he prefers it that way...
· From The High Ground, Mike had to design YAAT (Yet Another Alien Typeface) for the police display shown in the Police Commander's office. When he was done, he realized that he had designed an alien MacIntosh, complete with windows and a cursor symbol in the middle...
· The Romulan symbol is a nasty looking bird of prey which is clasping two glowing spheres in its claws. The spheres are supposed to represent the two central planets of the Romulan Empire. The logo was actually designed by an Bay Area artist named Monty Thrasher. Mike tries to put the logo in wherever a Romulan appears...
· If the Enterprise is looking a bit different now, it's because a new and more detailed model was introduced sometime in the middle of the third season. Among other things, the new model accurately represents where 10-Forward is (the front lip of the saucer section).
· Something that didn't make it onto the Bridge Plaque: "Built by Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems".
· Purposes of the two forward bridge consoles:
CON (Wesley Crusher): Ship's Helmsman and Navigator
OPS (Lt. Cmdr. Data): Operations Manager in change of various nebulous and undefined duties.
· Audience question (again): "Why doesn't Worf have a chair?" Answer this year: The original plan was not to have the Tactical Station continuously manned. When the utility of a full time Tactical Officer became obvious, they put one there. Denise Crosby has been known for coming up to the Art Department during the first season, bat her eyelashes and say "Can you guys design me a chair?"
· Stations on the rear of the bridge: Mission Operations, Science One, Science Two, Environmental Systems, and Engineering (Geordi's).
· There are two little seen doors to the left of the Aft Stations. One of them goes to the Conference Lounge, and the other one...well, the sign on the door appears below:
Mike: "...and the other one goes to..."
Rick: "...goes to a different kind of Conference Lounge..."
· On the topic of door labels, the sliding doors have signs which identify both the room and the deck that it's on in the following form:
TRANSPORTER ROOM \x14795
This door would lead into room #795: the Transporter Room on Deck 12.
· The display behind the bar at 10-Forward represents a radio telescope view of the Milky Way Galaxy edge on. Designed by Rick Sternbach.
· On the Enterprise cutaway in Engineering: a duck, a mouse, a DC-3, a Porsche, a telephone, a stop sign...and the hamster in the treadmill which actually is the one running the ship. Ahead warp 8, Mr. Crusher!!
· The Star Trek Technical Manual has been approved by Pocket Books for release in the Fall (1990). Now, if only Rick and Mike will write it...
· The reflected stars on the Conference Table (especially the streaking stars which appear both in the windows and on the table during warp drive) is done via Blue Screen effect. Remember that the Blue Screen used in the windows is also reflected on the reflective table.
· The effect is, therefore, relatively easy to do (but it's still impressive IMHO).
· What happened to the bigger Klingon ships? Well, Rick and Mike have been lobbying to bring them back, but the Producers have said: "Well the last time we used the small ships, nobody complained..."
· Question: "What is Transporter Code 14?"
Answer: "Look at the Technical Manual :-)"
· Rick: "If we're limited to the speed of light, how is it than we can use the Transporters while we're at Warp?"
Mike: "Ummmm..........whoops, we're out of time..."
PANEL: It isn't just movies (Anime Panel)
Rick Sternbach, Michael House, et al...
· How did the anime in-jokes get started? It seemed only fair, since the Dirty Pair series (produced by Sunrise) had a number of Star Trek references in their own series...
As a result, the Dirty Pair gets more air time than anyone else on ST:TNG...oh no!! I really meant to say Lovely Angels! Really! Wait! ack
· There is also an (unofficial) trading relationship between Paramount and Sunrise. Rick did not mention what was being traded, however...
Palo Alto Creation Convention
· Richard says that Jonathan Frakes is a real nut. Brent, on the other hand, works quite hard to entertain people, whereas Jonathan is more of a joker.
· Brent and Jonathan know all kinds of obscure songs that no one else has ever heard of, and they're always singing them.
· Recently, the Dalai Lama visited the set, along with an entourage of 30 or so monks. It turns out they're all Star Trek fans. So they put on the visitor's list "20 Tibetan Monks", which everyone laughed at. So here these monks show up and everyone's like "my God, there really are monks..." So Brent goes into some schtick, and they got a shot of Brent in costume surrounded by these 20 monks in robes.
· Brent originally wanted to be a doctor. He was interning, and he was taking the blood pressure of a man that was in for a heart transplant. The man opened his eyes and said "am I dead?" Brent replied "not yeeeet." They hustled him out and read him the riot act...
· Richard was asked if TNG will meet TOS. He said outright "no." He gave two reasons. First, "Gene hates time travel stories - he feels they're a cheat." [So why did he let Yesterday's Enterprise come about, which is a very popular story?]
· Will future episodes show Earth? As rarely as possible.
· Will Ensign Gomez return? Probably not.
· The new uniforms cost $2500-3000 each.
· Why don't we hear more about ST:TOS in ST:TNG? Because Kirk was one of many legends of that time. Also, Gene wants ST:TNG to stand on its own. We also probably won't see any of the TOS characters, simply because their appearance in TNG insures their survival in TOS. There is a Spock script floating around, which will be filmed when Nimoy's salary becomes reasonable. Nichelle Nichols wants to do an episode as Guinan's daughter. There is also a "Sarek" script. Mark Lenard has pointed out that he's only 200 or so in TNG time, so it's not unreasonable.
· Richard said that the series is the third or fourth best syndicated show. In terms of number of viewers, the show would be in the top 20 of network shows.
· Richard implied that Gates was brought back because Muldaur opted to leave. This is the first time I've heard this.
· In Evolution, the final scene was cut somewhat, so we didn't get to see more of Wesley and his friends at the end.
· Grainger Hines, who played the lead colonist in Ensigns of Command received no credit for the episode. After filming was completed, it was decided that his voice didn't have the presence they wanted in the episode, so they dubbed in the voice of another actor. Because of this, Hines asked that his name not be credited.
· Who Watches The Watchers was filmed almost entirely on location at Vasquez Rocks.
· Marina Sirtis had a hard time with the heat (over 100 degrees). There were snakes, scorpions, bees (meaning no deodorant or perfume).
· The flashlights in The Enemy were far too bright to be run off of batteries, so they had power cords going through their sleeves, down their pant legs to a power source. At one point, Jonathan Frakes stretched a little too far and received a shock.
· In The Price, one of the actors was Kevin Peter Hall (the one that was 7' 4" tall). He was the predator in Predator. Also, in that episode, at one point you see a Ferengi hitting on a female crewmember. He stretches his hands out at one point, and the crewmember says something like "no way" and leaves. The original Ferengi concept included their being endowed "not unlike a horse", which explains that exchange a little better.
· "The Vengeance Factor" was also discussed. Gene did not want the girl summarily executed. However, he was in D.C. at the time. Anyway, the girl was genetically altered. The first time Riker fired, it was for standard human stun. The second time, it would have taken out an elephant. The third one, setting 16, would have taken out a bulkhead.
· "The Bonding" and "The Defector" were both written by Ronald D. Moore. He was a fan who submitted a script as a first-time writer last February. They bought "The Bonding" and filmed it, bought "The Defector" and filmed it, and then hired him as series story editor. All in the past year. Richard says that every once in a while he walks by Moore's office, and he sees Moore sitting in there, just shaking his head.
· In "The Hunted", in the scene where Riker and Worf are about to leave the turbolift when they see the guy about to fire and Worf pushes Riker out of the way. Well, in one take, Frakes got cute, and set all of his weight against Dorn, and there was a slide of Frakes just standing there smiling with Dorn trying to push him out of the way. When Riker said "set phasers on maximum stun", he was originally supposed to say "set phasers on kill", but Gene said "no."
· Another script, just recently accepted, is called "Tin Man", and it was also written by a fan.
PATRICK STEWART:\x14 (Saturday)
· He was commenting that there are a lot of nice perqs that go with being Captain of the Enterprise. He was at the movies the other night (actually, he says "at the cinema", or "at the pictures", but he's getting better). Anyway, his companion wanted popcorn, so he went to get it, and the popcorn person got him popcorn freshly popped, rather than the junk that was lying around, congealing.
· Patrick was asked about the uniforms, and he didn't realize how much they cost, so he turned to Richard and said "they really cost $3000?" Richard said "yep." "Each?" "Yep." "So, I guess you can say that whenever we have one of those conferences, there is around $15,000 worth of costumes sitting there." He went on to talk about how the new ones aren't perfect, but they're better. The scream "I HATE MY SPACESUIT!!!" is supposedly rather prominent. He's been in therapy over the costumes... the old ones were... "unhealthy."
· Someone was asking a question about an episode, and he said "I forget the episode's title." Stewart jumped in and said "you can't afford to forget the names of episodes in this company. I can get away with it - that's what goes with being Captain. But these people are liable to rip your throat out..." So true.
· So then someone asked him how he liked working on Dune. He said that he loved it, because he wasn't required to be in that many scenes, and that gave him a lot of time to play. And he played, enthusiastically. There was a lot of scenes with him cut, and many of them were restored for the video version, including a scene with Gurney playing the baliset.
· He's been doing Shakespeare since he was 14. His favorite play is Henry IV, especially Part II. He also likes Hamlet, of course.
· So then he was asked why Jean-Luc doesn't have a love life. He made a few cute comments, and then said that if we all bought television sets and watched the show come April, we might see something to our interests. We won't necessarily approve of it. He said that "the Captain's personal life is about to expand, somewhat radically."
· Someone asked how he'd like doing comedy. He replied with "how do you think I spend my week at the moment?" He said that compared to most of his career, Star Trek is rather hilarious. He remarked that his early Shakespeare roles were the more comic ones.
· Someone else asked why Marina Sirtis' uniform is different from everyone else's. He made some cute comments, and Richard said that since she is a "counselor", she needs to be as unintimidating as possible.
· Favorite episode? "11001001." He also likes the two Dixon Hill episodes, "Measure Of A Man", and "Time Squared." "Time Squared" was interesting, because no one was sure what was happening, and they were kind of making it up as they went along. He said that he most enjoyed "Captain's Holiday", which they just finished.
· Someone asked how he handles being a sex symbol? "With elegance, with grace, an overwhelming modesty, and huge numbers of locks on my door."
· He then went off on some subject, and he stopped and said that he does just spout the hugest amount of rubbish at times. He blames it on Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, and Michael Dorn, who have turned him into the fool we see. He said that they're the silliest bunch of people imaginable. Well, LeVar isn't silly. But they're working on him.
· How does he feel about the Pulaski/Crusher situation? He felt that Pulaski was never really pinned down as a character - they started off all of these chains and never really let the character become firmly rooted. He said that the whole thing was a mess.
· Someone asked if there was any chance of a revival of the tradition where the Captain's shirt is constantly torn. He looked at his chest and said "no."
· Someone asked why the ship splits. He actually liked this question. He said that they were filming some scene recently, and he couldn't remember his next order, so he ordered emergency saucer separation. He said that he'd like to do it to get rid of those thousand or so people up there in that saucer, "I mean, what are they doing up there with their lives?" He thinks that separating is the greatest thing, but the damned thing came back. He thinks they should do it more often. He said that there are times when they get half-way into an episode, and he'll say "hang on a minute there. Do you think we should have separated there?" He then turned to Richard Arnold and said "why don't we do it, Richard?" Richard's reply was that it costs too much. "We can use the same footage!" He's with us on that one, folks.
· This led to "stock footage", which led to the story about Mr. Singh. Remember Mr. Singh from "Lonely Among Us?" Well, they'd finished shooting with him, and they needed to redo a scene, after they'd dismissed him. They needed to shoot the back of his head in one scene, because he'd been in it from another angle or something. So they took a wig similar to his real hair and stuck it on to a chair. So people had to act to this wig stuck on this chair.
· So someone asked since he'd discussed his feelings for Diana Muldaur, how did he feel about Gates. He said that he was puzzled by the initial move. The way he said this suggested to me that he was actually rather opposed to it, but he didn't want to propagate dissension. At the end of the first season, there were voices that wanted to detach even more from the show. He said that there was one voice in particular, but he didn't say whose. He said that Gates was offered up somewhat sacrificially, to protect the rest of the show. He feels the initial switch was a mistake, and he's glad that she's back. The way he said this implied no dislike or dissatisfaction with Diana - he simply felt that the chemistry with Gates was good, and that she had been forced to leave for more political reasons than anything else.
· He also regrets that Wil Wheaton hasn't had more to do in the past season.
February 9-11, 1990
Los Angeles Creation Convention
· On Saturday, Colm (pronounced "Colim") Meaney stated that he liked the name "Elmer" for his character. I don't know how the rest of you feel about this, but I think it isn't really appropriate (I personally like Seamus). He also would like to see his character better developed in the 4th season, perhaps with a romantic interest (but not Lwaxana Troi! :-)).
· John de Lancie made his first Con appearance, and was quite entertaining on stage. He talked at length about his difficulties with dyslexia, and how he got involved in acting. He doesn't know when Q will return next season, but the actors are always the last to know such things anyway :-).
· Both Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes were wonderful. He commented on how his beard was permitted because it looked "Nautical" to GR :-). He said that he definitely wants to direct more episodes next season...and that he is glad that Riker has loosened up some over the three years (giving us some of his ramrod straight poses while saying this :-). Marina discussed her underwear that she wears to emphasize certain body parts (and how at the end of the day she laments: "Where did they go!" :-)).
· On Sunday, Richard Arnold again spoke, this time on TNG. He talked about why the Ferengi do not clothe their women (if you aren't in the know on this issue, rewatch The Price and watch the Ferengi in the background in Ten-Forward talking the human woman, and watch her reaction!). He also stated that he felt it would be a real cop-out to have the 4th season opener solved by the appearance of Q, so if he has any pull with the creative team... (BTW, it seems that Eric Stillwell, who was one of the writers on Yesterday's Enterprise is going to be on this team). He also tossed out the possibility that Nichelle Nichols may appear on TNG as either: a) Guinan's mother; or b) Guinan's daughter (how's that for a rumor!). As of now, the season opener has 3 of its 5 acts written, so they still don't know how it will be resolved!
· After the trivia contest, Wil Wheaton made an appearance. He was soooo good up there, that Adam Malin (who runs the Con) had to turn off the lights in the room to get him off of the stage. If any of you get the chance to see Wil at a Con, you should definitely do so. He spent most of his time telling jokes about traffic in Southern California. In response to the question from one of the women, about how he felt about older women, he proceeded to drape himself over the couch in a rather unmistakable manner, and then stated that if said woman's name was Marina Sirtis, he had NO PROBLEMS with that:-). He also commented on the current controversy about the use of foul language by artists, and that he couldn't say certain things on stage, even though there was an Adult Establishment next door to the hotel!
· Majel Barrett Roddenberry talked about what it was like playing Mrs. Troi as well as being Gene's wife (she said that Gene recommended her for the part because she wouldn't need to ACT to play it :-)). As for the next season, she has heard that they have several scripts for episodes after the opener, and that certain elements of the cliffhanger may not be fully resolved for two or three episodes. Some people asked her about the possibility of Lwaxana marrying either: a) Q; or b) Riker's father (how about that!). Other's asked whether GR may make a cameo (ala Hitchcock) as one of her former lovers! As for next season casting, everyone except Patrick and Marina have signed contracts (this should not imply that either will be leaving, but that they are looking to get a raise). Paramount is also planning on a REALLY BIG Star Trek celebration next year in conjunction with the anniversary, which includes the release of ST VI; the development of a Star Trek opera (yes that was mentioned); the continuation of TNG (it has been signed up for at least 5 seasons and perhaps 6); and so much stuff that the general public will be inundated with Star Trek.
(Horowitz, Irwin Kenneth)
· For you Wesley Crusher/Wil Wheaton fans, Will just graduated from High School and plans to attend college. He's very different from his character on Star Trek. For and eighteen year old Republican he comes off as a "Surfer Dude-Bart Simpson" kind of guy.
· Marina Sirtis is outrageous. She showed up in Black leather and skin tight pants. Between her mop of hair and her cockney accent she was definitely the hit of the con.
· Jonathan Frakes was there. He mainly discussed his hair loss and the possibility of getting a toupe. As he said, "It's not as if the precedent hasn't been set."
· John de Lancie was the first speaker on Saturday. He talked about the hardest scene he's yet played on Star Trek. It was the final scene from Deja Q with the Mariachi Band. They had been filming since 7 am and it was 11 pm on Thanksgiving eve before they finally got to the scene. He realized that he hadn't learned the lines yet and he had to fake playing the trumpet. It took several takes. Also, yes, he was nude for the opening scene. They tried different ways to do the scene, but nothing really worked so he finally just stripped. It worked.
· Finally Majel Barrett and Gene Roddenberry were last on the bill. They discussed the need for scripts. At present they only have one writer on the staff and only four possible scripts for the next season of TNG and no scripts for STVI. Majel loves her role as Llwuxana (it is spelled with a u) [not according to the Paramount press releases or the Star Trek The Official Fan Club magazine, where it is spelled Lwaxana - ed.] and hopes to do a couple of more episodes.
(Bateman, Craig Robert)
· Marina Sirtis reported on what kind of car everyone drives.
· Marina: white Chrysler Le Baron convertible
· Patrick Stewart: Jaguar
· Jonathan Frakes: black Jeep limited edition
· Michael Dorn: VW Jetta (possibly - Marina's accent was hard to understand)
· Gates McFadden: Capri (or Caprice?) station wagon
· LeVar Burton: Black BMW (Marina called it "black upon black upon black"...)
· Wil Wheaton: Honda Prelude Deluxe
· Brent Spiner: Toyota Corolla
· Supposedly, the first car Patrick bought when he got here was a Honda Prelude. Right after he got it, Wil shows up with a brand new Honda Prelude Deluxe. Sigh. So Patrick runs out and gets a Jaguar...
· Also, you may or may not have heard that LeVar was in an incident a while back where he was stopped in his BMW on Highway 5 because he looked like a gang leader. He was dressed like it too, at the time...
· Jonathan calls Marina Mina.
· Jonathan tried for two years to get the opportunity to direct an episode before they gave him The Offspring. Now, he's slated to direct episode #5 of the fourth season. He's also the narrator for the audiotape of Gulliver's Fugitives.
· Colm is from Dublin, Ireland, and he supposedly has an incredibly strong accent.
· Rumor has K'Eyhlar returning sometime in the fourth season.
· If you were paying attention, you might have noticed the present that Picard received at the end of Who Watches The Watchers shows up on the back of Picard's chair in Sarek.
· And Commander Shelby in The Best of Both Worlds is Brian Dennehy's daughter.
· Also, John de Lancie's son keeps trying to get him to tell his friends that if they're not good, he'll freeze them.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Griffith)
June 29, 30 & July 1, 1990
Stuff from Timecon AnimeCon 91
PANEL: Kim Bailey of SFPX (Timecon 1991)
· From Q Who (2nd season): the shot of the Enterprise seen as the Borg were slicing the "core" sample out, the model was an exercise in forced perspective. From the angle of the camera, the saucer section appears to go on forever (which is the intended effect). If you saw the model from the top, however, you saw a grossly distorted piece of the saucer section, with the areas closest to the camera being large, and the areas farthest being small. Made the NCC-1701D logo look a little...ahem...strange.
· Among the fine detail work done on the core section, there are portions of a ship's cabin, including tables, chairs, walls, and.........a "space toilet". I don't know if it's visible on the shot, however. I do assume that, like Data, it is "fully functional". :-) :-)
· Again from Q Who: the Borg ship was constructed with the damaged sections built in. For shots where the Borg ship was to be shown in its undamaged state, there were additional pieces of the model which could be inserted into place over the damaged sections, and thus, hide them.
Each damaged section had magnets which were the same color as the background. Brass rings were added and hidden around the magnets to act as guides, so that the undamaged sections could be held securely, and would always be placed in the same position when installed.
This prevents the undamaged pieces from "jumping" as we went from shot to shot on the Borg ship.
· The Borg ship from Q Who is a large (8x8 feet/side if I recall correctly) model. Since the base cube is 6x6 feet/side, there is an incredible amount of models, tubes and other stuff that went into this cube. Among other things, toy soldiers, R2-D2s, parts from airplanes, and other miscellaneous tubing went into this model.
The logo for the company (SFPX) also appears about 8 times in various places on the model...
· Nearly all of ST:TNG's graphics displays were designed on MacIntoshes. Not only that, but the "living" displays on the show were also being generated by MacIntoshes.
· Picard's workstation in the Ready Room is just a plastic-molded model. The display screen has been replaced with a Blue Screen, so that any action that needs to be shown can be overlayed later.
Most of these workstations don't have the Blue Screen because their displays are not normally shown. Instead, they have some static graphic on the display.
PANEL: Rick Sternbach (The ST:TNG Slide Show)
· Welcome to the new season of "Tracy Ullman - The Next Generation"! Whoops. Well, this title block was the first slide shown - complete with TNG font and style.
· This was because the Tracy Ullman Show got more Emmy nominations than ST:TNG...
· Doesn't it seem that the Bridge on the Enterprise is replaced a lot? Rick noted that every time the Enterprise returns `to base' (i.e. `home' between seasons for TNG and between movies for TOS), the Bridge is redesigned. Tweak tweak tweak... :-)
· Remember the Stargazer model in Picard's office? The model (and presumably the actual ship) are painted yellow. This was done so that it would better show any stress patterns during warp testing.
· The Captain's fish is named Livingston. I've said that before, but never identified his namesake. Livingston was named after one of the 1st season director/producers.
· The computer panels on the walls of the Bridge are covered with "ultra-suede". No, I don't know what that is...
· The "horseshoe" rail on the bridge is actually made of wood. Yes, I know it LOOKS like wood, but it isn't the result of staining. Staining the horseshoe couldn't bring out the grain enough to be picked up by the cameras, so the horseshoe had to be PAINTED to look like wood.
· From Lonely Among Us, the shot where Picard/alien is zapping everyone on the bridge. This slide was taken before post-production, so the special effect lightning was missing. Caption reads: "Picard discovers to his horror that his fly is open..."
· ST:TNG is filmed on a soundstage, so it's laid out like a stage. That means there are catwalks and platforms built ABOVE the sets and corridors. Wonder what kinds of practical jokes one could play from those places... :-)
· Next time you see the engine core for the Enterprise, take a closer look. Bits of it may look at bit familiar. That's because the top and bottom of the core consists of two turbolift caps...
· Mike Okuda is responsible for creating the graphic displays seen on ST:TNG. He is also responsible for...er..."striping" everything in sight. This includes the walls, fixtures, furniture, consoles, doors, people...
Well, maybe not the people... :-)
· For the fashion watchers out there; there is a new Art Technique out there. We see it every week on ST:TNG. It's known as "Trek Deco"...
· Do you think that "striping" is an integral part of Trek Deco? :-)
· Going into the bowels of the ship, you will eventually find a door marked DROID MAINTENANCE...
· Thus far, ST:TNG has shown us Shuttle Bays Two and Three. We have never seen the main bay: Shuttle Bay One. That's because Shuttle Bay One is the size of a football field, and would cost too much to construct. Writers are under orders to use the smaller shuttle bays where possible, when writing their stories...
· The slide show was at AnimeCon, this year, so the reaction to Kei and Yuri in various pre-production drawings brought a lot of laughter and applause. As did the various renderings of the Dirty Pair, Lovely Angels, Tonari No Totoro, Tomobiki Classroom Simulations and others which I was too far away to read. Interesting being in a crowd where EVERYONE knew who the "Dirty Pair" was... :-)
Note that many of the in-jokes were written in Japanese, so they might be taken for YAAS (Yet Another Alien Script). It's amazing how many people in this audience could read this stuff!! :-)
As with the 3rd Season, the 4th Season kept the guys in the Art Department very busy, so there was little opportunity to insert new in-jokes. In-jokes from the previous seasons will not be reiterated here as they have been covered in previous Baycon postings, and I didn't notice any new ones in the slide show...
(As for Kei and Yuri on the pre-production drawings, the reaction from the producers was "C'mon guys, cut it out!"... :-))
· The FINAL answer to the U.S.S. Yamato question!! Rick said that the writers independently came up with the ship name for the U.S.S. Yamato. Rick was as surprised as anyone when he found out...
(No, I don't think the writers were aware of the anime connection when they came up with the name...)
· Shuttle Pod Onizuka has acquired an additional nameplate across the front. Now, Picard can be secure in knowing that he is driving a "Pontiac-D"... :-)
Perhaps there is a hidden meaning as the Shuttle Pods are also mounted on wheels? Maybe not...
· Before constructing Ten-Forward, a foam-core model of the set was made which was amazingly close to what eventually became Ten-Forward. For scale, a paper cutout of Tasha Yar was placed in the middle of the "set"...
Quote: "Hey guys, look who was here in a former life!!"
· From The Neutral Zone, one of the life support canisters had a famous personality in it..."Rick Sternbach"...
· From Samaritan Snare, when Picard and Wesley arrive at the Starbase, there is a directory listing departments and personnel. Filming was stopped for a while when this directory was installed while everyone looked to see where they appeared. Yes, this Starbase was staffed by the crew of ST:TNG.
It is not known if Kei or Yuri were among the personnel... :-)
Quote: "Awww, how come I'm ONLY an ensign?"
· Dr. Crusher carries around a lot of medical instruments. To make this manageable, she keeps them in a medical kit. In a former life, the medical kit was a Lego box...
· The duties of a Starfleet Officer requires that he/she be able to perform a great number of varied tasks. In order to do this, an array of specialized tools is required. One of the slides showed samples of various tools which could be used...
One of them was a Swiss Army Knife - complete with a tricorder, phaser and others. (Well, who really NEEDS a can opener anyway... :-))
· From Sins of The Father, a prototype of one of the Klingon weapons was shown. The working title was: "Terrible Horrible Nasty Awful Weapon". It was rejected for being TOO nasty...
· From The Wounded, the Cardassian ships were designed with an Egyption theme in mind. They come complete with a sacrificial temple on top, and pyramid running lights along the side...
· The new Klingon ships have a detachable disrupter pod, and a flying bridge. Useful in case of a quick getaway...
· The ship's computer core looks like a building...and it is! It's based on the RCA building in LA...
· From The Naked Now, we saw our second starship in ST:TNG: the U.S.S. Tsiolkovsky. As we've seen, all starships have a dedication plaque on the Bridge. The one for the Tsiolkovsky has been donated to the Russian city where the rea* Tsiolkovsky was born.
From the dedication plaque: "Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever."
· Speaking of dedication plaques, the one for the Horatio shows that it was built by Yoyodyne, and the dedication reads: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
· From Skin Of Evil, the graph showing the energy level of Armus is labeled: "Mean Field Intensity". This was a commentary on how mean the oil slick was... :-)
· We all know that Captain Jean-Luc Picard graduated from Starfleet Academy. Well, now we've seen his diploma. It's signed by Patrick Stewart. Congratulations, Jean-Luc Picard! :-)
· From We'll Always Have Paris, the Cafe de Artiste had a couple of strange items on the menu. Try these meals: Croissant Dilithium, Targ Klingon ala mode, Tribble
Blanket, and John Cougar Mellencamp. Mmmmm, yum yum. :-)
· There are actually a total of 6 Galaxy Class Starships. The first was the Galaxy, second was the Yamato (destroyed), third was the Enterprise (still goin' strong!), one to appear sometime during Season 5, and two more for the writers to use later.
Shhhhhh, this is a secret!! There is actually a 7th ship which hasn't been assembled, and is hidden in pieces at some remote outpost. This ship was kept in reserve because of the Borg threat, and will be used in an emergency.
Stuff from Creation Con, Boston, MA - January 11-12, 1992
At the Creation Con in Boston, Mass., January 11-12, 1992, was LeVar Burton, actor playing the ship's engineer Geordi LaForge on the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" television series. Mr. Burton wore matching earth-tone jacket and pants, and sported a neatly clipped beard which he joked LaForge would "keep for one episode." He appeared personable and charming, working the packed house of adoring fans, at an age range that in many cases dipped down to single digits, with the ease of the seasoned performer that he is.
First, the future. Burton modestly ducked most questions about the direction of future episodes, demurring that "they don't like to have us [actors] talking to the writers. They seal the writers off somewhere." However, he did let a few opinions slip:
· Burton found the probability of William Shatner appearing on an episode of TNG "unlikely." He said that Leonard Nimoy had felt a satisfying sense of closure in being able to end his portrayal of Spock on television, where he had originated the role. In addition, Burton opined that while Nimoy had expressed great admiration for the TNG effort, Shatner had shown no such interest.
· Asked about the possibility of a ST:TNG movie, Burton replied, "I hope so." He hadn't seen "ST:VI: Undiscovered Country" yet, and inquired "if they really have passed the baton" on to his fellow TNG cast members, prompting a spontaneous room wide discussion on whether the old cast members should hang up their spurs. Burton noted Nichelle Nichols' reported comments that ST:VI might be raking it in at the box office enough to justify a seventh movie, but he also predicted that there would be a TNG movie "eventually."
· Despite Burton's earlier implication that the writers had more to say about the progress of the episodes than the cast members, he said that the characters were now formed about 85% through the efforts of the actor involved, and only 15% influenced by the writers. This is opposed to his estimate of "85% writers, 15% actors" during the early episodes. Burton declared, "These days, we [actors] know the characters best."
· As for Burton's own character, Geordi LaForge, Burton hoped that the character's background, starting as one noticeably shy around women, and then evolving into a position of somewhat more self-assurance, will be further expanded, to go where Geordi has not gone before. "Enough with the holograms! It's time for Geordi to be grasping some real, warm flesh!" Burton fumed good-naturedly. Burton also looked forward to the possibility of delving into Geordi's past, including details about his family and childhood. These areas remain completely unexplored so far in TNG.
· Burton responded to a request to see more of Whoopi Goldberg's character, Guinan, with shared enthusiasm for "Whoop", but resigned pessimism due to Goldberg's hectic schedule. According to Burton, Goldberg can only be on the set for 2-3 days at a time. Similarly, a Trekker asking for a return of Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher was met with a big no can do from Burton, eliciting some applause from the audience. Burton went on to explain that while he and the rest of the cast missed Wheaton, the young actor seemed to have found the niche he was looking for outside of TNG.
· Other ins and outs: Burton believes that Gates McFadden came back to TNG to resume her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher in a position of strength-McFadden is in. Diana Muldaur is out. "I doubt she'll come back," Burton answered. Burton did note that McFadden had appeared on a recent episode of "L.A. Law," and expressed relief that she hadn't had any encounters with elevator shafts, of the type which proved to be the undoing of Muldaur's character on that show. Finally, asked about the possibility of the return of the character Dr. Leah Brahms on TNG, Burton simply smiled and said, "I hope so."
· Next, dirt. Burton proved reasonably willing to give opinions regarding his costars and fellow actors in the industry. He said that the period leading up to the shooting of the TNG episodes featuring Leonard Nimoy as Spock had the cast feeling "very nervous," explaining that "we have our own way of working. . .a certain energy" that they weren't sure Nimoy would be able to mesh with. However, Burton and the rest of the cast were "surprised and delighted" to see that Nimoy proved to be "very loose, not stuffy or uptight," and that "he fit in." One may get the feeling that Burton may be saying that the TNG cast is just plain goofy-and one may be right. However, Burton claims the TNG cast is a "family", managing to socialize away from the set often, somehow without killing each other.
· Burton, when riled (such as during a question which asked why Geordi was "demoted" to the engine room), is capable of ripping off a scorching imitation of Engineer Scotty's lopsided brogue, but he warmly affirmed that he has the "utmost respect" for James Doohan. Burton also remembered in his youth looking to Nichelle Nichols as something of a role model, watching her character Uhura in TOS episodes and being reassured that "there was a place for me in the future," as a black man.
· On the other hand, Burton greeted a question about musical recordings by William Shatner with a mock-solemn "Bill Shatner singing is a very serious thing."
· Asked who his favorite co-star was on TNG, Burton replied, "I love all my friends-and I'm not stupid enough to single any one of them out," but continued with praise for Brent Spiner, saying that he was "brilliant, intelligent, funny. . .and sick."
· As for LeVar Burton's personal life, he reported that he is single, although "going with somebody." He introduced his girlfriend to the crowd, explaining that they had met on an earlier TV movie where she had been a makeup artist. He admitted that he was thinking of marriage, shrilly squealing "Don't rush me!" to his significant other as a jest. He has an 11 year-old child from what was implied to be a previous relationship. He sees directing in his future-though not TNG or anything Trek-related, but other types of projects. As a filmmaker, he would like to "tell stories that make a difference," to use the communications "grid [or net, perhaps?] that links the world together as a tremendous tool for spreading light and consciousness." In other words, he's no Donald Trump.
· Asked to talk about his influences, Burton pointed to Sidney Poitier as "one of the main reasons I'm an actor." He fingered Arthur C. Clarke as his favorite SF author.
· When asked about his absence from cons up till now (his appearance here was reputed to be his first at a con), Burton gave the usual excuses of too little time. Perhaps he suddenly needs some quick cash to put a down payment on a house so he can get married to his SO?
Finally: the visor.
Number of visor questions: 10.
1. Q. Do you have it with you?
A. No, it's locked up in a vault somewhere. I don't travel with it.
2. Q. Can you see with it on?
A. It's nearly impossible. I used to bump into things a lot in the beginning. The irony is, the visor gives Geordi the ability to see, but LeVar sees nothing.
3. Q. How do you make your pupils and irises disappear?
A. Well, I could say it's due to being the good actor that I am-just kidding! Actually, it's a pair of thick white contact lenses that really do make me blind.
4. Q. Does it harm your eyesight?
A. I don't think so. . .although in 10-12 years we may have a very good lawsuit! (smile)
5. Q. Will Geordi ever win a poker game?
A. Actually, in an upcoming episode, it's shown that Geordi can actually see everybody else's hand. So there's a new possibility now that Geordi's letting the other guys win.
6. Q. What are the buttons on the sides of Geordi's head?
A. Those "blinkies", as we call them, are where, due to surgery, the fiber optic cables bringing signals from the visor are routed to his brain.
7. Q. How does it work?
A. [Long discussion of how Geordi can see the entire energy wave spectrum]
Actually, I've been told that research is progressing along these lines today, and I hope that this will give sight to real blind people someday.
8. Q. What was the model for it?
A. The visor was modeled after a woman's hair comb. . .and not a Fram air filter, as some are tempted to assume!
9. Q. Would Geordi be willing to undergo an operation to gain normal human eyesight?
A. It's not so much a gain as a trade-off. He would have to be willing to give up a large part of himself to be like everyone else.
10. Q. Is it hard for you to work with it on?
A. It's a tremendous challenge for me to perform without the expressiveness that eyes can lend. I think I'm surely a better actor now than I was five years ago.
· The audience showed an impressive knowledge of LeVar Burton's work outside of Trek, acknowledging early on his performance as Kunta Kinte in "Roots," but also asking him questions on the "Reading Rainbow" children's TV programs, the obscure TV movie "Dummy", in which he portrayed a deaf person, and his upcoming movie, in which he plays a shaman from Burkina Faso who is taken as a boy to be raised by missionaries, and ends up introducing shamanism to the West, based on a true story.
· A question was also asked on the "American Spectator" episode Burton did, following that TV show's switch from a hunting/shooting emphasis to a simple wildlife format (Burton may be anti-gun), in which he engaged on a death-defying 1st-time rafting of the Zambesi River, flowing between war-torn Zambia and Zimbabwe.
· Finally, Burton told the room that the name "Geordi LaForge" came from a person that Gene Roddenberry knew, a man, named Gordon LaForge, who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair. But LaForge had an enthusiasm for Trek that, to the best of Roddenberry's ability to discern, added years and quality to his life, sustaining him in the face of the trials life imposed on him.
· Burton referred to Roddenberry as "a giant in his field" and said that he will always remember Roddenberry's comment to him after his first audition: "Thanks for making my words come alive."
Museum of Television and Radio Ninth Annual Television Festival - Los Angeles, CA - March 4-21, 1992
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Panel - Saturday, March 15, 1992, 9:30 PM
The Museum screened the episode "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", and then held a question and answer session from the cast and crew.
Originally scheduled to participate in the Q&A were Rick Berman, Jonathan Frakes, Peter Lauritson, Gates McFadden, Michael Piller, and Patrick Stewart. However, both Frakes and McFadden cancelled out and LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, and Wil Wheaton appeared in their places to lots of applause (especially for Spiner).
Also, if Gene Roddenberry had not died, he would have been on the panel as well.
Upcoming episodes and "ST:TNG"'s future:
· For "The Outcast", Piller wanted to present the issue of sexual intolerance and not a "gay story". They just didn't want to show two crewmembers holding hands on the Enterprise as was suggested to them.
· In "Cause And Effect", there will be a ship from forty or fifty years before "ST:TNG". This goes against what everyone on r.a.s. is saying about a "ST:TOS" ship coming into the "ST:TNG" universe. But it was mentioned that there would be a cameo (no mention of Kelsey Grammer).
· Mention made of the Starfleet Academy story. It'll be our first look at the Academy (no mention of Boothby).
· In "I Borg", Picard will come face-to-face with another Borg. This was met with a lot of "Ooh"ing and "Aah"ing from the audience!
· Guinan will appear in the last three of four episodes this season.
· When it was asked whether the relationship between Guinan and Picard should be kept secret, Wheaton replied that it should be because that's why her character is so special-she's a mystery!
· The cliffhanger episode this season will revolve around Data and another character on Earth around the turn of the twentieth century.
· When Berman or Piller joked in saying that there would be an upcoming episode in which LaForge's parents are notified of LaForge's death, Burton did a great double-take!
· It was mentioned that there would be no Q episode this season. Well, I guess that scratches "Duelling Q's."
· Doctor Moriarty will not be on the show again because of objections from the Conan Doyle estate. When one of the executive producers said that to have him on again would require a fee to the estate, Spiner joked, "How much could it be?"
· "Now that Rosalind Shays fell down the elevator in `L.A. Law', will we see Doctor Pulaski again?"-Audience member
"Tell them about the time she fell down the turboshaft."-Spiner to Stewart
When it was asked whether Pulaski would be in an episode again, there were actual hisses from the audience. Wheaton then half-seriously said, "Hey, stop that!" And when the answer was that Pulaski would not be featured again, there was actual applause from the audience!
· Both Berman and Piller avoided the question as to whether Sela will return.
· It looks like "ST:TNG" won't be shown in stereo in L.A., at least for a while. Berman said that KCOP keeps saying that they'll show it in stereo "sometime soon", but that they've been saying that for the past three seasons.
· The show will go on for seven seasons, and not six seasons as has been previously mentioned. This information comes from Rick Berman himself.
· Lauritson handles postproduction (what is done after the show is filmed) work.
· When Berman said that the idea for Ten-Forward was conceived of as a place where people could put their hair down and relax, Stewart replied that no one will stop in joking about his baldness.
· Elizabeth Dennehy is Brian Dennehy's daughter.
· Picard's full Borg suit took three hours to wear. Even his naked outfit took the same amount of time in makeup. And it took about the same amount of time to take off the makeup.
· Both Berman and Piller felt that they needed an episode for Picard to deal with the Borg rape that he experienced. They simply couldn't have the captain back on the Enterprise in ship-shape condition the next week. Hence, "Family".
· When the actors were asked if they could tell the audience some of their humorous outtakes, Stewart replied that they didn't have any.
· When a young boy asked if there are any chapels on the Enterprise, Stewart replied that there is none because rituals and the like do not need to be performed in one fixed locale. They can be performed privately in one's quarters.
· Wheaton joked that the reason why the characters walk so fast on the ship is because there aren't any public toilets on the Enterprise set!
· Burton actually likes the fact that his family has never been revealed. But he did recently discover that LaForge's parents are in Starfleet. His mother is an exobiologist and his father is an officer (commander?).
· The writing staff is still dabbling with the idea of giving LaForge sight, but it's an on-and-off thing.
· When asked how it was like to work with Leonard Nimoy, Spiner replied that it was "Good" and "Excellent". He replied that he came prepared like any other actor.
· Spiner said that he loves playing Lore. The writing staff is still dabbling in ideas to bring Lore back.
· Spiner is a film buff.
· Compliments made to Spiner for his album. When Wheaton said that the cast only got the cassette version and not the CD version, Spiner replied that the audience member paid for his!
· Compliments made to Stewart and Spiner for their concert with Frakes and McFadden in Orange County.
· Compliments also made to Stewart for his performances of "A Christmas Carol".
· Stewart will perform "A Christmas Carol" again next year.
· When asked how the transition was from stage to film, Stewart made a sucking noise and curled up in his seat!
Running jokes during the program:
· Whenever a question was asked about a character, the actor would turn to Piller and say, "Mike..."
· Whenever it was appropriate, Wheaton would turn to Piller and ask him for a job on the show for a certain role.
· It also seems that Denise Crosby is stopping by Wheaton's apartment every now and then.
New York City - June 21, 1992
On Sunday, June 21st, 1992, I attended the Creation Con in New York City. The main guest was Michael Dorn. I have split my notes into three sections: (a) Eric Stillwell's general notes, (b) Eric's information on Deep Space 9 [available in the ST:DS9 Program Guide], and (c) Michael Dorn's appearance.
ERIC STILLWELL'S GENERAL NOTES.
· Eric is the writer of the popular Yesterday's Enterprise episode, and is the script coordinator for ST:TNG for five years now. He was really nice and gave us lots of information.
· Gene Roddenberry really liked Wesley. In fact, Gene's full name is Gene Wesley Roddenberry. At the time of TNG's creation, right after all of the main characters were finalized, Gene decided to add one more - Wesley. Wesley's character was to represent Gene, the outcast thought to be boring, who is also a hero. It seems that when Gene was young he had problems with his father and that was part of the reason for the addition of Wesley's character. Of course there were cheers but even more boos when Wesley's name was mentioned, but people calmed down when Eric told us that "when you boo Wesley you actually boo..."
· Conflict. This, I think, was the main "sub-plot" of this con. The writers and current producers of ST:TNG did not agree with Gene's "perfect world, people, and relations." They deem it "boring." They promised to being lots more character development and conflicts. Eric told us season 6 of TNG would have more conflicts, character development. He also promised more special effects, and battles. (More on that below.)
· Q. In the fifth season of TNG they really did not have any good scripts featuring Q, so they decided not to have any more of them. However, they now have two good scripts and almost surely one of them will be produced. Eric even said that there is a good chance both will be made into episodes as both are good.
· John de Lancy's wife is Marnie Mosiman, the actress who played one third of Riva's Chorus in Loud As A Whisper. They showed a slide of John and his baby son. They call him "R"... :-)
· Although we know Picard gets to meet Guinan for the first time again in the second part of Time's Arrow, we will not find then about the "special relations" Picard and Guinan are supposed to have.
· Last season they had an idea for a "Data and family" script. Lore steals Lal's body and attempts to revive her with the "emotions chip" he cheated Data out of. The idea was shot down.
· Diana Muldaur. Eric said that no one liked her, neither in front nor behind the scenes. The crowd agreed. He said she was made to go, but "at least we didn't dump her down an open turbo-lift shaft." (Roars of laughter.)
· More crossovers. Michael Dorn and Suzie Plakson do some of the voices on Dinosaurs. One of the producers of Dinosaurs is Kirk Thacher (the punker on the bus in ST4.)
· In The Loss, there was an ending scene of Troi and Riker kissing in Ten-Forward, as viewed from outside the ship. It was hard to achieve due to the need to have reliable reflection of space etc. It was cut from the final version of the episode.
· Lots of talk about ST7 in Paramount. They even have a possible script for it.
· Because ST7 will feature the old cast, they have been seriously thinking about a 7th TNG season. Some, but not all, of the current TNG cast have already signed new contracts.
· In Booby Trap, the original name of the holographic scientist was to be Leah Daistrum, who was to be the grand-grand-grand-daughter of Dr. Daistrum from TOS. However, after they cast Susan Gibney for the part, they realized that she is, well, not "African-American." So they changed her last name to Brahms, and only made some references to The Daistrum Institute in the episode. (BTW, all throughout the con people on stage avoided the word "black" at all cost, using "African-American" instead.)
· To those who were worried about the future of TNG after Gene's death, Eric reiterated that for the last two seasons of TNG Gene has hardly been involved as his health deteriorated. Gene was very very involved in the first three seasons. Eric told us not to worry because what you saw on the last two seasons of TNG was effectively trek without Gene, and if you liked it, you would like the future of trek.
· Season 6 of TNG is the first season in which Gene had no say whatsoever.
· The "eight year gap" (which one is that?) will probably never be explained or closed.
· There is no replacement currently planned for O'Brien on TNG once he moves to DS9. It will probably feature different people as transporter chiefs.
· TNG finally jumped to number one in syndicated ratings last season, beating heavyweights as L.A. Law, Murder, She Wrote, and the all time winner, Wheel of Fortune.
· A very good possibility that James Doohan will guest on a future TNG episode, as Scotty of course.
· Michael was funny, somewhat blunt at times, but warm and fun to be with. Michael is usually not very recognized without his Worf costume. In the few times I've seen him on TV without makeup he didn't have a mustache, which he does now. That made it harder to recognize him. Michael considers it a blessing at times.
· Michael will be a guest on a future episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose. In the episode, he is meeting a kid who sells trek toys. The kid tries to sell him an "original" model of the Enterprise. Michael then asks the kid "but how do I know it has the ORIGINAL photon torpedoes?!"
· He said that he has a rather unique place in the TNG crew. Gene and the other producers have given him lots of freedom in the evolution of the Worf character. He says most of the Worf you see now on TNG is his. [So how come you get beat up so often, Worf?!]
· Worf will have a new hairdo that Michael designed himself for season 6 of TNG. He called it "funky and interesting."
· Michael said Leonard Nimoy is involved more and more with Startrek. He believes that Nimoy eventually will take the place of Gene in Paramount.
· Another affirmation of an apparent shift in the post-Gene TNG era. Michael said we will see lots more battles and conflicts in season 6 of TNG.
· There are good chances he will be on DS9 from time to time.
· He would like to have a love scene with Troi. He sketched us a possible dialog (apologies to those offended. I didn't "write" it...):
Worf [to Riker]: "Are you through with Commander Troi?"
Riker: "Sure. Go head."
Riker [to himself]: "The pinhead schmuck..."
Portland, Oregon - July 11, 1992
Well, I attended my first "creation" convention with Johnathan Frakes on July 11, 1992, in Portland, OR, and thought I would post some of the more interesting tidbits to come about...
· First off, I have to say that Frakes has one hell of a sense of humor! Always had the audience laughing (quite hard at times) and is a wonderful speaker...Look forward to seeing him again.
· Some of the more interesting questions to arise was that if Riker actually played the trombone in the series...The answer was most definitely yes, and he even gave us a performance (a gal brought a bone and he actually played it....not too badly either!).
· Another question (mine) was what Riker's middle name was. He said that he had been pushing for (and excuse the spelling) Thenolis (after the Jazz artist) and that is his favorite, but the name "Thomas" was actually written in a script, but cut from the final version, so he really don't know what it is, but he is pushing for Thenolis (and says to tell Paramount that too!)
· He also wanted to spread the rumor of a Star Trek: The Next Generation Motion Picture! He said nothing was definite, cause Paramount doesn't know if the fans will want to see one....(Sheesh! after 26 years, they are still not sure if we want another film???-gimme a break!)
· He said that Star Trek: The Next Generation would most likely be going into a seventh season of production, but Paramount only continues the production one season at a time (renews the show that is).
· Frakes also mentioned that the new contracts that were being negotiated would probably spell TNG for about 8 or 9 seasons... (with any luck!) but, again, Paramount seems to think we might be sick of it by then....
· When asked if he had signed his contact (the new, extended one) he merely said, "What, do I look stupid?? I don't have to be kicked in the head with a great job to know I have one - I'm there as long as they want me!" (YEAH!)
· He was asked who was the best kisser (guess why?) and he said that he was no fool and choose his "real imzadi" - his wife....(Smart move...)
· And speaking of Imzadi, he was asked what he thought of the story, and he could only say that he has read better...he has read worse...
· Frakes went on to answer a few questions more from the audience, and was really a great speaker... If you get the chance to see him, do it! Well worth it!
· Let's see, also from the convention, Much unlike William T. Riker, Frakes showed up in a nice, what appeared to be tailor-made, slim-cut french design suit....quite a surprise to see a slim frakes when Riker seems to be expanding....and I was only about 10 to 15 feet from the stage, so I got an un-obstructed view!...
· Also at the convention was Ronald D. Moore, who wrote Sins of The Father and the other Klingon episodes.... He also answered questions. A couple of the more interesting ones were:
· Will anyone by Geordi move up in rank?
No! We do not want it like Star Trek VI, where there are six Captains on the same ship, so there will probably be very few promotions...
· Who is going to Deep Space Nine?
Mr. & Mrs. O'Brien. So far, they are the only planned cross-overs. Ensign Ro was supposed to, but apparently she is considering something else...
· Is "Chief" O'Brien a petty officer?
YES!! Chief O'Brien has the rank of Lieutenant, but he is a non-commissioned officer, so he holds the "rank" of chief petty officer!!! He is not really in the chain of command.
· So, I guess that solves the long standing indecision about his rank...frankly, I am a little miffed, but, that is what he said, on no unsure ground....
David Pipgras (email@example.com)
Trekfest - Boca Raton, Florida - September 1992
I just returned from the Trekfest in Boca Raton, FL in which Brent Spiner was the special guest. Before I go into answering some questions I have seen in USENET news, I have to make one comment. Recently, I have read articles on Brent (I shouldn't be so familiar), but when someone told him that "Mr. Frakes" urged him to ask Brent to do his Jimmy Swaggart impression, Brent asked that person, "Did he tell you to call him that?... Yeah, he makes me call him that too!" :-) Therefore, in order to shorten his name, (I don't want to keep typing Brent Spiner, and I certainly don't want to use his initials! ;-)) I will call him Brent. Whew! Long side comment! :-)) Anyway, I have read articles about Brent which say that he is a very shy person who is fiercely protective of his privacy. Although, he is private (but not very, he told us some anecdotes about his early years and what he humorously foresees in his future...) he most certainly is not shy in any definition that I know! Brent is a man who has a very dry sense of humor, and is concerned for the feelings of fans of Star Trek. He had the audience rolling on the floor, and clapping for him in respect. A showman to the Nth degree.
Here I will write about some answers that Brent gave to questions that I remembered from the Net. These are mostly paraphrased, and there are probably a few things I have forgotten... I will do the best that my memory can serve me...
· Scotty's episode on TNG: Brent confirmed that they have filmed an episode with Scotty. He commented that he didn't have a large part in the script, just a nice little scene with him. Geordi and Scotty are together most... he said that "it's an engineer kinda thing..."
· Data's Head II: He would not expound on the plot, saying that he didn't want to spoil the show... "It's on next week!" he grinned. He did comment that the episode was as much fun and made as little sense :-) as episode #1 did...
· Contracts for the next seasons: Brent said that no one has made their decision yet... He wants this season to be like the first two: with some shows that were great, and some that were bad, instead of all of the shows just being o.k. If this happens, he could see doing another season or two. He is concerned about how Data would appear to be aging with the rest of the crew and said that it would not be true to Data to make up a reason for the ageing... About a TNG movie; he stated that, as he learned, Paramount is an "Enterprise." If P. feels that a movie would be good for them, they would do one...
· Did Brent do the tapdancing with Gates McFadden: He did some, having taken lessons before, but Gates brought a tapper (sorry, I forgot his name) in to do the shots from above. Gates is an excellent tapper, and choreographed the number.
· Burger King: I just want to mention a shirt I read: "Borger King. Special Orders are Irrelevant. You will have it our way." ;-}
· Has he read any of the Star Trek novels: No, he is saving them for after the show. He will take a couple of hundred and go to a desert island to read them... :-)
· Has he watched any of the episodes: He watched the first two seasons, but is going to wait 50 years to watch the others. He'll turn on the T.V. and be able to say, "I haven't seen this one!" ;-}
As I have said, his humor is very dehydrating... some of these statements may not sound funny, but they were hilarious when being delivered with an amused yet deadpan expression... :-) I hope to be able to go to the next convention he appears in... Quite a treat!
Creation Convention - San Diego, California - January 9, 1993
On January 9, 1993, I attended yet another Creation Star Trek convention. This time, the featured guest was Marina Sirtis. Also, earlier, we had Wendy Neuss (pronounced like Dr. Seuss), TNG's Post Production Supervisor. (She supervises getting the sound effects and music mixed in.) We also got some upcoming news.
· Wendy showed us clips from several episodes, - Cause And Effect, Redemption, The Ensigns of Command, Devil's Due, and Unification - first without music and sound effects, then with. It was interesting, and often funny, watching the clips without music and sound effects. For example, in Cause and Effect is was rather amusing to hear Riker yell "Red Alert!", and then not hear any Red Alert klaxon. And then, when the U.S.S. Bozeman hits the Enterprise's warp nacelle, and the view changes back to the Enterprise Bridge, you can hear the camera shaking! :-) And then Picard shouts "All hands abandon ship! Repeat, all hands abandon-" (pause).
· Sound effects include everything from ship beeps and phasers to footsteps and punches (as in Redemption, on K'Ern's ship).
· It usually takes 2 days (2 long days) for the sound effects crew to mix in all of the sound effects and music.
· They have 2 post-production teams, and they work on alternate episodes.
· They use about a 40-piece orchestra for the music. While that's small compared to a symphony orchestra, it's a lot larger than most TV show orchestras.
· Looping - when they record a voice off camera to replace one that was recorded on camera because it didn't sound very good for the part, or there was a lot of noise. For example in Unification, Part II, when Riker went into the bar on Quaylor II to talk to that four-handed piano player, the actress' real voice had a Brooklyn accent. So, they got a different actress to read the part, and then edited it in over the original actress' voice. They also do that for log entries, as in Unification II - in the "before" clip, we heard another voice reading the First Officer's Log entry. In the "after" clip, of course, it was Frakes' voice.
· The woman who re-voiced the four-handed piano player in Unification II is the same actress who does the voice of the computer in Deep Space Nine.
· The guy who played Gosheven in The Ensigns of Command got his voice done over because the actor "sounded too much like John Wayne". :-)
· Someone asked what the most embarrassing post production error was. She couldn't think of one offhand, but then another person in the audience suggested the reflection of a boom operator off of the crystal in Sela's office in Unification II.
Most of the time, the behind-the-scenes crew are not allowed to appear in front of the camera.
· The Transporter effect is a composite of 3 different tracks.
· As usual, the first thing she did was pose for pictures. Everyone crowded up to the front to grab a picture or 5 before she made us stop. Of course, my camera's flash picked just that time to quit working, but I got it working again later. At least I could take a few pictures later, after everyone had sat back down, without flash.
· Just as the pictures were ending, someone asked her what color her eyes are. The answer: HAZEL. There! No more debates about that one, eh? :-)
· Don't call her "Ms. Sirtis", because she says it makes her feel like she's her aunt. Call her Marina. :-)
· She says married life is great!
· Don't worry, she's not pregnant...yet. We'll know if she is if they start filming her from the neck up only.
· Face Of The Enemy - Marina gets to be a Romulan! She'll be kidnapped from the Enterprise and surgically altered to look like a Romulan.
· She's renamed Romulus to "The Bad Hair/Bad Clothes Planet."
· Carolyn Seymour will be guest-starring in this show. (You may remember her as Sub-commander Taris from Contagion, and also as Mirasta Yale from First Contact.)
· Troi actually gets mad in this episode. Makes us happy!
· She poked fun at Picard being naked in Chain Of Command - she said, "Old Baldy's showing off his bits and pieces."
· A vote seemed to indicate that most people liked Troi's original hairdo the best, the one with the hair down (no, not the bun!). She calls the original `do the "Country and Western hairdo."
· Guess what, folks? The answer to our prayers! Troi will be wearing the standard uniform most of the time (while she's on duty, I assume). She'll still wear other stuff when she's off duty or counseling.
· Her theory on why Troi & Riker won't be happening: Riker is the "Stud of the Galaxy", and has to be available for all of the female guest stars. :-)
· She feels that Riker is not very bright when it comes to women: In Conundrum, Riker and Ensign Ro think there's something going on between them. Then Riker finds this book, in which is inscribed, "To Will, all my love, Deanna." And it doesn't compute! He doesn't figure out that he and Deanna must have had something going.
· She and John Frakes try to play a relationship, but it usually ends up on the cutting room floor.
· For those who don't know already, Marina's new husband is Michael Lamper (whom she says has better hair than she), a rock musician. He hates the scenes where Troi is having some kind of romantic encounter. He tells her, "You're too good. That looks real!" To which she says, "Oh, honey, I hated him. He had bad breath!"
· In The Icarus Factor, when Riker was going to be leaving the Enterprise, and he and Deanna say goodbye to each other and she starts to cry a little, she said Michael started to cry a bit when he saw that episode. When they got married, he cried all the way through the service, while she was all smiles.
· Someone asked who does her voice, and got a rather strange look from Marina. :-) Someone else said, "Prove it", and she refused at first, but then the whole audience wanted her to demonstrate, so she said, in her Troi voice, "Captain, he's hiding something." (Real original line, eh?
· There was one instance where she had to say that line, and Patrick Stewart turned to her and said, "We know that, you stupid cow! You waste of space!..." To which she replied, "Well excuse me, your majesty! I don't write the lines, Patrick, I just say them, OK?!"
· Someone asked if she wears hip pads (and got a strange look from Marina). No, she does not, she says the TV puts 10 pounds on you.
· She very much enjoyed working with Howie Seago (as Riva) in Loud As A Whisper.
· A tip: To get attention at a convention, Marina says "wear the guest." Someone in the audience had a jacket with a big autographed picture of Troi on the back.
· She and Brent Spiner are addicted to the TV, she says - when they're not working on TV, they're watching it.
· When asked about whether or not there would be any more blooper reels, she told us "No", then went on to explain why (and get Wendy in trouble, she said): Wendy made a blooper reel at the end of the second season. But, it wasn't just a blooper reel, it was edited bloopers. Remember the episode Time Squared, with the double of Captain Picard? There was a scene where the second Picard was in sickbay thrashing around on a bed, and Troi was trying to get a sense of what was going through his mind. At one point, it overwhelmed her for a second, and she started panting very briefly. Well, Wendy took and edited that together with Picard's thrashing around. They were watching the reel at the second season wrap party. Marina was sitting on Wil Wheaton's lap (she said don't ask why), and, well, let's just say Wil got very excited. :) There have not been any blooper reels since then. Maybe Patrick had something to do with it?
· She loves working with Majel, and she makes fun of the extravagant costumes that Lwaxana wears. ("Majel, are you doing an episode this season?" "Yes, Marina, I am." "OK, that's why I didn't get a raise this year.") The cast is normally a pretty rowdy bunch, but they decided that they would be really good the first time Majel guest-starred. However, about halfway through, they discovered that Majel was even nuttier than the rest of them!
· Here's another credit for Marina: The very first movie she made was called The Thief of Baghdad. She told us a story from that movie: She did a scene with Rodney McDowell (I think that was his name), where he says to her, "Feed me a cumquat." Well, Marina had no idea whatsoever what a cumquat was, and the only thing she could find that looked edible was a grape, so she hands him a grape. He says, "That's a grape, stupid!" She says, "Well, OK, what's a cumquat?"
· Regarding whether or not the wives of guest stars whom Troi has had relationships with (i.e. Matt McCoy as Devinoni Ral from The Price), Marina has made an agreement, which she whispered into the microphone: "No tongues." The says she has blocked The Price from her consciousness. :-)
· A group of guys started leaving, so Marina stops and says, "Where are you going? You're missing the best part!" No answer. "Where're you going?" I shouted, "They're going to the restroom!" Marina then said, "To the restroom? I thought only girls went to the toilet together." Lots of laughs on that one! :-)
· One of the people who was working at the convention happened to walk by the stage. She was wearing a Data shirt (which said, "I am not less perfect than Lore" on the back). Marina saw the front of the shirt, stopped the girl, and said, "Now, if he were appearing at this convention, I could understand you wearing that T-shirt." The girl said that Brent had read it (he was here on November 8, 1992). Marina answered, "Yeah, but it's me here today." The girl then asked if Marina liked the cookies she made. "Oh, did you make the cookies? Yes, I got them. Thank you very much. OK, you're forgiven for wearing a Brent Spiner shirt."
· One of her long-term goals is to work for the National Shakespeare Company in England (not the Royal Shakespeare Company). Another is to do a Broadway play.
· She has a space on her mantle for "the oscar that one day I'm gonna win."
· She says working with Faye Dunnaway (The Wicked Lady) was like working with the Queen of England.
· Before, when asked what goal she had for Troi, Marina would say she would like Troi to be captain for the day. Well, along came Disaster, and now she has revised that statement to be captain for the day and know what she's doing.
· About practical jokes: She says they don't play practical jokes on each other, because practical jokes are mean. She told us a story about how one time she brought her dog Skilaggi (I don't know about the spelling, but it's Greek for "Little Dog") to the studio with her one time and left him with Brent Spiner while she went to shoot a scene. Well, after the scene was done, she was coming back to Brent's trailer shouting from about 100 yards away, "Skilaggi! It's mommy, I'm coming!" She gets to Brent's trailer, and Brent is putting the dog in the microwave! Another time, Brent had the dog again. He sees Jonathan Frakes and says, "Hey, Jonathan! Take it long!" Michael Dorn calls the dog a "hairy cockroach."
· She's a bit miffed that they keep passing up her Skilaggi when they use a dog on the show, and also that they didn't want to use either of her 2 cats for Spot.
· Another of Marina's goals is to work with Robert De Niro.
· If the transporter were ever invented during her lifetime, Marina says, "I ain't getting on it!" :-)
· Of the entire TNG cast, the only one who hasn't done theater work is Michael Dorn.
· Several scenes were cut from Relics, including a scene where Troi stopped in to see Scotty after a big argument with Geordi (which was also cut). (Read the book version of Relics to get an idea of what was supposed to happen.)
· For Man Of The People, Mike Westmore asked her to get her face waxed (she says she has a bit of peach fuzz on her face). Unfortunately, the glue for the makeup burned her face, and she was in agony for two days. (Ugh!) She said she felt like she had 20,000 bees crawling all over her face.
· She feels her best episode is The Child.
· She and her husband had their honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. He surfs; she doesn't. He tried to teach her twice, and both times she ended up on the beach, completely covered with sand, with her bikini around her ankles.
· Marina has never had a class in psychology, but during the first season, she subscribed to Psychology Today.
· In case anyone's wondering, she's 5' 3.5" tall.
· Jonathan Frakes really does play the trombone, and the cast hates it when there's a scene involving the trombone, because Jonathan "doesn't stop all day long with that bloody trombone."
· She likes the "entity" shows, because she likes being mean or forceful, and it doesn't happen very often.
· Her favorite character on the show is Data.
· She saw the Deep Space Nine promo twice. None of the regular TNG case (except for Patrick Stewart, of course, for the pilot episode) has been asked to be on Deep Space Nine.
· Someone asked how she felt after the pilot episode. She said she felt horrible. "Why do I still have a job?", she wondered. She was a little scared.
· Marina doesn't know whether or not there will be more seasons of TNG or not, but says that if there are, she will be in it.
· Her parting words were thanks: She thanked us for watching the original Trek in reruns and making it feasible to do TNG. She also thanked us for her job, her car, her house, her clothes... basically everything she has, she thanks us for. Very heartfelt.
Bryce Newall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kansas City - January 17, 1993
What follows is a rough transcript of Gates McFadden at Trekon in Kansas City on 1-17-93. I have done my best to preserve the flavor of her speech and demeanor, but in some cases I simply had to paraphrase what she said in order for it to make sense. I typed a lot of this on my powerbook on the way home in the car, and was only able to do a marginal job proofreading it. I was afraid if I did not submit it soon, I would never get it done.
I will mention two things that do no appear in this transcript. First, she is incredibly good looking in person. Her makeup and clothing on the show do not do here justice. Second, she emphasized the children in the audience, so some of the questions may seem quite silly. I have tried to leave out the questions like "Do you think the Enterprise will come back to Deep Space Nine" to which she had not even a witty answer.
Before she came on stage, there was some rumor passing with the host about some things Gates had said on 1-16. One of these was the fact that Brent Spiner is currently dating Terry Farrell (probably old news).
She started with some small talk comments about the weather, and how "wild" the people in the audience were. Surprisingly, she showed up in a leather jacket with black sunglasses (inside), high-heeled black boots and jeans. Her costumes and makeup do not do her justice.
1. Q. Do you anticipate any intimate relationships with Jean-Luc?
A. Who? (laugh) Oh, you mean Jean-Luc (sultry voice). Well, we would love to do something like that, but it is not up to me.
2. Q. Is Stewart as gorgeous in person?
A. Now way (sarcasm). You mean the most bodacious man according to TV Guide? Yeah, we had to "knock him down a few pegs" after that. And now his Christmas Carol recording has been nominated for a Grammy. I can imagine if he wins...he will just be impossible. No really, of course he is, he is great. We just can't keep our hands off each other (sarcasm).
3. Q. Are we going to see Data get any emotion?
A. Well, I think we started to see Data get a beginning of emotion. It would really ruin the character if he suddenly had emotions. But hey - this is Hollywood. All things are possible on TV.
4. Q. Why don't you have an action figure?
A. I think we need a few letters. They have told me that they are going to make one. "Oh it's in the works" they say, "here are the pictures." I keep saying "Well what are you going to wait for, the Christmas that I am dead to bring it out?" I think we also need like real action (goes through Karate moves and other action poses).
5. Q. Would you like to see Captain Picard wear a wig?
A. Honey, I have seen him wear many of my wigs. Actually I wouldn't. Actually though, he did in one [episode], that one where we went back in time. Uh, I think he is sexier bald.
6. Q. Are you planning to do any more tapes?
A. Yes, I just finished up a new Carmen Carter(?) book up this week. It is great.
7. Q. Are there any other roles you would like to play?
A. Yes, many. I would love to do some Shakespeare heroines, Hedda Gabler, some more comedy. Uh, all of the roles Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino have done. (laugh). Yeah, there is a lot that I have not done that I would like to do. Uh, we could start with just getting a Bev episode this season, however.
8. Q. When did you start acting and/or dancing?
A. I began acting, er, performing as it were, as a young child. I started dancing school when I was about 2.5-3 years old. We would have a little recital. I took that very seriously. I would do that for hours every day after school. When I was eight I started taking acting lessons with the local theater, the Coachhouse Theater. I played a couple of parts. I never got the lead parts or supporting roles, but I got the comic supporting roles. It's ok if you don't get the lead gal roles, so long as you get the comedy roles. That's really what happened for me. I got a lot of those roles and did a lot of things, majored in [acting] in school, and there you are...I am still looking for a job (laugh).
9. Q. Any information on Wil....(pauses to clarify) Wheaton.
A. I know which Wil you meant.(laugh). No. Nothing concrete other than Christmas Greetings. He probably is working on something, which is probably why he is not doing an episode, although once you leave the show it is not a given fact that you will be back all the time. But who knows, we may seem him on Deep Space Nine, because as we all know we needed him to save our ship, and they may need him to save theirs. Well, let's face it, the guy is a genius. Everyone should listen to him and we would have five minute episodes.
10. Q. What would you like to see Beverly do?
A. I would like to see her used more, I don't think her character has been as well rounded as I would like. I feel she has lot a lot of the relationship she had with Picard, standing up to him as well, not just the romantic relationship. I think that she is someone who has a very high rank, and you sort of lose that. I feel that she has become completely the nurturing character, which I know was meant to be there when I spoke to Gene about the character way back when. He said she was a mother and that was really unusual and I thought that was a superb choice. But she was also meant to have humor. I had been given the choice of all three women parts in terms of auditioning, and the scene that they gave me for Crusher was - I could only do one of them because I had a plane to catch - the scene from Naked Now where I am sort of coming on to the Captain. I said "Ah, God I want to do this one. I like this sort of character," because I thought it was always going to be like that. But at any rate, I would like to see more humor, and I would like to be involved in more command decisions - where it is not just the male characters that are involved in the action. It seems to me that anyone who is up there on that kind of ship or anyone who is up on the bridge time after time would have to be able to serve in combat things. I finally got to do some physical stuff in the other episode where I went down the side of the mountain. And the director [for that episode] is a really cool guy, he is an ex-dancer, he actually showed me his tape when he was on the Ed Sullivan Show - Bob Scheer(?), and he said "You are going to be the only one who gets to do the actual punting," so I actually did get to do the actual scaling of the wall. The guys had stunt doubles. He said "I want a woman to do it."
11. Q. Did you ever get tired of the "Wil-Wheaton-saves-the-day-type" shows?
A. No, being his mother, I never got tired of it.
12. Q. Any chance of you directing a show?
A. Well, I had asked since first season since I had done some theater directing and choreography. In all of our six years we have only had one woman director on our show and that is pretty unusual. Most shows now have many women directors. L.A. Law has an enormous amount of women directors. The show I did, Dream On, is predominantly women directors. So it is very unusual that there has only been one woman director. So far I have not succeeded in getting there. I would like to, be we'll see. Life is not always fair.
13. Q. Do your contracts expire at the end of this season?
A. Yes, they will expire when we finish this season. When you sign for a television show, at least our contract was for six years, then they have to re-negotiate. They were testing the waters a year ago, they gave us all this form letter kinda thing that named different prices and wanted us to sign up for the next, possibly 10 years because they were talking about four movies and they also wanted to name the prices. That was something people weren't reacting terribly well to, because most people do not know what their life is going to be like in six months, much less ten years. Especially with things like Iraq. Check that out, it is really awful. We are back at war practically.
14. Q. Do you have a favorite episode?
A. I don't have one, really. Naked Now was a fun one to do. It was fun to do. If you are a real sci-fi person it may not be that fun. All of the comic stuff - Data's Day I enjoyed doing because I got to be more inventive. I think Ethics [later we find she meant The Host, and not Ethics] was a real interesting one. It was also very interesting because I was hugely pregnant. It was right before I gave birth, and that was like the first love episode I ever had. You really should check that one out for the way they shot it so you could not tell how huge I was. Because I was BIG. Trust me. There were a lot of scenes of me behind furniture. A lot of close-ups of me in big, big lab coats. I actually got some hate mail on that episode. We apparently have some Neo-nazi's around. None of them signed their name and address to their letters - I would have sent them an autographed picture.
15. Q. What about a Next Generation movie?
A. Yes, they had people writing test scripts for a while, but nothing that they have said "This is the script, we would like to begin it. Here is what your role is." I know that they are thinking ahead in that sort of way, but it does take a long time to get that sort of project together. I think they want to know who is going to be signed for the seventh season, how much they are going to have to pay, what's happening with Deep Space Nine, all of that. Do they need us around to help Deep Space, or are they just sort of cutting us loose or what.
16. Q. We have been hearing some rumors about a two-part episode later in the season with Worf's father.
A. We just finished filming that. It should be really good.
17. Q. Does it have any cross-over with Deep Space Nine?
A. Not that I know of.
18. Q. One of the rumors we have been hearing as far as the motion picture goes is the crossover between the two shows.
A. We've been hearing those too lately, so that might happen. All it takes is a few time warps and a few transporter glitches...and a lot of money. And I would say that the money is probably going to be the key factor, because you can always come up with good scripts. They might do that and they might not. I know that there are other people who would like to be on the show from the original cast. It was really fun having Jimmy Doohan around. I would love to work with DeForest Kelley, who is such a great guy, as is Jimmy. He really was charming.
19. Q. Did you ever help design any of the props you use in the show?
A. Yes I have. I have been consulted and "asked for input." There were somethings that were difficult to work with. I always felt it was kinda weird being on the away team and having this medical kit that if I happen to lose my grip the whole kit would fall out on the planet. So I did have some input in the design of the new one, thought it did not happen the way I had envisioned. The props are very expensive. I am usually given tremendous choice in what instrument I want to use where, like it was my choice to do the hypo-spray in the neck. I thought "Where do I least want to get a shot in my life," and that was it.
20. Q. Did you like making [the love scenes in] The Host?
A. Oh, yes, it was fun kissing Jonathan. It was really fun. I thought it brought up some interesting points.
21. Q. What were you doing while Dr. Pulaski was replacing your part?
A. REPLACING me? You mean TRYING to replace me? I was in New York City, doing a play, playing an Australian. I also did The Hunt for Red October, which then got cut. I taught at New York University, a third-year graduate seminar.
22. Q. What did they cut out of Red October?
A. (Eyes closed, arms around an invisible person, she makes heavy-duty smooching sounds).
23. Q. Do you have any children?
A. YES! I have the greatest little boy. He's fabulous. I would love to have a little girl someday. I think children are great. He's the greatest thing in our lives. His name is James Cleveland McFadden Talbert(?), we call him Jack. Don't ask why. We don't know. There is no reason. Nobody can figure it out. The kid is probably going to call himself Randolph or something. He's 19 months old. He's growing up so fast. He's talking, we had a phone talk today.
24. Q. Have you ever judged any dance competitions?
A. I can't remember. I don't think so.
25. Q. I heard a rumor that Deep Space Nine is going to take over TNG (and then the TNG people will make movies).
A. Well, that makes it sound like they are going to beam onto the ship and say "All right, out!" Actually, that would be a hot episode. That could be the movie. They all get a virus. I want to submit that as an idea... I think the transition to movies is going to boil down to economics. TNG is an expensive show to do.
(Begins a bit of a digression)
I could not believe I turned on the TV to watch the Iraq situation and there is Colm Meaney [she pronounced it "Kolum", which was new to me] on the QVC Shopping Channel. I wanted to call up. I was going to ask him how much he would sell a lock of his hair for, or like the shoes he was wearing, and how much would they cost. Colm is a great guy. He has got so many other films to do.
26. Q. Would you like to do some other movies in the near future?
A. I would love to do some movies in the near future. Do you have a script for me? Actually, I got a movie this year. And the producers, Paramount, was/were terrific. They have been great about letting me off to do other things. They let me off and it was all set and then the movie company changed the shooting date, and Paramount could not accommodate that because the was [during an] episode I was heavy in. So I lost the movie, so it was disappointing. I ended up getting Dream On later. What movie? It was the one about the boy who gets kidnapped - the taking of Gary Feldman(?), was I think the title, though they could change titles. Taking Care of Business was called "Filofax" when I shot it.
27. Q. [Some question about Taking Care of Business and John de Lancie]
A. That was very funny, because I did not know John was in the movie as my underling, until the first day of shooting. We had a great time, we are good friends. He's got a terrific family, a terrific little boy, he is a great family man. He's planning on being on the QVC show too, I hear (unsure if this was a joke).
If I go on there ever, the only way I could do it is to be wild. I think I would say things like "I WANT 20 OF THOSE PLATES, HERE IS MY CASH!" It's so weird. You are sitting in that chair talking about something serious and then you segue into the merchandise. It's like a riot to me. I mean it they are wonder things [for sale], but it is so bizarre. You say things like "Why yes, I think theater is wonderful, which reminds me of the metal in this pin..." If I ever do it, please don't make me eat crow.
28. Q. Have you seen the commercial with DeForest Kelley and Trivial Pursuit?
A. No. To be honest, I have not turned on a TV for most of recent time except for this weekend. I was in Europe for three weeks, then I was shooting before, and when you have a 19-month-old son and you work, you don't watch TV. We read books together and things like that. It is not like I think there are not great things on TV, because there are. I am sure that when I am unemployed, I will be watching lots of it.
29. Q. What was the most difficult episode for you to play in?
A. (A suggestion from the audience: Remember Me?) Well, Remember Me was difficult because I had very little time for me to learn the script, and it was only me shooting for a whole day. So that was hard for that kind of a reason, timewise. Some of the things that are more difficult are when I have operations and I have a lot of props and complicated sets. There are a couple that I can think of. The operation in Ethics was kinda difficult, because there are a lot of people in the room and it is shot in a very strange way. I think making up and operation with props and operations that do no exist today is very difficult. I make up most of the "business" on the way. That is what we call it - your "business." In a theater production you can have a week to work on props. LeVar and I have the props. He and I do the prop acting on our show. There is a lot of pressure on you and you use a lot of technical language. So it is very hard to actually play the scene sometimes.
30. Q. What are your feelings on Deep Space Nine?
A. All I have are positive things to say about it, unless it starts to affect us in a bad way. Yes it is true that the energy is very much "over there." I like all of the people I have met in the show, I think they are great. I did not get to watch the pilot. I was in Europe. I have a tape that is being sent over to my house and I am very anxious to watch it. So I cannot really tell you anything about those feelings. I think it makes a lot of sense that they wanted to have a spinoff series. If I were a producer, I would probably want to do the same thing.
31. Q. Just a comment: Gates McFadden is better looking than Beverly Crusher (and I agree wholeheartedly). And I wish they would allow Crusher to have more of G. McFadden in her character.
A. That's very funny, because that has been something that I have felt very often - being straightjacketed into. They say "Go ahead and make it more yourself," but the minute any behavior's really tried, it's like no hair can be out of place, you know (I didn't). It's hard without behavior, and you have to have lines of irony written in and I try to do that. Certainly with the tap-dancing thing I tried to get some of that in. It's just always told to me that Crusher is a mother and this is the way it is, and I always say "Wait a minute, Jane Seymour is a mother, and she is beautiful." I wish that the character could occasionally loosen up outside of the operating room. There are wonderful things about the character that I have tried to develop, and I can just hope that that part comes across. The humanism I like. Health care is very difficult. Having been in a hospital myself, in an emergency room after a skiing accident with the tubes being stuck up you and you think you are going to die and you are in horrible pain somebody who treats you nicely and compassionately makes all the difference. I have at least tried to make her do that - to be somebody that puts a hand on the patient. I tried to get away from just doing a hypo-spray, because for a while that first season it just seemed like we were just doing drugs [as remedies]. I had modeled my character after Dr. Oliver Sachs(?) the man who wrote Awakenings, he's written a lot of books. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. I had read all of his books that had been published up to that point. I brought all of his material into the producer's office the first day. I said "This is the guy, he is a neurologist, he's a humanist, he's funny." I even showed them Awakenings and said this would be a really cool episode to take some of his stuff.
32. Q. Was it hard to do Cause And Effect?
A. Yes, that is another one. I was hard to do that, because the lines would be just slightly different, and you shoot all of those four scenes, one after another. We were wild by the time that poker game was done. The crew was like "What is with this cast?" we were like completely wild. There was a lot of pressure on that one, because it was a hand-held camera by the last time(?). I loved doing that episode. Jonathan is a great guy, and a great director. He is my favorite director, and I think that is true of everyone. Even though that show was a challenge, it was fun. I looked forward to going to work every day.
33. Q. Do you know what the season finale of TNG will be? Will it be a two-hour one?
A. I don't know. I don't think they know yet. We're sort of just getting the script, just before we shoot. Jerry Taylor(?) is producing this year and she is terrific, but it is hard to get story lines and she was saying people think it is so easy to write scripts just based upon personalities, but you really have to have this morality tale, and it is very hard to find that.
34. Q. What do you think of Klingons? (asked by a very small child)
A. I think they are very, very.....sweet and gently. I think they are very sensitive beings, who are just misunderstood. They need care and attention.
35. Q. Would you rather do a feature series or movies?
A. I just want to do what is good quality. I think years ago I did not want to do television, because it was impossible to do films if you were doing television. I don't think that is true now. I know that my greatest love is theater - it probably always will be. I also know that there are a million other things that I would like to study and do in my life. I feel like it just turned out this way and acting is such and extraordinary profession and craft. I would also like to study painting more, and I would love to be able to write and would love to be able to draw houses and be an architect, I would love to be a poet. My grandmother was a poet. There are a million things. I think it is important to to some service in education. I absolutely know I am going to teach again. I miss teaching very much. It is something that gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I learned everyday. My students were so good, that they taught me every single day. I feel that education is in such sad condition in our country, we really need to turn our attention to that and health care. I know being a person who is paid better than the average person, that my tax rate is going to go up. That's the way it has to be. So be it. In three years I may not be making a lot of money, but I still have to be committed to that. Because I have seen what can happen when children are given the love and attention and are excited about learning. They don't have to have high SAT scores. If they are excited about learning, they will do well in the world. And that is important and it has to come first from the home. It has to come first from the parents. (Applause) Since I am a parent now, it is amazing how much I worry about protecting my son from this and that. But children are such remarkable beings. So that is something I know I want to do again.
36. Q. Do you know why O'Brien was switched over to Deep Space Nine?
A. Yeah. Because he is a very good actor, it was a good character, and the producers said "Who could we get that is a good character coming from the other show who could give that weight to the new series?" and they said "O'Brien" and his family. And they were able to pay him what he wanted. I think it is because they wanted to bring some tie in to the new show. They did not want them all to be completely new characters. They thought that if there were a few familiar faces that people would tune in. He was not used enough on our show. He is such a good actor, and it was frustrating.
37. Q. Do you have any real medical training?
A. Yes. I am a brain surgeon on weekends. Nope. I got my red cross training and some girl scout stuff. I learned the basics - throwing the person in the water and pulling them back out. I would have LIKED to have had some medical training.
38. Q. Who's idea was it to get Data to tap dance?
A. Well, it was sorta my idea. I came up with the idea of getting some dance into the show. I told them "I can do all of these things, dance, walk a tightrope, etc." and I am just standing there all the time in my lab coat.
39. Q. Did Brent Spiner do his own tap dancing?
A. He did some of it. The other guy that did the rest is one of the best tap dancers in the U.S. His name is Chance and he is in the movie Tap. He is rather good. I guess they had to get the best to beat me. (laugh)
40. Q. Have some of you guys ever played practical jokes on each other?
A. Not really. Brent's trailer is right across from mine, so we play practical jokes across to each other, but nothing that is like - well, repeatable here. (laugh). Here is one anecdote that I wanted to mention - there was a serious moment on the bridge and they were rehearsing. They were talking to and alien, and everyone was on the bridge except Crusher and I had just arrived. My boy and I have a little accordion that I like to play with. So Picard says "And SPEAK .......[to the alien]" and started playing the accordion and no one knew where it was coming from. But that is just kinda idiocy. (Tells a LONG story about a dress for a large gala that she had that would not close in the front, that Brent and Jonathan had to sew her up in a hotel room. It would probably take 5 pages to describe. Sorry.
41. Q. If you had a chance to become a different character on Trek, which one would it be?
A. Hmm. I guess the computer. Less hair and makeup. It would be fun to be all of them for a day.
42. Q. Is it true that Brent Spiner is your child's godfather?
43. Q. Why? (laughter)
A. Well, we gave him a profile check. He seemed ok. All Spiner said was "I don't want to have to send him through college."
44. Q. What's going on with Denise Crosby?
A. She is supposed to be on a new series of something on Fox(?).
45. Q. Why did you kill Tasha Yar?
A. Where were you, in the refrigerator when that episode was on? I didn't kill her. It was that blob, that thing. Honestly. I did my best to save her. Besides, I couldn't have done that good of a job killing her because she seems to have come back on a few other episodes. (She then got a several "group" photographs with all of the children in the audience at her request).
She said she likes to autograph almost anything people send her. She said she won't sign her Gates McFadden bio card, but she will sign all the other ones(?).
She will also send a picture, but you need to send a SASE.
She always likes to hear from people, and she likes to hear about the people who write to her.
Creation Convention - Boston - Sunday March 7, 1993
Michael Dorn and Armin Shimerman were the guests.
There are no spoilers here far as I know. Michael teased but wouldn't give out vital information.....although he did say that next week's episode is the last TNG cause the Enterprise (once again) will get blown up and therefore there will be no 7th season and no TNG movies. He then went on to say with Armin's agreement that Paramount is not happy with DS9's ratings so next week will be the last DS9 as space faring barbarian hordes from beyond the worm hole invade DS9 and Sisco orders its self destruction. When asked why Dorn explained that Paramount felt it was making enough money as it was from other things and didn't really need the billions of $$$ that Star Trek brings in which translates that the CEO has enough pools and summer homes.... ;) Just kidding! They didn't say this! But I thought it would be fun! 8-)
Anyway, on to the real business. This was a creation con at the Hynes Convention center in Boston. Ill give more details at the bottom including a few upcoming cons from their list. Most of what I quote is direct or paraphrased as I'm taking it from my audio tape.
For those of you who have not seen Dorn, he is not what I expected although I really had no idea what to expect. You cannot get an idea of what he looks like at all from his makeup. He is lighthearted, witty, disarming, and exudes a presence albeit a more benevolent one than his TNG alter ego. His natural voice is deep and clear but its apparent that he really IS acting when he plays worf. Although sometimes the Worf voice crept in when he was joking or at other times. From what I saw it is now apparent, to me anyway, that he along with Stewart and Spiner are the best actors of the crew. (Which is not to say that the others are not good...)
What is also interesting is that unlike TOS and its conventions, Dorn (and all the rest) is appearing at cons while the show is still on and thus much of what he has done as Worf etc. is still fresh in his mind. He can remember and point out details. I went to a few TOS cons in the early 80s and a number of the old cast need help remembering details. Which is understandable considering the time lag from cancellation to conventions. They had forgotten about it and gone on with their lives...till it caught up with them!
· They opened with a music video of scenes with Worf. His first line in the video was from the Robin Hood episode and he says emphatically, "I AM NOT A MERRY MAN!".
· Dorn said he was flying back to LA in a few hours to begin filming a new episode on Tues.
· MD: I have to know, how many people liked the new pony tail?! (Lots of screaming and clapping.) Kinda cool isn't it? (He said cool at lot...) Good, I'm glad. Worf wanted to be cooool! After 5 years of Donna Reed its time for a change. (He said he pleaded and cajoled the big wigs for a worf hair change and now everyone really likes it.)
· He said most of the crew thought after 5 years the popularity would level off but this year, the 6th, has been the best yet in terms of rising popularity. He was probably one of the only members of the cast who knew from the beginning that this was going to be "wild". Because he had been to a convention back in the 80s and had seen the popularity and was a fan himself. But even he wasn't prepared for this. And it was a great honor (!) for him to be involved in it, especially having been in a movie with the original crew.
· He gets asked a lot how that was and he said it was interesting. One day on the set he was awed by the presence of those people...but he was cool though! He was cool about it. (Wish I could put voice inflection here!) Considering that when it first came out he and his brother watched it and just loved it. Their favorite character was Scotty. One of them after dinner would do that "Well lad, you'll be wantin' some scotch to wash that down with!"
· And did we see the show last night? (Birthright, Part II) Lots of yelling and clapping.
· Q: Will that love interest be back?
Dorn said, well, she wasn't killed was she? I mean, look at Tasha, how many times have we killed her already?! Made a joke that he knew he was in Hollywood when he was on the set and he and this woman were looking at each other in all the makeup and stuff.
· He said its been an incredible five years and all the cast is looking forward to continuing in whatever form it may be. As far as Worf, he was the last one chosen of the cast. Roddenberry decided to add a klingon later. The bigwigs at first weren't sure about it but later everyone thought it was great.
· Q: Is he single?
A: Yes he is.
· Said Paramount is hoping to start shooting the TNG movie in May 94 for a Xmas 94 release.
· Spends about 14 or 15 hours a day in makeup.
· Q: Is there another female companion in the works for Worf?
A: Well, the female from BII could be a possibility, after all, she wasn't killed off!
· Q: Does he form friendships with the cast members off screen?
A: (Funnily sarcastic at first:) "No. I really hate them! I don't like to talk about them! They bother me. Patrick will call to do lunch and no forget it you..... (Seriously:) No, I'm sorry, and you guys are gonna tell them that too....the whole cast is unbelievable for a show that's been on six years because there are some shows where people don't talk to each other after two or three years but we are actually very close. We hang out at each other houses, go out together a lot, Marina and I are very close. Jonathan Frakes and I hang out a lot when he's not in NY or directing. Its really turned out to be a wonderful cast to be around. It kind of shows on screen but when we're rehearsing and being together we just have a good time. You know and uh this really has become a family. "
· Q: Whatever happened to the relationship in The Bonding?
A: The child actor who played the part was......very difficult to work with. They wanted to kill him! But despite that he was a good actor.
· A: The type of martial arts Worf uses is a form of Tai Chi. Wanted to give Worf more grace and not be just an animal.
· Q: Will he growl for them? A: No! Sorry!
A: There will be no more Klingon opera......cause its horrible! Dorn's favorite opera is Carmen.
· Likes the Star Trek paperbacks.
· Dorn may show up on DS9 but as a human in a guest part perhaps after TNG.
Its been awhile since I went to a con let alone a creation con in Boston. The dealers room has shrunk to one room with people selling the same generic stuff at several locations for the same price. The rest was the seating for guests and other shows. The guests were on for only 40 minutes. What happened to the good old days of 60, 90, or 120 minutes? At least they still signed autographs. I went just to see the guests anyway. The 40 minutes with Dorn just flew by and I couldn't believe they were up so soon. But he had a flight to catch....
It was kind of neat also to see the videos being sold. They had vids from all those great shows you watched as a kid (besides ST) (and cant get on video) like Speed Racer, Ultra Man, UFO, Thunderbirds, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, etc. you name it! But too expensive. Speed Racer is supposedly being released in video stores now or soon.
David Weinstein (email@example.com)
Technical design, graphic design, interactive features, HTML & CGI programming by Andrew Tong. || All materials Copyright © 1987-1995 by their respective authors. || Document created: May 28, 1994 || Last Modified: November 09, 2010