Destination Star Trek 2018
Destination Star Trek took place in Dortmund on the weekend of April 27-29. The event is described as something with "the best elements of a convention and signing event". It consisted of photo and autograph sessions, panel discussions, costume and prop exhibitions and a trade show.
We (Marina & Thorsten, Crissy & Bernd) went to Destination Star Trek on Saturday, April 28, the day with the arguably most interesting single events. We paid €36 for the ordinary day ticket that gave us access to the exhibition hall and to most of the talks on the two stages. I didn't want to take notes on each and everything and the opportunities to take photos were limited, so here is just a brief overview of the event.
The Two Daxes
We arrived in time to attend the first highlight of the day, the appearance of Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax) and Nicole de Boer (Ezri Dax) on the bigger of the two stages, a free talk. On the occasion of DS9's 25th anniversary, many of the show's cast and crew had come to Dortmund. The panel with "the two Daxes" was fun, but owing to the ambient noise in the exhibition hall we could understand at most half of what they were saying. The stage was separated from the rest only by thin movable walls, and at times the speakers from the other stage dominated everything.
The panel with René Auberjonois and Nana Visitor was the next one we just didn't want to miss. Once again, it was hard to understand anything thanks to the noise in the exhibition hall. But we caught the story that Nana Visitor told about being born into a family of dancers. Like in all talks of the day, the stars would answer fan questions. The two best ones came from kids: "What was the favorite thing you turned into as Odo?" - René Auberjonois: "A German shepherd dog [in "Little Green Men"]. I had two days off, and afterwards they told me I was great in that role." Question: "Why didn't Kira and Odo get married?" - René Auberjonois: "You know, Odo had to return to heal his people."
The One & Only
The panel with William Shatner was a paid one, but to my surprise my buddy Thorsten had purchased the tickets in advance so we joined the chat with Shat. Shatner, who is amazingly lively at 87 years, came to stage and began to talk about social networks, and how they can be used to accomplish something for people in need. Someone turned up the volume of the speakers, so we could understand Shatner better than the previous talks. He also told us about a crazy TV show called "Better Late Than Never", in which he, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and Terry Bradshaw travel overseas, to experience new cultures. In Sweden, this included eating fermented herring. Shatner described how just opening the can is already a very challenging task.
Autographs and photos
Thorsten got an autograph from Nana Visitor, which was uncomplicated because the actors were sitting behind desks for much of the day, so there was no need to stand in a line. Actually, we were a bit sorry for those who were just waiting for fans most of the time. We also saw Alexander Siddig, Chase Masterson, Ethan Phillips, Mary Chieffo, Robert O'Reilly, Jeffrey Combs, Vaughn Armstrong, Cirroc Lofton, Gary Graham, Walter Koenig and several more familiar faces. DS9 producer Ira Steven Behr was also present (you easily recognize his blue beard). Unfortunately we didn't see Nichelle Nichols that day.
Photo sessions could be booked with neutral background or "on the bridge" but we didn't want to pay a small fortune for it.
Destination Star Trek had several items on display, such as NASA equipment that had been in space, a collection of costumes and props from the "classic" Star Trek series, and one from the latest series, Discovery. Unfortunately taking photos of the latter two was not permitted.
Many fan groups, retailers and official licensees such as Star Trek Online or Star Trek Timelines were present with their own booths. We bought a couple of Tribbles. And we stopped by at the Eaglemoss showcase, where Ben Robinson showed us the new and upcoming models of the Official Starships Collection. The release of the "new" Enterprise from the Discovery season finale may still take until Jan/Feb 2019. Ben Robinson confirmed my suspicion that the ship is almost 400m long now. And one more goodie: Ben turned the miniature of the USS Kerala (Shepard class) upside down, and we were baffled because the ventral side looked very familiar, like the dorsal side of the Shenzhou that the design is based on.
It was a fun day for us, with a bit of everything. DST had an impressive array of guests, exciting panels and high-quality merchandise. It was clear we wouldn't be able to see everything, for which it would have been necessary to spend something well beyond a thousand euros for special all-inclusive tickets. But the normal €36 day ticket was a fair deal.
The only real annoyance was the noise during the panel discussions. Stage shows ought to take place in a separate room, not in an exhibition hall with many other things going on in parallel. I also would have liked to take more photos, but everyone and everything really interesting was off-limits. Maybe I will try to get a press ticket next time, but then again I don't want to see a filtered version of the event.
The next Destination Star Trek event will be held in Birmingham, UK on 19th-21st October 2018.