Michael Dorn Says There Was Animosity Towards TNG + More from Fan Expo with Marina Sirtis [Updated]

On April 22 at the Fan Expo in Vancouver, British Columbia, fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation were fortunate to have some face time with Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis. After all these years the former Lt. Worf and Counselor Deanna Troi relayed tales as if they happened just yesterday.

Dorn said there was hostility at the beginning of the series from the original fans.

The first season, before the show even aired, I think we were doing this publicity… Do you think you’re Spock? Who do you think you are? What are you supposed to be?’ There was really this kind of animosity about it.

Sirtis said she encountered the similar resistance to the show.

The older fans who were fans of the original show were not happy that we were coming along… There is no new Spock and they just couldn’t get their heads past that. It took about two years actually to get the adoration that we fortunately get now.

Marina Sirtis & Michael Dorn on stage together at Fan Expo
Marina Sirtis & Michael Dorn on stage together at Fan Expo

While shooting episodes of The Next generation, Dorn had to sit through hours of makeup prep for each show.

For seven years, I was like the smartest man in the world ’cause I read the paper while they were doing the makeup. And I read the L.A. Times from the beginning to the end, and did the crossword puzzle, and every time I finished the crossword puzzle, they would like be done.

One of TNG’s on again/off again subplots was the future relationship and sexual tension between Worf and Troi. “It was a bit odd because we were so close as like friends,” Dorn said. “In fact, there was one time when we had to kiss and we started laughing about it…” Sirtis said, “You weren’t laughing. You were making animal noises…”

What many people hope for and what’s rarely true, is once a series is over, it’s presumed everyone is lovey-dovey as the years go on. We certainly know this not to be the case with some of the cast on Star Trek: The Original Series. But happily is true here. “I don’t think there’s ever been a day since we started that all of us haven’t felt blessed…” Sirtis said.

To work on such a really good show, well-written, well-acted, and appreciated by the fans; and also to work with these amazing people who became our family, and still are.” Looking out on the audience, Sirtis added, “You are the reason that we have this amazing life and I think we would both like to thank you all for your loyalty… It’s been the most amazing ride of our lives and we just want to say thank you, guys. You’re the best.

UPDATE: Watch footage, courtesy of Youtube user ophiuchus4, from the panel below.

Photo: Craig Takeuchi of Straight.com

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  • Buzz Cagney

    Never did get used to you guys. Sorry Michael!