Last Saturday, seven members of the cast of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ took to the stage in celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary at Creation Entertainment’s Las Vegas Star Trek Convention — taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
The cast, which included Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden and Colm Meaney, were introduced individually by Creation’s Adam Malin, who would moderate the panel. “Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Malin proclaimed as the group reunited on stage to a standing ovation.
Malin mentioned that while Patrick Stewart wasn’t able to attend, because of his Olympic responsibilities in England, he sends his best wishes.
Brent Spiner then began with an impersonation of Stewart, discussing the Olympics and what it was like to carry the torch in his native England.
The cast discussed how each of them were cast for TNG. Jonathan Frakes said actor Billy Campbell was the first choice for the role of William Riker. Brent Spiner joked that he was cast because the studio wanted an actor with “long arms and no ass” for the part of Data. Colm Meaney quipped that he was never really cast for the show and that he just “snuck in the back door.” Gates McFadden talked about her apprehension to take on a television role, saying that she had hoped she would get a “funny” role, on the bridge of the Enterprise. Sirtis said she auditioned for the role of Deanna Troi six times. She said she went into he final audition and signed her contract for TNG without knowing how much she would be paid. She said actress Mariska Hardigay was the studio’s original choice for the role of Troi. LeVar Burton said Wesley Snipes and Tim Russ were also in contension for the role of Geordi LaForge. Michael Dorn said he was initially told the cast had been filled, but was later called in for an audition and was on set in the role of Worf just a few days later.
Frakes said he stole Riker’s famous slanted walk from actor John Cullum. He talked about Riker’s growth as a character, when he grew a beard and was allowed to smile in the second season.
Sirtis discussed her desire to compete on an upcoming season of ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’. She discussed the character of Troi, saying that she was “decorative” and the “potted plant” on the Enterprise bridge.
Each actor was then asked to sum up their character in one word. Spiner simply said “Data”, Meaney said “awesome”, LeVar jokingly said “barrel roll” then proceeded to reinact his now infamous escape from engineering. Dorn described Worf as “bad ass”.
Dorn and Sirtis teased an upcoming project they begin working on this week, saying that it’s based on a famous video game. Dorn also discussed his Kickstarter project for a romantic comedy he’s working on, called “Through the Fire”.
The reunion was clearly a highlight of the weekend for many of the fans in attendance and while Patrick Stewart wasn’t able to attend, all of the other castmembers appeared to enjoy the celebration of TNG 25th anniversary in Las Vegas.
Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for coverage of all four days of the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.
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Brian is a Boston-based UX/Visual designer, photographer, Apple enthusiast, sci-fi, 80s action and horror movie fan and of course, a lover of all things Star Trek.
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