Saturday, 4 April 2015

First Contact Day: LIVE

Morning everyone!

Yes, the day is here and as a first for Some Kind of Star Trek we're going to live blog from First Contact Day at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Keep dropping by during the day to see who we meet, what's happening and what we get to see.

9:31 and we're parked up. Very quiet here at the moment so relaxing for a sec with a brew. English Breakfast not Earl Grey I'm afraid. Spotted a few redshirts not to be confused with the staff. 

10:11 all open and had a breather in the Captain's chair! 

10:36 Getting busier as the fans arrive for the 11am kickoff. Lots of uniforms and hopefully a ton of redshirts for the record attempt.

10:50 settled in ready for authors James Swallow and Una McCormack after the 11am kickoff. Great to see Continues' first episode Pilgrim of Eternity to get us all ready for the days events.

Room's filling up nicely ahead of the start...lots of red which is a good sign. Grabbed a seat behind the Visionary Trek team one of whom will be calling the shots with James and Una.

And just to prove they did turn up, here's the Risa gents at their stand. Definitely worth grabbing a chat with them if you're here or going tomorrow.

11:05 A slight delay to proceedings. Nothing to worry about but it does mean more Continues... crowd really looking forward to the talks and intro now.

Chad and Wil kick us off with Garrett: "Happy to be here. I had a lot of messages on Twitter when Leonard passed....The way you can pay tribute by watching your favourite episode or movie...Without Spock would not be what it is today."

And with that a superb Nimoy tribute including those great Audi commercials.

11:50 Welcome to James Swallow and Una McCormack with Michael Clark from Visionary Trek. We like Una because she's a big Deep Space Nine fan. James got into reading Star Trek through those James Blish novels. He's the only Brit to provide the concepts for two Star Trek episodes. 

"I devoured Deep Space Nine" reveals Una who got into the show through The Way of the Warrior and Garak. Most of her works do tend to follow Cardassians and seizes the chance to write about Garak - hence The Crimson Shadow."

James has just dropped The Sight Unseen - a Titan novel and he's just finished writing The Latter Fire based during The Original Series five year mission.

This year apparently is going to be a lot more standalone rather than The Fall-esque arcs according to the two authors. To be honest they like writing cool stories but there are challenges especially if they get things wrong!

"Big challenge is coming up with a new story" says James. "I want to do something interesting and compelling."

If you want to start reading Una McCormack, James Swallow recommends Hollow Men as your initiation.

Apparently though it turns out that James didn't know where David Mack was going to go with Bashir in his Section 31 novel and chose to break him out of prison - so there's a missing Section 31 novel out there! David also created a huge spreadsheet that detailed where everything lay within the framework of The Fall series - who wouldn't love to see that?! 

13:30 I'm lunched out. Big queue for the cafe (30 mins for a bottle of water???) which I'm not heading into at this late stage. Back into the main room for a bit of Phase II while we're waiting to kick off again and attempt the Redshirt Record Attempt! Will they beat the current 57? We'll find out soon enough! 

13:37 The sea of red is growing!

13:52 Still clocking those red shirts through! Looks like that 57 target is getting annihilated! 

14:02 and there's the record - smashing it with 107!!!

14:45 and Garrett Wang is on stage. Did you know he went to a British private school? 

He's pretty funny and is commanding the stage already - his impression of Sulu/George Takei is one of the best.

Only four actors from Trek are sci-fi fans, reveals Garrett - Wil Wheaton, Tim Russ, Garrett and Karl Urban! 

Garrett had six auditions for Voyager and he nearly ran over Harrison Ford in a parking lot when he was on the way to get his uniform fitted. Also turns out that Ensign Kim didn't know until this moment that Harrison crashed his plane. Priceless OMG face.

President of CBS isn't a fan of Star Trek explains Garrett - which might explain why it's not back on air yet. There will be some kind of Star Trek in the future he continues. Garrett loved the 2009 movie but not with Star Trek into Darkness. Loved the pacing, young Kirk and Spock... Never looked away from the screen. 

"What was unfortunate that apart from Nimoy he had no-one else from Star Trek on board... and didn't invite from the Star Trek world to the premiere."

Amazing to think Garrett saw the '09 movie 14 times in the cinema. He loves the newness of the reboot but felt JJ rushed the sequel...running to Star Wars perhaps? Garrett thinks Naveen Andrews from Lost would have been a better Khan. Not that Benedict is a bad actor. 

15:15 Garrett has a raft of great stories and you just gotta hear about the Power of DeLauncie. It's like He-Man but a lot better with more theatrics.

Favorite episode of Voyager? For Garrett it's the pilot that had the most fun and the chance to meet everyone for the first time. Took 30 days to film - fact! 

16:00 BRILLIANT chat with James Swallow and Una McCormack away from the stage. Great authors and you need to read their books. Even managed a quick snap and got The Crimson Shadow and The Poisoned Chalice signed. More detailed breakdown of our chat will be coming in the next few days! 

16:36 and the auction's over now we can have a last session chat with Larry Nemecek about Enterprise in Space! Lots of signed goodies, action figures and even a Star Trek Online uniform topping out the bidding. Lots of support for the First Contact Day charities.

End of the day also brings in the winners of the costume competition. A Borg comes in third, second goes to a Seven of Nine cosplayer and topping the bill is a Battlestar Galactica Colonial Warrior.

16:40 Missed a bit of the Larry talk but did manage five minutes aside with the more than accommodating Garrett Wang - this guy will literally do anything for fans and knows know to treat people! He even took part in the record attempt earlier.I'll be putting up the chat as a separate piece but here's one of Garrett as a redshirt to bide you over.

17:15 all done and homeward bound. Wonderful day at the venue and brilliant to touch base with Visionary Trek and the team from Risa. Same again next year?

Did you enjoy First Contact Day weekend? Were you there? How do you think it went? (second day on Sunday 5th but we couldn't attend)

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