All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


NOCC: TNG Cast Cracks Up

Company: Wizard World
Product: New Orleans Comic Con 2013 Coverage

Earlier this month, Wizard World New Orleans helped to celebrate Star Trek: The Next Generation's 25th anniversary by giving attendees a ton of TNG related activities. Not only was there a paid event where all of the attending TNG actors would get together, but there was also a Skype call with Patrick Stewart, though that event was changed slightly because of scheduling issues. From what I understand, they got to watch Stewart work over Skype instead of having a remote-panel. Regardless, there was a lot at the show for Star Trek fans, the least of which was three panels featuring TNG veterans. The first was bright and early Saturday morning and featured Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) and Michael Dorn (Worf).

After the introductions and the audience and speakers had some time to settle down, not to mention Frakes criticizing the shape of the room (it was wider than deep, something that bothered him throughout the Q&A), the first questioner took the mic. Funnily enough, he didn't have a question, instead he gave the speakers a gift. He gave them each a Cajun in Your Pocket, a keychain with six different Cajun sayings. While this fan didn't have a question, the actors had a good time answering other people's questions with the voice box.

The first real question of the session asked the actors what they felt they contributed to their characters. The first response involved McFadden showing off her legs and then a joke about her years of medical training. Dorn's answer involved giving his character the stern and strong demeanor and "being pissed at everything," something that the writers "took and went crazy with."

The group was also asked what Star Trek technology they wish existed today. Frakes knew his answer right away since it was a question he gets asked a lot. He wishes we had transporter technology. Dorn brought up the fact that he is happy to see current technology inspired by Star Trek in the form of iPads or tablets, something taken from the PADD from the series.

Another questioner asked the trio how they felt about science fiction and what it meant for them, this was for a senior project she was working on. Dorn explains that he was always a fan of science fiction and he followed a lot of shows when he was growing up. He goes on to explain that most science fiction writers do a good job of showing you interesting and strange worlds, but what they are really trying to do is push the envelope on what messages they can convey. One example he mentions is the original Godzilla and how it is a statement concerning the Japanese and atomic power. McFadden agreed and said that she feels like you can say so many things when you say it in metaphor and her favorite science fiction is the science fiction that makes her think.

There were quite a few questions concerning the actors' time on set. One question asked why Riker grew a beard between Season One and Two and it was explained that there was a lot of time between the two filmings and when Frakes walked in with a beard, Gene Roddenberry thought it looked "nautical" to which he took Frakes to hair and makeup so they could decide on the "perfect nautical beard" for the character.

Another question about the show asked the speakers who was the most difficult actor to work with, to which Spot, Data's cat, was the immediate, and quite funny, reply. One questioner also asked who they felt was the most noteworthy guest star, which was followed by a steady stream of actors that had made short appearances on the show, but the speakers couldn't really decide on one person they felt stood out the most.

Overall, the Q&A session was a lot of fun and it was obvious that Frakes, McFadden and Dorn had become close friends over the 15 years of filming (both the series and movies) and have remained in the 10 years since Star Trek: Nemesis was released.

While there were quite a few laughs, none were bigger than when Frakes, about halfway through the session, decided to get up and try and push the back of the room out so as to make the room bigger. What ensued was him actually pulling out one of the wall partitions before he was called back to the stage. As an amusing aside, the panel's emcee, Marc Lee, sat in Frake's seat without McFadden noticing. While talking, she noticed Frakes at the far wall and when she turned to his seat, she was visibly surprised to see Lee there. Like I said, it was a fun panel, fun for both the speakers and the attendees.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Generic NOCC: Artist Spotlight: Greg Capullo Generic NOCC: Kenny Klein Tells the Tales

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated