"The Trek ramblings of a geeky Drag Queen"


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Post Convention Blues

What could possibly be better than spending a weekend with the people that you have persistently watched grow and develop on television for twenty years,  in some cases even longer? For most fans of film and television, their relationship with the characters they love starts and ends with watching the movie or TV show, but for a Star Trek fan its much more hands on than that as we have the luxury of being part of one of entertainments largest ever fan bases.  Because of that, the demand for meeting the stars causes dozens of conventions all around the world and almost every week of the year.   
Me and Aron Eisenberg (Nog) 

I am a collector of personalised Star Trek autographs and have been attending conventions for many years, the first being ‘Generations 2’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London back in 1996. I have recently returned from the Destination Star Trek 3 event, also in London, and have discovered that the often mentioned ‘Post Con Blues’ is a very real thing. I'm sure it affects people in different ways, some feel down because they have to go back to work afterwards and some because they generally spend most of their time alone and they must leave their new like-minded friends behind. For me, it is a sort of sick feeling of nostalgia and loss in my stomach, the loss being the time I spent as a teenager growing up in the middle of Star Trek’s  Golden Age. A time which had three different Trek incarnations running simultaneously, with weekly events  to keep me satisfied such as a monthly magazine, fact files delivered to my door and VHS releases of brand new episodes. I had the original excitement of the season ending cliff-hangers and genuinely did not know what was going to happen next. There was  even a hotline you could ring to listen to actors interviews as they gave hints of upcoming story lines.
A small selection of my Autograph collection

The thing that depresses me the most after having attended an event like Destination Star Trek is the realisation that what has been has gone and could never return (at least not to the way it used to be). We all watch Star Trek on an almost unending loop, and by the time you’ve finished watching, say,  The Next Generation, it's been six months since you watched Voyager, so it's time to start that series over again. All the Star Trek shows (after season two of TNG) are holding up remarkably well with the passage of time, as are the movies, and it is easy to forget that over 25 years have passed since the TNG crew were in their prime. The ‘modern’ series of DS9, Voyager and Enterprise were produced to such high standards that they look like they could still be in production today, until of course you actually meet your idols! For me, there lies the problem. There is something terribly depressing about seeing a face that yesterday (on TV) was strong, commanding and comforting and today is aged, withered and tired. They are not the people you remember and it can be a little disheartening as it hits you that the show you love is as good as an antique. The last time I saw the legendary Uhura was two days before DST3, she was doing the naked fan dance in ST:5. To be confronted by a little old lady with white hair in a wheelchair a few days later only served as a reminder that the actors are ageing, that I am old and that the movies are classics. Perhaps there’s a sub conscious thought way in the back of our minds that keeps whispering  ‘’they may do a DS9 movie or one last TNG outing’’, but seeing the actors in the flesh then destroys that possibility.  I think the biggest wake-up call for me over the weekend was meeting Hana Hatae who played little 5 year old Molly O’Brian. Of course Hana is all grown up now and is a far cry from the character she used to play in Deep Space Nine. I probably know more about the O’Brian family than I do about my own neighbours, and I miss following those characters, and all of the other Star Trek personas.  We did grow up together after all. 

Me and Hana Hatae (Molly O'Brian)
Despite pining for the time when Star Trek was in the middle of its franchise boom, meeting the people that made the show a reality is the next best thing to still having the programme on air, and I will continue to follow them as we grow old together. It isn’t difficult to understand why Trek fans hunger for new (old style/traditional) Star Trek and we can only hope that CBS acknowledges this sooner rather than later. For now, lets hope the existing retired casts Live Long and Prosper.