Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Last weekend from the 19th to the 21st of October 2018, my Mum and I attended the ‘Destination Star Trek Birmingham’ convention at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham. I had an amazing time! There was lots to do; plenty to see and it was an interesting, unusual experience to see what a ‘Star Trek’ convention was like for change.
As many of you know, I’m a huge ‘Doctor Who’ fan. But before that, ‘Star Trek’ came into my life first. So I decided to give ‘Star Trek’ a chance with attending one of their conventions and invited my Mum along for the ride. Thankfully there is a ‘Star Trek’ convention held annually at the NEC Birmingham every October.
This ‘Star Trek’ convention covered every aspect of the series with every incarnation. This included ‘The Original Series’, ‘The Next Generation’, ‘Deep Space Nine’, ‘Voyager’, ‘Enterprise’, the reboot ‘Star Trek’ movie series and the latest ‘Star Trek’ series, ‘Discovery’. It was a really exciting weekend for me.
I stuck with what I knew very well in terms of ‘Star Trek’, since I’ve not seen ‘Discovery’ yet and am currently enjoying what was made from the 1960s to the early 2000s. I saw many ‘Star Trek’ guests from ‘TOS’, ‘TNG’, ‘DS9’ and ‘Voyager’. I had photos with them and I attended some of the panel talks.
Here’s how the weekend went for my Mum and me with some of the highlights.
Friday 19th October 2018
The convention was a 3-day event. My Mum and I originally planned to do Saturday and Sunday, but as we were also going to the opening ceremony on Friday evening, we had our tickets upgraded to a 3-day event. This allowed us a brilliant chance to look around the area and find where everything was.
As for the opening ceremony itself which took place on the main Enterprise stage of the convention, it was fine. It was mainly the ‘Star Trek’ guests saying hello to everyone on stage. But the problem with it was that it was mostly dark and the hall had so many seats to accommodate for so many people.
My Mum and I initially sat in the back rows of the Enterprise stage hall, as there were package holders like Admirals, Captains, Commander and Lieutenants who came before us. My Mum and I were basic ticket holders. I didn’t take any photos of the talks as the room was dark and they wouldn’t look good.
Saturday 20th October 2018
The next day which was Saturday was a pretty busy affair. My Mum and I found ourselves doing so many photo shoots and there were lots of people attending. I gathered that the Saturday would be busier than the Sunday with many people, like with the ‘London Film and Comic Cons’ I have attended.
The first thing my Mum and I did was have a photo shoot on the classic Enterprise bridge with Tribbles. We had two photos taken for that occasion. As expected, there were a lot of Tribbles. 😀 I eventually purchased one Tribble from a Tribble stall that was there at the convention. I have named her Tina. 😀
That morning I had photo shoots with some of the ‘Star Trek’ guests, including Cirroc Lofton who played Jake Sisko in ‘DS9’; Rene Auberjonois who played Odo in ‘DS9’ and Terry Farrell who played Jadzia Dax in ‘DS9’. I had a nice encounter with Terry and I am sad I did not get to meet her at a signing.
I also had some photo shoots with Michael Dorn who played Worf in ‘TNG’ and ‘DS9’ and Nana Visitor who played Kira Nerys in ‘DS9’. I also had a photo shoot with Marina Sirtis who played Deanna Troi in ‘TNG’. Most of these photo shoots were quick in-and-outs since they were a lot of people for them.
That afternoon, I had a photo shoot with Gates McFadden who played Dr. Beverly Crusher in ‘TNG’. I had a chance to meet Gates at a signing session before the end of the day and have my ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ DVD cover signed by her. It was great to chat to her about her ‘TNG’ episodes.
I also had a photo shoot with Armin Shimerman as Quark from ‘DS9’ in Quark’s bar and had a photo shoot with Chase Masterson as Leeta from ‘DS9’. I had a nice hello with Chase during the photo shoot. I also had a photo shoot with Jeri Ryan who played Seven of Nine from ‘Voyager’ that Saturday.
My Mum and I later attended the panel talk, ‘There’s Coffee In That Nebula’ with Kate Mulgrew who played Captain Janeway in ‘Voyager’. It was a lovely panel talk and I enjoyed seeing Kate on stage. That evening, my Mum and I watched the amazing documentary, ‘What We Left Behind’, which celebrated 25 years of ‘Deep Space Nine’.
The convention had a screening zone where there were episodes shown from various ‘Star Trek’ shows from ‘TOS’, ‘TNG’, ‘DS9’, ‘Voyager’ and ‘Enterprise’ for people to see. This was a great rendezvous point for my Mum and me should we have separated from each other during the weekend convention.
The problem with the screening zone was that my Mum and I couldn’t hear the episodes properly and what the characters were saying due to outside interference. This was made up the following day with the subtitles on. Thankfully my Mum and I watched episodes of the web series, ‘Star Trek Continues’ back at our hotel.
Sunday 21st October 2018
Sunday was an easier day compared to Saturday in terms of queuing and getting to places. However there were clashes with some of the photo shoots I had pre-booked which meant having to miss some of the panel talks and getting to photo shoots at certain times. Fortunately it had all worked out alright.
The first order of business was my Mum and I having photo shoots on the ‘TNG’ Enterprise-D bridge which was great. I later had a photo shoot with Kate Mulgrew and I then had a group photo shoot with the ‘TNG’ cast, including Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis on the Enterprise-D bridge.
There was then a clash with me having a photo shoot with Alice Krige who played the Borg Queen in ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ and attending the ‘In The Captain’s Chair’ panel talk with William Shatner. Thankfully this worked out alright and I later saw Alice Krige at a signing session before the day ended.
There was then a classic Enterprise bridge photo shoot for my Mum and me, which we enjoyed. There was then a ‘Seven of Nine’ panel talk with Jeri Ryan and I had a photo shoot with Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura in ‘The Original Series’. Nichelle was not feeling well that weekend, but it was great to see her.
That afternoon, I had photo shoots with Nicole De Boer who played Ezri Dax in ‘DS9’ and Alexander Siddig who played Dr. Julian Bashir in ‘DS9’. I also met these two for signing sessions. I had a great time chatting to them, especially Alexander Siddig who’s done some ‘Doctor Who’ audios by Big Finish.
There was then a ‘TNG’ panel talk with Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis which I enjoyed. I also had a photo shoot with Walter Koening who played Chekov in ‘The Original Series’. My Mum and I then attended the ‘Life on the Prominade’ talk with many of the ‘DS9’ cast and crew there.
The treasure of the day of course was my Mum and I having a photo shoot with William Shatner who played Captain Kirk in ‘The Original Series’ on the classic Enterprise bridge. I later had a ‘TNG’ group photo with Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn and Gates McFadden and I also had a ‘DS9’ group photo shoot.
I managed to meet Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois during the day for signing sessions as well as Gates McFadden, Alice Krige, Nicole De Boer and Alexander Siddig for that weekend. It would’ve been nice to have had the chance to see more people during signings, but there wasn’t enough time for it.
‘Destination Star Trek Birmingham’ has been an enjoyable weekend for my Mum and me. It was an interesting experience and I’m glad I got the chance to attend a ‘Star Trek’ convention for a change. I would plan and do things very differently should I attend another ‘Star Trek’ convention in the future.
I prefer ‘Doctor Who’ conventions really since I find them more intimate than a ‘Star Trek’ convention. I also know the ‘Doctor Who’ guests more intimately as I’ve been attending conventions over the years. I hope I’ll get to see ‘Star Trek’ guests again at more multi-purpose conventions and comic cons.
Overall, an enjoyable and exciting weekend indeed!
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!