February 28th 2015- RIP Leonard Nimoy

Yesterday, a little piece of my childhood died.

I’ve been a Trek fan for as long as I can remember. My dad still reminds me that as a three year old I would duck when the Enterprise came flying forward during the opening credits!

Spock was always my favourite, a position he shared with Scotty and Bones. One of the reasons that Spock was my favourite was that he was the odd one out. 400+ crew and he was the only non-human on board. Kind of how I felt going through primary school, the odd one out (and in some respects how I still feel now as an adult from time to time). I could relate to him in a way I couldn’t to most of the others.

Over time, some of his mannerisms rubbed off on me. A raise of one eyebrow when confused/perplexed, and a (somewhat annoying) need to carry out tasks in a logical order.

Finally, as an adult, I got to meet Leonard. I wasn’t suprised to find out that he was a warm, caring person. This just proved to me what a good actor he was.

Leonard Nimoy

A few years later, on Twitter, he offered his followers the chance to make him their honorary Grandfather. Many thousands of Trekkies jumped at the chance and the warmth towards his fans continued.

He retired from the convention circuit due to failing health but was still able and willing to do a live Skype chat at the last London con. I wasn’t able to attend, but friends who did told me it was awesome.

Even in his last days he was still posting inspirational quotes to his Twitter page. The world has lost a talented actor, singer and photographer and thousands of Trekkies have lost an amazing role model and honorary Grandfather……

Leonard Nimoy, your memory shall Live Long and Prosper in all that you leave behind. Thanks for everything you gave to myself and many others.

Your mission on this planet is complete….its time to stand down now. Rest now Grandpa Leonard.

LLAP

February 2015~ Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

At the end of January, Sky Atlantic announced that the Game of Thrones travelling exhibition would finally be coming to London for 8 days in February, but tickets would only be available to Sky customers. I managed to get tickets after a major hiccup with the Sky website.

On Tuesday 17th February, myself and my friends Mags, Suvi and Martin headed off for the O2 by boat. It was a good experience, but I’m glad it was free as I wouldn’t pay for something that brief.

The main part of the exhibition consisted of viewing a variety of props and costumes of main characters in season 4 of the show. There were a few interactive opportunities, including being burnt to death by a dragon, being turned into a white walker and climbing the wall (this was so busy that we passed it by….over an hours wait). There were also a couple of chances to sit in the Iron Throne and have your photo taken.

There were also a couple of cosplayers wandering around too.

October 2014~ Game of Thrones tour of Northern Ireland

I finally decided to go and visit my friends Paul and Kerry in Belfast. We had a very busy week but being that we are all big GoT fans we decided to do a few Thrones based activities.

The first thing we did was visit Castle Ward which was used for the set of Winterfell in Season One. We paid for an archery experience which was an hour long and was led by the guy who was the archery advisor for the first season. We donned costumes (original HBO leftovers I might add) and spent an hour hearing anecdotes and shooting recurve and longbows. The session ended with a bit of sword play and mock beheadings. We made sure we took plenty of photos!

LaterĀ in the week we decided to visit a few places used in filming, including The Dark Hedges which was used as The Kingsroad in season one, Ballintoy Harbour which doubled as Pyke Harbour on The Iron Islands and a quick swing by the GoT studios in Belfast.

October 2014~ LFCC Winter

Last con of the year for me and a quieter event compared to the madness of the summer one.

As normal lots of costumes on display and I again helped with the charity stall for our Starfleet Chapter, the USS Iceni.

It was a chance for me to get a few more names on my Game of Thrones canvas and to meet Alan Ruck who played (among others) Captain John Harriman of the Starship Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations…..such a friendly guy!

October 2014~ Destination: Star Trek London 3

This hugely anticipated event was announced mid-year with the promise of reuniting the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge crew and have the chance to have your photo taken on a replica of the Enterprise-D bridge. As well as the bridge crew a plethora of other names were also announced. There were tickets available for all budgets and whilst many people complained, it was down to the individual as to how much they spent.

On the whole the event was an improvement on the first, though it was noticeable that the people crewing the autograph section had no idea what they were doing and were not Showmasters crew who, it turns out were only crewing photoshoots. Unfortunately, Jonathan Frakes cancelled which upset a lot of people and Patrick Stewart had to scale back what he would take part in due to him being unwell. Fair play to him as could easily have cancelled!

The event was laid out much more effectively this time and they even had a viewing area which I enjoyed very much. A trek museum was available for people to wander around and you could also have yourself turned into a Vulcan or Klingon as did my friend Mags. There were also 3 stages at which you could hear a variety of talks and displays.

I had a ticket for the first night official party on ‘Risa’ which took place at the Fox Excel bar next door. It was a big improvement and a couple of highlights were hearing The Enterprise Blues Band perform.

The bridge shoot was great fun and along with many of my friends we had a number of photos taken and had quite a crowd watching us.

Once again there were many great costumes on show, but unfortunately we did not manage to break our own world record for most people in Trek costume.

On the Sunday afternoon, a few of us (mostly members of our USS Iceni chapter) were interviewed by Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, for a documentary about fans and conventions that he was making.

As normal for me I had lots of professional photos taken with a variety of guests. See below!

Overall, I really enjoyed the event and am really hoping that another event is put on in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

Since the previous DSTL event, many of the members of the Facebook group banded together to form another group….the USS Riker’s Beard, in honour of the character Wil Riker and the actor who portrayed him, Jonathan Frakes, who was due to be in attendance at the event.

The Riker’s Beard group grew out of those people who stayed (and partied) at the Custom House Hotel at the previous event. One member, James Dillon, painstakingly recreated a bridge set, captains chair and transporter set, all of which would be on display at the hotel, now named USS Riker’s Beard, for all to see and enjoy.