Saturday 20th October 2012 – All Good Things…
Unlike the black suit and blue shirt that I had worn the day before, today I wore my Star Trek Dress Uniform. Not many people noticed, or maybe recognised it, on the train to North Greenwich, but they did when Len and myself walked to the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. You could hear the excited chatter and the click and flash of cameras. As we disembarked the cable car, we spotted a few other uniforms from various alien races, but not too many. It wasn’t until we entered the ExCeL Centre itself that we became aware of how many people were in a costume of some kind or another. Some of the costumes were home-made or cheap imitations. Others were of far better quality and some actually fit the person wearing them. And others were out of this World. There were Humans, Bajorans, Andorians, Klingons, Vorta, Romulans, Trill, Omnipotent Beings (such as Q), Mugato, Borg, Ferengi and every style of Starfleet uniform from the TV Series through the films. The only species that I failed to see were Cardassians and Jem’hadar.
The entire place was considerably busier than the previous day, by at least a couple of hundred people, so I was glad that I had taken the opportunity to have my Captain’s photos taken on the Friday. As we meandered through the crowds, I was asked to pose for the odd photo by various people in varying uniforms. Len suggested that if this was going to happen all day, I should charge. I saw a Klingon Warrior walking around and so asked for a photo with him, which he happily stood for. As the queues to the Autograph & Photo Sales Area died down, I went and purchased two tickets for the Bridge Photo Shoot. When these were bought we went to look at some of the canvas paintings and limited edition prints. Many of them were autographed and limited to editions of 500 or less. None of them however had a price on them, but signs did tell you to ask for prices. I suggested that if you had to ask the price, then you couldn’t afford it. This didn’t deter Len from asking the price of a glossy print of all five captain’s, with their starships and autographs. The salesman answered £2995.00, without the frame. I was quite surprised that I wasn’t picking Len up off the floor, at this point. I had seen a nice canvas of five of the most famous Klingons, with their ships and autographs, which I was informed was £345.00. He then informed us that he accepted all major credit cards. It was at this point that we hit the Klingon Zone for a drink.
After our drink we both headed over to the Bridge Shoot Area and joined the queue. Although the queue was quite long, time flew because striking up a conversation was simple as everyone had something in common. Conversations ranged from best episode from any series to best film to best hero to best villain. A young Starfleet Admiral, in a uniform from Star Trek Deep Space Nine, asked to have his photo taken with me, which I of course obliged. Then we were near the front of the queue and my date with destiny. Unlike the photo shoot with William Shatner or Avery Brooks, you were given time to get comfortable and work out your pose. I opted for sitting in the Captain’s chair with a small smile, as if to say, ‘It doesn’t get better than this!’ Len opted for a more laid back shot of himself in the chair, which looks really cool. (This was the second USS Enterprise bridge that I have now had my photo taken on. The other was at Star Trek Adventure Hyde Park in 2003, when I got to sit on the bridge of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D).
With our photographs in our hands, Len was concerned that we had no way of keeping them from getting damaged. We could have bought a plastic sleeve for £1.00 but I decided that we needed proper frames to display this moment of history. So, two Destination Star Trek London frames were purchased. I had purchased two identical frames the day before to hold my captain’s photos. Another wander around and another photo was requested. This time from a Starfleet officer, with green hair, in an Original series dress. Hopefully some of these photographs will appear on the Internet at some point, so that I can see them for myself. I was then asked to pose with a Bajoran Cleric and Seven-of-nine. This time I managed to get a photo of the three of us when a passerby offered to take the photographs for all of us.
After this we wandered over to the Main Stage, where a Star Trek Auction was going on. We watched from the side as various prints, memorabilia and props went under the hammer. Some went for surprising little, while others saw them raise thousands. We then went around the various Autograph Areas, so that I could try and get some more photographs of the people that I had grown up watching on TV and in the Cinema, Then, with time getting on, we decided to have one last look around before having one last drink in the Federation Zone. Unfortunately, we didn’t drink our last drinks in the Federation Zone for reasons that I shall now explain;
THE FEDERATION ZONE: The Federation Zone consisted of a small bar selling tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, pasties and pies, crisps and Romulan Ale. The seating area was made up of small round tables with chairs and looked like a relaxation zone, made even more clear by the six or seven Starfleet women in uniforms of the Sciences division giving out free 10-minute massages. There was also a massive set of ‘Holodeck’ doors and a ‘Transporter’ wall to have photographs taken against. The entire area was clean and reeked of Federation goodness. Yuk!
THE KLINGON ZONE: The Klingon Zone consisted of a small bar selling tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, pasties and pies, crisps and Klingon Bloodwine. The seating area was made up of long wooden benches and tables covered in bearskins. The centrepiece of the area was nine-foot tall Klingon Warrior Statue, while around the sides was a Klingon Gong for “hitting not tickling”, as one of the resident Klingons pointed out to a young Starfleet Cadet, who proceeded to make the gong ring out louder than a Klingon Targ at breakfast. There was also a Throne to have your photograph taken on. Basically, this was the place to be. Qapla!
So, we bought our drinks at the Federation Zone and took them to the Klingon Zone. Perfect! Soaking up the atmosphere, we sipped our drinks and talked about the last few days. We both agreed that this had been an experience that we both happy to have been a part of.
All in all a great couple of days with a great friend and lots of new friends.
Until next time…
Live long and prosper.