Friday October 3, 2014: Destination Star Trek, Day 1.
Myself and my friend Len headed off to London’s ExCeL Centre for what looked to be a great day. We arrived at North Greenwich, where we took a look around the O2, before catching the Emirates Airline (cab 28) across to the Royal Docks. Being typically early we stopped at The Fox at Excel, for a cold beer, before heading in to join the queue inside ExCeL Centre. At exactly 14:00 the doors opened and the queue began moving swiftly towards the entrance and what lay beyond.
After handing over our tickets we immediately set about orienting ourselves with the layout. I needed to find Photo Shoot Area C, as I had booked to have a photo taken, at Photo Shoot Area C, at 14:30. As is completely logical Photo Shoot Area C was as far across the hall, from Photo Shoot Areas A & B, as it possibly could be. As I queued we arranged to meet at the Klingon Zone and, before Len disappeared off for a look around.
I cannot quite express how nervous I began to feel as the line began moving forward, and I got my first glimpse of her. I felt almost giddy and I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. The excitement was palpable. The fans in the line before me gradually diminished, until I was next. As I moved to sit beside her, she reached out and gently shook my hand, while asking my name. I answered and said what a pleasure it was to meet her. She smiled and then the camera clicked. I thanked her for her time, before heading off to collect my photo, with a smile stuck to my face. Nichelle Nichols is a legend.
I found Len waiting for me in the Klingon Zone, where we had a cold beer, before headed off to find something to keep my photograph safe in. Unlike at DST 1, there was no one selling ready-made frames, so I settled for a hard plastic case, which only cost 50p. I bought two, as I knew Len would need one for his photo, later in the day. We then went for a proper look around.
Directly opposite the Klingon Zone was the Museum, which was full of costumes and props,
personal belongings of Gene Roddenberry,
the El-Baz type-15 shuttlepod,
Worf’s bat’leth and much more.
We then took a good look around at the various stalls, which sold everything Star Trek, science fiction and more. We then took a look at the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Bridge Photo Area, on which we would have our photo taken tomorrow.
Then it was off to look at the Borg Regeneration Chamber Photo Shoot Area, which was opposite the Voyager Stage. Max Grodenchik (Rom), Aron Eisenberg (Nog) and Casey Biggs (Damar), from Star Trek Deep Space Nine, were just taking to this stage, so we stood and watched them as they welcomed everyone to DST 3, before telling stories and keeping the crowds happy. Then we went back to the Klingon Zone.
We grabbed a Star Trek Orion Seductress Sindicate Lager and headed to a long wooden table, with high wooden chairs, to sit for a while. A man, who was already sitting at the table, asked us what we thought of the beer, to which we replied it was quite nice. He then went on to explain that he had had it specifically brewed for DST 3. He had travelled to various brewers, throughout Europe, before deciding to use a Czech company, as they were really enthusiastic about the idea. The name and label were then agreed upon and designed, before the beer was even ready. The man then gave us his card, before heading off, back to work, which for DST 3 was selling, with a bit of trying, Sindicate Lager. His name is Vern Raincock, CEO of Federation of Beer.
Pretty soon it was time for Len to queue up for his photo shoot. I decided to have another wander while he waited patiently in line. Soon, though, wearing jeans and a pink, silk shirt Len’s star arrived. Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01), from Star Trek Voyager.
With his photo firmly in his hands, we headed off for one last drink, before heading home. Once more we boarded the Emirates Airline (cab 29) to North Greenwich, where we took the Jubilee Line to Baker Street. Here we stopped for a pint at the Metropolitan Bar, before catching a Metropolitan Line train back to Watford.
Tomorrow looked to be even better.