Trekkies Still?

StarTrek_0020We have been doing a spot of time travel reliving a part of our own youth when the TV series Star Trek gave birth to a fan base now known as Trekkies

Who could have believed that back in 1966 Gene Roddenberry would have created a TV franchise that here in 2014 is still packing them into an auditorium.

Billed as Destination Star Trek the Trekkies event panning across 3 days in early October has attracted a record number of fans to the ExCel Exhibition centre in London.

StarTrek_0030Many dressed in Trekkie costumes, they paid a fortune to get in to the convention then parted with more cash to attend photo shots with their favourite stars of yesteryear.

Attendees forked out yet even more cash to stand in long lines just to get a star to sign a photograph of themselves. And here’s the sad part. Of course many of the stars look nothing like the photo they are signing. William Shatner is no longer the heartthrob of our youth while the 82 year old yet still sprightly Michelle Nichols, better known as Uhura, has a shock of white hair. Ethan Phillips who starred as Neelix, the chef aboard U.S.S. Voyager is bald.  Though Karl Urban who plays Dr McCoy in the latest film revival of Star Trek is of course as good looking as ever.

It costs £50 for Patrick Stewart and £45 to get a Shatner picture signed but just £25 to get one from Jeri Ryan (or 7 of 9 to the Trekkie) to scribble on her image. But at least, if you bumped into her, walking around the convention centre, you would know who she was! She still looks amazingly good and can still get away with the skin tight costumes that made her such a hit back in 1995

We were struck by the irony of the short Queue for Q (better known as John De Lancie) to sign autographs.

Elsewhere, others queued up to have their faces made up so that they looked like a Klingon (an alien with a plastic forehead in case you do not know).  While two long benches hosted a speed dating event for Trekkies.

StarTrek_0033In the crowd, fans with pointy ears waited to stand by an authentic Spock lookalike while others shopped for Tribles and tricorders. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves to the point that we ended up believing that we were the sad one for failing to enter into the spirit.  We kept thinking how the event is a huge money making machine for the organisers and TV stars alike, even though some of the stars of yesteryear would be hard to recognise away from the Star Trek convention.

StarTrek_0041Perhaps most amazingly those attending were not looking to draw their pensions but rather mid 30s and clearly having great fun.