Arriving for Destination Star Trek at Birmingham’s World famous National Exhibition Centre on this particularly special October 19th was unlike any approach to a conference I’d experienced before. Typically, the walkways are awash with majestic costumes and fever pitch anticipation. Hundreds of people – typically from the West Midlands area – gather to celebrate all forms of popular culture in one monumental session.
In contrast to this, my significantly earlier arrival time, due to a higher level of press access, resulted in a more subdued approach to the typical venue of enjoyment. And unlike those previous occasions, the event itself obviously focused on one particular facet: Star Trek!
Upon arrival into the hall, the bodies were ferociously at work behind concealed entrances, finalizing sets such as The Bridge of both The Original Series and Next Generation. Waiting patiently was the ever-growing number of die-hard fans from across the continent and beyond to catch a glimpse of the biggest Convention of this genre in Europe.
After quickly surveying the area before the madness ensued, those of us with press passes were granted the opportunity to sit in an exclusive Q&A with a staggering amount of talent from shows across the ages.
With guests such as Casey Biggs, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Chase Masterson, Alice Krige, NASA legend Fred Haise and many, many more giving their valuable time to answer some of our most burning questions.
Once this ended, after being given the opportunity to further absorb the surrounding attractions, the mass of fans arrived. As exciting as former Conventions have been, never have I been part of something so passionately appreciated. With people ranging in age from newborn to 90, everyone in attendance was there to share in the glory of Gene Roddenberry’s sensational vision.
To top off an already unforgettable day, I was approached by one of the organizers to see if I was available to quickly sit down with an overall icon and one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with, Walter Koenig.
Obviously, I was nervous. I mean, this is Pavel Chekov for crying out loud! The man who discovered Khan on Ceti Alpha 5. One of the people responsible for bringing one of the most beloved franchises into existence, and he’d be speaking with me!?
After a brief conversation with myself, I finally plucked up the courage to shake this wonderful man’s hand and ask a few questions about his time aboard the USS Enterprise.
Overall, Destination Star Trek was a rambunctious Convention with stalls selling anything you could possibly imagine so long as it bears some of Trek significance, Cosplays so accurate that the production staff of the shows would be proud and a gathering of people so welcoming that next year’s showing is already firmly placed in my calendar.