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Adventures in Con-Going: The Sequel
Shore Leave 20 - 1998
by Tracey Rich, Jeysie and Lynn

Sunday Morning: A Trekkie's Dream

The next morning, we got up bright and early for Temple of Trek, which several people said would be very funny. Unfortunately, once we got there, we realized that people seemed to be taking it seriously! (shudder) We beat a hasty retreat... and ran into Peter in the hallway! I introduced Liz and Harrison. Peter had to run off to get ready for Sunday's main event: Mystery Trekkie TheaterIZEFich was late as usual.

Lynn, meanwhile, was at a panel on DS9. Most of it was just a discussion of the good points of the last season's shows, but there are a few things worth mentioning here. The reason why Jadzia died in the last episode of the season was because the actress playing her wouldn't renew her contract for another season unless she got paid as much as the actors who play Sisko and Worf. (sigh) However, one of the guys on the panel said that they've been pointing out that it's *Jadzia* that's dead, and that Dax is very much alive. So, it sounds like Dax may be coming back, but with a new host. Also, the holographic character who seems to know a lot of surprising things is probably going to be around in the next season. Sorry, but I don't remember the guy's name.

While we were waiting for MTT, we noticed that it was warmer than it had been all through the convention. It seemed they had finally straightened out the air conditioning! When Peter apologized for the delay in MTT and also said that the air conditioning would be on again soon, there were several calls from the audience asking them *not* to turn the air conditioning back on. Peter even took a vote, and it seemed that most of the people felt that way. Not that this actually had an effect on anything; the air conditioning went on, anyway.

MTT was more than 20 minutes late, but well worth the wait. MTT started with a skit, South Trek. Four guests appeared as the four captains as the four South Park kids. Peter was Kirk as Cartman ("I'm not fat, I'm big-boned." "Big boned the way a planet is big-boned! You even have your own gravitational field!" "That's not gravity! That's just static cling!" "Kirk, you're so fat, that when you walk on the bridge, people say *** ******, that's a big fat captain!") and his sister, Beth David (is that a person or a synagogue?) was Janeway as Kenny. They couldn't agree on who was the better captain, so they asked Bill Mumy to decide. He gave a nauseatingly inspirational speech about how they're all good in their own way. Then a fanboy appeared on stage, saying that LIS was terrible. He was threatening to kill Bill Mumy. Bill ducked down behind "Janeway", and someone, (we can't remember whether it was one of the people on stage, or an audience person), shouted "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" Instead, the fanboy killed... Kenny/Janeway! (wait for it...) "Oh my G-d! He killed Janeway! You bastard!" Bill then switched into his Twilight Zone character and said, "You're a bad man!" and made the fanboy disappear. Also, Bill was somewhat unhappy with the script (he thought no one would laugh... go figure), so as Bill was leaving the stage, Bill says something like, "And Peter's the one to blame for this skit!" and then he "killed" him with the ray gun. The fanboy (Alan Chaffin, by the way) reappeared later, with corn coming out of his pants. The "Mad scientist" fellow said, "Frank! Where have you been?!" and Frank pulled the ears of corn out of his pockets and said "In the cornfield." (the character in TZ sent bad men "to the cornfield"). See a picture at http://members.aol.com/gallerysc/sl20/page_3.htm

Mystery Trekkie Theater was hysterical, but most of it doesn't make sense without seeing the episode. They were MSTing the episode with the game players, who put the command crew into a game as live pieces. During the opening credits, when the comet first flies by, one person yells out "ICEBERG! RIGHT AHEAD!" Then they started singing the Comet song ("Comet, it makes you vomit, so get your Comet, and vomit, today"). They were also joking about the names of the cast. "Avery? That's a girl's name! Rene??? Terry... ah, there's a person who will last... Siddig????? Cirroc??????? Armin??????? Like Armin Hammer??? Nana? (singing) Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, good bye!") When the titles came up, they said, "Our score: Deep Space 9, Babylon 5"). A character cried out "Julian!" and the MSTers replied, "FRIES!" And the running gag: every time an actor had to say or do something stupid, they would say, "I went to Julliard for this?"

Sunday Afternoon: Deja Vu

We stuck around for the afternoon this year, because Bill was speaking again. We caught the tail end of Robert Duncan McNeill. He was more awake on Sunday. Robert made some mention of Lost in Space fans, and Bill did this odd little sort of skip thing out to the middle of the stage, and then skipped back. Someone asked what his favorite SF shows were. He named a few, then said, "Recently, the best is Space Cases." About 1/8 of the audience seemed to know what he was talking about, and applauded. Bill milked the applause, then ran out and took a bow. Lots of people applauded at that point. Still, I suspect that Robert only mentioned SC because of Bill's presence. In fact, Liz leaned to everyone and said, "Any guesses as to how much Bill bribed Robert to mention that?"

Bill's afternoon speech was well worth the wait. He told some amazing stories about Babylon 5 and Alfred Hitchcock. Bill explained the use of the phrase "Zabagabe" in a B5 episode. He needed a Minbari chant, and none was scripted. "Zabagabe" is from a Barnes & Barnes album, and Bill tossed it in as an inside joke for the small cult following that B&B has. JMS saw it while reviewing the tapes, and said, "Bill, get over here." In the back of Bill's mind, he could hear "Warning! Warning! Danger! Danger!" JMS told Bill sternly, "Don't promote B&B on B5!" Apparently, JMS owns the Zabagabe CD.

As for Babylon 5, Bill told a rather long story about a prank that the cast played on Jason "Marcus" Carter, in which the entire crew tried to convince Jason that he was being written out of the show. In the end, JMS apologized and gave Jason a note promising not to kill him again. When Marcus was ultimately killed off, Jason said, "You can't do this! I've got a note!" JMS said, "I didn't kill Marcus; Marcus killed himself."

As Bill told his B5 and other stories, he did uncannily accurate imitations of various people’s voices: Mira Furlan (Delenn from B5), Jason Carter (Marcus from B5), Jonathan Harris (the original Dr. Smith), and Alfred Hitchcock. And he said he couldn't do voices!

About the Minbari hand position for fighting, Bill said it was sort of a satanic surfer thing (a combination of "hang loose" with the horns of Satan). He had no idea it was I Love You in sign language, but thought that was "bitchin!" He also made a joke about how Lennier was so spiritual that he was unconsciously caring about people while he was kicking their butt. He made a comment about how Lennier was "beating them up with love", then joked about how that would make a good song topic. (At least, I *think* he was joking)

Liz asked Bill her question about the origins of Space Cases. He brightened at the mention of the show. He told another side of the story: that he went to Nick to pitch a series based on his comic, Trypto the Acid Dog. Nick... thought he was nuts, but said that they knew him from LIS, and they would be interested in a show with kids in space. He outlined the series with Peter. As for the Ferna Herna episode: he told us that they originally intended to have four Ferna Herna: Jin, Pel, Gorge and Rongo, with the other two played by Miguel Ferrer and Bill Paxton, friends of Bill's who have worked with him on other projects.

Bill also told a story about working with Alfred Hitchcock: it was late in the day, they had to wrap, and Bill wouldn't stop fidgeting. Hitchcock came over and whispered in Bill's ear that he was going to nail his feet to the mark if he didn't stand still! Bill's mother told him it was just a joke, but Bill was afraid of walking by Hitchcock's office for the rest of his life!

We said our good-byes, and Suzanne and I headed back to Philadelphia… just in time for the evening rush.

Liz and Harrison stayed behind, to see a play and get Bill’s autograph for herself and my friend Suzanne. By the time the play was over, they discovered that the lines were closed. Bill passed by them, and Harrison asked if he would sign some things for them. Bill said "Sure, I just need a pen... they took the one I just had." So he walked over to his fan club table and asked, "Anyone got a sharpie? (a pen)" Someone handed him a magic marker, and he signed the things for us. The book Liz had him sign was a 1967 Lost in Space book, and he looked at it and said, "Wow. I haven't seen one of these in *ages*." :) Anyway, Liz thought that was pretty cool of him to do that for us. Liz told him she thought he was a good speaker, and then half-jokingly told him that he should try stand-up comedy sometime, and he sounded horrified of that idea. (grin)

Until next year, this is Tracey from Shore Leave, signing off….