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Seattle Star Trek Convention 2014: Day Two - Walter Koenig, Jeri Ryan, John Billingsley

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Jeri Ryan Photo: Sherry Lipp

The Official Star Trek Convention rolled onward with its second day (December 13) in the Seattle area (Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center, to be exact). With unstoppable energy and unhinged comic zest, John Billingsley—Dr. Phlox on Star Trek:Enterprise—stole the show, delivering a performance that defined the best reason to attend one of these conventions: pure fun. Even before his guest panel officially began, Billingsley came racing out from backstage, pretending to have left the dome light on in his car (host Richard Arnold had previously announced a few times that someone’s Ford Focus had its dome light on).

DSCN2177 (380x285).jpgJohn Billingsley

Not much pertaining to Star Trek was discussed, with Billingsley challenging those in the Q&A line to ask the most embarrassing questions possible. The person with the most embarrassing one was promised several very nondescript items as a prize pack (including a Coke, a banana, a few hotel toiletries). This launched discussions concerning the last time Billingsley changed his underwear, how often he brushed his tongue (there was a dentist in the audience), and some singing (West Side Story’s “I Feel Pretty”) and “interpretive dance.” Enterprise co-star Anthony Montgomery even made a surprise appearance.

DSCN2258 (380x285).jpgJohn Billingsley with a fan

Convention headliner Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine on Voyager) made a strong, fan-pleasing appearance as well. Much like Billingsley, Ryan launched directly into the Q&A in order to maximize audience interaction. Most of the questions were Trek-related (including a very small child who inquired, “Who did you act?”), but also branched off into her work on Boston Public and Leverage.

Ethan Phillips (Neelix on Voyager) shared some anecdotes about his role in the upcoming untitled Woody Allen film, in which he portrays the father of Emma Stone’s character. He bonded with Allen, a jazz clarinetist, over musicianship. Phillips is a sax player and both he and Allen had discussed the difficulties of playing minor ii-V-I progressions.

DSCN2288 (380x317).jpgWalter Koenig

Co-headliner Walter Koenig (the one and only Pavel Chekov from the Original Series) danced enthusiastically to his intro music, The Beatles’ “Back in the USSR.” However, his was a mostly somber presentation that centered largely on his advancing age. It wasn’t without lighthearted moments, such as the moment he obliged a fan’s request to hear the famous “nuclear vessels” line from Star Trek IV. Koenig also had nothing but overwhelmingly kind words for J.J. Abrams’ recent Trek reboot films and specifically for the “new” Chekov, Anton Yelchin. The Trek legend left the stage to a rousing (and much deserved) standing ovation.

Photos: Sherry Lipp

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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