I arrived at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn around lunchtime on Friday, purchased my weekend pass and went for a stroll through the convention area. Lots of people in scifi costumes, lots of vendors selling all kinds of weird things, I felt more than a little lost.
After checking out the program for the afternoon, I realized that a lot of cool photo sessions were happening and the on-stage things were not as interesting to me, because they were either in German or about shows I didn't watch. So I decided to get in line and do a boatload of photo ops. They are so much cheaper than at other conventions and, knowing now that I wouldn't be able to get all the autographs I wanted (see Sunday report), I am so glad I got my little face time with the actors. As usual, I asked the actors to do a funny picture with my elephant, Richard Dean, and most of them happily obliged. Here are a few, including Lucianna Carro, Kandyse McClure and Aaron Douglas from BSG, Gareth David Lloyd from Torchwood:
Because of the photo ops I missed a few panels, the main one I wanted to see was Luciana Carro, Kat from Battlestar Galactica, but I would see her in the BSG panel on Sunday so I didn't feel too bad about it. I found a seat up on the balcony right at the end of Manu Intiraymi's panel. He was on Star Trek Voyager, a show I've never seen. He's cute and seemed really nice and outgoing. His panel ended with him ranting about conspiracy theories and 9/11 and such, a little weird imo. I snapped a pic of him just in case I ever do watch the show and decide to like it. ;) Then James Cawley, who plays Captain Kirk in a fanmade series called Star Trek Phase II, came on stage to introduce a movie they made called Enemy Starfleet. A lot of people left the room at that point so I found myself a somewhat better seat to be ready for the Opening Ceremony.
Master of Ceremonies for the ceremony and the whole weekend was Ed Wasser, who you might know from Babylon 5. He tried really hard to be funny and tell jokes and partially succeeded. The ceremony started with a show from the guys from Propworx, which involved lots of silly dancing (think 'Thriller') and the aliens from Alien. Pretty funny and it was so cool to see the costumes.
Then it was time to introduce the guests. First they announced all the people giving lectures (including Richard Arnold, who some of you might know because he works for Creation Entertainment), then they moved on to the actors. Gordon Michael Woolvett (from Andromeda) was his happy, bubbly self but had some microphone issues. Gareth David Lloyd was very happy to be there, considering that none of the Torchwood people had ever made it to Fedcon. Then there was Cliff Simon (Stargate SG1) and of course, David Hewlett. David got a wave of applause and a little bow from Ed Wasser. People seemed very happy to see him. He had never made it to Germany before either! Seeing him there made me anxious to see his panel later that evening.
Time for James Marsters, one of my personal favorites, Luciana Carro and Tahmoh Penikett. 'Did he just call me Halo?' Apparently there was a typo on Ed Wasser's cards so he accidentally announced Tahmoh as Halo (instead of Helo), which was pretty funny. Poor guy was flustered enough, I can't imagine how hard it has to be to MC this kind of an event.
When Aaron Douglas came on stage he had his camera ready and was taking pictures of everyone and everything. Kandyse McClure and Tahmoh followed his example... Kandyse did a little dance but got laughed at by Aaron. Aww...
Up next was Manu Intiraymi. Then Chase Masterson (Babylon 5) came on stage waving a German flag and some more Star Trek people were announced: Suzie Plakson and Martha Hackett.
Last but not least there were 2 of the big names of Fedcon 2010: Michael Dorn and Terry Farrell. Both received loads of applause, though 'Lt. Worf' got a standing ovation. He asked the crowd to stop clapping, which just made them clap harder. Even the other actors joined in, it was very heartwarming. Then they played a video of Terry, which said that because of passport issues she wouldn't be able to make it. Which of course wasn't true, she had done photo sessions earlier that day so that attempt at confusing the audience didn't really work. She walked on to the stage and apologized for having to cancel the last 2 times she had been announced for Fedcon. She was very happy to finally make it.
The Opening Ceremony was a blast, it was great to see all the actors that were attending on one stage. Except for Joe Flanigan, who was said 'to have taken the train a stop too far and was on his way'. To me it was especially fun to watch the actors standing in the back, they were joking amongst themselves the whole time. :) Too bad everyone had to say something about German beer, as if that's the only reason to come to Fedcon... :(
Well, that was it for the Opening Ceremony, time for the next panel: Terry Farrell. She was very sweet and touched by the fan response for a series that was filmed quite a while ago. She talked about how she now is a mom from Pennsylvania, and that she doesn't do much acting these days or have much contact with her former colleagues from Deep Space Nine. She told us that she wouldn't let her 6 year old son watch DS9 because he would get confused about the violence and about his mom kissing a woman. She also sang a little lullaby and felt very self-conscious about it afterwards, realizing that the whole thing was being taped. She was also asked about the Trill spots, how it used to take an hour to do them each day, and how the main makeup artist at the end of the series would take only 45 min because he had to do them on the other Star trek show as well. And if he wanted to be in the running for a make-up award he had to do one main character's makeup throughout the show, so he had ro run back to the DS9 set just to do Terry's makeup, which she thought was nice. Overall, I enjoyed her talk a lot, since I have watched quite a bit of DS9, so a lot of things were familiar. There weren't many 'ha ha' funny moments but everything she told us came straight from the heart. Especially when she talked about 'her biggest challenge': motherhood.
David Hewlett was up next. It was so good to see him again, he's always so funny. His panel was such a blur, hopefully I can remember a few things... He walked on with a beer in his hand, that would be a constant through most of the convention. Aaron Douglas came on stage to give him a new beer halfway through his panel. David told a whole bunch of stories, one of the more memorable ones about the set, how he hated running up and down the stairs and how he kept trying to avoid them. And how those stairs would be so great to do a musical number on! And that there was another piece of equipment in the control room that would cause people to get hurt because it was located at a 'dangerous' height.
David kept laughing at people because they were asking 2 questions, he was wondering whether that was a German thing. So somebody went up to the microphone and asked one ... and a half question, hilarity ensued. He was also asked whether, in A Dog's Breakfast, he used the same tooth brush to brush his teeth as well as his dog's. He confessed that he had this whole system set up to switch out the brushes off camera but he never managed to get it right so he gave up. Which means that yes, he did use the same brush. Eeek. At some point during the panel Aaron Douglas came on stage with his phone, saying Paul had a question for him. Talking about ADB he talked about how Paul McGillion kept shaving his legs to prove he'd be up for the role and David kept telling him his legs would not be in view! Paul seemed very dedicated.
David got asked about how it was working with his sister and joked about how the director kept telling them they had to 'keep in mind they were related'. As if they could forget. David kept laughing at his sister's acting and singing capabilities, all in good fun, of course. Someone asked him to go stand by the Tardis, unfortunately my pic of that came out blurry, it was a funny sight though. He admitted to being a geek, how he knows how to take apart computers but not how to put them back together again.
Since I love David, I took way too many pictures, here are a few more.
The final panel of the day was for James Marsters. It was a joy to finally see him. He talked a lot about his role as Spike on Buffy and Angel as well as John Hart on Torchwood. He said that Buffy and Sarah Michelle Gellar are actually quite similar in character as they know what they want and go for it. He did say that Sarah was quite a bit funnier. During his audition for Spike, Juliet Landau was there as well and she really liked that James originated as a theater actor. He believes that that was part of why their collaboration worked so well on the show. James also talked about how he moved to LA to try TV/movies instead of theater because he needed to earn money for his kid. He told a funny story about how his kid doesn't find his roles cool enough. Even John Hart! Apparently the kid asked his dad' Yes, he is cool, but does he win in the end?' James had to admit he lost, which made him not cool anymore in the eyes of his son.
About his role on Torchwood he told a story about a stunt in which he bled through his costume. And since the producers would not let him do his own stunts again if they find out, John Barrowman helped him out, had his personal surgeon stitch him up so he could still do stunts. When asked who would win in a fight between Spike and John Hart, he said Hart would win if he had his gun already drawn. I mean, Spike is fast but you just can't win against a gun. When asked who was the best kisser: Buffy or Captain Jack he pleased the audience by saying John Barrowman. Of course! James also got some questions about his singing career. He apparently has CDs out (I didn't know, oops). He sang a cowboy-style song on stage that he wrote after doing a western movie(?).
He said how he admires Buzz Aldrin. He had the chance of meeting him in Italy one time but decided to go home to his family instead. He told a story about how Buzz punched someone who said the moon landing was a hoax. And how that guy sued Buzz and Buzz won the lawsuit. Nice one! Apparently there's Spike/Giles slash fanfic out there, so a fan asked James who would be on top? He said the old guy i.e. Giles should be on top, that he should do all the work. When asked if he would consider doing a Spike spin-off he said that he would only consider it if there was a way to make him look younger because Spike shouldn't age. He didn't want the spin-off to start with some kind of explanation of why Spike looked older all of a sudden. Maybe they could use the technology they use to make newscasters look younger, he said. He said he would have loved to do a role on Battlestar Galactica, but was happy to get Caprica now.
James also received compliments on his audio work for the Jim Butcher Dresden Files audiobooks. I have never listened to them so I bought one this week and they are pretty good! He also got a weirdly phrased question from a fan who asked 'How it was for Spike to f*** Buffy?' James asked to repeat the question, thinking he hadn't heard that one right, but yes he had heard it just fine. In response he talked about how Spike couldn't just stay the evil vampire fighting Buffy in the show, that would not make the character interesting enough so the writers had to do something with him. They decided to make Spike and Buffy hook up, which was a possible way to go, James understood the decision. Another funny thing happened when a fan told him that John Barrowman had said that James was 53 years old. He joked about it a bit, with the audience laughing a lot about how ridiculous that was. Then he said he was actually 47 and the audience laughed again. Which is funny, because James Marsters IS 47 years old. Still looks good, though, I have to say!
Fedcon Friday was amazing and Fedcon was only getting started...
I'll post the next part of this report as soon as I find some time.