More Convention Hijinks
Wednesday, May 4, 2005

By all rights, the blog should consist entirely of the words LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! LIVERPOOL! However, I can see how that would become tiresome after the first three hundred pages so instead, I thought I'd try and describe a few more bits with the aid of my pictures and the programme.

In fact, I was so busy during the weekend that I've only just today had time to read the programme; that's how much stuff they had organised. Friday consisted of meeting a few random people and some familiar faces from the preview screening (congrats to everybody for not blowing any spoilers, I felt sure someone would reveal that River was made of chocolate and that Mal died in the third scene). There was also a chance to get in early for booking photo sessions and pick the cast photos to be signed (really nice ones actually and you didn't feel they were gouging you on price).

Then there was the opening ceremony as the lovely and perpetually enthusiastic Clare Kramer introduced each member of the cast. This was also where most of us found out that Mark Sheppard was joining us and also for the slower ones (like me) that Ron had joined as an replacement guest. They all seemed pleased with their welcomes which were loud and sustained, particularly Alan and Summer. Nathan milked his, raising and lowering his hands for more and less appreciation from different sections of the crowd before insisting that he should come in again, which he did to even more applause.

Then we all disappeared to get into costume for the Old West theme. There were plenty of cowboys, cowgirls, Chinese dresses and such like. There was a delightful girl whose name I didn't catch but I'm sure half the people here will know, who had a cavegirl outfit, chain mail and a rabbit costume that really caught the eye. The media stereotype of a sci-fi convention consisting of either 15 year old boys with glasses and 35 year old nerds was completely blown away. In fact there was no stereotype to be drawn, there was a great mix of young and old, male and female, British and from overseas.

Some random bits from the panels: The questions ranged from the ones we all want to know "What is Book's past? Sequel? What's with the needle?" (although naturally they had no answer to give), to the bizarre to the ones that weren't questions at all, just overly long statements of what one particular fan thought. Ron was particularly happy talking about Barney Miller and fleshing out his character on that, you could tell he would have been just as devoted to making Book as three dimensional as possible over a 7 year run. Unfortunately Barney Miller wasn't really shown over here so we have no context. However on another question about technology Ron revealed that he'd gone to Best Buy (think Dixons) and asked for a typewriter and the staff laughed at him. (Moments later the video screens displayed a picture of Ron in front of a typewriter; those tech guys were ready for just about anything).

Summer also said how she loved receiving fan mail, particularly hand written letters. I don't know what percentage of fans write to their stars but even if it's a very small one, when you have 20m people watching you, that soon adds up. If you wanted to pitch a script to her, a story where a shy girl opens up by expressing herself through dancing would be the way to go.

Nathan is very comfortable with the Harrison Ford comparisons, even to the point of saying he'd like to star in a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Morena is a big fan of actresses like Meryl Streep. Jewel takes a size 10 in some brand of shoes (presumably that's an American 10). Mark helped Summer with her accent (they were both so complimentary to each other about it: "Mark taught me everything", "I just gave the confidence that she was doing great") Summer loved performing when she was a little girl, including going out in the freezing cold wearing just a bikini and a feather boa to do a show for a non-existent audience.

Jewel really enjoyed doing the Hallmark movie with Natasha Henstridge who she got to slap and Wonderfalls where she said her character was such an enormous bitch. She also talked about Morena picking out her wedding dress, although it was one that forced her to go commando, a fact that Morena revealed in front of everyone at the reception. Jewel then insisted that Morena wasn't wearing any underwear too. Cue an affronted "I am so wearing underwear." No wonder they got the nickname "The Crabby Sisters" on set.

Alan was great talking about things like Dodgeball "I read the script and I thought 'This is so funny and it's going to be a big hit as long as they ditch that pirate character'" plus taking apart a poster for saying that I, Robot was going to be crap (for which he also stated that the audience could decide for themselves what degree of crapness it was). He's obviously still fond of the film as he asked Sean for any spare I, Robot merchandise that they had been given.

Speaking of crap, Ron was asked about hating latex in "the mediocre episode of Star Trek that you were excellent in". Cue pause. "The mediocre episode of Star Trek *pause* That I was excellent in. Well, at least you thought I was good! *deep laugh*" Ron did not seem to be a fan of having his face covered in plastic nor having to spend 2 hours having it taken off.

At the big cast gathering on Sunday, everyone was asked what their first impression were of each other. Alan did a great tale of how he loved the script and thought as long as they cast the right guy as the Captain, it would work. When he went in, he saw the actor and thought "Oh no, that's wrong, totally wrong, he's not commanding enough, he's too young, this is going to be a disaster." He introduced himself and they chatted for a bit and Alan said "So you're the Captain" and got the reply "No, I'm the Doctor" from Sean.

This is all very bitty but you should get the idea that there were umpteen hundred of these moments throughout the talks and the whole weekend, little bits of information that filled in so many blanks. Perhaps what really shone through was how carefully Joss picked the cast, making sure he had the right people as well as the right actors. Not that anyone said anything directly but it seemed obvious that it wasn't the original Inara's performance that led to her being axed.

Right, I think I've managed to pour most of my brain out now about the convention and can finally shut up about it (well, mostly anyway). All I can say is that if you get the chance to go to a convention, do so, particularly if it's a Starfury one. I probably had the same worries about it as anyone but I couldn't have been more delighted. Book your tickets now (well, the 11th) and I'll see you in November.


Monday, May 23, 2005 9:48 AM


Great report! Thanks for the spoilers too. Hope to see you ALL in November!

Thursday, May 5, 2005 5:06 AM


Yup, it's true and it's not really a spoiler as it'll be in the next set of trailers...

Nah, those two spoilers were based on Penny Arcade's joke (that River was made of chocolate) and Nathan on stage for the first time asking "Anyone here seen the movie?" About a third of the hands went up. "Wasn't it cool when I died in scene 3?" followed by a look of "Oops, did I unleash a spoiler?"

In fact Nathan was very good at spoiler control, particularly when Morena was talking, he'd just call out "Spoiler!" Although Morena did a very dramatic performance to indicate why her spoiler wasn't a spoiler at all as it was very clear in the TV series.

Don't worry, Sean gets a nice chunk of screen time and he .... sorry, I can hear Nathan yelling spoiler in my ear. Ah well.

Thursday, May 5, 2005 4:45 AM


That's all! FIfteen minutes on the big screen and he falls over dead? Crap.

This may mean my Sean will get a bit more screen time, cool. I'm okay with that.

Thursday, May 5, 2005 1:06 AM


Steve Madden shoes. Jewel likes Steve Madden shoes. I have black boots, from when I lived in N. America - I tend them carefully in the hope that they will last a wee while longer...
Great reporting on the convention by the way. Really makes me want to go back to the next one!

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 8:07 AM


So, Mal dies? Crap!

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 7:49 AM


There's always so much to remember from things like this it all filters out slowly, often with help from everyone else who was there.

Keep up the good reporting!


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