Hello Dear Reader
What might you ask is DST50? Well, this weekend a 50th birthday (of sorts) was celebrated at the NEC Birmingham. Star Trek, one the top five sci-fi franchises reached 50 years. DST50 was Destination Star Trek 50. I had known about this for some time, both the birthday and event, however, I was unsure about returning to something of my past.
Confession. I used to go to Trek conventions and they were always damm good fun. Held in hotels for the main (apart from one brilliant holiday camp), hundreds of Trek fans would gather to watch episodes new and old, see actors, new and old and meet friends, yes new and old. It was very British in how the conventions were run. Groups of fans bid for the rights and they were voted for by fans.
I do have something of a minor reputation in that at two separate conventions I slightly raised my profile. Although no-one really knew, I believe that due to a very interesting phone call with the BBC, I managed to convince a deputy controller (how I got through one only knows) that the end of season 3 Next Gen was a cliffhanger. How I knew that was through a convention. My other claim to fame was speaking out in a group discussion at a convention. I thought Start Trek Next Gen (not seen in the UK at the time) was basically Roddenberry’s way of exploring future history. My argument was based on naval history. There had been, for example, many ships called Ark Royal, all having different Captains and crew. All Next Gen was doing, was taking that same idea and moving forward from the original series. I was almost given the odd ‘phaser’ stare until a close friend of Roddenberry’s stated that was what he was trying to achieve.
So, many years and many conventions later we reached DST50. Let me say that, somethings move on, it’s right and proper. I made the decision to go very late, in fact with three days to go. On Sunday I did sort of get excited to revisit something of my youth. But, as I walked in I could feel bits missing. This convention was in one of the big NEC halls, not the confined space of a hotel. It was open, way too open for my liking. I needed that hotel feeling I guess. Yet, Star Trek was there. The fans, the costumes, replica sets, back to the old and new. The line-up of actors huge and some I had not seen before. A few friends thought it would be crowded, but no, there was room in fact at times I missed the crush of a small space to watch an episode.
I did get a buzz, I enjoyed one talk in particular, ‘For the Love of Spock’. That for me was the highlight and I made sure I grabbed my chance to say thank you to the host. Yet, friends were missing. It made me hanker for an old style convention. Staying up til 3am with a bunch of Klingon’s or drinking watching ‘The Doomsday Machine’ for the 10th time that weekend.
Some say (not that show), you can never go back. I disagree but then I would.
DST50 did what it said on the tin. It celebrated Star Trek at 50. Did I really enjoy the time travel? Yes, in a new way. Did it make me think of going back to conventions? Yes. Maybe time to do a little surfing.
Tagline: ‘To boldly go where many of us went many times before’