Best of Both Worlds
Sydney, Australia January 10-12, 2003
Last Updated 10/19/2010
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Saturday, bright and early, we all trooped down to get our memberships processed for the convention. There were lots of people milling about, picking up their badges and then getting in line to collect their tokens for photos and autographs with the guests. At a little after 9:30, the opening ceremonies began with all of the guests (except for Lani Tupu and Jonathan Hardy, who weren't here yet), coming out on stage to say a quick hello to the fans. Then they adjourned to the foyer for photographs.
The photographs were done by row so Glen, the MC, entertained us all with some stories and games. Three volunteers from the audience were brought up on stage and baseball caps with the name of a character were placed on their heads. They then had to ask the audience a yes or no question and try to guess who they were supposed to be. Most of the names were of characters like Teal'c or D'Argo... but one was of The Stargate and another one was Winnie the Pooh! Our own Rowan played in the second round and she was Sam Carter! She ended up winning her round, but only after quite a lot of very inventive questioning of the audience.
We all had our photos taken with Colin, but not before "tagging" him again with an SDJ badge for the session. You can see some of those photos on the Cocktail Party page linked below. He was, once again, a good sport about it and gave everyone lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles. I know that Rowan also had her picture with Lani Tupu when he arrived, as did I. I've only seen a few episodes of Farscape but I think Lani is just cute as can be and I think I've fallen in love with Anthony Simcoe (D'argo), who has the most amazingly wonderful laugh and has to be one of the friendliest guys on the planet.
David Franklin (Braca on Farscape) gave the first talk of the day and apparently he's fairly well known in Australia. He appeared on stage with Martin Shaw in Are You Lonesome Tonight? and has been in numerous television shows, including, of course, Farscape and Xena (Brutus). He showed us a demo reel of his work, which was quite interesting and included some clips from Xena and Farscape as well as some of the Australian shows he's appeared in.
Anthony Simcoe and Jonathan Hardy (the voice of Rigel) came on next and they were quite a hoot. Anthony is tall and expansive and he told very funny stories about his convention experiences in the US recently. He said that people were quite taken aback to meet him and find out he was Australian. Apparently, they thought he was joking when he said "G'day" in his normal voice with an Australian accent! He also said how amazingly cool it was for him to get to hang out with actors from Star Trek and Lost in Space and to find out that many of them wanted to meet *him*. Apparently Farscape isn't really shown many places in Australia and is much better known overseas. His trip to some of the American cons was his first exposure to large numbers of fans who had actually seen his work. He did say that he frequented the internet quite a lot to read what the fans thought of episodes as they aired and he often printed out messages and put them up on the set for the cast and crew to read. Many of the cast members also tried to come online and interact with the fans or at least read their thoughts when they could. He said it was really the only way they were able to get any feedback on their show and their performances. He was asked about Ben Browder and he went on at length about how wonderful Browder was and that Browder had adapted very well as an American working with an Australian crew. He pointed out that in Australia the power hierarchy that tends to exist in American productions just isn't there but that Browder had no problem adjusting and that he was always a gentlemen and fun to work with. Jonathan Hardy had a funny story or two or three to tell and pithy comments in between throughout. Alas, I didn't take any notes this con, having my hands completely full with photographic equipment, so I can't tell you much more than that. Anthony got really silly at one point when they were talking about an episode where the actors apparently played someone *else* in the cast and he had to play the part of the redheaded girl in tight leather. He was very taken with his big breasts and said he kept telling them to make them bigger. Anthony was asked about the voice of D'argo and he said he does it himself, it isn't digitally enhanced. He told the producers to just let him know what they wanted and he could do it...and he did. He demonstrated the voice for us numerous times. He and Jonathan also talked about how they were told to just make up the languages for their characters and the script would actually say "D'argo speaks ??? (sorry, I don't remember the alien name of his race). Anthony will make something up" and the same for Jonathan and Rigel. Jonathan said he invented the word "kemper" as part of Rigel's language (David Kemper is the executive producer of Farscape, I think).
Lani Tupu came on next and told us that he had originally auditioned for the part of D'argo. Besides playing Captain Crais, he also does the voice of Pilot. He said they auditioned him two separate times and ended up offering him both roles. He talked at some length about how he differentiates the two characters and it was obvious that he put a lot of thought into the craft of creating them as two distinct individuals. Unfortunately, I had to step out for awhile and I missed much of Lani's talk.
As I understand it, Michael Shanks and Chris Judge will be coming to a BOBW convention during the summer hiatus next July (date to be announced) since they couldn't make it to this one. [As an aside, BOBW is indeed doing a Stargate convention in July with the announced guests, so far, being Dan Shea and Douglas A. Arthurs. Michael Shanks will not be able to make it to Australia over the summer. No word yet on Chris Judge. Shanks will be coming back to BOBW on a different date.] The Millennium hotel where we are right now is being torn down or something, so the convention will be held in Melbourne, not Sydney. [I believe the venue for the convention has also been changed. The one in July is being held in Canberra.] Nothing is set in stone yet or officially announced, though. Dan Shea, however, *did* say (more on that in a moment) that he would be coming out for that convention in July and that hopefully some of his friends would be along with him...
So, to Dan Shea. In the afternoon on Saturday, a phone link up with Vancouver was established and we had a short talk on the speakers with Dan Shea (Sgt. Siler and Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double). He apologized for not being able to make the con. He had been invited when Michael and Chris had to cancel and he said he was already packing his clothes for the beach when he found out that he had to be at some production meetings for a film he is working on with Kurt Russell. He commented that Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are living there in Vancouver now. I had quite a laugh at the thought since, of course, Kurt played the original Jack O'Neil. Wouldn't it be great if they got Kurt to do a cameo on Stargate in Season 7? Anyway, Dan couldn't make it out this time but definitely hopes to be in Australia in July. He told us that we should all ask Colin to show us his amazing biceps and also that we must demand that Colin take his shirt off on stage. (See below!) He was asked if he could please get RDA on the phone for us, as well. He said he was game but he only knew RDA's phone number by pushing a button on the phone so he couldn't do it and talk to us at the same time.
Skipping ahead now, since I already commented on some of the Farscape guests, Colin took the stage by storm, as usual. He was wearing a lovely sleeveless black tank top that I'm sure most of the ladies quite appreciated. He's still got the same facial hair that he did at Gatecon and it looks very sartorial on him, I think. He had a black bandana on his hair, though. He looked handsome -- hard to imagine that he ever wouldn't -- but what is it with actors in Vancouver and wearing weird things on their head all the time??? At least it wasn't one of those silly stocking caps that RDA and JR Bourne are always wearing!
Colin was his usual enthusiastic self and told everyone how happy he was to come, even on short notice, and how much he appreciated the fans supporting him and recognizing him for his role on Stargate. He said he'd never expected the role to last so long and he was grateful for every appearance. He loves working on the show and really does hope to come back for more in Season 7. He said Prometheus was a great episode for Davis and he loved the fact that he had so much to do in it. There was a comment about how brilliant he was in the scene in the car at the beginning. He told a little anecdote about that and said that he certainly wasn't complaining but he had asked the producers why Davis had so many more lines than normal in that episode... He said he thought the answer would be about how much they liked him and wanted to give him more to do, etc... but the answer was "Rick doesn't want to memorize as many lines this episode." LOL!
He was asked what he would like Major Davis to do that he hasn't gotten to do yet. (I also asked him when he was going to get to go through the Gate for real and he reiterated again that, of course, he'd love Davis to go through the Gate!) Anyway, he said he'd like Davis to have to wrestle with making a major decision, some sort of moral dilemma and having to deal with it. In other words, just a bit more substance to Davis' as a character. He was asked which character he thought Major Davis would like to kill (kind of an odd question, but okay...) and after some bandying about with the crowd, he decided on John de Lancie's character, Col. Simmons. I then made a major faux paus by pointing out that Simmons was already dead. Apparently, some in the audience didn't know that yet. Oops. Colin said that was okay. They'd dig him up, ascend him, then descend him so Davis could kill him.
Colin was asked the inevitable questions about Corin Nemec and Jonas and the absence of Michael Shanks in Season 6. I can't imagine why folks asked him these particular questions, quite frankly, since Colin isn't a regular on the show and, really, what do they expect any of the actors to say about it *anyway*? Colin said that he wasn't there all the time, of course, and when he was there everything seemed fine. He said that Corin was welcomed by the other actors (as he should be, I would hope, since they are supposed to all be professionals) and that, of course, Michael was missed. He pointed out that the dynamic was different and things felt different, naturally, because someone who had been there for all five years of the show was suddenly *gone*. In other words, he said exactly what anyone with some common sense would expect him to say about the situation... He also added that Corin had large shoes to fill when he took over after Michael's departure since Michael already had such a large fan base and was such a great actor playing a very beloved role. Corin knew what he was getting into, though, and Colin complimented him for having the courage to give it a try. He said it had to be really tough. As for Corin himself, Colin pointed out that he barely knew him, but he seemed like a nice guy the few times he'd met him.
He did comment at length about the value of fan feedback (something the Farscape people had also commented on). In fact, he seemed to be of the opinion that the fan response to Michael's departure to the show certainly would have played into any decisions to bring the character back. He pointed out that the audience does have a lot of influence at times on the shaping of shows and that every card and letter definitely counts. He congratulated the fans who campaigned for Michael's return for their efforts.
When asked if there was a project Colin would really love to work on, he told us about an old Jimmy Cagney movie (I've forgotten the name at the moment) that he would love to do a remake of. It is about a man who becomes a prize fighter to help pay for his kid brother to become a concert pianist. The man eventually goes blind from fighting and ends up destitute at the end but his brother does become a pianist. Colin said he'd love to tweak the story a bit and maybe do it with a black cast.
Colin touched on the internet rumors about him only briefly and in a joking manner. He said he couldn't believe some of the crazy things he had supposedly done! There was a little girl in the audience whose birthday it was and she loved Colin, so he tried to get her to come up on stage with him. She was frightened, though, and when he picked her up, she began crying. Poor Colin was mortified and commented that now he would be accused of terrorizing small children at conventions, as well. (The little girl was fine her mother said; just scared of the crowd.)
At the end of the day, all of the guests were brought back on stage for closing ceremonies and a few more questions. I'm mindwiping at the moment on anything in particular, but will try to recall for the next report. There was a small auction and Colin got up and in the spirit of things to help raise some money for the Guide Dogs. A photo collage of him went for $500.00 with his help, as he raced from one bidder to the next, sitting on their laps, hugging them, kissing them and generally egging them on. In the end, everyone who had bid got a kiss! (That Casanova Colin!)
It was DJ's birthday a couple of days ago, so Colin called her up to the stage and had everyone sing happy birthday to her. Poor DJ. <g>
As they were all leaving, Adele reminded everyone that Dan Shea had said Colin should show us his biceps and also take his shirt off. So, Colin ran back on stage, flexed his muscles for us (and commented that he thought Dan Shea had a bicep fetish because he was always checking out Colin's biceps...) and then stripped off his shirt. Of course, I was in the middle of changing film in my camera! I think I got a few shots before he got dressed again, though! (see below)
The actors all went to do autographs then. All of them were writing little notes and personalizing if you asked them, too. Colin got a little silly or naughty with some of his... actually, a little flirty. I had him autograph the Gatecon cartoon Leah had done of him about the pantyhose and he thought it was a hoot. [You can find this cartoon at our Startoons site.]
In the evening, we had a lovely banquet. The food was divine and the setting and service quite nice. I left early, being completely tired out and wanting to write some con reports, but the others told me that Colin did play the piano and sing later on and he also joined everyone on the dance floor, as did the other actors, I believe.
Michelle & Sarah at the banquet
Featuring pictures of Brad Wright, Alexis Cruz, Virginia Hey (from Farscape), Jay Acovone, Jay Brazeau, Tony Amendola, Erick Avari, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, Don S. Davis, Dan Shea, Amanda Tapping, Colin Cunningham, JR Bourne and more!
Featuring pictures of Brad Wright, Alexis Cruz, Jay Acovone, Tony Amendola, Erick Avari, Gary Jones, Teryl Rothery, Don S. Davis, Dan Shea, Amanda Tapping, Colin Cunningham, JR Bourne, Corin Nemec, Frida Bertrain, Sueann Braun, Wil deVry and more!
Featuring pictures of Michael Shanks,
Amanda Tapping, Tom McBeath
and Lexa Doig (from Andromeda)
Come visit a Stargate Forum by and for the fans of “Classic” Stargate: Our Stargate!