Best of Both Worlds
Sydney, Australia January 10-12, 2003
Last Updated 10/19/2010
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What a day we've had! Oh, my! I have to say that short of Michael and Chris both having been here, this is definitely one of the best days I've had at a convention in a long time...and, believe me, I've been to some fun conventions in over twenty years of congoing and running conventions and so on...
Things started off with a bang with all of the guests up on stage to say hello. Everyone looked great, although I believe it was Lani who was a little late getting there. Colin was looking marvelous, as ever and YES!!!! nothing covering up his beautiful hair. Some of these photos are taken without flash, by the way. Flash photography was limited to the first few moments of a talk.
Regarding the fate of Farscape in the future, by the way, the Farscape guests were asked point blank if anyone was picking them up and they said a definitive "NO." They said that they were hoping for a movie to wrap things up. They also mentioned something about wanting to do a few wrap up episodes or something. Although they also said that they were somewhat happy it *wasn't* wrapped up because that always leaves the door open for future possibilities *and* it also just leaves things open ended in the imagination of the audience, even if nothing ever gets made. There were comments that made it sound like they all get killed...or they don't. I don't know if they were teasing us, if they meant it just *seems* they all get killed or what... Sorry. They all seemed to love the show and the fans and having worked on the show, but they didn't seem to think anything would be happening anytime soon. They didn't sound the least bit bitter towards Stargate and they *were* asked. They said it all came down to ratings, they knew that, and Farscape wasn't pulling in good ratings even though they felt SciFi had given it a good time slot and promotion.
The first guest to talk was Anthony Simcoe (D'argo from Farscape). Anthony had brought along a friend of his who worked as one of the lighting crew on Farscape named Steve. I'm afraid I didn't note his last name. In any case, Steve and Anthony play in a band together and they did a little impromptu acoustic session for us. They don't normally play acoustic guitars but they did a fantastic job. They had everyone gather around close and sang to us. All of the songs were composed by Anthony and they were just marvelous. They had only a few remaining copies of a demo CD that their band did and I managed to snag one and have it autographed at the end of the day!
After the music session, Anthony showed us a short film that he made a couple of years ago. Steve and many of his other friends from Farscape had worked on the film. It even listed Claudia Black as one of the caterers! Gigi Edgely and Jonathan Hardy (both of Farscape) starred in it. It's called A Garden's Tale and is a charming little story written by Anthony about a sort of garden gnome who helps people in distress. It's incredibly hard to describe since so much happens in a short period of time. It was about a young girl who is doing drugs with her boyfriend and he overdoses and dies. Later that night, she is cleaning up the broken glass in the house and when she takes it outside, a voice in her backyard tells her to plant the glass and it will grow. She thinks she’s nuts, of course, or being harassed or haunted or something…but eventually she goes back and plants the glass. It grows into a beautiful crystal flower. There is a creature with huge ears who talks to her and tells her he will teach her to grow her garden and make her ears grow. The story then continues throughout her life as she grows older, gets married, has children…and throughout it all, she is working on her garden with the help if this mysterious gnomish creature. As she gets older and the garden becomes more strange and beautiful, her ears do indeed grow and she becomes very much at peace with her life. Until the end of the piece when the gnome tells her that he must now go and attend to his own neglected garden and she suddenly hears someone fighting next door and realizes that it is her turn to go and help someone else. Lovely cinematography and make-up work throughout.
Throughout the morning, Daniel had joined us at the convention and turned into quite a "star." I have an incredibly detailed handmade Daniel bear and I had taken it along today in order to have a photo made with Colin, me and the bear (yes, it's silly but all in fun). Everyone, it seems, wanted to meet Daniel bear. There was lots of photo taking and Adele gave him his own VIP passes (which he's still wearing). He was even in a photo with Anthony Simcoe. Anthony later signed the photo saying "Love the bear" (Hey! He didn't love *me*?!? <g>) He had his own seat in the convention room for awhile and watched some Stargate episodes. Ahem.
Moving right along, I missed most of David Franklin's talk since it came right after lunch and I was so tired I was hanging around the room a little overtime. When I came in, he was apparently acting out a scene from Farscape with two volunteers from the audience. There was a lot of laughter over the fact that one of the fans had a piece of paper stuck on his head that identified him as a “Loser.” A lot of the giggling was also over the fact that David Franklin had misspelled “loser” as “Looser.”
Lani Tupu and Jonathan Hardy came along next and they showed some tape from the very last episode of Farscape (eps 22 of Season 4) to demonstrate how they do the voices for Pilot and Rigel and what the tape is like when they get it. The voices of the characters on the tape were actually the puppeteers reading the lines. There was quite a lot of technical talk and explanation and it was all very fascinating. There was a very bizarre scene that we kept getting glimpses of, btw, of Crichton and Scorpius (?) in big pink bunny suits having a fight or something. Huh?
Then, Colin Cunningham! Today I actually took notes since I'd gotten quite a lot of photos over the weekend. I did snap photos today, as well, of course, just not quite so many as yesterday.
Okay, I forgot to mention who "showed up" right before Colin came back on stage! A phone call from Peter Williams! Peter apologized for not being at the con and said he'd actually had his bags packed and one foot out the door when he got a role on Twilight Zone. He was so sorry to miss the convention but we can all look forward to seeing him in Twilight Zone soon. He said that he was in the upcoming Stargate episode of Changeling, written by Chris Judge and we all yelled into the phone that we were looking forward to seeing it. He mentioned that Apophis is truly dead but it is science fiction and anything can happen! He also asked that people stop sending him Jaffa Cakes. LOL!
Colin ran out and had a few words with Peter and Peter told him that he might have gotten to come to Australia but it looked like he was missing out on lots of good auditions for parts. A little bit of actor one upmanship going on there, I suspect.
So, then we had Colin's panel. Colin said that as everyone else had tried to do something so different for their panels today and he figured everyone was bored with the same old questions, he wanted people to just come right out and ask him anything they wanted to know about anyone. He started it off by saying he wanted to tell the story about Gatecon and security there and what had really happened since there are so many rumors on the internet. He said that when he arrived at the con, he was literally surrounded by security. This continued and he finally asked what the heck was going on. He was told that the convention staff had been warned that he had a "stalker." He said that he felt like he'd "arrived" if he was a big enough star to have a stalker. Later on, he ran into an old friend of his and was giving her a big kiss and a hug. As she walked away, one of the security people whispered to him that *that* was the stalker. He was flabbergasted and told them in no uncertain terms that the girl was an old friend of his, a fan that he knows. He said quite bluntly that he later learned that someone who worked with him had been behind the attempt to smear this girl's reputation and that the person no longer works with him or for him. The gal in question, Michelle, was in attendance at BOBW, by the way, and Colin was calling her his "favorite stalker" all weekend.
So, then Colin opened up the floor for further questions. He was asked about working with Michael Shanks on 48 Hours and to "dish the dirt" on Michael. Colin told us that it was great getting to work so closely with Michael on 48 Hours. He said that Michael was feeling very unappreciated on the show by that point and feeling like perhaps he should just leave. Colin said he thought that Michael leaving was perhaps the best thing he could have done because the end result has been that they literally had to "back up a truckload of cash" to bring him back on as a guest star for a few episodes. He said that the backlash also made the show realize that Michael was certainly appreciated by the fans and they had to finally recognize his worth to the show. He said it was wonderful that Michael was coming back full time in Season 7 and that hopefully it meant Michael now understood he was appreciated by the fans and that he was happy to be coming back. He said to the fans "good on you for getting him back and congratulations."
He was next asked about Peter deLuise and he told a funny story about Peter making the actors run up and down corridors, back and forth, over and over again until the actors finally realized that PDL had stopped rolling film a long time before and was just playing a joke on them. He also talked about an incident where Colin had screwed something up and he heard PDL yelling at him "Who did you have to screw to get this job?!?!" LOL. Colin said it was a lucky thing that he had a lot of self-confidence when the director said something like that to him!
When asked about Gatecon, Colin told a story about some fan who had asked him to come and have a look at their photos. He went to the room where they had asked to meet him and no one was there. He was coming back down the hallway and they were coming towards him, obviously from the bar. They were agitated and muttering lots of obscenities. They stopped to talk to Colin and he told them he'd see them in the morning and they said "Yeah, like you fucking care! Fuck you!!" and as he exited down the hallway, they were yelling after him the whole way. I wish I could convey in words the amusing manner that Colin acted this whole thing out... he went on to say that obviously that was someone who was in need of their medication (LOL!) but that the vast majorities of the fans are just great. He had loads of fun at Gatecon and even came back to the con on days he wasn't scheduled, to do more autographs and photos.
He was asked about working with John de Lancie. He said the man was really cool and it turned out they have mutual friends.
Gene Hackman is his favorite actor and he loves every film Hackman has done.
His favorite episode of Stargate is one that "really featured Shanks quite heavily -- Absolute Power." His comment verbatim was "Man, that was really cool." He loved the fact that the episode was more based in acting instead of heavy special effects. He had to be reminded that he’d actually appeared himself in that episode, as well!
He was asked if he'd always been a big scifi fan. He said he was a fan of anything "good," and he especially loved westerns and Star Trek as a kid, but just anything with good acting in it. He loved the latest Star Wars installment and thought it blew away the previous one.
When asked what drew him into acting, he said "If I wasn't acting, I don't think I'd be here." He said that he felt he had to leave LA early on or something bad might happen to him. He dropped out of high school when he was sixteen because he was bored and “got his education in Europe.”
He was asked who he thought the sexiest female on Stargate was? He misunderstood the question, though, and thought they said anyone other than the regulars. He answered the female Russian soldier from The Tomb. He then told an amusing story about how he’d been told the actress who played her doesn’t like him…but he still thinks she’s awfully sexy.
He has no tattoos (although he'd like one) and had his ear pierced when he was 13.
I asked him for some dirt on Major Davis but he only told us what we already know: Major Davis wears pantyhose. Don S. Davis also wears pantyhose. LOL. He was asked if he was ever caught doing the "Puff and Ruffle" and he admitted he'd been guilty a couple of times.
Someone asked why RDA is called "Maharishi Rick". Colin didn't know but he said that RDA's trailer is 5000 feet long and if you walk in there you need a map.
Asked if he had made any CDs yet, he said no, but he's bought a church organ. He then commented: "I've got the largest organ in my building. I'm in there playing with it all the time..." It degenerated from there...
Colin then helped auction off some stuff for the Guide Dogs, including one of our own cartoon calendars that featured the cartoon of Major Davis. Colin did quite a lot of mugging around with the cartoon and seemed fascinated by the other cartoons in the calendar, flipping through it and reading them. It sold for $270.00, some photos donated by the SDJ (sold for $100), one of my Michael Shanks photo calendars ($110) and Leah's cartoon of Jack and Daniel fishing in Australia ($300 -- Colin did read out the cartoon for everyone). Colin seemed quite “taken” with one of my Michael Shanks photos from last year’s Wolfcon when Colin said Michael was trying to look like “Elvis.” LOL.
During the closing ceremonies, all of the guests helped to auction off quite a number of donated items for the charity, as well. (See below)
Throughout yesterday and today, SDJ had a table in the dealer's room and we had preprinted post cards of all varieties ready for people to fill out to thank MGM, SciFi and Bridge for bringing back Daniel. We had a great response and the con was nice enough to announce it several times to remind people to come and fill out the cards. We also had postcards of Sydney for people to fill out and send a message to Michael Shanks. Those, along with a stuffed dog purchased from the Guide Dog people for Michael's daughter, were sent to Michael recently at the studio. The response was just terrific and when I left, people were still down there filling out the cards and handing them in.
Colin autographed my Stargate Gatecon calendar for me, btw, and since he isn't in that one, I asked him to sign on RDA's page. He put a little thought balloon over RDA's head saying "I wish I were Major Davis!"
What a goofball! <g>
Nothing monumental to report about the wrap party. It was very laid back and lots of fun with the champagne and melon balls flowing, so to speak and lots of finger food. It was great fun to finally have a few spare moments to just sit around and talk and meet some of the Australian fans. The weekend flew by in such a whirlwind! By the way, I didn't get to say goodbye to Colin at the wrap party, because I left pretty early in the evening, relatively speaking. The next morning, he was in the lobby with Adele and Michelle dragged me over to him and demanded that he say goodbye to me. I got lots of hugs and kisses and pats on the arm from him (and from Adele, too). I felt like a favorite pet or something, but what a lovely goodbye!
Don’t forget to check out the touring pages for some wildlife photos, some pretty scenery and, best of all, you can see where Thor and the Asguard have been hanging out lately and see the blackmail photos I took at DJ’s birthday party, including some pictures of that Big Round Thing (the Stargate) immortalized as a cake! (Well, for a few moments before we ate it…)
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!