Dragon*Con 2009 Panels


There are approximately 30 "tracks" of programming at Dragon*Con, focusing on interests from Star Trek to costuming to skepticism to comics to everything else.  But part of the draw is the "star power" of various actors who appear in old or current movies and TV series.

This year, it started off with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, or Kirk and Spock from the original TV series.  I could probably go on and on about this, but it was a great experience, with humor similar to 'The Honeymooners." 

Dragon*Con 2009 William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy

Shatner is a complete ham, and Nimoy appears as deliberate in many ways as the famous character he played.  I took a fair amount of photos, and it's fairly amazing that most did not capture how animated he was on the panel.  And the ones that did were blurry.  So it goes. 

If you have any interest in all at this, some good soul has provided much of the panel on YouTube, Part 1 of which is below.

I can't say I learned a whole lot, but it was thoroughly entertaining as well as pleasing to see that they get along so well.

Speaking of Captains of the USS Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart, also of X-Men), appeared.  

Dragon*Con 2009 - Patrick Stewart

He seemed a very well grounded actor, serious about his craft (and Shakespearian background), and quite willing to make fun of himself.  He shared a few funny stories from his Trek days but has clearly moved on, though proud of his work.  He has been doing stage work, which will keep him busy into 2010. A surprising point was that he traveled to Atlanta from NYC via Amtrak - enjoying the view of the country.  He seems to have a childlike wonder about everything he experiences.

There was a (thankfully) smaller crowd for "Classic Battlestar," with Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict - respectively Apollo and Starbuck from the old series.  They didn't share quite the bonding of Shatner/NImoy, but both were very funny.

Dragon*Con 2009 - Richard Hatch & Dirk Benedict

Hatch worked hard at continuing the original series, but has no regrets of the recent (and improved) retelling.  Benedict's returned to Montana to raise his two sons soon after the A-Team, and appears set to try to find work again.  They had funny tales of working for ABC, who didn't support the series due to costs or Benedict, due to successfully portraying a woman chaser (as was written in the script).

In the same era was the movie, "Supergirl," starring Helen Slater.  After her role in "Secret of My Success" with Michael J. Foxx, I expected her career to take off.  Like Benedict, she backed off to raise her daughter, and she is currently working on a degree in Anthropology.  She's released a couple music CD's and is likely to return more fully to acting when her daughter goes to college in a few years. 

Dragon*Con 2009 - Helen Slater

She didn't recall much detail from her past work, but she was certainly appreciative of the fans.  In essence, I think what made her suitable for "Supergirl," aside from gender, age, looks, and talent, was (and is) that she's a nice person.

As surprising as anything during D*C was a panel titled "Chuck - A Glimpse Within the Intersect."  This was led by Bonita Friedericy, who plays General Diane

Dragon*Con 2009 - Bonita Friedericy

Beckman.  As it happens, she is married to John Billingsley, who starred in "Star Trek: Enterprise" and is now in HBO's "True Blood." 

Dragon*Con 2009 - John Billingsley

Either of them varies between hilarious and uproarious.  Putting them together might explain something about California earthquakes.  Although her character is cartoonish-serious in "Chuck," she is a comedienne and very passionate about her current series...of which the third season won't return to TV until March.

I've also uploaded the rest of my Costume pictures on Flickr.  Needless to say, we've bought tickets for next year's Con.


  1. Thanks for the report of the panels I wasn't able to get to. Do you know if there are any videos of any of these panels? I would especially like to see the Chuck panel.

  2. Wait, no pictures from the Miss Klingon Beauty Contest? Thank goodness they decided to forego the swim suit competition...