This week's assignment for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers is a familiar one to me: Star Trek. Instead of taking the obvious route and posting a review of Star Trek Into Darkness (which was awesome by the way, but we'll discuss that later), I thought I'd talk a bit about my collection of Star Trek autographs. Being a Trekkie for 25+ years, I have collected my fair share of autographs from Star Trek conventions. So, in honor of Into Darkness continuing the Trek reboot, this post will be about those autographs I have of actors from The Original Series and the Original Series movies.
I met George Takei (above), the fan-favorite Sulu, at a convention almost 20 years ago. I had just read his autobiography (which, by the way, includes some really engaging stuff about the WWII Japanese American internment camp that he endured as a kid) and when I got up to George, I mentioned that I liked his book. He replied in his distinctive voice, "Oh, you read it already?" Yup, I said. And that's it. That's pretty indicative of the interaction I've had with Trek celebrities: nervous, short, and awkward. The whole thing is such an intimidating experience.
I met James Doohan (Scotty, TOS) at a small, one-room convention around the same time. He was giving his Star Trek speech (each Trek actor has his or her own go-to speech with personal anecdotes and insights for conventions), and I sat watching in one of the front rows. Jimmy held the mic with his right hand and after a while I thought... hey, where's his middle finger? Sure enough, his right middle finger was missing. I didn't think there was a socially acceptable way to ask about it, especially at a convention full of rabid Trekies, so I let it go. I found out later that Jimmy lost it due to friendly fire in military service during WWII. Whoa.
And finally we have Michael Berryman who played an un-named Arkenite Starfleet Display Officer in Star Trek IV. (You might also recognize him as Captain Rixx from Next Generation.) It turns out the guy has a disorder called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia that messes with the development of hair, teeth, fingernails, and sweat glands. This gives him a distinctive appearance that lends itself well to certain types of character roles like bad guys, aliens, mutants, whatever. Despite this, he was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He enjoyed imparting his life philosophy that centered around stuff like love, peace and respect. Pretty deep stuff for a Star Trek convention.
Elsewhere in the League...