Last week, I mentioned one of those “so cool I can’t talk about it” projects. Today, I can go ahead and reveal what it was: I composed that post about an hour before I put on pointy sideburns and a space suit, brought Lieutenant Commander Wesley Crusher back to life as the Assistant Chief Engineer of the USS Titan.
Before I tell you why, I would like to point out that it was particularly gratifying to see that his rank, considering this, from Dancing Barefoot:
“One time, when we were renegotiating our contracts, we were all asking for raises.
“We all felt a salary increase was appropriate, because The Next Generation was a hit. It was making gobs of money for Paramount,” (I like that word – gobs) “and we felt that we should share in that bounty.
“Of course, Paramount felt otherwise, so a long and annoying negotiation process began.
“During that process, the producers’ first counteroffer was that, in lieu of a raise, they would give my character a promotion, to lieutenant.”
I pause, and look around. I wrinkle my brow, and gaze upward.
“What? Were they serious?”
A fan hollers, “Yeah! Lieutenant Crusher! Woo!”
I smile back at him.
“My agent asked me what I wanted to do. I told him to call them back and remind them that Star Trek is just a television show.”
Okay, that was risky to say. It’s pretty much the opposite of just a television show to these people, but I’ve gotten the audience back, and they giggle.
“I imagined this phone call to the bank,” I mime a phone, and hold it to my ear. “Hi . . . Uh, I’m not going to be able to make my house payment this month, but don’t worry! I am a lieutenant now.” I pause, listening to the voice on the other end.
“Where? Oh, on the Starship Enterprise.”
“Enterprise D, yeah, the new one. Feel free to drop by Ten Forward for lunch someday. We’ll put it on my officer’s tab!”
In addition to the encounter thing that I’m in, there are some really cool things for Trekkies on this tour, including full-size recreations of the NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-D bridges (where you can trade some of your gold-pressed latinum for the opportunity to sit in the captain’s chair and pose for a picture) corridors you can walk through, and more costumes and props than you could feed a Targ. Sadly, there is no Ten Forward where we can all have a drink on my officer’s tab, but there is a killer app that I can’t wait to try out: There is this thing where you step into a blue screen environment, and through the magic of teleprompters, multiple camera angles, and creative editing, perform in a mini episode of the original series, where you’ll get to act with Kirk and Spock. I’m hoping that I can improvise some dialog with Kirk about his, uh, luxurious maine of carefully-styled hair.
Two down, two to go! Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!