Trekkies beam down to NEC!

Solihull News - - YOUR MONEY - PAUL COLE paul. cole@ reach­plc. com

SOLI­HULL boldly went where no­body has been be­fore last week­end – with Cap­tain James T Kirk at the helm.

Trek leg­end Wil­liam Shat­ner was the big­gest of the big names at Europe’s of­fi­cial Star Trek con­ven­tion.

Thou­sands of fans have beamed down to Soli­hull’s NEC for the three­day ex­trav­a­ganza.

Such has been its pop­u­lar­ity, how­ever, that there have been com­plaints about queu­ing for the main at­trac­tions.

Shat­ner, the orig­i­nal Cap­tain Kirk and now aged 87, chat­ted with Trekkies, signed au­to­graphs and posed for pho­tos with fans.

Other big stars in­cluded the orig­i­nal Uhura, Nichelle Ni­chols, with whom Shat­ner fa­mously filmed TV’s first- ever in­ter- ra­cial kiss.

But the con­ven­tion also paid trib­ute to Next Gen­er­a­tion, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, En­ter­prise and, the most re­cent, Dis­cov­ery.

There was also the world pre­miere of new Deep Space Nine doc­u­men­tary What We Left Be­hind, hosted by stars from the show.

And there was a spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion of props from the “mirror world” fea­tured in Net­flix Star Trek pre­quel, Dis­cov­ery.

It is not all make- be­lieve. Such is the sta­tus of the event that the Euro­pean Space Agency has sent along real- life space flight boffins.

Among them is An­drea Boyd. When as­tro­nauts call Earth, An­drea an­swers.

Sta­tioned at the Euro­pean Astronaut Cen­tre, she works in Mis­sion Con­trol as link to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

And, of course, she’s a Star Trek fan, too.

“I first learned the word ‘ en­gi­neer’ while watch­ing Voyager,” she says.

PIC­TURES: NICK WILKIN­SON

Trekkies were out in force at the NEC last week­end. Be­low right, Wil­liam Shat­ner, who played Cap­tain James T Kirk, talk­ing to a fan

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