LAX Stargate/Farscape Convention 2009

Saturday

While hanging out with other fans, figuring out how many times I’m going to have to switch ballrooms, I noticed that someone made a radio controlled version of the DRD "1812".

The con got started on time and after a few music videos it was time for Ben Browder to come on stage.

Ben Browder

Ben came on stage to a huge standing ovation. (No bunny suits this time, for those that were wondering) After things settled down a bit, he launched right into the Q&A. I’ll try to hit some of the high points.

Q: Turns out Ben’s a bit of a sci-fi fan. When asked here are some of his favorite Sci-Fi authors.
A: Neal Stephenson. Iain M. Banks’ culture series, Heinlein, Asimov, Scalizi – Old Man’s War

Q: Involved in any mishaps or accidentally destroy anything?
A: He took out a wall during a ratchet pull on SG-1. Ben – “I like to use my body as a battering ram, which isn’t good during love scenes… This isn’t going on the internet is it?”

Q: If you were shot through a wormhole (like Chrichton) , what would you miss the most?
A: "I’m still waiting for that to happen to Mitchel so he can be on Stargate: Universe. Family, Milk, Chocolate, you guys?" And the crowd goes "Awwwww."

Q: Any stunt driving?
A: There was an episode of SG-1 where he was supposed to be riding a motorcycle in traffic.

Q: Update on “Going Homer”?
A: Doesn’t like to talk about “in development” stuff until it’s actually in the can. SyFy likes it, but they’re trying to find funding… Doesn’t know when it will get made.

At this point Gigi Edgley (Chiana from Farscape) snuck into the Q&A line to bug Ben.
Q: From Gigi – What’s the biggest thing you miss about Farscape?
A: Probably being able to spend time with Gigi.

Paul Goddard (Stark from Farscape) pokes his head in the door to the ballroom.
Q: Paul Goddard: What’s the second thing you miss?
A: "Wow, you’ve got hair and everything."

When asked, Paul hasn’t seen Ben’s “Stark” that was the 200th SG-1 episode.

Q: Catch phrases, the accent etc? How much input did he have.
A: Ben noticed that all pilots, regardless of where they were from, have that Texas accent… the Chuck Yeager syndrome. Of course, the writers decided he’s from Kansas.. so apparently to Canadians, anything south of Canada is “The South”.

Q: Favorite starstruck moment at DragonCon.
A: "I got Felicia Day’s autograph." Apparently, he is a fan of The Guild & Dr. Horrible. Hey! Now we have a reason to post on Whedonopolis.

Q: Christopher Judge in a thong?
A: In the last episode when he’s consoling Carter. He makes his entrance wearing nothing buy a tiny thong with a diamond studded Stargate logo.

Lani Tupu (Pilot & Crais from Farscape) hops in the Q&A line.
Q: Lani: What’s the third thing you miss from Farscape.. (running gag)
Q: Lani: From stargate cast… who would you choose to be your hypothermia buddy when you’re in the arctic.
A: First instinct was Amanda Tapping, but Martin Wood

Q: Why leather pants when he arrived?
A: Costume designer watched a little farscape when Claudia joined the cast.

Q: Have any ideas that you wanted to be in Stargate (like Bad Guys), but weren’t?
A: Initally wanted Carter to be in that episode, but she was busy with Stargate: Atlantis.

Q: Who would he line up for at a con.. other than Felicia Day?
A: Robert Redford, Jimmy Stewart. Has a signed photo of Spencer Tracy.

Q: Did he get to keep any props from either show?
A : He kept his dogtags from SG-1, and Winonna (his gun) from Farscape.

Gary Jones

For those who might not know, Gary plays Norman Davis a.k.a. Walter Harriman, a.k.a the "chevron xx encoded" guy. Before Stargate, most of Gary’s work was in improv and stand-up comedy. His set was like a stand-up routine, so trying to do a transcription wouldn’t really work. But it was enjoyable. Eventually he did get around to answering a few questions.

Q: Was he involved in any pranks?
A: On the first day he worked with Beau Bridges; Peter Deluise, who was directing that episode, pulled him aside after a scene where he opened the iris and told him that instead of doing his usual line to instead improvise some dialog along the lines of "open the iris himself".

Q: What exactly is his characters’s name. where’d it come from, didn’t it change?
A: Originally his name was Norman Davis. However, in the episode “2010” Richard Dean Anderson improvised and called him Walter… which stuck. Then in one episdode, Don S. Davis had the line “Open the iris, Airman”, because of Don’s accent everyone thought he said Harriman and it stuck.

Paul McGillion

Next up was Paul McGillion (Dr. Beckett on Stargate: Atlantis). He gave everyone a quick update on the movie, Stargate: Extinction; Everbody from Atlantis is in it whenever it gets made. The problems with the economy has apparently made funding the movie problematic, despite the fact that the SG-1 movies did pretty well.

He also has an upcoming role in Sanctuary (Amanda Tapping’s series). He’ll be playing an "abnormal" with gills named Terrance Wexford, someone Paul describes as "less likeable" than Dr. Beckett.

When asked about on-set pranks, he told a story about a scene where he had to carry a guy on a stretcher while wearing a heavy backpack. Joe Flannigan had the largest guy he could find be the guy in the stretcher, and throughout the day Joe added rocks to his backpack.

He brought two girls on stage (who were the daughters of a friend of his) and had a little trivia contest. This girls read off the questions and handed out scripts and photos and such to fans who got the answers right. Afterward, he asked the girls if they liked Twilight. He then gave them each an autograhed photo of the guy who plays Edward. The squees could be heard from orbit.

Farscape Reunion – Lani Tupu, Gigi Edgely, Wayne Pygram

Now it’s time to zip across the hall and catch up with Lani Tupu (Crais & Pilot) , Gigi Edgley (Chiana) and Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) from Farscape.

Gigi is on a show on Channel 9 in Australia called: Rescue: Special Ops. Wayne is on a show on Channel 9 called Underbelly which based on real life Crime Families in Australia.

Q: Favorite scene?
Lani: His first day… Banging his head on the door to the command center.
Wayne: The scene where’s coming down the waterfall stairs with the ship falling apart around him.

Update on "Nobody Know’s": The film that Gigi directed and produced. It’s mostly done, she’s got two visual effects shots to get done on it then it will be completed.

  • Webisodes: SyFy still wants to do them, but there’s no funding. Once SyFy figures the funding out they’ll do them.

Joe Flannigan

 

Had to rush back accross the hall to catch Joe… didn’t make it in time so I only ended up with this pic before he left.

Sunday

Robert Picardo

First up on Sunday was Robert Picardo (The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager and Richard Woolsey in SG-1 and SG:Atlantis). Robert answered questions from the fans and sung a little opera. The highlight was when he showed a recent project he worked on, a series of videos for the inte
rnet comedy website Acme Brand Comedy called Ask Alphonso. In it he plays a gigolo who gives sex advice.  

Francesca Buller

Francesca Buller (War Minister Akhna on Farscape and also Ben Browder’s wife) was interviewed on stage by Gary. They dicussed what it was like working in heavy prosthetic make-up and the challenges of raising a family while both parents are working actors.

Ben Browder and Claudia Black

Gary introduced Claudia. While waiting for Ben to get unchained from the autograph line, she talked a little about some of the changes in her life post-Farscape. She’s married and has two kids now. She also spoke about how the first time she brought her husband to the set was in the episode in fourth season where Ben proposes to her. After talking for a bit, Gary brought out her lunch — some sort of baked salmon thing… sounded good, made me regret skipping lunch. Ben arrived shortly thereafter. It was funny watching them banter back and forth and tease each other.  After goofing around for a bit, they opened it up for questions.

A young woman, stepped up to the mic and explained that, according to Virginia Hey, Ben’s butt is like two freshly baked loaves of bread. To commemorate this, she actually baked two loaves of bread. And gave them to Claudia.

It turns out Claudia’s on an album that Paul Goddard did. If you want to check it out, it is on iTunes. Just as an aside, while digging up that link I noticed that Gigi Edgely also put out an EP, that’s also on iTunes. Both sound pretty good.

Michael Shanks

Unfortunately I didn’t get to Michael’s session until very near the end. Which is a shame because I would’ve liked to hear about his upcoming appearance as Hawkman. But the topic of Stargate: Universe was brought up. And like most of the crowd at the con he’s not to enthusiastic. He said that while it’s shot very well, a lot of the drama seems forced.

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