There are just two days to go now until Star Trek London , a three-day Trekfest featuring appearances by all the TV captains, as well as many other big names from both in front of and behind the cameras. SFX caught up with Enterprise 's fried catfish-loving engineer, Trip Tucker (aka Connor Trinneer) as he was getting ready to fly over to Blighty.
SFX: So, Star Trek London … it looks like they’ve rounded up pretty much everyone who’s ever been in Star Trek !
Connor Trinneer: “I know - it’ll be wild!”
It must be pretty full-on when you do these kind of events.
“Well, regardless of the size of the convention in terms of its attendees, you still have your responsibilities and the things that you have to do. The only difference, really, is how many seats are filled out there in the auditorium. But I’ll be getting a couple of days to be a tourist before the thing starts, so that’ll be nice. Typically you don’t get to do that. Typically you go to the convention and you’re just there, it’s usually near the airport, and then you go home!”
Enterprise put you in some really bizarre situations that an actor wouldn’t experience in a regular drama. Was there one one in particular that made you think, “I can’t believe I’m doing this for a living!”
“Yeah - in the third episode of our show I got pregnant! That wasn’t even on my radar for attempts I thought I’d be making at acting. That was probably the top of the list, but anytime you are thrown together with aliens, anything can happen. I did an episode ["Dawn"] where the other guy didn’t speak a word of English, he spoke an alien language - Gregg Henry, fantastic actor, played that part - so that was a fascinating acting challenge. It was great, but it was certainly unusual!”
It was a show with several different phrases too. It began with exploration; then there was the year where they were at war with the Xindi; then it became quite retro-flavoured in the final year, with lots of elements from the classic series. Did you have a favourite phase?
“From an acting standpoint, I always think that the first and the fourth years, for me, were really satisfying. I really loved doing all four years, though. The great thing about the show was that for me, for the actor, it threw out a bunch of different things that I was asked to do, and for the most part they were a lot of fun. Usually I say that those years were great because I personally got a lot of storylines out of those particular years - episodes such as “Shuttlepod One” and “Unexpected”, and “Similitude” and “Cogenitor” later on. Near the end, in the fourth year, I didn’t know that it was going to end, but the character arc for Trip really seemed to play out there in front of people, so that was a lot of fun to do - you get to use your acting chops.
Have you seen the JJ Abrams Star Trek film? What did you think of it?
“I thought it was great - he put his own touch on it, and his touch seems to be gold these days. Look, getting a younger fanbase for Star Trek is always a good thing, and he definitely did that. I think he put it back on the map - at least in the movies - and there’s going to be more and I think that they’re great. I’m not a purist in terms of what any of this means – I know some people are. I like good entertainment, and that definitely was!”
Is there going to be anyone at the event who you haven’t seen for a long time?
“We run into each other a fair amount at the conventions, and that’s always nice. You get to touch base with these people that you worked with and became friends with. It will be nice to see Scott [Bakula] - I haven’t seen Scott for about a year. One of the nice things about going to conventions is that you get to reconnect with people that you’ve spent quite a bit of time with. Anthony [Montgomery] will be there, I haven’t seen him for a while.”
Do you end up sticking with your own gang, as it were, or making friends with people from shows that you didn’t even work on?
“Oh no, you wind up spending time with everyone. I’ve been doing this for years now, and there’s a lot of guys and ladies out there who’ve been on the shows and it’s always nice to see them again. Because sometimes you go to these conventions and it’s just you and one other actor and you’re there for the weekend, and you’re really spending a lot of time with each other. So it’s cool!"
Ian Berriman twitter.com/ianberriman