Mon, Oct 22, 2012 - Page 7 News List

‘Trekkies’ set new world record at UK convention

Reuters, LONDON

Silvana Gunther, left, and Boris Murru of Berlin, Germany, pose as they arrive at the “Destination Star Trek London” convention on Friday.

Photo: Reuters

Star Trek fans made history on Saturday by breaking the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as characters from the TV series at the “Destination Star Trek London” convention.

An estimated 1,083 costume-clad “trekkies” assembled at the event at London’s ExCel center, narrowly beating the previous record of 1,040 characters, which was set at the bigger, annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas in August.

The achievement will be officially verified by Guinness World Records within a few days, but organizers were confident they had topped the Las Vegas record.

The majority of record-breakers dressed in the color-blocked uniforms of the Starfleet, with Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans peppering the crowd.

“Destination Star Trek London” is the first live Star Trek event in Britain in more than a decade. About 17,000 fans came to London to celebrate the 46-year-old TV and film franchise, which has spawned six TV series and 11 feature films.

Outlandish costumes were ubiquitous at the event, which saw Britain’s first Klingon wedding on Friday. Swedish couple Jossie Sockertopp and Sonnie Gustavsson tied the knot in full Klingon attire and exchanged vows in the fictional and guttural-sounding language of the Star Trek characters.

The three-day convention also saw all five captains from the TV series appear on stage together for the first time.

The captains played by actors William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard), Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko), Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer) joined forces to officially open the convention on Friday night.

Speaking ahead of the opening ceremony, 81-year-old Shatner appeared moved when discussing the show’s loyal and sometimes obsessive fans in an interview.

“It’s an accumulation of a lot of work and a lot of people traveling from all over the world here. It’s sort of monumental in its worth,” Shatner said.

The veteran actor turned filmmaker has released the documentary Get a Life!, which examines why fans attend conventions.

“The conclusion that I come to is that it’s mythological,” Shatner said. “It’s a desire for mythology that we don’t have in this age.”

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