WGA's 'Star Trek' day: Live long and picket
Trekkies and the Starship Enterprise joined the strikers today, not unlike when horror movie writers performed an exorcism at the Warner Bros. studio a few weeks ago.
Let’s face it, the town is five weeks into the strike, so an inspired, theme-dressing event can only help attract attention now that newer and more scandalous headlines are winning over the fight for prime placement.
The strike strategy involved a few past and present "Star Trek" franchise writers who marched along with cast members and fans in front of the studio from midmorning until midafternoon.
Of course, a few Klingons in the crowd would make a nice photo-op. Or, at the very least, somebody in one of those skin-tight crew member outfits.
Instead, all we got were roughly a fifth of the 150 strikers wearing special WGA-issued "Star Trek" tees with a quote from Spock on the front that read: "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
On the back, a red hand offered the Vulcan salute. "Trekkies support the WGA" was printed underneath.
Still, for the avid science-fiction fan, the turnout wasn’t a total wash.
Just about the entire writing staff of "Battlestar Gallactica" appeared to be out on the line, including show runner Ron D. Moore, who wrote several episodes for "Deep Space Nine" and "Next Generation."
Camera-toting fans hung around the periphery of the strikers to snap pictures of "Star Trek" franchise cast members, including George Takei (Sulu, "Star Trek", pictured), Armin Shimerman (Quark, "Deep Space Nine"), Brent Spiner (Data, "The Next Generation") and Tim Russ (Tuvok, "Voyager").
The science-fiction writing community is an insular interplanetary bunch, so the vibe seemed generally cheerful and chatty.
With 150 people marching in front of the Windsor gate, the strikers still appeared to be organized and energized.
As always, it was hard not to hope for more witty signs, but the event beamed up a few winners:
-- "Live long and picket" was scrawled on one of the standard-issue "WGA on Strike" signs.
-- Another read, "Don’t kill the red shirts."
-- A third pronounced: "AMPTP is Borg."
Providing the musical score was the Enterprise Blues Band, a four-piece outfit featuring four older men, all of whom have worked on the "Star Trek" franchise at some point in their lives.
The lead singer and the mandolin player had both played several different characters in the series, and the electric guitar was handled by Ron B. Moore, who was visual-effects supervisor on "Voyager" and "Enterprise." (Moore wore a black button-down shirt with stars and spaceships on it that reminded one of a 7-year-old boy’s bunk bed linens.) "I’m with you guys," he told the crowd.
The set list included charmers like "The Red Shirt Boogie Blues" and "Star Trek Woman Jones." The chorus of one tropical sounding number went: "Sitting on the Trekki dekki with a bottle of persecci/on the way to Waikiki."
Still, "Star Trek" fan and horror writer Jeffrey Raddick ("Final Destination") agreed that the turnout wasn’t as insane as he had hoped. "It’s not as big a geek-fest as I would have thought," he said.
(Photos: Deborah Netburn)