Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Reman Nemesis - Xindi Enterprise

Due to the Picard clone/Shinzon/Viceroy/Reman/Xindi connection, a major part of my collection is focussed on these costumes/uniforms/props/weapons. The costumes used in Nemesis were re-used as the Xindi in Enterprise by adding a cage. They are beautifully detailed and must have cost a fortune to produce. I have all the variations, including a prototype uniform and an unused Shinzon leisure suit. I only have the hero metal Dolim cage, not his robes.

Post Christie's auction 2006

I have continued to collect Trek items as they have become available, mostly from the 'It's A Wrap' auctions, but there have been a few of the Christie's lots to come back on the market. I will list those first and then move onto the IAW lots later.

A full size Phase Pistol from Enterprise (the others were 20% smaller Art Asylum 'toys' which were used on the show).

Andorian Scanner from Enterprise (the screen illuminates and the buttons light up blue).

Starship Excelsior electronic clipboard from Voyager episode "Flashback".

Hero Suliban rifle.

Nemesis Reman and Robin Hood...

There were many lots of interest in the Christie's sale. They all seemed a very reasonable estimate but I guessed that from prior auctions that the prices would go way over the estimated price. I decided on at least two items that I was interested in... the Nemesis Reman Viceroy movie costume of Ron Pearlman's would fit me (the Picard clone Shinzon Reman costume of Tom Hardy would be way too small) and the Robin Hood costume from TNG - Qpid, which is one of my favourite episodes!

It was amazing to see the preview exhibition in New York, the models were amazing, to be able to touch the costumes was incredible, to see this historic show was breathtaki
ng! A once in a lifetime opportunity to see all of these items in one place was incredible!

Obviously I was lucky enough to win what I had planned (and dreamed) of winning, sadly there were many, many more items that had to be left behind. Oh how I wish we could travel back in time to those few precious days! One of the nicest things that happened is that I met a team of interesting/intelligent/enthusiastic and knowledgeable worldwide collectors that have become very good friends! Sadly I had to leave NY empty handed after the auction, as the items had been taken into storage, so I planned my next visit to NY (and New Jersey) to collect them a month later to coincide with the Star Trek Convention in New Jersey.

Las Vegas 2005

The next five days were about to change my life...

Barron took me under his wing... I was very green and new to conventions in the US... he showed me the ropes, introduced me to all his friends and got me into loads of trouble! The grand finale was definitely a peak in my career... I entered my first costume contest in the USA and won!! It was an amazing feeling and we celebrated long and hard at Quarks bar and restaurant. This was also the occasion that I met Major Kahlen, out-of-character and realized what an amazing woman she was. We ended up having a wonderful long distance love affair and a relationship that I will never forget, it was a great shame that we lived so far apart.

During this time I suffered a personal tragedy when my father suddenly died on Valentines day 2006. It is now three years on and I still haven't got over it, how can you get over the loss of a parent? Looking back, we were incredibly close, he gave me all his artistic creativity and style, it is a very great shame that he died so early at the age of 64, he had so much to give and to live for. I miss him terribly and wish that he could see all that I have accomplished since his death.

In May that year I was engaged to open the Yorkshire maze, which was reported on UK's Yorkshire television, and was seen by the BBC's producers which led to my appearing on BBC's Breakfast TV programme, together with Helen from Christie's, who had announced that they would be celebrating Star Trek's 40th Anniversary by auctioning some 1,000 lots of Star Trek costumes and props. Anyway, Lynn and I decided that we should attend the auction in New York and maybe bid on a few items... the rest as they say... is history!

How Star Trek changed my life - The early years.


I have been a Trek fan from a very early age, but in the UK 'Sci-Fi' has a fairly geeky image, so it is kept hidden behind closed doors (Victorian attitude?) for fear of ridicule. I had grown up with Dr Who, Star Trek - The Original Series, Blakes 7, Space 1999, Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Stingray and early anime series Marine Boy. Later on came Star Trek - The Next Generation and Red Dwarf.

I had collected a few Trek items, mostly Playmates Phasers and Tricorders. I knew that any of the original costumes and props cost many thousands of dollars/pounds and rarely came up in auctions, so they were well out of my reach. My first Trek uniform (from Rubies) was bought for a friends 30th birthday party and was also used for my first look-alike engagements... a nurses convention in Harrogate (not far from Patrick Stewart's birthplace in Mirfield, Yorkshire) demonstrating the 'Next Generation of Temporal Artery Thermometers'. My next engagement was for a firm of local solicitors who were promoting the 'The Next Generation of Litigation'! As I approached my 40th birthday, a very dear friend (and tailor/dressmaker) called Virginia offered to make a tailor-made one-piece uniform for me, so we found some suitable fabric in Soho, London, plus a pattern from eBay, est voila!

Anyway, at the time I was single and wondering what to do next with my life, so I decided to attend my first major Star Trek Convention at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas during August 2005. As a closet geek, I had attended a number of Trek conventions in London, so I was used to 800-1,000 people attending a convention. Maybe a handful of photographs were taken, but that was all, I was totally unprepared for the 15,000 people that greeted me in Las Vegas... it was like being a rabbit caught in the headlights! This was to be the turning point in my look-alike career and the unknowing start of my costume collection. I was fortunate enough to meet two very important people... Beverly Lynn Sterling and Barron Westall-Toler. They both unwittingly contributed greatly to my knowledge and understanding of Gene Roddenberry's ethos of Star Trek.

I had only been at the Vegas convention for a couple of hours (and dressed in my new tailor made unifrom) but I had never been stopped so many times and asked to have my photograph taken. The fact that I looked fairly like Patrick Stewart and had an 'authentic' english accent was enough! Most people I chatted to that morning were suprised that I looked like 'him' and sounded like 'him'... some even suggested that I had had plastic surgery and it wasn't my real voice!!

In those days the actors from 'The Experience' used to walk around the convention and an early encounter was with the Klingon actor ''Major Kahlen'. I could say that our eyes met across a crowed convention... I approached her to say hello, but all I received was a fairly curt, but professional, in-character rebuff. Anyway, enough was enough and I decided to go back to my room to change out of my uniform, via the Spacequest bar for a quick beer, which is where I bumped into Barron, who looks exactly like Captain Benjamin Sisko. "Captain!" we both said, "What are you drinking?" was the next line... so we decided that top shelf (Cadillac) Margaritas were our poison and we have never looked back!