‘Discovery’ Panel Hints “Something Special” In Season 5, Gorn Gong Show, And More Star Trek Cruise Day 7 – TrekMovie.com


The Mariner of the Seas spent the last day of Star Trek: The Cruise speeding toward Port Canaveral on Wednesday. While passengers and celebrity guests were busy packing and settling their bar tabs, they also had a chance to spend their last day in the most extraordinary way on the un-conventional voyage. The big panel of the day was for Star Trek: Discovery, but there were also more fun activities across the ship.

Discovery panel gives thanks for five great seasons

For the final big panel of the week, the cast of Star Trek: Discovery gathered in the Royal Theater to reflect on the upcoming fifth and final season. Longtime cast members Sonequa Martin-Green, David Ajala, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, and Mary Chieffo welcomed season 5 newcomer Eve Harlow into the fold in a panel moderated by Dr. Erin Macdonald. The panel was made more special by Eve Harlow’s perspective as a performer who hasn’t done numerous cons and panels before. It was a rare chance to look at what the fandom is like from someone new to it. As Eve phrased it:

Eve Harlow: I’ll be totally honest, I never watched any Star Trek before I got the job. But having said that, I also think that Star Trek is just this thing that’s in the culture always. Everyone has heard of Star Trek. Everyone knows what it is. It’s always there.

Eve Harlow has started her Star Trek journey

Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones shared stories about starting out on the series and how they got some key advice from TNG veterans.

Sonequa Martin-Green: Remember y’all in the beginning when we had a lot of criticism, and people was coming for us for a lot of reasons. It made sense. We always said we understood where they were coming from. And we had so much respect because those criticisms were coming from a place of love and loyalty and intelligence and intellect and all of that… but we were like [makes pained expression] “We’ve got so many people to prove and to ourselves too.” So Jonathan Frakes – one of our favorite directors – really shepherded us and took us under his wing. He welcomed us as a proxy for the rest of the franchise. And he was like, “No, no, no. Welcome. This is how it goes. They hated us too.” They used to get letters was like, “We don’t need you… why are you trying to get in the way of our Kirk and Spock. He said it took us like three seasons for them to finally take hold of us. I remember how we were so comforted by that. I’m still grateful for him to this day because he was really kind of like a Papa Big Brother for us in the beginning.

Doug Jones: For me, I think Sir Patrick Stewart said it best when I met him at the Oscars, I don’t want to boast or anything. It was the Oscars early 2018 and we had just finished filming Season 1 of Discovery. And he’s right behind me in the in the red carpet line… So I was standing in line with Miss Laurie and she’s like [whispers] “That’s Patrick Stewart!” So I turn to him, “Sir, mister Patrick, mister Stewart, uh, I’m Doug Jones and I’m in The Shape of Water, that’s why I am here, but we have a connection. I’m actually also in the new Star Trek series Discovery.” All he said to me was [does Stewart voice], “Oh. I hope you know what you’re in for.” Yes, now I do and I love every minute of it.

Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones share stories about TNG legends

With the new season of Star Trek: Discovery set to begin on April 4, audience members were eager to hear how the remainder of the season would play out. Every cast member was extremely tight-lipped on specific plot points, but there was a little bit of hype for season 5, like this from David Ajala:

David Ajala: It’s I’m so humbled and inspired to be part of this franchise. And I’m so excited for you guys to see season 5. It is an abundance of joy.

Ajala also hinted at something special in the fifth season while being very careful to avoid spoilers:

David Ajala: A moment I wanted to share is something that happens in season 5. I remember speaking to Alex Kurtzman about this at the end of shooting season 4 and it was an idea that he shared with me and I think Michelle Paradise was the only other person that knew about this thing at the time. Then cut to season 5… we get to come back to Toronto and create something so very special. [Sonequa interjects “We did”] I’m so proud and happy that we got to do that because you know how amazing that was to do. And I can’t wait for you guys to experience the very secretive thing which I can’t talk about which we got to do.

STTC7 Disco panel

David Ajala knows that season 5 of Discovery is going to be something special

As the panel ended, and the audience gave a standing ovation, instead of walking off stage, the Discovery panel members shared a group hug. Likely, they realized this was their last STTC prior to the end of the series.

Disco group hug

The cast of Discovery exchanges group and individual hugs

Physics vs. biology battle to see who does it worst

After spending a week hosting various science seminars talking about how Star Trek (mostly) gets real science right, Dr. Erin Macdonald and Dr. Mohamed Noor teamed up to showcase the times when Star Trek got it wrong. The two science advisors looked at clips where Trek science was particularly bad and tried to form a consensus on whether Trek was harder on physics or biology. In the end, it seems as if little mistakes happen on the biology side all the time, but when mistakes happen on the physics side, they are BIG mistakes. (Did anyone ever figure out what Red Matter was?)

Biology Vs. Physics Lecture

Dr. Erin Macdonald and Dr. Mohamed Noor compare notes on Star Trek science gaffes

Gorn Gong Show puts passengers on stage

After a week of enjoying top-tier stage entertainment by the Star Trek celebrities, it was time for the passengers to take the spotlight for the final evening. Like the vintage variety show, the “Gorn’s Gong Show” opened up the stage to to anyone the chance to sing, dance, or joke as they’d like. The only rule is that they have to be good. If a contestant disappoints the audience, the Gorn steps out to ring the giant gong and boot them off stage. The Gorn’s judgment is silent, but three human judges eagerly dispensed constructive criticism: Gabrielle Ruiz, Garrett Wang, and Anthony Montgomery.

Gorn Gong Show

The Gorn prepares to boot a failing singer

Goodbye Auction

Several of the Trek cast members, including Robert Picardo, John Billingsley, Kitty Swink, and Armin Shimmerman gathered in the Royal Theater to host a charity auction benefiting a group of worthy causes: The Planetary Society, The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and The Hollywood Food Coalition. A wide assortment of Star Trek collectibles had been donated for the auction, including original art, headshots, and signed call sheets, but the most popular and fought-over items by far were the flags and banners pulled from previous Star Trek: The Cruise events. Those banners hold some of the most unique Star Trek art a fan could ever find, and if they’ve been on the cruise, that art has a personal connection to them. Most of the items were signed, and when bidding slowed, Robert Picardo would offer to throw in a signature from himself or other cast members if someone else could raise another $50 or so.

A single item was also auctioned off to benefit The Children’s Craniofacial Association in memory of beloved longtime cruise member Dr. Francis J. Smith, who passed away in October of 2023 and was an expert and advocate for craniofacial medicine.

STTC7 Auction

A banner for Mariner’s Retreat, a bar onboard Star Trek: The Cruise, is auctioned off. The banner was signed by Tawny Newsome.

Cruise VII is over… on to Cruise VIII

The Mariner of the Seas docked at Port Canaveral in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 29 and disembarkation for Star Trek: The Cruise VII began in the early morning. Star Trek: The Cruise VIII is scheduled to leave from Miami on February 23, 2025, bound for Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Belize City. Cabins will go on sale to the general public on March 12 and will be available from the official Star Trek: The Cruise website.

More cruisin’ with TrekMovie

Check out cruise logs for Day 1 Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6. And check back later for one final look back at the highlights from Star Trek: The Cruise VII.

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