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Old February 26th 12, 17:25   #1
VeriBaldi
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Babylon 5 panel at Megacon 2012

Babylon 5 Panel
Megacon Convention Report
February 18 2012

Meeting Bruce Boxleitner, Peter Jurasik, and Stephen Furst at the signing area

Having arrived at the autograph signing area the moment it opened, none of the Babylon 5 Cast were there yet. I got an autograph from Corin Nemec (Jonas on Stargate SG1) and marveled at the lines for Tom Felton (Draco on Harry Potter) and David Prowse (Darth Vader).

Coming back, I was stunned to see a massive line for Bruce Boxleitner, and just a few people standing in front of the tables for Peter Jurasik (Londo) and Stephen Furst (Vir). They had some cool-looking Babylon 5 banners behind them, conventions have really come a long way and are now a bit mechanized. But it was great to see them after all these years.

I told Peter Jurasik I had met him at the 1999 Atlanta Dragoncon. Then, there were a good number of women wearing skull caps and centauri costumes, and I noted he had flirted with them in his Londo accent. He laughed that big Londo laugh and said "Of course! They're women!"

I mentioned to him that I was one of the few people who had seen the original Tron at the movie theater, twice. So he made my autograph out for that achievement (he played the program Crom, an early victim of the Ring Games). I wanted a second autograph for his Londo character, he said a fan in Europe had made beautiful lithographs of Londo and Vir, so I now own a copy.

Stephen Furst was a little under the weather, having his ankle in a cast, but he had that great smile that fans love him for. He had a great picture of the Babylon 5 cast giving the finger to the camera (on news of not getting a syndicated renewal after season 4, so it has Claudia).

I told him about the episode that I found most interesting for Vir's character, where Londo was explaining the sword-fighting traditions to him. Most science fiction (like Star Trek) assumes everyone on one planet knows everything about that planet. As Londo explained this to Vir, I saw that Vir and Londo could be from the same planet, but very different cultures and societies. Stephen said of course, this is why he and Peter Jurasik had different accents!

Finally getting in Bruce Boxleitner's line, I stood for over 30 minutes as we nervously crept closer to Bruce, and the starting time for the Babylon 5 discussion panel. Bruce was very nice to every visitor, posing with every child for pictures. Fortunately, I got through and got my picture taken with him. Bruce noticed me wearing my old Claudia Christian "IVanova is God" t-shirt they made back in the nineties. Through countless washings, it was still suitable for wear. I was kind of surprised it has made it from the 1999 Dragoncon to the 2012 Megacon.

Bruce looked at the shirt first and said, "Claudia!", noting that she was doing a convention in Belfast Ireland with Patricia Tallman, and that Claudia had said it was the worst convention with nobody showing up to see them.

I had him sign a Captain Sheridan picture taken from roughly the time of the "Lost Tales" final Babylon 5 movie. I told him that the Sheridan character was an inspiration to me in my own life to do the right thing.

I told Bruce I had the same first name as Sheridan, but added I was no Captain Sheridan. Bruce said "No kidding, I had a hard time myself".

I also told him I had enjoyed the PAX Three Musketeers series he had done after Babylon 5, he said they had trouble getting it off the ground, but "these were good shows".

I also told him that when they announced after the Season 1 summer break that Bruce Boxleitner would be joining the cast as the new captain, I felt it was a natural fit. Bruce opined, "You think that? There were some that didn't".

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Babylon 5 fan panel (Bruce Boxleiter, Cindy Morgan, Peter Jurasik, and Stephen Furst)

Code:
http://depositfiles.com/files/2pnitme23
Audio recording of Babylon 5 Panel, along with some pictures

Lucky to get to see Bruce before they cut off his line, I got in line to the Babylon 5 panel.

This was conducted by the same Megacon official that had conducted the Mira Furlan panel from last year's Megacon. Last year, fans were a bit miffed that the panel host monopolized all the questions for Mira, at one point making her cry by repeatedly bringing up the various Babylon 5 actors who had died.

This year, to my relief, the panel host shut up for the panel discussion and only asked one question at the end.

Stephen Furst, Peter Jurasik, Cindy Morgan (TRON, Caddyshack), and Bruce Boxleitner made their respective entrances.

Thinking ahead this convention, I brought my audio recorder with me to record the panel discussion. Stephen and Peter were at the far end of the room, so will sound fainter. Bruce and Cindy were directly in front of me, so they sound much clearer. And of course, Bruce is well-trained to project his voice across the room, what a great voice that guy has.

The packed auditorium had a lot of nervous people, so the stars were left asking for questions. Your humble recorder raised his hand and got the first question, of what I hoped would be topical. I got a long answer from Bruce, disconcerting to have him looking you right in the eye as he gave a detailed answer on whether there would be a sequel to TRON Legacy, making it a trilogy. (Short answer: Who knows?)

I apologize for various noises as I adjusted my position while recording. Although some audience questions are faint, you can hear most of them as well.

When Bruce mentions the people right in front of him, he is referring to a bunch of middle-aged women who were very loudly fans of "Scarecrow and Mrs. King". I was sitting just off to the side of the middle, so had great audio of the panel from the front row.

Bruce's and Peter's humor really helped keep the discussion light, and they managed to touch on the friends who have "passed beyond the rim" as well. A great panel event to be at, and I was personally glad some questions got tossed to Cindy Morgan, as several fans had "Babylon 5 tunnel vision". Several fans asked very narrow questions that would have prompted me to say "You're asking about my character on Babylon 5, right? Because I've done theater, other movies, it's not my whole life work". But the stars were very patient with such questioning.

Pay attention to Bruce's reaction to Stephen Furst's claim that he was not a real Babylon 5 star, and Peter's reaction to Bruce having a small part on TRON Legacy. Funny guys!

So enjoy, and I hope this recording prompts those who hear it to see their stars in person at their nearest convention. As Pat Tallman noted on her blog, the stars do not make a river of money on these conventions, it's a great inconvenience to them in their personal lives to pack up and go to these. So go to the conventions, buy an autograph, and thank them for their work.

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Picture notes

A TRON fan brought a children's TRON Legacy hat, so Bruce braved the unknown and put the guy's hat on. Cindy Morgan (his co-star in the original TRON) was at the far end of the Babylon 5 signing tables, so he called out "Hey Cindy, look!" as he put on the hat for her to look at.

I have a cheap Polaroid digital camera, so all the pictures I took at the Babylon 5 panel were blurry. These are the best of what I took, my apologies. Do not ever buy a Polaroid digital camera, get a decent one! (Fortunately, my brother has a decent camera, his pictures are steady.)

My final panel pictures are of Bruce and Peter hugging and shaking hands, having not seen each other for awhile I suppose. Great to see such friendship over the years!
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