At 12.15pm (earthtime) yesterday, dodgy sliding doors separated to reveal Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the classic series. The fans - Trekkies - many clad in Star Fleet uniforms, burst into adulation. Maria Mausch, complete with pointed Vulcan ears, had beamed in from Vienna for the convention. She and her Starshipmate, Victoria Roberts, also in uniform and pointy ears, are veterans of numerous international conventions. In the United States official Star Trek conventions every week each attract 6,000 fans. 'We're lucky to get Nichelle,' said George Haggerty, an organiser. 'I can't tell you what we're paying, but it's not that big.'
Mairi Alexander, a fourth year bio-chemistry student at Glasgow University, was wearing a newly purchased Star Fleet red uniform - 'pounds 50 for the top and pounds 10 each for the official pips and the badge.'
Merchandising is no side issue: pounds 475 for an autographed cast photograph of the Final Frontier film; pounds 7.95 for a pattern to make a Captain Picard duty jacket.