"Trekkies" break world record at London convention

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:14pm EDT
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By Shadia Nasralla and Clare Hutchison

LONDON (Reuters) - Star Trek fans made history on Saturday by breaking the record for the largest gathering of people dressed as characters from the TV series at the "Destination Star Trek London" convention.

An estimated 1,083 costume-clad "trekkies" assembled at the event at London's ExCel centre, narrowly beating the previous record of 1,040 characters, which was set at the bigger, annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas in August.

The achievement will be officially verified by Guinness World Records within a few days, but organizers were confident they had topped the Las Vegas record.

The majority of record-breakers dressed in the color-blocked uniforms of the Starfleet, with Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans peppering the crowd.

Trekkie Mark Whitfield went to extreme lengths to participate, wearing a full-body suit to emulate a mugato, a beast from "Star Trek: the Original Series".

"It looks silly, it's just a gorilla suit painted white with horns on it. It's very, very hot. In fact, I was on the verge of collapse when a very kind person gave me a bottle of water because I dehydrated quite badly," he said.

"Destination Star Trek London" is the first live Star Trek event in Britain for over a decade. Around 17,000 fans came to London to celebrate the 46-year-old TV and film franchise, which has spawned six television series and 11 feature films.

"NERDS"   Continued...

(L-R) William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew, Avery Brooks and Scott Bakula, who played Star Trek captains, pose for photographers at the "Destination Star Trek London" event in London October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett