Agamemcon 3 convention report

I went to Agamemcon this weekend and got to meet John Vickery. He showed up quite by surprise late on Friday at about 9pm. He went straight into the Bill Mumy concert and stood way at the back, where he was instantly zoomed in on by a few fans. He only stayed for about a half hour there, then made his way outside for a cigarette. There was at least one fan that followed him outside, but everyone else pretty much left him alone.

He was not the only actor at the concert, as Wayne Alexander was also hanging out, as usual at this con. Anyhow, I was in charge of the con suite, so it was my job to provide food and beverages to all the convention attendees. I was not incharge of the green room, so I only got to hang out with a few people on certain occaisions. I had a gaming card for Neroon, so I got him to sign in at the concert. I told him that because I was going to be busy the whole weekend, I wanted to get this taken care of now so as not to miss him. He was cool with that.

I did get a chance to talk to John, but not a whole lot. I did not ask about whether or not he knew about the website, which is unfortunate. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by the whole convention experience, as this was his first time. He did not bring any pictures or anything to sign, so it was up to the fans to bring him something. He did seem to enjoy the panel he was on with the other B5 actors. He was up with Maggie Egan (ISN reporter), Jeffery Willerth (Kosh), Jason Carter (Marcus), Tim Choate (Zathras), Robin Atkin Downes (Byron), and Bill Blair (basic character actor). Away from the panel, he was enthusiastic about his work on The Lion King musical, which is understandable, as he put so much time into that. I don’t think he knew how much his character of Neroon was appreciated and liked, since he only did the role a few times over a 4 year period. He also mentioned that his role of Gul Rusot, on DS9, was pretty much the same character. In other words, he disagreed with everyone on the show and then died.

Here are some of the questions and answers I remember from the panel, I will be getting a tape with the whole panel on it later on, so I can update this then.

Q: What kind of character would you like to play in the future?

A: I want to play someone who doesn’t disagree with everyone else.

Q: What kind of motivation did you use to act in “Moments of Transition”?

A: It’s been so long since I did Neroon that I don’t actually know which episode you are refering to.

(I then chimed in “You died in that one”)

A: Oh yes, that. He then related a story that Mira hates being picked up off the floor with her eyes closed, and how that was bad since he is not the biggest man, and so the filming of that final scene took forever and was physically demanding.

Q: How much preparation did you and Jason do for your duel?

A: Well, I believe Jason did a lot of his own stunts, as he is into that sort of thing. I didn’t do as much of the action as he did, but we did do a lot of it. I think it is better to have two actors who don’t know how to fight all that well really going for the kill then to have two stunt people doing all that balletic fighting but not really selling the intent to harm the other person (both John and Jason contributed parts of this answer).

Q: What are you doing now?

A: He is doing a voice for some cartoon thing (which totally escapes my brain at the moment) and he also did Mr. Welles again in Crusade. He says he is possessed in the episode, so he supposes that he really isn’t playing Mr. Welles at all.

I am sure that he contributed more, but I can’t really remember the whole thing at the moment. I made an observation which got the biggest laugh of the panel, which was that nearly everyone on stage was dead. Maggie stood up and said “not me” to which I replied, well of course not, your a woman. So, that made a big impression with everyone on stage.

I then went up to the stage as they all came off to make sure they made it out OK and got to where they were going. Some went to the green room, some went right to a table to start signing, others just wandered off. I took this moment to attach myself to John. A lady came up and asked him to sign some book she had, and I mentioned to him that because he was a convention virgin, he was probably going to get mobbed a bit.

That didn’t seem to phase him much, which is good. So, I told him that I would be taking him out, and then asked him if he was planning on doing an autograph signing or not. He said he wouldn’t mind doing that. I took him to our guest relations person who set him up with a table. It was then that we learned he hadn’t brought anything with him. I then went back to my con suite for a time, but had to come out again as I didn’t want to not talk to John again. He had been on the schedule to come back on Sunday, but then that was updated and he was off the schedule for Sunday, so I knew that he was leaving soon and not coming back. I did a run of the whole set of tables to make sure everyone had water and munchies. Jeff Conway wanted to eat, so I got him bagels, a brownie and some veggies, and then several others wanted water. When Peter Woodward showed up and our guest relations person went to meet him, she left John all alone. I was so tempted to take the opportunity to take her place and sit next to him, but I wasn’t sure he wanted or needed anyone and whether or not it would have looked bad to the rest of the convention staff. I know now that I didn’t have to worry about that, but my shyness got in the way. BTW, I was also looking very much forward to seeing Peter Woodward also, you have no idea how similar the meetings went with both of them, too weird. Anyhow, after not working up the courage to just sit next to John, I just went back to my con suite and went back to work for a while. Not sure when he left, so that’s all I have to say on the matter.

This is a great little con, and it’s getting bigger. We had nearly a hundred guests, some of them unannounced. Both Jeff Conway and Claudia Christian showed up by surprise, and Jason Carter put in an extra day. Peter Jurasik had pulled out due to his heart surgery, but he asked Andreas Katsulas to step in for him. Bruce Boxleitner had pulled out at the last minute due to his wife, Melissa, being ill and he had to watch the baby. Several of the other stars all called him to tell him to find a sitter somehow and make it to the con, which he did. This shows that the stars actually like the convention and want it to do well. Wayne Alexander loves us, but that is probably because of the birthday party/luau we threw for him last year. Several of the guests go to the dances, masquerade and parties that are held throughout the weekend, which is always nice. It’s a fan run convention, which is always so much more fun than a professional convention. We always have lots of technical people on, which is real popular. You can see how the costumes were done, the makeup artist actually makes up a man’s hair like a Centauri, and the directors come in and talk about making the show. We had a few novelists this year, and J. Gregory Keyes was my favorite. He’s a nice man, and he even did a reading of his recent book, the third in the Psi Corp trilogy, in my con suite (I know what happens between Bestor and Garibaldi). I know I work for the convention, but I only work for it because I had so much fun attending it last year. Next years con is scheduled for June 23-25, so maybe some of you might want to come and check it out.

Agamemcon 3 June 11-13 1999

Rumble in the Jungle – A review of THE LION KING – The Broadway Musical on October 16, 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City

Pride Rock arrived on Broadway as preview performances of Disney’s “The Lion King” commenced starring John Vickery, known to us Babylonians as the late lamented Neroon and in a second season episode – sans bonehead – as Mr. Welles of the nefarious Nightwatch in “The Fall of Night”.


Based on the animated film of the same name (picture “Hamlet” with animals), Julie Taymor, the director, showcases within the show her unique and varied knowledge of and appreciation for: opera, puppetry, Indonesian masked dance, and Japanese Bunraku. The stage show is presented with amazing feats of imagination utilizing bright colorful costumes and combinations of masks and puppetry to vividly enliven the animal characters and project the individuals underneath. The show opens with a female Rafiki chanting on stage, as the entire ensemble begins to appear as elephants, panthers, zebras, and high soaring kite-birds make their way down the aisles of the theatre singing “Circle of Life”. The African theme has been wonderfully enhanced with Lebo M adding new songs and reworking several from the original film soundtrack as well. Also performing as part of the chorus, Lebo M alerts the audience in the lobby to the end of intermission with African chants.

All of “The Lion King’s” actors deserve great praise for the passion and fluidity with which they conveyed their characters’ expression and emotion and each particular animal’s grace while in many cases manipulating complex costuming. Even the tall grasses, leaves and plants on the bare stage are carefully choreographed (yes – the majority of the set’s foliage is played by ensemble actors!) to work along with the animals and bring Taymor’s jungle literally to life.

Tsidii Le Loka, a female South African vocalist wonderfully speaks, sings and chants as Rafiki, a spiritually endowed character blessed with visions reminiscent of an African shaman. Samuel E. Wright as Mufasa is majestically regal in his performance as the reigning king eager to instill a sense of self and pride to his young son, Simba, the future Lion King. Samuel E. Wright is no stranger to Disney; he provided the voice to Sebastian, the little crab with the calypso beat in another Disney animated film, “The Little Mermaid”. Max Casella, best known to television audiences as Vinny, the best friend of Doogie Houser, portrays the comic character Timon, the meerkat in a Laurel and Hardyesque turn with his stage partner Tom Alan Robbins, as the warthog, Pumbaa.

Broadway veteran, John Vickery portrays the villain Scar, nemesis to the title character with a bitter envy and evil ambition and later an increasingly isolated mania. His mask is positioned above his head but with a simple movement quickly lowers to cover Scar’s face before raising up again to convey the character’s not so secret evil agenda. Mr. Vickery skillfully manipulates his facial expressions and his intricate costume to communicate Scar’s rage, cunning, and gradual loneliness making his character both comical and dangerous at the same time. And of course – there is that beautiful rich deep voice!

Following the show, we had the rare privilege to meet John Vickery for a few minutes. He is an intelligent, well-spoken and most gracious man who still seems surprised that fans know his name. He spoke warmly of his time on “Babylon 5“; remembering the rush to film his final scene as Neroon and marveled at the improved computer graphics he noticed in a recent episode he happened upon. He captivated us with his genuinely charming demeanor and we will always value the memory of the time he took to talk with us after such a demanding performance as Scar.…

Know About Our Fan Club

The Founders

ShiAlyt (Angua) — Holder and Flourisher of the Fighting Pike
The ShiAlyt instituted the Shrine of Alyt Neroon and this fanclub. She is also the owner of the wonderful and

Toymaker (carver) — Holder and Polisher of the Scar puppet
Toymaker is the official sound collector for the Shrine sound archives.
Homepages: Put Your Face In A Book: S-F to go and Pattern Addiction
Here are some of carver’s wonderful toys, which were featured in Kurt Lancaster’s book, “Interacting with Babylon 5”.   (pages 140, 142)

Lee (Neroon) — missionary to the pagan Trekkies (ok *SORRY* I mean TREKKERS)
Here’s Lee as a Minbari warrior, as featured on pages 159-160 of Lancaster’s book.

DarkJackal — Lion King Acolyte

Joining Our Fan Club

If you wish to join the Starriders please email :

Please include the following information :

  • your name or the pseudonym you wish to use
  • the position you wish to hold in the clan, for example, Toymaker is Holder and Polisher of the Scar puppet; use your imagination, but please avoid overtly sexual connotations e.g. Lover
  • we feel it is appropriate that there should only be one Shi Alyt, therefore if you would like a “command” type position then it is suggested you come up with Alyt <name> and <position>
  • the URL and title of your homepage, if you have one
  • any additional information you’d like to have on the page
  • please let us know if you want your email address on the page too

In return, we will :

  • add you to the members’ roll on this page
  • send you a personalised Star Rider Clan Member logo for your homepage – this should be linked to (we also have a link banner, see the links & linking page)
  • include all the information and links you supply (within reason of course !)
  • aim to keep you informed on updates to the key John Vickery/Neroon webpages, via the Star Riders mailing list (please use the box on the main index to sign-up). If you don’t get a subscription email back, please let us know, as occasionally Egroups loses mail
  • let you know of any new, important or otherwise interesting information about Mr. Vickery’s theatrical and TV/Film work and appearances if possible


Club Activities

OK… so this is where we’re making it up as we go along ! We wanted to create a fanclub for John Vickery, and a webpage seemed like the perfect way to do it. Any ideas/suggestions are more than welcome. The primary activity is, of course, the admiration of John Vickery, whether as Neroon, Mr. Welles, Scar, etc. etc. We hope this page will become a focal point for all JV fans.…

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon and Josephine : A Love Story was a television mini-series shown in 1987. John played the part of Bourrienne, referred to as Napoleon’s adjutant.

There is a set of screen captures, kindly provided by Kathleen

This title is available on video tape from Blackstar (UK), in PAL format.


The description of the video is as follows :

“He was the young soldier from Corsia who became the Emperor of France. She was the beautiful widow who escaped the revolutionaries’ guillotine at the eleventh hour. Together, their romance captivated the world.

Like Romeo and Juliet, the names of Napoleon and Josephine have become synonymous with passion, lust and desire. Set against the bloodshed and tumult of Europe’s battlefields, this lavish mini series traces Napoleon’s meteoric rise to power, his obsession for Josephine and ultimately his humiliating exile to Elba. A Love Story is the compelling and true story of a romance which shook the world.”


It also stars Armand Assante, Stephanie Beacham, Jacqueline Bisset, Patrick Cassidy, Nickolas Grace, Jane Lapotaire, Anthony Perkins and Leigh Taylor-Young. See the IMDb listing for further details.

PlayRaid 97 — Trip Report

There were 3 of us in PlayRaid: Karen, Lisa, and Myself. We all spent tuesday night at my place. Remember sleepovers?

Waking up early wasn’t a problem… we hadn’t slept! We each put on our “PlayRaid” sweatshirt and headed for the metro. We left Washingto DC on the 8:15 am train.

After arriving in New York we made a beeline for 42nd st. A song fragment about 42nd st kept going through my head the whole time; I just wish I could’ve remembered the whole song. I discovered that pedestrian road crossing is a martial art. It wasn’t a very long walk. And the theater was only a half a block over. It was hard to miss. I just didn’t expect it to look so small. Karen and I kept looking at each other. “Are we really here? Were really here! We did it!”

We bought programs, I bought a ballcap (of course) and we proceeded into the theater. Unlike all the other people outside hanging about or in that awful line, we had TICKETS. WOOHOO! or… to quote Rafiki…


I didnt even notice the inside of the theater. (yes, I know.. shame on me.. yeahyeahyeah) We were directed to an elevator, and sent upstairs. The mezzanine level already had many people waiting to enter the theater. So we bought pins to put on our sweatshirts. HEY DISNEY… HOW ABOUT SOME PATCHES?

The doors finally opened, and we all flowed into the theater, where ushers directed us in an efficient way to the general area of our seats. We were in the nosebleed section, although, there was one row behind us.

Somewhere in here I should mention… I did not like the movie much, and I did not like the music from the movie. Good thing the play is not the movie. It is most emphatically NOT the movie.

The calling started, the drumming, the lights dimmed — dont ask me in what order.. I have no idea. The music from the play is… well …positively metabolic, with rythms straight out of my childhood in Brasil. Oh. And those toys. Those wonderful toys! By the time the giraffes strode out I was already wiping away tears. When the elephant climbed up to the stage and into our field of view, Karen grabbed my arm just as I grabbed hers. Fergit the JV… I want to meet the person who made all those beautiful toys! Huh? Oh right. Finish the report.

I could go down the list of actors and say how good each one was. They *were* all good. You have to watch them all the whole time. I didn’t quite manage to do that. The ones to really watch though are Zazu and Rafiki — they are usually up to something. Oh yeah, and if you see a dancer who looks like he just witnessed the birth of his first child or something, that is Lebo M, who helped write the wonderful music.

And Scarr? Ledicious. I believe that Janis of MCEB ( may have mentioned in passing that John Vickery has a rather pleasant voice. Its true, he does. (talk about understatement) Samuel E. Wright (Mufasa) has a fascinating voice as well. (its not James Earl Jones’ voice, but no one can be compared to him.)

Of all the toys, my favorite were the hyenas. They not as graceful as the cheetas, or as moving as the giraffes and the elephants, but I could not keep my eyes off them. I kept looking for the human.. “there has to be one in there somewhere”. The masks and the movements of the puppets looked so… inhuman. A great effect. The Lions wore masks above their heads, rather than puppets like the other characters. The lionesses’s masks were regal, as was Mufasa’s. Scar’s mask was wonderfully evil.

Then came the ghost of Mufasa. My mouth hung open. All thought fled my mind. They sculpted with light. I felt like a child, staring in wonder. They sculpted with light.

The play was over all too soon. We sat a while, partially waiting for the crowd to thin, partially just trying to recover. We discussed how to describe the play to someone who hasn’t seen it. (Lisa’s method: “Just tell them to go” — which is precicely what I did in my review) We all bought soundtracks on the way out.

We did not wait at the side door — turning into a blithering idiot is not my idea of fun. (no comments from the peanut gallery please) We made a beeline back to the train station. I want to know why they waited till the last minute to tell us what track the train would be on. We survived the stampede, but it would have been nice to be able to sleep on the way back.

I had never been to a broadway play before. I will probably never get to go to another. Lion King was a good choice for my first trip to NY and broadway, it added a good deal of magic to a day that already had more than a touch of magic in it.