Ask the average Star Trek fan, what his favorite TOS (The Original Series) Film was and they’ll probably say Star Trek 2 : Wrath Of Kahn, others might say The Voyage Home. Both completely different films with a completely different tone, albeit 2 films that bookend the same story arc of a mini trilogy.
One thing that those films do have in common is that they feature what is most likely, the best portrayal and use of a certain Russian Cosmonaut, Pavel Chekov, played by Walter Koenig (pronounced Keh-Nig as he was quick to correct my terrible mutilation of his surname.
I posed just that question to Walter “Don’t call me KOH-NIG” Koenig at this weekend’s Niagara Falls Comic Con.
“Well you nailed. Definitely The Voyage Home, followed by Wrath Of Kahn. Those the were the films where Chekov was really fleshed out.”
With the cool forced air of the Scotiabank Convention Centre central air unit settling upon us like the transporter beams of old, the bundled up Sci-Fi veteran shared his thoughts on all things Federation. What better place to start than the portrayal of his character by young actor Anton Yelchin in the JJ Abrams reboot of the popular film franchise.
“Absolutely. (He did justice to the role) He did justice to himself, did a great job for himself. He creates a character that is credible and engrossing and that you root for. I think he was very successful in doing that.”
I mentioned how since shows like Firefly and Enterprise went off the air, there has been a real lack of “space travel” sci-fi shows in recent years. Sure we have had Alien Invasions and Other Worlds but not really a true space exploration series on the small screen in a quite a while.
With the announcement of the new Star trek series coming to CBS in 2017, naturally I asked Mr. Koenig if he was excited and curious to see where the next chapter of the Roddenberry property is headed.
“I have a minimum of interest to be honest..this is a new generation, a new take. I do conventions and I have for 40 years, but my life doesn’t revolve around the series. Having said that, I will probably at some juncture watch a show or two….unless it’s REALLY captivating, I will probably just let it go.”
This is the part where I mentioned that whenever the topic or need to say Nuclear Vessels comes up in every day speech, I ALWAYS pronounce it “Nu-kle-ar Wess-ells”…you know because that happens a lot in suburban Niagara.
I think that is where we became best friends.
You have the bridge Mr. Chekov.