Koenig On Chekov And FandomBy T'Bonz
April 3, 2008 - 11:42 PM
Four decades later, Star Trek still impacts Walter Koenig's career and life.
As reported by The Joplin Globe, little did he know when signing on to Star Trek in 1967, where that road would lead him.
"...The circumstances of my casting were so modest that it didnít portend anything extraordinary," said Koenig. "I was informed while I was still there at my audition that I had the role. It seemed like an engagement that might work out over several episodes, but I had no idea that it would totally shape my career and my life."
Star Trek only lasted for three seasons, but became successful in syndication. Its popularity led to several spin-off shows and almost a dozen movies. Koenig credits the quality of the writing for the show's longevity. "First of all, I think that it was well-written," he said. "They used science-fiction prose writers to write their teleplays. They had fertile and active imaginations that could bring the adventure and excitement that people were looking for. It also had some intellectual nuances and a social consciousness at a time when we were having to deal with Vietnam and civil rights. It showed the concerns of thinking people."
Koenig enjoys his convention appearances, where he is known not just for his role of Chekov, but for playing Alfred Bester on Babylon 5. "Of course, you're preaching to the choir," said Koenig. ď[Fans] are always enthusiastic and supportive. They either remember seeing 'Star Trek' during its original run or caught up with it along the line. They have fond memories, or else they wouldn't be there."
Invited to the set of Star Trek XI by J.J. Abrams, Koenig is positive about the upcoming movie. "I think it's great,", said Koenig. "Iím sure they'll do a terrific job. I visited the set at J.J.'s invitation and watched the actors work. I thought they were on to something good. I'm rooting for them. I feel that if they succeed, it carries 'Star Trek' on. Being part of that mythos and legend is very gratifying."
Koenig didn't mind seeing someone else take on the role that he made famous. "I suppose the only way it would have been upsetting would be if they had cast a 71-year-old," he said.
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