For Walter Koenig, landing a role on Star Trek was very lucky.
The actor wasn’t even sure after his audition that the audition had been good enough to get the role. Koenig waited a few hours for the word, and then it came courtesy of a costumer.
According to Koenig, the costumer approached him and said “‘I have to measure you for a costume, don’t I?’ And that’s how I found out that I became a member of Star Trek.”
No one expected the show to last as long as it did or anticipated its popularity years later, and Koenig was no exception. “Nobody did,” he said. “Don’t let anybody ever tell you that they knew. What made it all the more remarkable was how tenuous our position was. We were always teetering on the edge of cancelation. And certainly after the first season they thought they would be canceled. I wasn’t with the show then, but I had heard all the stories. And then the second season, again Paramount was very unsure about what they wanted to do. They kept insisting that the Nielsen ratings were poor and that we didn’t have the support that was required for us to continue shooting the show. And that wasn’t really true. It turns out that we were always in the second position in our time slot — no worse than second position.”
Koenig is grateful for the fans and their love of the show and characters. “Well, I could lie to you and paw the ground and say, ‘Aww shucks,’ but I’ll tell you, it’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “[It has] not always felt deserved on my part, but just an amazing feeling. I was a, literally a minor character on the show. And I didn’t make that great a contribution…But on the other hand, to be identified with something like Star Trek for forty-eight years, that really has a patina that just seems to grow more ardently with time, a veneer and a prestige that makes you feel proud that you’re an actor. It’s really very nice…It’s a good feeling. You know, how many people can say that something they did almost fifty years ago is still part of the American consciousness? I feel very lucky.”