In a new interview with TrekMovie, Walter Koenig discussed his brand-new memoir, Beaming Up and Getting Off: Life Before and Beyond Star Trek, his relationship with William Shatner, and Chekov.
Koenig decided to write the book after being approached by Jacobs Brown Publishing. “It sounded like a fun project,” he said. “Writing an autobiography is a lot different than writing fiction. I don’t have to worry about story structure. I don’t have to worry about relationships. It’s just all from memory, and I can just go in chronological order. I enjoy the process of writing, so when they approached me, I was otherwise at liberty as they say and said, ‘Sure!'”
In the book, Koenig spoke about Shatner. “No, we don’t have closure,” he said. “But yes, I was candid, and what you see in the memoir reflected my sentiment at the time, and they do now. Mr. Shatner comes from a different place and a different philosophy and different set of values. He argues that he is not at fault and not guilty of any social misdemeanor, and I say misdemeanor and not felony because it never achieved that status. They were just little things along the way that were disappointing and disillusioning, but not enough to change my life or go to bed tossing and turning thinking about Bill Shatner. In the book, I also acknowledge his talent and acknowledge his availability and responsibility in making Star Trek the success it was. He was an enormous part of the reason why Star Trek continued through three seasons on television and the six movies.
“But yes, there are a couple of stories. And in the new edition of my book, there are anecdotal stories I tell about Bill. But I don’t think they are mean or vicious. I think they are more funny than anything.”
Koenig was asked if he would ever come back for official Trek, if asked. “I did a couple of low-budget feature films regarding Star Trek before CBS put the kybosh on that kind of thing,” he said. “And my stipulation for Star Trek: Renegades was that we killed off Chekov. It’s not that I have any antipathy for him. I have great affection for all of my time I spent on Star Trek and for the character. I did [Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II] because it added some dimension to the character. My frustration was always I never really got to fulfill the character and so when I was approached to do that, I decided to do it, even though it wasn’t under the most professional circumstances. And when I did Renegades, I told [producer] Sky Conway, that would be it. I had exhausted everything I needed to say about him that needed to be said.
“To answer your question, I would not be very receptive to coming back as Chekov with these new iterations. That is not to say I wouldn’t mind coming back as another character. I would love to perform as another character in Picard or one of the other new Star Trek series. That would be great.”
Koenig’s book is available as a hardback for $29.95, a Kindle eBook for $14.95 or a paperback for $34.95. To order, head to the link located here.
More of the interview can be found at the referring site.