‘Classic’ Trek Profile : Chekov

Pavel Chekov Star Trek TOS

Chekov – 2245 –
Koenig – 1936 –

“Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won’t hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt,
Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov.
Marrow sample, Chekov. If… if I live long enough, I’ll run out of samples.” Chekov

Walter Koenig was known to Roddenberry after guest starring in the Roddenberry created series : The Lieutenant – 1963/64. Introduced by Roddenberry into season 2 as Star Trek’s response to 1960’s youth culture, in an era dominated musically by the Beatles and The Monkees. He was also intended to cover Sulu’s departure, as George Takei was on sabbatical filming a movie.

Ensign Pavel Chekov was the twenty something heartthrob with the long hair, who was rash, a little bit arrogant and had as much an eye for the ladies, as Kirk did. He was also a fiercely proud Russian and complimented the already ethnically diverse crew. In the 1960’s, the cold war between East and West was still raging. Chekov represented a future where those differences were put to one side.

He was always sure that every famous invention or discovery had come from a Russian origin, much to the amusement of his fellow crew. It was as if Chekov was playing with them rather than he actually believed it! Also, he sometimes felt looked down on by the rest of the crew because of his younger age and relative inexperience of Bridge service.

Chekov’s Russian Misconceptions

chekov wig oddbod carry screaming star trek tosChekov first appeared in Amok Time, 1967 – S2, being installed on the bridge of the Enterprise alongside Sulu, sporting an even rattier wig than Shatner in Kingdom Of The Spiders – 1976.

Koenig was growing his hair into the required style, so for much of season 2 (with his toupee on) he looked like Oddbod from “Carry On Screaming”.

chekov kirk assassin mirror mirror star trek tosChekov was part of the crew known (by me) as the “irregulars” who didn’t appear as much as Kirk, Spock and McCoy. However, the Chekov character did appear alot more in the 2nd season than the 3rd- as Roddenberry wanted Chekov to feature quite regularly.

In Mirror, Mirror, 1967 – S2, Kirk, McCoy and Uhura are transported into an alternate reality where Star Fleet are the Terran Empire – a warlike race. Kirk is attacked by the evil alternative Chekov, who attempts to stab Kirk in the turbolift. Officers rise in rank quicker in the Terran Empire by assassinating their superiors, in this reality.

chekov martha landon the apple star trek tosChekov was part of a landing party in The Apple, 1967 – S2 and during the mission, Chekov gets friendly with Yeoman Martha Landon.

“I’ve been waiting to get you into a place like this, for a long time!” Chekov to Martha Landon – The Apple

They pair sneak off from the rest of the crew and are seen kissing by the local indigenous tribe, who attempt to copy this act of affection on each other. In The Way to Eden, 1969 – S3 Chekov romances an old flame – Irina Galliulin, an academy drop out who is now a space faring hippie.

Chekov beams down with the crew to a planet in Spectre Of The Gun, 1968 – S3 where he is forced into a ‘Gunfight At The OK Corral’ Western style illusion. Chekov finds a little romance with a dancing saloon girl and is killed by Morgan Earp in a confrontation over her, only to be revived once the illusion ends.

OK Corral Chekov

Chekov dancing a jig star trek tosIn I, Mudd, 1967 – S2 the crew are kidnapped by an android who takes over the ship and directs it to a planet where other Androids rule. On the planet, the crew are tempted to stay by being offered temptations. Chekov finds an incarcerated existence, being serviced by beautiful android women to be not such a bad idea – at first. Later, when the crew are conspiring to escape, Chekov dances a merry jig to confuse the Androids.

During a landing party mission on a planet in Fridays Child, 1967 – S2, Scotty is left in charge of the Enterprise and is lured away from the planet by a false distress call. When a repeat call comes in, Scotty ignores it stating “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!”. To which Chekov replies :

“I know this saying! It was invented in Russia!”

In The Deadly Years, 1967 – S2, Chekov is part of a landing crew that beams down to a planet and discover most of the colonists dead, from some accelerated aging disease. Chekov is terrified and the rest of the crew begin to come down with the same aging disease symptoms, except Chekov. McCoy eventually works out that Chekov’s terrified response to first seeing the dead colonists, increased his adrenaline and stopping the virus from taking hold. McCoy is then able to use this information to find a cure for the rest of the crew.

In The Trouble With Tribbles, 1968 -S2, the crew are allowed a little downtime on a Space Station whilst guarding vital supplies of Quadro Triticale. Scotty and Chekov are having a quiet drink in a bar when a Klingon attempts to goad them into a fight. Scotty is quick to stop Chekov from rising to the bait, only to start a punch-up himself when the Klingon’s refer to the Enterprise as a “garbage scow”.

Chekov denies starting the fight

Chekov Kirk Uhura Gamesters Triskelion Star Trek TOSThe Gamesters of Triskelion, 1968 – S2 had Kirk, Chekov and Uhura transported to an alien world where they were forced to battle in a gladiatorial contest. Chekov is also sexually harrassed by an Orange Alien woman/man thing in a prison cell.

In And the Children Shall Lead, 1968 – S2 Chekov has his mind controlled by a bunch of telepathically advanced children who force Chekov and Sulu to leave the planet they were orbiting, later on they force Chekov to try and arrest Kirk and Spock, he is knocked unconcious for his trouble. Chekov also goes a bit mental in The Tholian Web, 1968 – S3 after being affected by a rift in time and space.

Chekov hardly featured much in Season 3, nor did any of the other Irregulars – bar small cameo’s. As the stories spent more time revolving at this stage revolving principally around Kirk, Spock and McCoy. This was all a bit of a shame, as Chekov had provided some good unenforced comic relief through season 2.

He did get a juicy part in Day of the Dove, 1968 – S3 as a malevolent Entity transported a group of Klingon’s aboard the Enterprise and then fed off of the violent carnage, as the two crew’s went to war with fists and swords. Chekov was right in the middle of all of this, accusing the Klingon’s of murdering his brother Piotr and threatening to rape and kill the Klingon Leaders woman, Mara. Chekov was an only child Sulu points out, as the Entity created this scenario to promote violence in Chekov.

In the final Original series episode, Turnabout Intruder, 1969 – S3, Kirk’s body is taken over by evil Dr Janice Lester. The crew realise something is wrong when Kirk acts irrationally aboard the Enterprise. Scotty, Sulu and Chekov are overheard plotting mutiny and Lester-Kirk threatens to have them executed. Chekov and co. refuse to take Lester-Kirk’s orders forcing the mind swap to be broken.

Chekov was back on board the refitted Enterprise, having been promoted to Lt. Commander and Tactical Officer / Security Chief in Star Trek – The Motion Picture, 1979.

chekov terrell kirk star trek ii wrath khan

In Star Trek II – Wrath Of Khan, 1982, Chekov went on a special scientific mission aboard the U.S.S Reliant as Executive Officer – under Captain Terrell, looking for possible candidate planets to test the new Genesis project.

As part of a landing party, Chekov and Captain Terrell landed on (what they believed to be) Alpha Ceti V and happened across a derelict ship which bore the name – S.S. Botany Bay. Chekov instantly knew something was wrong but before he could get out, he was apprehended by Kirk’s old nemesis – Khan Noonien Singh.

[to Khan] Captain Kirk was your host. You repaid his hospitality by trying to steal his ship and murder him!

It turned out Ceti (Alpha) V was actually Ceti VI after Ceti V had exploded and affected the atmosphere on Ceti VI, turning it into a harsh desert world.

Worse still, Khan recognised Chekov from the Enterprise (Chekov wasn’t part of the series then, but may well have been part of the non-bridge crew!) and cooked up a dastardly scheme to bring Kirk out. Khan explained that he held Kirk personally responsible for marooning him on a dead world and not coming back to check on him.

Khan’s Wrath

chekov ceti alpha eel star trek ii wrath khanChekov and Terell were forced into allowing a wormlike lifeform into their ear, which made them suggestable to mind control.

Khan then learned of the Genesis Project and hijacked the U.S.S Reliant, travelling to Space Station Regula I to steal the Genesis Device. This prompted Star Fleet into sending the Enterprise to intercept, which is on training manoveurs with a young crew.

Upon reaching Space Station Regula I, Kirk and McCoy beam over and find Chekov and Terell there, but Khan’s plan to assassinate Kirk fails when Terell phasers himself and Chekov faints attempting to beat the worms influence.

Chekov manages to recover enough to rejoin the crew on board the Enterprise just before Khan detonates the Genesis device, killing himself.

In Star Trek III – Search For Spock, 1983 Chekov helps boost the Enterprise from Spacedock, to return to Genesis.

chekov uhura star trek VI voyage home enterprise carrierChekov goes back in time to 1986 in Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home, 1986 to save some whales and comes a cropper in San Francisco.

Sent by Kirk, with Uhura to find “Nuclear Wessels” in an attempt to recharge spent dilithium crystals.

Chekov boards the U.S. Aircraft Carrier the ‘Enterprise’ and is captured by the Navy. Managing to create a distraction, he escapes custody only to wind up taking a spill from the ship and hitting his head.

Nuclear Wessels?

He is saved by Kirk and McCoy who break into the hospital and use their 23rd century technical gizmos to save his life, just as the 20th century Doctors are sharpening their ‘butchers knifes’.

Chekov and Sulu are out hiking in Star Trek V – The Final Frontier, 1989 when they are called by Uhura to return to the Enterprise due to a diplomatic row on Nimbus III.

“What’s the difference? You’ve seen one national park, you’ve seen them all!” Chekov – Star Trek V

Kirk leaves Chekov in command of the Enterprise as he beams down with a security detachment to attempt release of the hostages.

‘Captain’ Chekov manages to play his bluff on the Terrorist’s leader – Vulcan Sybok, long enough for Kirk and his team to reach the target. Sybok later gains the upperhand and takes over the Enterprise and brainwashes Chekov and the rest of the crew, by asking them to ‘share their pain’.

Chekov Star Trek VII GenerationsIn Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, 1991 the peace process with the Klingon Empire is thrown into jeopardy when unknown agents attempt to sabotage the talks and kill the Klingon Chancellor. Chekov does his bit to try and help out, when a pair of magnetic boots belonging to one of the conspirators are found.

Chekov is retired in Star Trek VII – Generations, 1994 and goes aboard the newly launched Enterprise B with Kirk and Scotty. Disaster strikes, as the Enterprise is called out to aid two ships caught in an energy storm. Kirk is seemingly killed whilst Chekov deals with the beamed over casualties from one of the ship’s. Among them, Guinan and Dr Soren, the latter who Chekov tranquilises.

chekov Irina Galliulin way to eden star trek tosThat brings Chekov pretty much upto date. Introduced into the original series to give it a youthful new edge, which helped better represent the era Star Trek was made in. The rest of the crew got a full seasons head start on Chekov, but he quickly became part of the show’s fixtures and fittings. You couldn’t imagine Original Star Trek without Chekov now, but he wasn’t in it from the beginning. This was due in most part to Koenig himself, who played Chekov with a fun kind of intensity and a twinkle in his eye. He also gave a great foil for Sulu, as the two sat on the bridge bantering – when Kirk wasn’t listening of course!