Saturday, December 08, 2007

Walter Koenig as Ensign Chekov was the last of the original crew to be brought aboard, and has remained in some ways the least known. He had a second science fiction life as a recurring character (Bester) on the TV series Babylon 5, and added writing to his acting career. Recently he has been one of the Star Trek veterans to embrace and transform the so-called “fan film” phenomenon, which in the case of such productions as the Star Trek: New Voyages films and the upcoming Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, should rightly be called independent films (as Sky Conway, the producer of the latter, suggests.)

December is shaping up to be a big month for Walter Koenig. He has a major part in Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, playing Chekov but with a twist. The first of its three parts will be released on the Internet on Dec. 22, and the date when the second part will be available will be announced then. Everyone is still trying to keep the story as spoiler-fresh as possible, so we didn’t talk about it much, but it does seem to involve some kind of alternate reality in which Chekov is a “freedom fighter” or perhaps a terrorist. (Otherwise, as I’ve written before, what I know about the story bears quite a bit of resemblance to the rumored plot of Star Trek XI. I’m assuming the rumor is wrong, but if it’s not…fascinating…) When the trailers were shown at the 40th anniversary celebration last year in Seattle, a lot of buzz was about Tim Russ’ direction and Walter Koenig’s performance.

Then on Christmas day, James Cowley, executive of New Voyages, promises a new version of last year’s “To Serve All My Days” with new effects, music and re-edited scenes, including a new ending. The idea is to make it look and feel more like a Star Trek episode from the mythical fourth season, in 1969. It will be available on the web through Dragonfly on December 25. Chekov is the central figure of this drama in which Koenig stars. As he says here, “To Serve All My Days” was conceived as a kind of sequel to the second season TOS episode, “The Deadly Years,” in which Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty are infected with a disease that causes them to age rapidly. Chekov was somewhere else and wasn’t affected, and McCoy uses him to find a cure. This time, it is Chekov who finds himself aging rapidly.

No comments: