I’ve been a “Star Trek” fanatic for longer than a lot of people have been alive–especially babies. I started out with the original series, back when that was the only Trek there was (unless you count “Oyster Trek” with Regis Philbin, which wasn’t a very exciting show at all), and there wasn’t much about the series that I didn’t like.
I liked the low-budget special effects. I liked Yeoman Janice Rand’s stupid basket-weave wig that looked like it should have a jug of wine and a loaf of French bread sticking out of it. I liked the way Captain Kirk’s ass used to explode whenever someone threw flaming hamsters at him. There just wasn’t anything about the show that I didn’t wholeheartedly like. Except for one thing. One really annoying thing. One really, really annoying, horrible, smelly, vomit-inducing, egg-sucking, crab-infested, donkey-raping thing…
Ensign Pavel Chekov.
And the way Bones used to pooch his bottom lip out like a bloated slug whenever he was concerned about something. Okay, two things. But mainly Ensign Pavel Chekov.
The character of Ensign Chekov was created when Paramount realized that “Star Trek” needed to compete with “The Monkees” for all those young teenyboppers out in TV land. So they hired Walter Koenig, slapped a wig on him to make him look like a space Monkee, and introduced him, fittingly, during a comedy episode called “The Trouble With Tribbles.” This gave him a chance to showcase the funny aspects of his character right away, the main one being that Chekov, being a Russian, thinks that everything was invented by Russians. Pardon me, in-WENT-ed by Russians.
That’s another fascinating thing about Chekov–due to his incredibly fake Russian accent, he cannot pronounce the letter “V.” Which makes him sound like the big, stupid idiot that he is. “Keptain, the alien wessel is approaching,” he might say during a tense moment, causing Kirk to waste valuable seconds trying to figure out what the hell he’s talking about. It’s a good thing Sulu knew how to handle that sort of stuff because Chekov was about as useful behind the navigator’s console as having a bunch of retarded turnip farmers humping goats all over the bridge. “Keptain, the alien wessel is weering off,” he might add later on, which Kirk could totally ignore since Sulu had already handled the shit ten seconds ago. Message to Chekov: you’ve got a friggin’ “V” in your NAME–DUMBASS! Learn how to SAY it!
With that stupid hair-mop shoved onto his head, Chekov was supposed to look like, I don’t know, Davey Jones or Mickey Dolenz or something. He actually looks more like actress Elaine Giftos, or a larger version of “Mikey” from the Life cereal commercials. Teenybopper-wise, he’s a train wreck. I would hate to see how any young girl who ever sighed dreamily over a picture of Walter Koenig as “Chekov” turned out. Maybe that’s where lesbians come from.
Later, when they decided Chekov was so universally adored that he could get along without the wig, Koenig sported what may be television’s first teenybopper-idol comb-over. Suddenly, it was like having one of the Dave Clark Five or Gerry and the Pacemakers on the bridge. You know, vaguely Monkee-like, only ugly. So now, “Star Trek” was stuck with this incredibly lame major character who was about as appealing as a huge pair of hairy titties on Tommy Lee Jones. And what happens then? George Takei goes off to be in THE GREEN BERETS with John Wayne, so all of Sulu’s lines during the next several episodes are given to Chekov. My god, it’s like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. And it just gets worse.
You see, Chekov did have one unique, outstanding talent that he was allowed to show off week after week–whenever he was frightened or in pain, he would scream like a girl. Chekov stumbles across a dead body: “YAAAAAAAAA!!!” Chekov hurts his widdle hand: “YAAAAAAAAA!!!” It finally reached a point where the red alert siren was no longer necessary, because whenever anything bad happened, the rest of the crew could hear Chekov screaming all over the ship. The only time this wasn’t incomprehensibly irritating was in the “Mirror, Mirror” episode, in which Chekov is placed into something called the “agony booth.” Just think…Chekov, in intense agony, for hours and hours on end, screaming his head off. “YAAAAAAAAA!!!” Ahh…music to my ears.
When the series made the leap onto the big screen, Chekov was still stuck to it like a leech. He was just as useless as ever, but for some reason kept getting major parts in the stories. In the first one, there’s a scene in which he burns his hand during a life-or-death situation, and everything comes to a screeching halt as he lurches around the bridge screaming until Dr. Chapel races in and sprays some soothing medicine on the big baby’s boo-boo.
In STAR TREK:THE WRATH OF KHAN, a loathesome creature burrows its way into his ear canal, allowing him to scream yet again, and he screams some more when the thing comes back out. And to make sure we haven’t forgotten what an idiot he is, he spends half the running time of STAR TREK:THE VOYAGE HOME running around San Francisco dressed like the little Sherwin-Williams dutch boy, doggedly asking people where the “nuclear wessels” are. I swear, you just want to strangle the goofy little shit.
Anyway, the original cast of “Star Trek” has been put out to pasture now, including Ensign Pavel Chekov, thank god. And with “Star Trek:The Next Generation” came a whole new cast of cool characters, and we were just positive that good ol’ Gene Roddenberry would do everything right this time and not stick us with somebody as incredibly lame as Chekov, and then, right there in the first freakin’ episode, is Wil Wheaton as “Wesley Crusher.” And grateful “Star Trek” fans everywhere could be heard saying, in unison: “Thanks, Gene. I hope your dick falls off.”