Which Star Trek Character Was Added Specifically To Appeal To Teenage Viewers?
Answer: Ensign Chekov
If you weren’t a Star Trek aficionado and you saw a photo of Walter Koenig, the actor that portrayed Ensign Chekov in the original Star Trek series, you would be easily forgiven for assuming you were looking at the head shot of a 1960s-era boy band heartthrob like Davy Jones of The Monkees.
That resemblance is in no way coincidental. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry actively sought out a young cast member that bore a striking resemblance to popular musicians of the time, and Koenig, especially with his hair carefully styled in a Beatles-esque way, looked the part.
Roddenberry wrote in a production memo that, “Kirk and Spock and the others actually seem rather ‘middle aged’ to the large youthful segment of our audience. We badly need a young man aboard the Enterprise — we need youthful attitudes and perspectives. Chekov can be used potently here.” Ironically, Koenig was only five years younger than his on-screen commanders and co-stars Shatner and Nimoy, but his boyish good looks gave him the illusion of being far younger.