RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 138,346
Posts: 5,354,046
Members: 24,620
Currently online: 494
Newest member: StarTrekSteve

TrekToday headlines

Sci-Fried To Release New Album
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes Crossover
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Star Trek into Darkness Soundtrack
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Horse 1, Shatner 0
By: T'Bonz on Jul 28

Drexler TV Alert
By: T'Bonz on Jul 26

Retro Review: His Way
By: Michelle on Jul 26

MicroWarriors Releases Next Week
By: T'Bonz on Jul 25

Ships Of The Line Design Contest
By: T'Bonz on Jul 25

Next Weekend: Shore Leave 36!
By: T'Bonz on Jul 25

True Trek History To Be Penned
By: T'Bonz on Jul 25


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 19 2014, 08:41 AM   #1
GalaxyX
Rear Admiral
 
GalaxyX's Avatar
 
Location: Canada
Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricature?

I remember reading somewhere that George Takei accepted the role of Sulu only because Gene promised him that he wasn't going to play a "caricature" asian stereotype, which ended up being true.

However, it seems that they did not do Walter Koenig the same favor, and he ended up playing Chekov as a caricature of a Russian man. I remember reading his complaints somewhere, where he says that they had him say some strange things like "And I'm the czar of all Russias!"

Anyone have any idea of why this discrepancy?
GalaxyX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 08:50 AM   #2
BigJake
Rear Admiral
 
BigJake's Avatar
 
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
Anyone have any idea of why this discrepancy?
My guess: it was the midst of the Cold War. Having a Russian on the show at all was Making a Point -- and Chekov was serving the additional function of being Youth-Bait, hence the Monkees haircut -- so it was natural and much less threatening to play him over-the-top and for laughs.
__________________
It's got electrolytes!
"I wanna read more" - Dennis "Dennis, that was . . . wisdom" - martok2112 "I . . . agree with everything you said" - SPCTRE "I blame Cracked" - J. Allen
BigJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 09:26 AM   #3
Melakon
Vice Admiral
 
Melakon's Avatar
 
Location: Unmarked grave, Ekos
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

I was in high school when Chekov was introduced and I didn't like the character at all. All the "Russia this, Russia that" stuff didn't help either. He felt like a comic relief character to me, and was as out of place as Earl Holliman's Cook in Forbidden Planet. No problems with Walter though. I liked Sulu better, perhaps because he was there first.
__________________
Curly: Moe, Larry, the cheese! Moe, Larry, the cheese! (Horses Collars, 1935)
Melakon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 09:31 AM   #4
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

I guess it was a matter of the group dynamic, plain and simple. The bridge already had the dull and reliable straight guy in Sulu; when the new kid was introduced, the vacancy was for young comic relief only (spiced up with a bit of torturee-of-the-week), because there was a massive surplus of featureless yes-men on the bridge from one character already.

Timo Saloniemi
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 12:22 PM   #5
Lance
Fleet Captain
 
Lance's Avatar
 
Location: The Enterprise's Restroom
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

Well, let's not forget that Sulu was a bit more weird to begin with (the hobbyist tendencies mainly, trying to convert everybody to whatever his latest fad happened to be), but I agree he was never on Chekov levels of being comedically over-the-top except maybe in Naked Time, and certainly once Chekov was introduced in Season Two then Sulu became the 'straight man' (so to speak ) at the helm, being the one who immediately reacted with amusement at all of Pavel's wacky antics (for example, in The Deadly Years).
Lance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 12:30 PM   #6
CommishSleer
Fleet Captain
 
CommishSleer's Avatar
 
Location: Way back of nowhere
View CommishSleer's Twitter Profile
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

Chekov was OK. I don't know what you guys are on about.

Did you see some of the dull featureless characters in the other Trek series?

At least he had some sort of personality.
CommishSleer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 01:01 PM   #7
2takesfrakes
Commodore
 
2takesfrakes's Avatar
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Chekov was OK. I don't know what you guys are on about.

Did you see some of the dull featureless characters in the other Trek series?

At least he had some sort of personality.
Look at THE VOYAGE HOME, where Chekov is actually called "a retard," outright. And his otherwise bumbling around the streets of Frisco, acting like someone who should be made fun of. In THE SEARCH for SPOCK, they had him dressed up like Little Lord Fauntleroy, for reasons, unknown. In WRATH of KHAN, he betrays our beloved crew, under duress. I don't think STAR TREK did Chekov any favours, really, except for - perhaps - in THE MOTION PICTURE.
__________________
― It Takes Two.™
2takesfrakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 01:09 PM   #8
CommishSleer
Fleet Captain
 
CommishSleer's Avatar
 
Location: Way back of nowhere
View CommishSleer's Twitter Profile
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Chekov was OK. I don't know what you guys are on about.

Did you see some of the dull featureless characters in the other Trek series?

At least he had some sort of personality.
Look at THE VOYAGE HOME, where Chekov is actually called "a retard," outright. And his otherwise bumbling around the streets of Frisco, acting like someone who should be made fun of. In THE SEARCH for SPOCK, they had him dressed up like Little Lord Fauntleroy, for reasons, unknown. In WRATH of KHAN, he betrays our beloved crew, under duress. I don't think STAR TREK did Chekov any favours, really, except for - perhaps - in THE MOTION PICTURE.
I got no problems with Chekov until STV and STVI where he acted a bit stupid but frankly so did almost everyone else.

OK the outfit in ST3 was stupid too but so was McCoys.
CommishSleer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 01:26 PM   #9
BoredShipCapt'n
Commodore
 
BoredShipCapt'n's Avatar
 
Location: a-puffin' on his pipe in his hobbit ho-hole
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

They also made him assault Mara in Day of the Dove, making him him both attempted rapist and torturee in the same episode.



BoredShipCapt'n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 01:29 PM   #10
HIjol
Captain
 
HIjol's Avatar
 
Location: Currently U.A.E (a lot like Tatooine!)
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

Roddenberry wanted a "hip mod" angle, and Chekov was brought in as a kind of a Davey Jones of the bridge crew...I remember reading that shortly after he was cast...multiple references at Star Trek dot com and wiki among others...
__________________
"If man is to survive, he will delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear" Gene Roddenberry
HIjol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 02:06 PM   #11
CommishSleer
Fleet Captain
 
CommishSleer's Avatar
 
Location: Way back of nowhere
View CommishSleer's Twitter Profile
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
They also made him assault Mara in Day of the Dove, making him him both attempted rapist and torturee in the same episode.



Kirk assaulted Rand in one episode, I also think Riker assaulted Troi when he devolved. Of course there was that infamous episode in VOY where Paris kidnapped and made babies with Janeway. OK its getting too ugly now.
Look I now realise I seem to be defending men assaulting women but its not OK under any circumstances. The only thing that mitigates it somewhat is that in all of those circumstances the the men were under the influence of something.
CommishSleer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 02:33 PM   #12
Warped9
Admiral
 
Warped9's Avatar
 
Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

I don't recall David McCallum playing Ilya Kuriyakin as a caricature on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and he was quite popular. Claudia Christian didn't play Susan Ivanova on Babylon 5 as a caricature either and she, too, was popular with the fans.

Chekov was an okay character and came off acceptably when he was played straight, but there was a tendency to indulge in silliness. He was hard to take seriously. Of all the characters Chekov is one that hasn't aged well because of the leanings to caricature. The accent alone was too forced.

On the flip side today a youthful character like Chekov could be played with attitude whereas Chekov is quite deferential and respectful of his superiors.
__________________
STAR TREK: 1964-1991, 2013-?
Warped9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 06:00 PM   #13
GalaxyX
Rear Admiral
 
GalaxyX's Avatar
 
Location: Canada
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

On the flip side today a youthful character like Chekov could be played with attitude whereas Chekov is quite deferential and respectful of his superiors.
What's funny is that nuChekov's absurdity is ramped up to 11 in the nuTrek movies. Just ridiculous. There's other ways to create comic relief IMO.

I feel sorry for Walter Koenig though.
GalaxyX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 06:08 PM   #14
T'Girl
Vice Admiral
 
T'Girl's Avatar
 
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
I remember reading somewhere that George Takei accepted the role of Sulu only because Gene promised him that he wasn't going to play a "caricature" asian stereotype, which ended up being true.
I thought Takei "accepted" the role because he was a working actor and they offered to hire him.

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
Riker assaulted Troi when he devolved
Worf.

T'Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19 2014, 09:35 PM   #15
Nebusj
Rear Admiral
 
Nebusj's Avatar
 
View Nebusj's Twitter Profile
Re: Why was Sulu played off as a normal person but Chekov as a caricat

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
I feel sorry for Walter Koenig though.
Hey, he made out all right. After Star Trek went off the air he became an actor and a well-rounded person, with his own friends and keys and everything.
Nebusj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.