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How Did The Monkees Influence Star Trek?

March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under faq's

From: Raenna Peiss
Subject: Star Trek Connection
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 1995 08:42:32 -0500

Check out this memo:
(source: The Making of Star Trek, by Stephen E. Whitfield and
Gene Roddenberry, (c) 1968 Ballantine Books, pps 249-250)

TO: Joe D’Agosta DATE: September 22, 1966
FROM: Gene Roddenberry SUBJECT: Needed Crew Type

Keeping our teenage audience in mind, also keeping aware of current
trends, let’s watch for a young, irreverent, English-accent Beatle type
to try on the show, possibly with an eye to him reoccurring. Like the
smallish fellow who looks to be a hit on “The Monkees.” Personally I find
this type spirited and refreshing, and I think our episodes could use
that kind of lift. Let’s discuss.

Gene Roddenberry

Now check out this mini-article:
(source: TV Guide, September 4-10, 1993 p 20)

‘Hey, Hey, Ve’re The Monkees’
You’ve heard this story: In 1967, the Soviet newspaper Pravda writes
an angry editorial, complaining that even though the U.S.S.R. was the first
in space, there is no Russian aboard the Enterprise. Gene Roddenberry reads
it, concludes that the paper’s arguments are well founded, and immediately
creates the character of Ens. Pavel Chekov.
That’s the story. Here’s the truth: The true motivating factor behind
Star Trek’s second-season cast addition wasn’t the Russian press–it was The
You see, at exactly the same time Star Trek was beginning to amass
its small but rather loyal following, The Monkees were exploding onto TV sets
all over the country. These imitation Beatles quickly became something of
a national phenomenon, and The Monkees’ TV show was a sensation. For these
reasons, Gene zeroed in on the lucrative bubble-gum crowd and conjured up
the character of Pavel Chekov as a consciously designed, rather close
approximation of Monkees front man Davy Jones. Sure, Gene slapped a Soviet
accent onto our new ensign, but one look at Chekov’s first couple of
episodes, and the rather bushy toupee he was forced to wear, will illustrate
the Monkee-mimicry point beyond a shadow of a doubt.


“Turn me on, dead man.”
– Yentraccm/Nonnel


One Response to “How Did The Monkees Influence Star Trek?”
  1. YearOfTheMonkees says:

    I think it’s well past time we get the “smallish fellow” into the Star Trek franchise.

    The next time there’s an occasion for Walter Koenig to play Pavel Chekov, Monkees fans and Star Trek fans should unite to get this done. And if there is no planned “next time”, we should take up the cause and “make it so”!

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