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Pavel Chekov

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For the alternate reality counterpart, please see Pavel Chekov (alternate reality).
For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Pavel Chekov (mirror).

Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Russian Павел Андреевич Чехов) was a Human who served as a Starfleet officer during the latter half of the 23rd century. Although he mainly served as the navigator aboard the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A, he played a more variable role than other senior crew members under Captain James T. Kirk.

Early life

Pavel Chekov, son of Andrei Chekov, was born in Russia on Earth in 2245. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

Pavel was an only child, however he once believed, while under the influence of the Beta XII-A entity, that he had a brother named Piotr who was killed by the Klingons. (TOS: "Day of the Dove")


Starfleet Academy

Around 2263, Chekov entered Starfleet Academy, from which he graduated with the rank of ensign. His Starfleet serial number was 656-5827D. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

During the early-2260s, Pavel was romantically involved with Irina Galliulin, while they both attended the Academy together. The two had several disagreements before they parted ways: Pavel believed Irina to always be too free-spirited, Irina believed Pavel to have always been rigid. When Irina dropped out of the Academy, each accused the one of leaving the other. Pavel left, but came back to look for Irina, who was at the time staying in the city with friends. Irina would eventually join the counterculture movement of Dr. Sevrin, and his search for the mythical planet Eden. (TOS: "The Way to Eden")

The five-year mission

Chekov's first assignment, at the age of 22, was on the USS Enterprise under command of Captain James T. Kirk. He joined the crew sometime prior to 2267. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "Space Seed", "I, Mudd"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Chekov would have likely been assigned to the Enterprise after the events of "Mudd's Women", as Chekov did not know Harry Mudd when the crew encountered him a second time in "I, Mudd". Chekov's first dated appearance in the Enterprise is on stardate 3018.2 in the episode "Catspaw" and, although the character of Chekov had not yet joined the cast during the first season, he must have been assigned in some capacity during Khan's assault in "Space Seed"; this encounter must have occurred off-screen, as Khan recognized him when they encountered each other on Ceti Alpha V over fifteen years later, stating "I never forget a face..." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Koenig jokes that he believes Chekov accidentally made Khan wait an uncomfortable amount of time to use the bathroom.

Chekov served a standard junior officer rotation, eventually earning the post of navigator, although he was also proficient with the science officer station, often serving at the post in Spock's absence. While acting the role of science adviser, Chekov made every attempt to be as thorough as possible.

While investigating a humanoid that could generate and control energy, who referred to himself as Apollo, in 2267, Chekov began to spout off information on similar creatures. After naming the electric eel and giant dry-worm, he was stopped by Dr. McCoy, who told him "not the whole encyclopedia, Chekov," later quipping on Chekov's dedicated thoroughness by stating: "Spock's contaminating this boy, Jim." (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

After landing on a planet, the Enterprise's crew discovered Harcourt Fenton Mudd who had crashed on the planet. The planet was populated by androids who wished to use the Enterprise to visit other planets. The androids tempted Chekov with a planet full of beautiful women to serve him. In the end, the crew banded together and escaped the planet, leaving Mudd with 500 android replicas of his overbearing wife. (TOS: "I, Mudd")

During an away mission to deliver supplies to an Earth colony on planet Gamma Hydra IV, the crew found most of the colonists dead from rapid aging. On return to Enterprise the entire crew was infected with the disease–except Chekov, who was part of the away team. McCoy determined that the cure was adrenaline. Chekov had been so shocked upon finding the dead bodies on the planet that his adrenaline provided an immunity to the disease. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

During shore leave on Deep Space K-7, Chekov, along with Uhura, brought one tribble to the Enterprise, which reproduced so fast that the ship became overrun with them in three days. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

Chekov, Kirk, and Uhura were captured by alien beings who used them in gladiatorial combat, which the beings wagered on. Such captured beings were known as "thralls." One of the thralls, Tamoon, who was assigned to train Chekov in gladiatorial combat, developed romantic feelings toward him, leading to many unwelcome advances. (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

In 2268, Chekov was killed during a mission to make contact with the Melkotians. The Melkotians considered the Humans as a disease that must be destroyed, and placed them in a frontier setting during the time of Wyatt Earp. The away team filled the role of the Clantons, one of the two major groups involved at the OK Corral gunfight. Chekov was killed by one of the Earps over a girl named Sylvia, who was in love with him, and not the Earp that wanted her. Spock realized that this simulation was not real, and thus the away team could not be hurt as long as they did not believe in the illusion. After successfully escaping the illusory Wild West setting, the crew was transported back to the Enterprise, along with Chekov who was alive once again. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

Chekov was part of an away team that beamed aboard the starship USS Defiant, which was adrift in space. They discovered that the ship was dissolving. After beaming back to the Enterprise, Chekov attacked Spock in a fit of madness. The illness then spread throughout the ship. The dissolving of space was causing mental breakdowns in the crew. The crew rescued Kirk and escaped the Tholians. Order was restored. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

Irina Galliulin

Irina Galliulin in 2269

In 2269, Chekov once again encountered his lost love, Irina. Although they were initially happy to see one another, Chekov adamantly disapproved of her new lifestyle and attempted to cast her off. She visited Chekov, who was working in Auxiliary Control assigned to help Spock locate Eden, to apologize for upsetting Pavel. Her ulterior motive, however, was to subtly use him to gain his knowledge of the systems of the ship, which were later used by Sevrin for hijacking the Enterprise. The two left each other once again, this time while saying "good-bye" to one another, as well as each with a better understanding of the other. (TOS: "The Way to Eden")

Later in the year, Chekov was no longer the navigator on board the Enterprise, having been replaced by Arex. (Star Trek: The Animated Series)

According to his Template:St at, Chekov was transferred to another ship and was replaced by Arex, his former instructor at the Academy.

Later career

Pavel Chekov, 2270s

Lieutenant Chekov in the 2270s

By the early 2270s he had been promoted to lieutenant and served as the security chief and tactical officer of the refit Enterprise under the command of captain Willard Decker.

Chekov in pain

Chekov's hand burned during V'Ger's attack

Chekov's hands were severely burned when the ship was probed during its encounter with V'Ger. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Chekov was later promoted to commander and assigned as first officer to USS Reliant under Captain Clark Terrell.

Khan holding up Chekov

Chekov being questioned by Khan

In 2285, Reliant was on a mission to find a suitable planet to conduct trials with the Genesis Device. When they explored Ceti Alpha V, Chekov and Captain Terrell encountered Khan Noonien Singh and his augments.

By putting Ceti eels inside their heads, Khan made them susceptible to his suggestions, his motive being to seek revenge on Admiral Kirk. Using Chekov and Terrell, Khan was able to seize the Reliant and subsequently steal the Genesis Device.

Chekov ceti eel pain

Chekov in pain as a Ceti eel leaves his ear

After Captain Terrell's death, and the departure of the Ceti eel from his head, Chekov recovered in time to help defeat Khan in the battle of the Mutara Nebula. Afterward he assumed the post of Enterprise's acting science officer following the death of Captain Spock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Chekov braces

Chekov braces himself when Kruge fires at the Enterprise

Also in 2285, Chekov and his shipmates Kirk, Scotty, Sulu, and McCoy stole the Enterprise from Spacedock (with Uhura's help) in an attempt to recover a regenerated Spock from the Genesis Planet.

The Enterprise was disabled by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey in orbit around the Genesis Planet and was then self-destructed by Kirk (with help from Scotty and Chekov) to prevent its capture. Kirk and his crew later seized command of the Klingon ship, which they named the HMS Bounty.

The crew then transported the regenerated body of Spock to Vulcan, where the body would be reunited with his katra, which had been placed in McCoy. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Using the slingshot effect, the Bounty went back in time to 1986, to transport two Humpback whales to the 23rd century. While on Earth, Chekov and Uhura were part of "Team 2," assigned to locating and acquiring photons for recrystallizing the dilithium crystals aboard the Bounty.

Pavel Chekov injured

Chekov injured after falling from the USS Enterprise in 1986

Although the mission was a success in acquiring the necessary photons from the nuclear vessel, USS Enterprise, Chekov was captured by the ship's security. Accused of being a "Russkie," Chekov made a failed escape attempt from the aircraft carrier, only to become critically injured when he fell over fifty feet from the ship's hangar deck, running through an open hatch that led out to one of the ship's massive aircraft elevators.

Chekov was taken into emergency surgery at Mercy Hospital where he was diagnosed with a tearing of the middle meningeal artery after a fundoscopic examination. He would successfully be healed, narrowly escaping the removal of an Epidural hematoma by trepanation, and subsequently evacuated from the hospital by McCoy, Kirk and Gillian Taylor.

Upon returning to the 23rd century, Chekov and his shipmates faced court martial for their actions. However, they were eventually cleared of all charges and Chekov was reassigned as second officer, navigator and security chief on the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Captain Chekov

Chekov posing as Captain of the Enterprise-A in 2287

In 2287, Chekov took command of the Enterprise-A and posed as "Captain Chekov" as a ruse to negotiate with Sybok for the hostages that the renegade Vulcan took on Nimbus III, while Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and a security team landed on the planet covertly by shuttlecraft. Chekov successfully distracted Sybok long enough for the landing party to launch an attack on Paradise City. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Chekov, Undiscovered Country

Chekov, shortly before the Enterprise-A's decommissioning

In 2293, Chekov undertook his final voyage on the Enterprise-A as part of the mission to escort the Klingon Chancellor to peace negotiations with the Federation. Chekov used his investigative science background to find forensic evidence linked to a Federation-Klingon conspiracy attempting to undermine the peace talks. After the Khitomer Conference, Chekov's last duty on the Enterprise-A was to man navigation and the helm for her decommissioning cruise. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In the latter part of 2293, Commander Chekov was a guest of honor aboard the new USS Enterprise-B under the command of John Harriman. During the maiden voyage, Captain Kirk went missing (presumably swept into space) during a hull breach caused by a part of the Nexus energy ribbon when it collided with the Enterprise-B. (Star Trek Generations)

Russian heritage

Pavel was very proud of his heritage. He often noted (sometimes erroneously) that most great inventions and events ever noted in history came from his homeland, which both amused and annoyed his crewmates:

Chekov drinking vodka

Chekov drinks one of his favorite Russian beverages, vodka

In addition to these, Captain Kirk once stopped Lieutenant Sulu mid-sentence, while Sulu was referencing an incident in Siberia, and told Sulu, "If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have brought Mr. Chekov." (TOS: "That Which Survives", in which Chekov himself did not appear)

In the novel Prime Directive, Chekov claimed that karate was invented in Russia before being stolen by the Chinese.
In the video game Star Trek: Judgment Rites, Chekov claims that cognac was a Russian invention.

Biographical timeline




Chekov was played by Walter Koenig, who joined the cast of Star Trek at the beginning of TOS Season 2, and filled in what were originally intended to be roles for Hikaru Sulu while George Takei spent much of this time involved in filming The Green Berets during Season 2. ("To Boldly Go...": Season 2, TOS Season 2 DVD special features)

According to Gene L. Coon in his The Making of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry wanted to add in a young, Englishman to appeal to younger demographics. However, he received a written complaint from Russian sources, who complained that Star Trek–though trying to fashion a future where the world was united–was ignoring the USSR, which, at the time, was the leader in the Space Race. Roddenberry soon after altered his English youth into Pavel.

On the video release of "William Shatner's Star Trek Memories," Walter Koenig himself said that the Russians didn't say anything about there being no Russians on Enterprise and the Pravda article that Roddenberry and Coon referred to likely didn't exist because at the height of the Cold War, no American programming was airing in Russia. (Allan Asherman's The Star Trek Compendium says that the Pravda journalist "[had] seen a Star Trek episode televised in Germany", but Star Trek didn't air in Germany until 1972.) According to Koenig, the character was added to add Davy Jones-like appeal to the show and that the Russian heritage was added by Roddenberry indeed because he wanted to honor the fact that the Russians were the first people in space. In his first couple of episodes, Koenig indeed wore a Monkees style wig to look more like Davy Jones. ("To Boldly Go...": Season 2, TOS Season 2 DVD special features) (Ironically, during the time of TOS in the late 1960s, Soviet teens sporting this look, derisively called "haries" and viewed as dangerously rebellious by their elders, were often arrested and had their hair cut off by the police.) [1]

Chekov was the only main character from Star Trek not to appear in Star Trek: The Animated Series, due to budgetary constraints. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 422) Nevertheless has a Template:St explaining what he was up to away from the Enterprise in the years of The Animated Series. Koenig, however, was not entirely absent from the series; he did provide the script for "The Infinite Vulcan".

In Star Trek Generations, Chekov was briefly referred to as "Captain Chekov" by one of the reporters on the Enterprise-B. Chekov was referred to in the script as "Commander," and was still wearing a Commander's pin.

An episode was developed for the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation that would have featured at 24th-Century Pavel Chekov. Writer Naren Shankar is quoted in the September 1994 issue of Sci Fi Universe: "It never went anywhere. I was working on a Chekov story where he returns as a prisoner-of-war from a planet where he was imprisoned for many years and finally released. Now he has come back as an ambassador to help the Federation open up diplomatic relations, like Vietnam, essentially. The story was going to be about Worf and Chekov, because they're both Russian and Worf has heard about him and they kind of strike up a relationship together. Throughout the course of the negotiations with these people, it appears as though Chekov is sabotaging them. It turns out he is plotting to use the Enterprise to lay waste to their capital for revenge and to screw things up for the Federation because he feels they abandoned him and let these people torture him."

One of his costumes was added to the collection and was showcased at Paris science museum during 2010-2011 exhibition "Science (and) Fiction: Imagination Meets Reality".[2]


In the Eleventh UK Annual Story, Chekov says that he took the same radio courses as Uhura, presumably at Starfleet Academy.

In the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy game, Chekov claims he was stationed on planet Benderi IV prior to joining the Enterprise where he had a commanding officer who believed getting angry was unprofessional and bottled up her rage until it exploded. He also authored several simulator missions used at the academy.

In the novel To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh, Chekov led the security team that delivered Khan and his followers to Ceti Alpha V's surface. Khan remembers Chekov as having led a courageous but failed attempt to retake the engine room during Khan's brief takeover of the Enterprise. This coincides with both Khan's recognition of Chekov, as well as Chekov's comment in the novelization for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that he had seen the world Khan had been left on.

After Chekov's final appearance in Generations (circa 2293), and the reference that a starship would be named after him by 2367, no canon information exists on how he lived out the rest of his days, or what fate he met. According to The Sundered, the first book in the Star Trek: The Lost Era series, Chekov served as executive officer of the USS Excelsior from 2293 through at least part of 2298. Chekov is mentioned in TNG-era novels from Pocket Books, such as Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens's Federation. That novel mentioned him becoming an admiral after commanding both the USS Potemkin and USS Cydonia. The Reeves-Stevenses collaborated with William Shatner on The Return, which had Chekov becoming Fleet Admiral. In Exodus, a novel in the Star Trek: Vulcan's Soul series by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, one plot thread had Chekov still be alive by the time of the Dominion War, along with Admiral Uhura.

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