Star Trek Magazine #23 Preview: Koenig & Povill Interview Excerpts + Covers

Issue 23 of the official Star Trek magazine is all about celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek The Motion Picture. We have excerpts from interview with Walter Koenig and producer John Povill, plus a look at the covers and some of the spreads inside. Check it all out below. 




Walter Koenig interview excerpts
The original series actor talks about returning to Chekov in the 70s and writing his book "Chekov’s Enterprise"

The first time Walter Koenig saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture was at a star studded premiere in Washington D.C. And as he recalled, everything leading up to the lights going down and the film flickering onto the screen was great.

“The preamble to it all was great,” he recalled during a wide ranging interview in a North Hollywood restaurant to acknowledge the upcoming 30th anniversary of the film and his journal of the experience, Chekov’s Enterprise. “The limos and the red carpet were extraordinary. The film started and I thought the first five minutes were terrific. The music was driving. It was almost like the beginning of Jaws.”

You mentioned in your journal, Chekovs Enterprise, that it would be tough to go home again playing Chekov in The Motion Picture. As the Star Trek films progressed, did you change your mind about that statement?

Yeah. I guess I did. I must have. I mean I did six more films. When we started working on that movie, I did feel like I was exhuming a ghost, and that I was so old that I could not play the character of Chekov properly. But as it turned out, it was also very stimulating to find myself in that place again.

Speaking of Chekov’s Enterprise, did you already have a deal in place with Pocket Books before you started writing your journal?

No. I just did it because I thought that coming back the way we did, making this film after being off the air for 10 years was unprecedented. I thought it was worth documenting, and that it would be an interesting historical document to look back at.”

Would you take a role in the next Star Trek movie?

If it was something as substantial as what Leonard did in this last movie, I would leap at it. If it was just standing there at the end of the movie being Chekovs grandfather, forget it.” 

John Povill interview excerpt
TMP associate producer John Povill talks about bringing Trek to the big screen for the first time.

Jon Povill’s involvement with Gene Roddenberry began long before Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1972, when fresh out of UCLA film school, Povill wrote a feature adaptation of Robert Sheckleys short story “Ticket to Tranai.” Although written for a young Ron Shusett (of Alien fame), Tranai became Povills sample script, and being a Star Trek fan, he presented it to Gene Roddenberry.

Roddenberry was impressed enough to let the young writer submit a story idea for his proposed series, Questor. Although this project never got beyond the pilot, The Questor Tapes, Povill continued to work with Roddenberry in a variety of capacities, including as researcher, handyman, and gofer. He brainstormed with Roddenberry and did research for a novel which, while never finished, became incorporated into the Star Trek universe as the basis for The God Thing (the first of many unsuccessful attempts to revive Star Trek in live-action).

In the ensuing years, Povill recalls, “I was there for all the failed attempts to make a Star Trek movie. I wasn’t in a place where I was in any way considered key personnel, I was just sort of a fly on the wall for all of it. I talked to Gene about it. [Prospective screenwriters] Chris Bryant and Allan Scott were very receptive to me, and I hung out with them quite a bit when they were working on it. They were extremely frustrated because, for the life of them, they couldnt figure out what anybody was trying to achieve with this thing.”

During these years, Povill also “spent endless hours talking to Gene about Star Trek, about its philosophy and my own take on how we get to the 23rd Century versus where he was at on it.” Povill’s outlook, which was vastly more optimistic than Roddenberrys, would eventually become incorporated into both the planned Star Trek revival TV series Phase II and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

His personal experiences with Roddenberry and knowledge of Star Trek also made him a valuable asset for the Phase II series when it went into development in 1977 and eventually, at the behest of writer-producer Harold Livingston, Povill became the show’s story editor. When Paramount decided not to proceed with Phase II, replacing it with what became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Povill stayed on as associate producer.

Read the full interviews in issue 23 of The Official Star Trek Magazine on newsstands now.
Here are the covers for the new Star Trek magazine.

Regular cover

Previews exclusive cover (Comic stores only)

The magazine should be arriving on newstands this week and can be ordered (at a  discount) from TFAW. The Previews exclusive cover is only available at comic shops

STM #22
(newsstand edition)


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I just cant get past that dead woodchuck on shatners head!
Its like a car wreck! I know I shouldnt look, but I can’t help myself.

When I was a kid I thought Chekov was Davy Jones, I thought “WOW, HE’S ON TWO DIFFERENT SHOWS”!!!

The story was a bit slow paced but the looks and visuals and set pieces was epic, I must admit it was a lot better than I had thought when I saw it years ago.

Anthony did you give away those beta keys yet? Would you be making announcements on this site as to who won? Thanks in advance.

Yeah The Motion Picture was way too slow paced for me, puts me to sleep half the time. Then again I owe some of my best naps to that movie and Goldsmith’s wonderful score to it (which for me was the best part of the movie). Still, it, along with TNG and the newest movie, are responsible for keeping Trek alive when it was either dead or not doing well before. TMP brought it back, TNG brought it back to TV and gave it a life that spanned 25 seasons of Trek, and now this movie brings it back to life again but brings it to a wider audience than ever before.

@ 2. John Gill – “When I was a kid I thought Chekov was Davy Jones, I thought “WOW, HE’S ON TWO DIFFERENT SHOWS”!!!”

I did too! LOL!

I was 10 and still saw it 4 times at the theater. Music was great and the model ships that came out were awesome.

I picked up my copy of the magazine today at Borders Bookstore. When I saw it, I had to buy it!

I actually liked the whole story behind TMP, it was just really slow-paced. But it was truly a Star Trek film; a piece of art. I don’t honestly feel like we had that again until ST09.

This is some preview. I bought this magazine last month.

I liked The Motion Picture. The story was slow, but very thought provoking, and it was full of breath taking images. Another reason I like it is because it is NOT an action movie. I fail to see why every story must be an action story. I like action stories, but some times a slower story driven low action story is a nice change of pace.

I absolutely love this movie. All the hate towards this film is how I define unwarranted.

If you bought it last month, then you bought it last year.


LOL!!!it’s true it’s so true! Man that looks like a dead skunk on the Shat’s head! I like his 1966 wig better!

Ive looked around the internet…can someone please point to hard evidence that proves Shatner was/is wearing a hairpiece?

please prove.

Garen,please tell me that you don’t think that this thing on Shatner’s head is real hair……do you???…..for real?!?


The first comment (and #13) on the page.. and it has to be something rude????

What is it about the internet that people feel they can say anything they want? It is tactless and it almost seems like some people suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome (with apologies to those who do).

I hope you guys never venture out of doors with your zipper undone… or perhaps I do and that someone points it out publicly.

I think I still do like ST TMP the best of all the films. As someone pointed out, why do all films have to have an action-packed antogonist that requires that Star Fleet save the universe?

I like my SF thought-provoking. We’re watching ‘Star Trek,’ not ‘Star Wars’ (not that ‘Star Wars’ is a bad thing… but let’s let TREK be TREK).

“…became incorporated into the Star Trek universe as the basis for The God Thing (the first of many unsuccessful attempts to revive Star Trek in live-action).”

We have heard the ‘The God Thing’ mentioned so many times through the years that I really want to know what the story was!

I believe STTMP incorporated some of the concepts, but surely not all. Does anyone know more than a few sketchy details about the plot?

Ummm, how come this article is a preview when I picked up this great magazine last month(and last year)? :-)


Hey man chill out! I dig the Shat,he’s from Montréal just like me and i think he’s the coolest cat in the world but…’s just for fun,not the end of the world!
So he’s wearing a wig… what! But you have to admit,compare it to his 1966-69 wig the TMP wig looks like a dead racoon.
P.S: If it makes you feel better,i’m bald too, but i shave my head, i don’t wear a rug.

I think Trek can be both thought provoking with great dialogue and lots of scenes of character driven drama/friendship, the action is to draw the crowds I suppose. If you look at Avatar it has Star Trek formula with the ethical dillemas exploration and a cool sci fi film, it’s just that they got the budget and king of sci fi directors to make it a billion dollar film.

I remember standing in line for two hours to see the premiere when I was 12. I was in awe walking out of the theatre. As a 12 year old Trek fan.. I loved it. Even today, at 42, I still like it. Yes, it was slow paced – but took Trek into a whole different direction from the TV show. At the time, the effects were incredible! Loved the different aspects of the characters and how you learned more about their background.

I picked up this issue about 3 weeks ago. Was nice to read it. And I managed to dig out my original copy of Chekov’s Enterprise and leaf through it again.

The best part of the new issue is the interview with Walter Koenig. Pretty interesting and candid. He was able to criticize parts of the production by not being heavy-handed or politically correct.

As for the movie, I thought it was okay,not great. It had an interesting concept, but the pacing was too slow and the visual effects are dated, especially some of the matte paintings. The character moments were great and the flyby around the newly refit Enterprise was my favorite scene in the movie. The music was great too, with the main theme being a total classic.

#20: “Hey man chill out! I dig the Shat, he’s from Montréal just like me and i think he’s the coolest cat in the world but…’s just for fun, not the end of the world! So he’s wearing a wig… what! But you have to admit, compare it to his 1966-69 wig the TMP wig looks like a dead racoon.
P.S: If it makes you feel better,i’m bald too, but i shave my head, i don’t wear a rug.”

Chill? *sigh*

I was at a dramatic reading in 1976 where Mr. Shatner performed at Butler University (Indianapolis). Mr. Shatner came out on stage and within seconds someone up on the second balcony yelled down, “take off your toupee!”

Mr. Shatner calmly said if there were any further interruptions during his performance he would leave. I think many fans wanted to kill the loudmouth at that point and I hope the cretin felt about two inches tall at that point.

I guess Mr. Shatner is probably used to hearing such comments by now. But I don’t think it’s funny. I think it is rude. Sure, it was a ‘bad do’, as they say, but as my mother taught me, ‘if you can say nothing nice… say nothing.’

Oh. I am bald too… and have no problems with it… and we all know bald is sexy (Shatner and Steward being proof of this)… but I see no point in pointing out the obvious, especially with pointed humor.

The film deserves its honored place in Sci-Fi movie history, warts and all.

The screenplay was certainly ambitious, and it’s survived the test of time, especially in its tighter ‘Director’s Cut” version.

The Enterprise is rendered beautifully, and that’s a wonderful thing, too.

The Motion Picture is an amazingly beautiful film. I appreciate the film more than I did when I first watched it. The story was interesting . To me The Motion Picture had one of the best film scores ever and I think the film works better in the Director’s Edition.

You argue its too slow. Perhaps. However, I could turn the argument around and say that i felt that the new movie was too fast.

Not a bad thing but sometimes these days I feel that the nice character moments are lost these days in cinema.

However, all I am saying is the argument of pace can go both ways.


I agree its not nice to comment on Shatner’s hairpiece in that manner.

Shatner is a legend and too me he will always be one of my favs. he will always be James T Kirk for me.

I thought it was interesting to compare TMP with the new JJ Abrams film, and the choices made for each and how they worked out.

The color of the uniforms for TMP were changed to their subdued pastels
because Robert Wise thought that using the more vibrant colors from TOS uniforms would be too garish for the big screen. JJ decided to stick with something very close to the original TOS uniforms. What if the new
crew had to wear the TMP uniforms?

The Refit E turned out to be (IMHO) one of the best versions of the Enterprise. The JJPrise looks like what would happen if the TOS E and the Refit E were combined in a transporter accident. How would TMP have fared if they used a design other than the Refit, say the Ralph McQuarrie or Ken Adam versions?

The TMP refit Enterprise is so much better than the Abrams movie Enterprise

I was not a fan of the new movie Enterprise

#1: It’s not dead. I think I just saw it move. Hand me a tire-iron.

ST:TMP, I find, is great to watch in bed :)

what about the debate that Trek XI goes by too fast due to its fast pace?

What #11 said; and wholeheartedly what #29 said. The TMP ENTERPRISE still ranks as my favorite version of the E.

Walter Koenig wears a piece and has done so since he joined Trek, he freely admits it as well. What’s the problem?


I think its best to respect the fact.

Watch the scene wear Kirk is freeing the whales in Star Trek IV.
As he swims towards the camera, you can see wear he was balding…

Koenig also stated on Bring Back: Star Trek, he wears one.

I have no problem with this. Shatners Kirk is my hero and always will be so I dont really care. Picard is bald too remember!

Shatner’s Kirk and jean Luc Picard are my heroes as well.

I find Shatner’s 80s hair his most unique, it looked knitted but I loved that hairstyle.

Shatner is a legend.

I am considering subscribing. How many pages is the typical magazine?

Vol.1 is the only one out of stock. They should regularly reprint to always have stock for every volume.


every regular issue is 68 pages, you can find the first issue on ebay or get the cd rom issues 1-24.

st tmp was to slow but still good, the new film last year was great but too fast. the three best films is twok,tsfs and tvh.

A lot of actors wear hair pieces in movies. Jonathan Frakes has worn one in a few of the TNG Trek films. Who cares. Even DeForest Kelly wore a hairpiece in the 60s and in the films. Chekov wore a freakin’ Davy Jones wig.

Was there one article in this magazine about Shatner wearing a toupee? No. Why must there be so much discussion off the topic of the magazine or the articles therein?

Sorry to grouse, but really… do babies die because a person does/doesn’t/might wear a toupee? No.

“27. captain_neill – January 8, 2010

I agree its not nice to comment on Shatner’s hairpiece in that manner.

Shatner is a legend and too me he will always be one of my favs. he will always be James T Kirk for me.”

Ditto. Some of you guys have NO CLASS. (and I’m bald, and like it).


An article on the Star Trek Magazine has turned into a debate of actors wearing hairpieces.

Nothing against Mr. Koenig, but does he really think that he’s special enough to be so picky about roles? He would only be in the next Trek movie if it was a significant role? He’s acting in freakin’ fan films now! Nothing against the fan films, but really!

As much as I LOVE the motion picture…(BEST music ever, most realistic portrayal of the future, great character story, awesome sets and ground breaking special effects) I have to admit I use it now as a cure for insomnia. I can put in the DVD in and be asleap on the couch within 15 mins. BEST NAPPING MOVIE EVER!!! (Just start the show after the wormhole….insomnia cured…..)

if Mr. Shatner is indeed hairless, i never noticed, nor cared to know. I too have a thinging hairline, and it is somewhat of an insecurity for me (not sure why). so , cruddy rug or not, let us all bask in the presence of one James…TIBERIUS…Kirk.

Rock on, Mr. Shatner!

#44 – AMEN.

I LOVE TMP. Relatives took me to see it in 1979, but I was a child and found it only mildly interesting. I think I might have enjoyed the McDonald’s Happy Meal more! But I rewatched it on VHS as a teen and realized how great it really was. A few years ago I bought the Director’s Edition DVD, and that rocked. And most recently, I got the Blu Ray.

One small thing I always loved about the movie was the way it started out with a preamble of just music (before the credits). In my mind, that beautiful piece of Ilia’s theme was meant to denote the passage of years between the original series and the movies. Awesome.

Already read it! Ha ha!

You have to remember that in the 70’s and even into the 80’s even men with real hair got curly perms like Mr. Shatners “do” from the original Star Trek movies. Burt Frickin Reynolds was a superstar with his piece, Robert Reed from the brady bunch had his natural. The curly anglo-fro was the thing! Shatner’s HRS(Hair replacement systems) were pretty awesome in the TOS years, by the 70’s he no doubt was going for the man perm thing. My hair is thinning and I totally would wear an Admiral Kirk wig, now a line of Trek hair pieces seems like a logical line of merchandise. The secret is the hairline, when you get greedy and try to act like every hair on your head is still there is when it starts to show. Koenig and Kelley always went for the” is it a combover or is it a wig?”, it looked thin so it could have been natural… at least the ambiguity keeps you from nailing it as a wig. Alan Brady from the Dick Van Dyke show had the same idea, he had a wig just so people would say “look is Alan’s hair thinning?” I like Shatners look, Picard can be bald but not Kirk, it wouldnt work.