Walter Koenig To Join ‘The 7th Rule’ Podcast For ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ Rewatch

Walter Koenig joins The 7th Rule podcast

The Star Trek podcast The 7th Rule, cohosted by Deep Space Nine’s Cirroc Lofton and Ryan T. Husk, has already ventured into rewatch territory with a guest cohost when they tackled the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Denise Crosby. Now they’ll be taking an episodic look at Star Trek: The Original Series with the Enterprise’s Pavel Chekov, Walter Koenig. TrekMovie spoke to Koenig and the 7th Rule team about the upcoming TOS rewatch, plus there’s a new Indiegogo campaign where you can join in.

Koenig to rewatch TOS seasons 2 and 3 with The 7th Rule

Koenig joined Star Trek in its second season, when producers decided they’d attract a new set of younger viewers with a younger, more “hip” cast member, looking at the success of one of the biggest shows on TV in 1967, The Monkees. Enter Walter Koenig, who was hired on the day he auditioned, and only found out he’d gotten the gig when they started measuring him for his costume.

In a new interview with TrekMovie about his upcoming stint on The 7th Rule, he said he’d never seen an episode of Star Trek before he was hired.

“I never saw it before I was in it,” he told us, laughing. “I saw the Styrofoam rocks.”

He clarified a little after that.

“I was flipping channels and I turned on… this planet, there were rocks that obviously weighed about a pound a half, you know. And so I never gave it a second thought. And nor did I try it again until I actually went in to read for it.”

Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Kirk (William Shatner) with Styrofoam rocks in TOS' "Spock's Brain"

Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Kirk (William Shatner) with Styrofoam rocks in TOS’ “Spock’s Brain”

Since he didn’t appear in season 1, Koenig will only be watching episodes from the show’s two other seasons. They’ll start recording with him in December. Cirroc Lofton says he’s looking forward to it:

“I’ve always loved Walter, and never thought I would actually be working with him one day. I think he’s going to take our show to another level and give us tremendous insights with his stories and life experiences.”

“I’ve been working with him for ten years, and he’s always fun,” added Ryan T. Husk about Koenig.

So when was the last time Koenig watched the original Star Trek? “I have absolutely no idea when that was,” he told TrekMovie. “I think I’ve seen a couple of episodes of different iterations of Star Trek, but not the original. So a long time.”

It’s probably a good bet that one of the “different iterations” he’s talking about is Star Trek: Picard, where (in the series finale) he voiced the President of the United Federation of Planets, Anton Chekov… son of Pavel. He also somewhat recently watched TOS’ “The Gamesters of Triskelion” for the Enterprise Incidents podcast, but with The 7th Rule podcast it will be the first time in decades he revisits other episodes.

“That should be fun,” Koenig told us. “I’m looking forward to this.”

Walter Koenig joins The 7th Rule podcast

Indiegogo perks include joining Koenig and 7th Rule on Zoom

In tandem with their announcement, the team behind The 7th Rule just launched an Indiegogo campaign starting today. It’s only running for three weeks and will have a variety of membership and subscription options and discounts. Options include the opportunity to join roundtables with Walter, Cirroc, and others (via Zoom), autographed pictures, and other exclusive perks, some of which are “very limited,” according to Husk, so get there on the first day to take your pick.

Walter Koenig on The 7th Rule with Ryan T. Husk and Cirroc Lofton

Walter Koenig on The 7th Rule talking about the Star Trek: Picard series finale

More links:

Watch The 7th Rule on YouTube

Listen to The 7th Rule podcast

Come back to TrekMovie this week for our full interview with Koenig, who talks about joining Star Trek, working with William Shatner, the scene that should’ve been in Star Trek Generations, and more.

Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at

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This is great! I was thinking of doing my own watch of TOS in production order and creating a YouTube series reviewing the remastered effects (and how inferior they are to the originals) to make the case that paramount should stream the original VFX. Watching along with the podcast team could help me stay on track.

While I wouldn’t say that they’re always inferior, I certainly consider them to be often inferior. Which is a shame.

I’ve only watched a couple of remastereds all the way through … no, I can’t even make that claim, I’ve seen parts of DOOMSDAY and AMOK, and the other samplings I’ve done were through youtube vids (plus on my blu-rays, each ep starts with a second or two of the CG version before switching to the good, stuff, tho I don’t know why that is) … and except for a couple of too-cool-for-school matte paintings, I didn’t find any of it palatable or appropriate.

The ship stuff in particular seems more like TAS than TOS, especially with the lack of contrast in the imagery (which is also true when DS9 did their tribble show, with models lit and comped in a way that made them look more like CG to my somewhat trained eye.)

I remember a guy named Scott Gammans who did some awesome TOS ship CG, but then he followed it up with some stuff that just looked like everybody else’s. Except for that, I don’t think any of the stuff has been worthwhile. The release of the unused ship vfx from tos still makes it seem like that would have been the way to go for remastering, comping them onto backgrounds sans the often obvious matte lines.

I was seriously considering a full rewatch, but then I looked at a list and realized there were quite a few eps I really had no interest in revisiting — that life is literally too short for such an indulgence. Recently I found a website called rarefilmm (yeah, two Ms) that has got some very interesting stuff from all over the world and the last century of film, including TV movies I haven’t seen in half-a-century, and I think I’m more inclined to invest in stuff that I already know is good (or was good to a 12 year-old’s mind) than enduring THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR or AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD.

I still do regular full rewatches on several series, but with TREK, I’d say it’ll probably never be more than about 50 TOS and probably 60 or 70 DS9, along with a handful of TNG eps. I did try to do a full rewatch on TAS last year and that turned into a very short run, because even though I dug half of them, I still had a tendency to doze on them (never been a fan of most animation … even really good films like WATERSHIP DOWN I’ve never revisited.)

From what I’ve seen I think you’re much more resistant to CGI on principle than I am, which is fine, tastes being what they are. In truth I could go on all day about what I liked and disliked about TOS-R, and in some old forums I probably have. Some of the Enterprise ship shots are okay if muddy; others are not only notoriously poorly lit and rendered but have the ship behaving in ways that grossly undersell the scale. There are also issues pertaining to basic shot composition. My favorite matte painting from TOS was the shot of Starbase 11 that opens “The Menagerie,” and while the architectural elements are much more realistic in the remaster it completely loses the “golden age of SF” feel of the original.

I’ve seen Gammans’ rework of “The Doomday Machine’s” fx, which I also thought a mixed bag. (His ship stuff was superior, but I thought CBS did a better job on the machine itself.) My favorite CGI work in the sense that it most closely approximates TOS remains the work that Dennis Bailey did for the fan film “The Tressaurian Intersection.”

At the time a remaster was judged necessary due to the huge contrast between how Jerry Finnerman’s beautiful cinematography held up on high-definition TV as compared to VFX footage chockablock with matte lines and huge amounts of grain that had never been intended to be viewed in that format. Ironically, with current AI upscaling and de-noising techology you could probably get pretty good results just working with the original footage these days, and at a comparable cost to TOS-R. Assuming, that is, that Paramount ever decided to give it another go.

My trek-bud Maurice, the FACTTREK guy who used to be a staple at trekbbs for a couple decades, worked on TRESSARIAN in various functions and is still helping Bailey out with stuff on POLARIS, a non-Trek sf ship-based film.

For me, the TOS ship model sensibility is very ingrained, and it has to do with what I’ve sometimes described as the ship-overflowing-the-taking-camera-lens effect, which really suggests mass during close flybys (more like flythroughs) and which didn’t really work with the 4ft -D when they tried similar shots. I think it is that unless you have a tiny lens like a snorkel rig — used for macro shooting on OPPENHEIMER and for the best in-dock shots of the refit in TMP) that there is some kind of ‘tell’ when the object comes to camera and it doesn’t overflow the field of view — unless you have a model that is really large, like 10 ft or more.

This may also be why on TMP, they went for a painting rather the model when they shot up close on the E-s saucer as Spock’s shuttle model flips over and moves in. I have read that depth of field was a concern, but I’m thinking the painting may have also been able to convey the size better in terms of textures. It’s an incredible painting, totally fooled me for decades.)

That was a painting, really?! Amazing not only that it was so convincing, but that by contrast the mattes for the “wing walk” at the end of the film were so awful.

That was done earlier in the production, when it seemed like there was still time to get everything done. I think it was Rocco Gioffre’s second full work as a matte painter on TMP after previously being an apprentice (the medium close shot of Kirk and Sonak at the tram station was the first.)

Then again, the cargo deck shots, which I think are way ‘down there’ in terms of being convincing, also got done before insane panic set in, so who knows? (I always though the cargo deck stuff would have benefited from a miniature getting built, but have never heard of that being discussed.)

The number of matte shots on the film varied like the dimensions of a squeezebox … apparently the matte dept. thought their work was almost complete as early as August, yet instead they were painting away right up till the very end, which is why some of the wingwalk stuff arrived too late to get included in the film.

Part of this on Trumbull, who got Wise to throw out the early and very beautifully austere Vulcan matte that Matt Yuricich did based on Mike Minor’s concept (an image of this appears in several old STARLOGs), in favor of the THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN mess that opens the Vulcan sequence in the theatrical version.

This is how I feel as well, that you could probably use AI to remaster the original footage and clean it up. I’m sure the day is coming very soon where we could actually render a perfect animation true to the model and the original shots, use that to fill in whatever imperfections there may be in the original film shots, and create a more “authentic” version of TOS that holds up to HD scrutiny while retaining the artistry of the original.

Of course if I was a Billionaire Bezos I would literally recreate the 3- and 11-foot filming models, build a studio to film them, and recreate every shot, as well as some of the more appropriate ones from TOS-R, compositing them using modern techniques so there’s no matte lines, and adding film grain to keep it feeling authentic. Could use Vantablack in place of bluescreen so that there’s no light spill. I think it’s important enough to get right that somebody out there should be willing to throw some money at it.

Hey, they just released the final final final (we really mean it this time!) Beatles song using AI, so why not?

I think it’s arguable that you’d need filming miniatures at all to supplant really well-done CGI that deliberately sets out to mimic the look of TOS as much as possible, but if you insist on going that route an 11-footer really isn’t necessary these days, modern modeling techniques being what they are.

Though there were some revisions in TOS-R that I actually wound up liking (particularly in “The Doomsday Machine”), I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to honor the original show and its vfx artists — whose work was so groundbreaking in spite of the technical flaws — is to clean it up as much as possible while resisting the temptation to gild the lily.

I prefer the original effects too.

I’m already listening to the Enterprise Incidents. I’m watching an episode each week, original footage, and then listening to the podcast. I would love to hear Walter’s thoughts though. When they get to S2, I’ll have to tune in.

“Come back to TrekMovie this week for our full interview with Koenig, who talks about joining Star Trek, working with William Shatner,”

Hoping there is no more Shatner bashing

Dream on.

Actually the correct response is either ‘stand by to receive our transmission’ or ‘here it comes.’


I had the same thought but honestly I’m not counting on it.

I never understand it when fans get annoyed about the cast trashing Shatner. Clearly, he was not an easy guy to work with. He made their lives hell due to his ego, and they are simply discussing it when asked about it. Nothing wrong with that.

No objections to their speaking about it when asked (though “made their lives hell” may overstate it some). It’s just that decades of complaints about being slighted by its star on a TV space opera that ran from 1966-1969 are starting to get a little musty. The bottom line is that the original cast is down to three people, two of whom famously don’t much care for the third. If that space opera is to truly serve as an inspiration for creating a better world, maybe their final act should be more about reconciliation and forgiveness than carrying on a decades-long feud to the bitter end.

Do you really believe that could happen at this point? Walter is the youngster of the cast at age 87. Most people carry grudges to their grave.

Of course nothing wrong with it, just had enough personally.

I will try and catch these Podcasts

Wow this sounds great. I been telling myself I was going to start watching The 7th Rule after Delta Flyers was done with Voyager, which was amazing to listen to for the past year. But they are not done lol. In fact the complete opposite of done since they now will start reviewing DS9 with Terry Ferrel and Armin Shimerman. But maybe it will be great to start watching/listening to this too when they start reviewing TOS. I actually never heard as many anecdotes or stories about TOS from Koenig like I have from Shatner, Nimoy and Takei, so it will be very interesting.

It’s great to see ALL these podcasts bringing in so many Trek stars to interview and be directly part of show.

I’ve listened to a few of their podcasts. They had Jeffrey Combs on to discuss Lower Decks and that was a very fun episode.

Combs was just on Delta Flyers last week too. They can’t talk about Star Trek stuff but talked about his life and how he got into the business. He’s actually had a tragic life and lost siblings and I think his mother at a young age. It actually starts off pretty depressing but Combs is an amazing guy to listen to.

Didn’t know he was on the 7th Rule to talk about Lower Decks! You know I’m going to check that out now! He was so good this season.

Ooh something for me to find and listen to then.

Yep I listened to it as well and yeah the guy has been through some stuff to say the least. In fact, it sounded like he was crying through the first third of the interview recalling all his loss over the years. Maybe he wasn’t just sad but I honestly couldn’t tell. I may listen to part of it again now.

Wow thanks for letting me know dude! I’ll find it and give it a watch now! :)

I think it important and interesting they’re spending time with Koenig, it’s in every Trek fan’s best interest to hear from any surviving members of the original cast, they’re not getting any younger and have insights and wisdom that are invaluable. This is great, I’ll be checking it out.

It might’ve been nice to have Koenig comment on the episodes that preceded his involvement as well.

Agreed! He’s probably never seen most of them. So he would have a fresh take on them.

Agreed, that would have been cool.

Totally agree man. It’s a little sad there are only three surviving main cast members from TOS now. And not to be morbid, but considering they are in their 80s and 90s now, I really don’t know how much longer they will be around at this point. So it’s great to see Koenig still discussing the show. Of course I know they are all sick of talking about it lol but like you said their insights are still valuable for old and new fans. I can listen to them talk about it as much as they want. But I feel that way about every Trek actor.

I’m not a big TOS fan but I might listen to it since Koenig is apart of it. I too listened to the Delta Flyers and been listening to it over two years now. Loved their discussions about Voyager and look forward to DS9 as well

I would definitely give it a chance. And it might inspire you to watch some of the episodes you haven’t seen yet. Getting back to Delta Flyers, there were so many VOY episodes I rewatched after listening to them talk about the episode because I wanted to see things they specifically brought up I never noticed before; especially all the technical techniques they discussed. I suspect the same thing will happen with both their discussion of DS9 and TOS with The 7th Rule.