Tag Archive | Walter Koenig

Beam Me Sideways: Unsolicited Pon Farr On Star Treks I-V

– of course this writing only exists because I recently discovered Netflix has the first five original Star Trek films up for streaming; who knows why they’re omitting the series finale, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (perhaps Netflix has strong feelings about Lieutenant Valeris replacing Lt. Saavik)

– everyone dogs Star Trek: The Motion Picture for crawling along like cold molasses, but the extra time helps ramp up the suspense as Captain Kirk and his Get Fresh Crew unravel the mystery of V’ger; the only bit that really drags is when Scotty first delivers Kirk to the Enterprise via shuttle craft—they drift around and marvel at this ship, mouths agog, like they haven’t already spent five years toolin’ around the cosmos in the thing

– everyone dogs Star Trek: The Motion Picture for the uniforms, those pukey blue and tan outfits that make our heroes look like models for Space Sears, but those unis are more flattering than the thick red tops they adopt for Star Trek II on; the only person who looks like he has any kind of mobility in the conservative crimson wrap is Bones, because physically that’s all he is

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is celebrated by many as the best of this series and while it’s a humdinger I’m not sure it’s my fave; there’s greater complexity to the events of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home has so much fun turning these characters on their ear, forcing them to bumble and con their way through our so-called modern world; that said, the apex of the entire series comes in Khan when Ricardo Montalbán’s titular villain hears Kirk has made Admiral and keeps repeating it to himself like he’s savoring a fine steak sauce

– the decades of controversy over Ricardo Montalbán’s chest in Khan means that even as the film sucks you in you’re occasionally distracted by his shiny exposed torso, wondering if it really is pure Montalbán or some fleshy piece of Hollywood magic; all that swaggering and no nip slip, makes you wonder

– Kirstie Alley is a tough act to follow but history would probably be kinder to Robin Curtis had she played Saavik without the perm

– there’s so much going on in Search For Spock, so much to consider and weigh, you don’t even notice John Larroquette is playing a Klingon, or at least I never did until I saw the credits this time around; what fine a career Larroquette’s had, from Texas Chain Saw Massacre to “Night Court” to Search For Spock to Beethoven’s 5th

Star Trek, perhaps because it commits so unabashedly to optimism in the face of total insanity, is the only franchise I can think of that could get away with The Voyage Home, a movie about zapping whales into the future so they can try to communicate with an angry space log (and get away with it they do, beautifully, masterfully); if Keanu Reeves made a movie like this he’d be laughed onto the surface of Mars

– Kirk thinks that 1986 marine biologist in Voyage Home is falling for him, but then he brings her to the 23rd Century and she’s like, “Whatever, I’m a strong independent woman getting on her own spaceship, I’m not even going to kiss you on the lips!” You go, girl, you put that walking cologne ad in his place

– hard to believe over the course of five movies we only see a tribble once, and just for a few seconds (in a bar, no less, getting something to drink?)

– hard to believe over the course of five movies we never see Gorn (but we do see a cat lady with three tits, predating Total Recall’s tri-breaster)

– hard to believe in the fifth movie Uhura distracts those weird marauder dudes with a sexy fan dance (not gonna lie, I was into it)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is pretty sloppy, almost on a made-for-tv level; major bummer since this is the one that wants to play with the high concept of literally meeting God; you want to lay blame with rookie director William Shatner, but apparently his editor refused to take notes; to this day, Shat hasn’t been able to convince Paramount to release a director’s cut (c’mon, Paramount, think about the money this guy’s raked in for you screaming at Klingons and beaming up whales)

– if nothing else, Final Frontier will convince you William Shatner knows how to free climb a mountain and that Uhura wants to break off a piece of Scotty (there’s a sex scene our planet deserves)

– rumor has it Walter Koenig wrote a draft for either Star Trek V or VI where everyone on the Enterprise fails their military physical except for Spock and through some bizarre chain of events everyone dies except for Spock and McCoy; not sure who rejected this idea but they need to be jailed

– according to Shatner, on his death bed in 1999 DeForest Kelley pleaded with him, “Let’s do just one more Star Trek! I miss making those movies!”; didn’t think anything from this realm could tug at my heart harder than (SPOILER ALERT) Spock’s death and resurrection, but here we are

– Sulu does absolutely no shirtless fencing in these movies; what a crock

Arrested In Time: The Life & Death Of Andrew Koenig

Yes, the kid we called Boner only worked sporadically after his initial fame and landed in jail at least once. His journey was a far cry from that of the average child star, though, and we may never fully understand his death.

On February 2, 2010, filmmaker Lance Miccio returned to his Venice, CA, home after a brief Florida jaunt to discover a small bag of miscellaneous items slung over the front doorknob. The bag was from Lance’s friend and fellow filmmaker Andrew Koenig and contained several video tapes of projects the two had worked on over the years, as well as a few personal affects Miccio had previously gifted Koenig. Miccio was confused by the presence of the bag, but didn’t think much of it at the time as there was no note attached offering explanation.

Two days later, Lance contacted his pal Andrew about an upcoming editing gig upon which the two could once again collaborate. Koenig flatly refused the job and also declined an offer to join Miccio for drinks later that evening. Andrew was leaving for Canada within hours, he told his friend, taking a vacation to visit acquaintances in Vancouver. Unbeknownst to Miccio or anyone else in Andrew Koenig’s circle was the fact Andrew had spent the previous weeks clearing out his own Venice residence. According to neighbors, what the genial, doe-eyed actor couldn’t sell he eventually ended up giving away. Again, Andrew Koenig had cited his trip to Vancouver as the motive for this sudden casting off of possessions. He was merely looking to start over in a new country, most assumed.

Eleven days after flying to North America’s third most populous city, Andrew Koenig vanished, which seemed doubly odd as Vancouver was hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics at the time. The games brought an estimated 15,000 temporary residents to British explorer George Vancouver’s namesake in athletes, Olympic officials, and members of the international media. Alas, this brief population boom did nothing to aid location of Koenig. For two weeks, Andrew’s friends and family agonized over the missing writer, director, and performer, and a significant chunk of TV viewers who came of age in the 1980s paid rapt attention. Andrew Koenig was, after all, best known to audiences at large as Boner Stabone, wacky teenage neighbor from the family-oriented ABC sitcom “Growing Pains.”

The situation was sad and slightly surreal in that it seemed to echo the requisite joke about actors who don’t manage to stay in the limelight. Where was Boner Stabone? He had been missing from our popcorn-munching couch potato lives since exiting “Growing Pains” in 1989. Now he was literally gone, another soft face (with unexpectedly long, rock star-ish hair) staring at us from hundreds of missing posters, disappeared in an age where Facebook and Twitter are supposed to be keeping society more firmly connected than an air-tight block of Legos. How can anyone disappear when Google has nearly every inch of the planet photographed and available online for three-dimensional viewing? There’s no hiding anymore, is there?

Statistics would seem to vaguely support that notion. The annual number of missing persons cases entered into the National Crime Information Center’s files has been on a steady decline (coinciding with the rise of technology) since 1995; that year, the NCIC took on 969,294 new cases. In December of 2009, the agency reported a significantly lower 719,558. That’s a 26% drop, which probably will never be trumpeted from the mountaintops because several thousand disappearances every year is still a hell of a lot of missing persons. And can we unequivocally say the various gadgets spewing forth from Silicon Valley are really helping to bring those numbers down and humanity closer together? Of course not. Do you really know all of your Facebook friends?

Our “Age of the iPhone” rings hollow. If a person really wants to go completely off-grid (or, more frighteningly, if a person really wants you to go completely off-grid), no Apple-approved app or innovative location technique is going to stop them.

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