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Warped Factors - A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe


From the jacket cover
From childhood to Chekov
"Beneath the tinsel of Hollywood," Oscar Levant once said, "is the real tinsel." Beneath that lies a cornucopia of absurd behavior and bizarre experiences that rival even the most creative silver screen fiction. As a young transplant from New York in the 1950s and '60s Walter Koenig quickly came to know Hollywood as a place of energy and opportunity where life's uncertainties loomed large. Launching an acting career in this unpredictable cultural cauldron, he wound his way through various misadventures before finding he had attained a degree of success that surprised even him.
This is Koenig's story – from growing up as the neurotic child of Russian immigrants in 1940s Manhattan through his rise to Star Trek fame as Pavel Chekov, Russian navigator of the USS Enterprise, and beyond. Not a typical Hollywood memoir, Warped Factors is anything but aloof. Koenig's very Human narrative is full of the kind of insecurities and quirks anyone can relate to. With wry wit, striking candor, and a true gift for storytelling, Koenig takes us on a sometimes bumpy but often hilarious trip through his galaxy. Blind faith and a healthy sense of irony seem to sustain him as he relates a steady stream of anecdotes, including:
  • Pitching a story to an NBC producer who is in the midst of an out-of-body experience;
  • Having a loaded gun placed in his ear by a jealous manager;
  • Performing a controversial play that was interrupted by someone believed to be a member of the American Nazi party dressed in the uniform of a Chicken Delight delivery boy;
  • Getting fired from a CBS movie of the week for staring at the director;
  • Being mistaken for a bellhop during a public appearance in his Star Trek uniform;
  • Declining a Star Trek convention attendee's invitation to help sacrifice a chicken in her hotel room.
Of course, this amusing memoir also takes us behind the scenes of Star Trek, with fresh perspectives not only on the cast members themselves but also on the development and evolution of the megalithic sci-fi legend. In fact, Koenig includes a number of the script ideas he pitched over the years, including a proposed outline for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (one that saw the deaths of several main crew members, including Kirk) and several for The Next Generation series. Also included are Koenig's notes to producer Harve Bennett on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as well as his commentary on several other projects.
Finally, Koenig offers candid reflections not only on the Star Trek years but on his life and career since. Most notable are his well-received stints on stage and his current role as the insidious Alfred Bester on television's Babylon 5. Enjoying both critical and popular success, Koenig has once again confirmed his enduring position in science fiction's acting pantheon.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • Short Subject
  • Preview
  • Child's Play
  • An Actor's Revenge
  • The History of the World – Part One
  • The Boy Who Could Fly
  • The Hunt for Red October
  • Children of the Corn
  • California Split
  • New York Stories
  • Back to Bataan
  • The Sky Above, The Mud Below
  • The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • Back to the Future
  • The Public Eye
  • Back to the Future II
  • Thunderhead – Son of Flicka
  • The End of a Day
  • Untitled (A Work in Progress)
  • Coming Attractions
  • Appendices
    • Notes to Harve Bennett on Star Trek II
    • Outline for Star Trek VI: In Flanders Fields
    • Filmography
    • Bibliography
    • Index

Background information