11. Chekov Was Inspired By The Monkees
The sixties was the perfect era for Star Trek to get off the ground. It would’ve been totally different were it created a decade earlier or later, influenced by different media – maybe there would’ve been less Wagon Train and Forbidden Planet in the mix – and it allowed the show to comment on contemporary issues.
It also, on occasion, was informed by those same contemporary issues. If by issues you mean manufactured bubblegum pop bands meant to cash in on Beatlemania and the British invasion. Right when Star Trek was getting big the Monkees were also on the rise to supertsardom in the US, and Roddenberry was watching.
So he created Chekov in the second series, who was supposed to resemble Monkees lead singer and hear throb Davy Jones – except, y’know, Russian. And not a singer. He appeared first when George Takei was away for several weeks making a film, and the actor assumed Sulu had been replaced. Still, he and Walter Koenig became lifelong friends.