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Pavel Chekov was the chief navigator of the U.S.S. Enterprise in the original TV series Star Trek. A Russian, he was not an original cast member, but was brought in for the second season. Since the series took place when the Cold War was going on, when Gene Roddenberry, the series' creator, noted an article by the Russians mocking Star Trek and American arrogance, he remedied that by adding Chekov. The Russians had pointed out that they were the first ones in space, but there was not a single Russian on the space-based show. Another character with almost no plot development, Chekov was mainly known for being Russian, and proud of it (along with mistakenly claiming, akin to the Communist propaganda of the 20th century, that Russians were responsible for developments, inventions and events made by Americans and other Westerners), and for following orders.
The role of Chekov was played in the series and the first seven Star Trek feature films by Walter Koenig. He was chosen because the creators thought he bore a resemblance to Davy Jones and might attract young girls to the show. Based upon the ratings, this never seemed to materialize.
In the 2009 Star Trek film and its sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, Chekov was portrayed by the late Anton Yelchin.