June 17, 1999
Dear Decision Maker:
Captain Kirk is the single most important figure in Star Trek mythology. I'd rather not generalize, but the aforementioned is TRUE! Along with the star ship Enterprise NC-1701, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, and Nurse Chapel, Captain Kirk IS not only an icon but THE franchise character for all of Star Trek. Frankly, it's just not nearly as interesting or as much fun without him. I ask you, respectfully, please bring back Captain James T. Kirk.
Unlike the legendary letter writing campaign for ST:TOS, nowadays we have the internet and, as you know, Star Trek IS an international phenomenon. I wouldn't be surprised if before long you'll receive nearly a million or MORE requests from Star Trek fans from around the world to bring back Captain Kirk. I've never considered participating in a letter-writing-campaign before, but now I've done it. Is this really necessary in order to justify doing the obvious?
Beginning in 1966, I've CONSISTENTLY watched ALL of the TREK shows, animated series and feature films. In fact, I have a comprehensive multi-media collection of the Star Trek franchise via books, posters, magazines, model kits, special collectible items, videos, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks. I believe you KNOW there are millions of people like me - who VOTE with their dollars - to support Star Trek (Paramount) through our purchases. Surely, you must VALUE me and my peers as continuing customers?
Things just don't make sense! You killed Spock and brought him back. You kept Mr. Scott alive in a transporter loop for placement during the "real time" of ST:TNG. You simply kept Dr. McCoy alive during the "real time" of ST:TNG. Yet, you killed Captain Kirk. You've been eliminating episodic televised Star Trek: no more ST:TNG; no more ST:DS9; and only ST:Voyager remains. Before you cancel ST: Voyager, did you know that ST: Voyager tops the list of shows on each net that most efficiently reach one of the key upscale viewer groups - adults 18-49 living in homes with the head of household having completed four or more years of college (Variety, June 14, 1999, page 19)! Don't you want Star Trek to succeed?
Sure, ST:TOS characters are aging. Yet, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, Ann Margaret, etc., have all retained a marque value ($$$). I believe there's value by casting William Shatner and other ST:TOS actors in unique, surprising, even pivotal roles in ANY of the Star Trek series. In fact, as with the placement of Michael Dorn/Worf on ST:DS9, why not consider greater "open" placement of the Star Trek "family" of characters. Wow, talk about surprises, twists and turns in the Star Trek universe. Why not?
Weekly Variety for May 24-30, 1999, page 9, reported that the Star Trek franchise of 9 films with earnings of slightly under $1 billion is #6 (behind James Bond, Star Wars, Jurassic park, Batman and Indiana Jones) on the all-time list of theatrical prequel/sequel film series. Please, enable me (and my peers) to continue to support Star Trek (Paramount). Of course, I expect you'll make "big money" bringing Kirk back by marketing and exploiting every conceivable aspect of the event. It truly seems a peculiar way to stay in business if you don't exploit the financial potential of bringing Kirk back.
Captain Kirk continues to live in William Shatner's books/audiobooks. I've enjoyed his treatment. Obviously, you may agree or disagree with his treatment and, if you decide to bring Captain Kirk back, you may create an entirely original re-birth. However you do it, just do it, please.
Again, most respectfully, please bring back Captain James T. Kirk.
Jonathan L. Dolgen, Chairman of Viacom Entertainment Group
Sherry Lansing, Paramount Pictures
Thomas Mazza, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Paramount Network Television
Michelle Manning, President, Production, Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group
Robert G. Friedman, Vice Chairman, Paramount Motion Picture Group
Karen Randolph, Senior Vice President, Market Research, Paramount Pictures