An Original Return?

By Fred Shedian
Posted at November 2, 1999 - 6:00 AM GMT

In recent days, I have started to raise the old question....have we seen the last of the Original Series cast? Although it is no longer whole, with the recent death of DeForest Kelly, there are several avenues that could be explored that could bring back these characters. Would such a move, if possible, help the franchise? Today, let's take a look.

Remembering the last convention I attended, being the 30th Anniversary in Huntsville, AL, I recall the question being asked "Would you return" to the members of the original series. All of the cast were present at this event, including DeForest Kelly. The answer was an interesting one, a universal one...."If it was done properly, yes."

I believe the above remark speaks volumes. For many, myself included, the death of Kirk in Star Trek: Generations was taken as an insult...a lose thread that has yet to be dealt with. Looking at a recent article involving Leonard Nimoy I quote, "Captain Kirk -- the man who cheated death a million times, who saved the universe a thousand more -- fell off a bridge and landed on some rocks. So much for going out with honor. "

William Shatner has stated he is willing to return as James T. Kirk one final time. Leonard Nimoy, who's relation with Paramount Pictures regarding Trek has been practically nonexistent since 1993, is slightly more cautious...but says if the right script is created he might come back. All of the surviving cast members have been quoted saying they are not opposed to returning....if the script is good. Do we see a common thread? The script.....

The script would have to be one that was plausible within the Trek universe, one that created and maintained the respect we hold for these legends, and an adventure that would give these heroes a proper sendoff. However, if this occurred would it be a good thing? Many have said that TOS is antiquated and the actors in question are too old.

I believe the return of the Original Series cast, in a proper fashion, would generate box office numbers higher than any we have seen before. Mixing this group of veterans with current Trek actors, in a quality way, will result in an adventure parallel to that of the best movies ever created. Something that was tried, but not successfully accomplished in Star Trek: Generations, was the attempt to create a bridge between the fans of TOS and TNG. This did not take place because one side outweighed the other. If a proper balance took place, with a proper script, the bridge might be successfully created.

If such a link was established, it would help bring this modern segmented Star Trek community together. For many years, Star Trek fans have identified themselves as "TOS, TNG, DS9, or VOY people." Once again, Star Trek fans would be identified as "Fans of Star Trek." The enjoyment and fulfillment of such an adventure would bring new light into a franchise some are claiming is on it's death bed. Although I do not agree with this remark, I must say that giving the Original Series cast a final...proper sendoff would be good for the franchise, help create a sense of unity among fans, and simply be the right thing to do.

As fans it is our duty and responsibility to make sure our voice is heard regarding such matters. If we can flood the government with letters to get a shuttle named after a fictional ship, I think we can flood Paramount's Public Relations office and make sure the right thing is done. I would invite all fans to consider taking a few moments to write out a letter and mail it to Paramount. Not directly to the Star Trek department, but to Paramount itself. We have the power to dictate our future. We have the power to see what we want to see. Let us use that power and make sure the right thing is done. Sending e-mail and posting to boards is one thing, writing a formal letter and signing your name to it is another. Spread the word regarding this idea to all you know, all you see, and let's see if we...quoting from Generations..."can make a difference, one more time."

As we sit here pondering theories about the next series and later the next movie, I sincerely hope Rick Berman and company will move beyond their prejudice against the old to help this franchise grow throughout the 21st Century. A failure to acknowledge one's past is an equation for disaster. Acknowledging and praising a history, as well as it's heroes, only serves to help all those involved.

I sincerely hope the writers and producers of our franchise will do the right thing when making decisions, as the time is fast approaching when the opportunity to help bring closure to this facet of Star Trek will be lost forever.

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Fred Shedian writes a weekly 'A Take On Trek' column for the Trek Nation.