Dear Paramount Executives/Intern unfortunate enough to have the task of reading the drivel-filled fan letters from well-intentioned though sorely misguided fans,
I have long been a fan of your company’s fine television show Star Trek, specifically The Next Generation series. From about the age of eight, I can remember sitting with my mother and my sister, my father not being a fan, and enjoying the adventures of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise and their journey through the cosmos. As well as being entertaining, it also helped to teach me a number of important principles; the importance of teamwork, tolerance towards others and unfamiliar cultures and exactly how a young cadet should rock a sweater. As far as I’m aware, I believe that all of the people responsible for the show’s existence, writers, actors, special effects and make-up artists etc., have received their due credit, even if it is just their name in the credits of the show. However, I also feel there has been one over-sight, and a rather important one: Jonathan Frakes’ Beard.
I started watching broadcast repeats of the show in the mid-Nineties and I cannot really recall any bearded role models in my life at the time (Thankfully, my dad starting picking up his beard slack in the early Noughties). Due to extensive research (I’ve seen Argo twice now) I’ve come to the conclusion that, were I born earlier and, as such, was an impressionable boy in the Seventies, I wouldn’t have struggled to find a bearded role model. As that is not the case however, there was only one man prominent in my young mind when my thoughts turned to facial hair, as they often did and still do; Commander William Riker. It was he that showed me, someone who had to start shaving every day shortly after his eleventh birthday, that it’s possible to look dignified with facial hair. I’ve recently come to realise that repeatedly seeing a beard, and a rather masterful one at that, on a confident, determined and bold character helped me deal with my own sasquatch-level facial hair difficulties. And, if I’ve learnt anything from the internet, baring what Edgar Wright had for breakfast last Sunday, it’s that no-one is ever alone in their experiences, so I am certain I was not the only person to have taken such comfort from Jonathan Frakes’ Beard. I’m also sure that there are many others, both female and male, who are grateful for the appreciation for beards they developed from watching such a fine example.
In an effort to ensure that Jonathan Frakes’ Beard gets the recognition I feel it rightly deserves, what I’m suggesting is this: In any future DVD or Blu-Ray releases, Jonathan Frakes’ Beard receives a credit mention at the end of any episode of Star Trek TNG, or any films or any other episodes from other Star Trek series, in which it features. It could simply go at the end of the credits, or have it’s own ‘Featuring’ or ‘Special Guest’ subheading. This is not to take any credit away from the hair and make-up specialists who worked on Jonathan Frakes’ Beard (I’m sure Mr. Frakes is willing to admit it takes assistance to look that good) but I feel that it deserves a mention of it’s own. I would be more than willing to do so to copies of episodes I already own but there are two things stopping me from doing so: 1. It would be preaching to the already converted and 2. Any sort of computer-based editing is something of a mystery to me, it took me three years to realise that the application in Microsoft’s Paint program with a circle upon it allows you to easily draw circles. I do not feel like I am asking for that much, though I would thoroughly appreciate the whole series being made available in a special edition beard-shaped boxset, and am positive that it would be in interests of the series as a whole to give Jonathan Frakes’ Beard the respect it has earned.
Beards are a superb way to keep your face warm, an excellent comfort in times of need and quick and easy way to allow someone to look pensive. Though I have learnt these facts through years of proud beard ownership, I am certain that I, and many others, would not have started down the wonderful and fruitful road of being a facial hair aficionado without the fine efforts of Jonathan Frakes’ Beard. Please allow it the recognition it deserves.
Thank you for consideration.
Thomas ‘FacetiousBeard’ Crisp
P.S.: Whilst writing this letter I’ve been watching the 1974 film The Conversation and have found the lack of beards disconcerting. I am willing to admit that the Seventies might not have been the veritable facial hair haven I’ve heard about.
Non-Letter note: I was taught to never split infinitives.