An open letter to Dick Wolf:

Dear Mr. Wolf.

This is an appeal to bring back our beloved Bolander (and his originator in actor Ned Beatty) for one more run at glory as a "very special guest star" on Law & Order : Special Victims Unit.

Your career, Mr. Wolf, is a story, a story of stories, a story of storytelling, a story of bringing not just stories to life, but entire storied worlds. The worlds of Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice and the vast revolving, evolving, crime-solving Universe found in the many faces Law & Order.

It is no doubt creditable to your wisdom that the character of Detective John Munch, ably portrayed by Richard Belzer, was successfully "transferred" from Homicide: Life on the Streets to Law & Order: SVU at the culmination of the former series.

No doubt you know that on Homicide, Munch was partnered with Detective Stanley Bolander, portrayed by the inestimable Ned Beatty, a character nicknamed "The Big Man" because, as Munch would put it, "He is in all senses a man of magnitude - enormously fair, tremendously honest, and a whale of a detective." In the Universe of Homicide, Bolander retired; he did not suffer the fate of certain other colleagues who were dramatically killed off when their tenure on the show was up. He lives on, in the fictive Universe shared by Homicide and Law & Order thanks to a multiplicity of crossovers between the two series.

The circumstances for Bolander's one-shot return are so easily set forth -- here is the retired police detective in Baltimore who, perhaps, knows of someone in trouble in New York City. Not at all a difficult circumstance to imagine given the social intercourse between the regions. Perhaps he has a grand-niece who's gone missing, or a friend's son wrongly accused of a crime, or the stepchild of an ex-wife mixed up in some murderous mess. Veritably, what reaction would be more natural than for him to call upon a former partner now, as we have established, employed in a top-notch department of the New York City police force? To hurry to the headquarters of that department and perhaps call upon old favors?

Imagine the renewed, if somewhat exasperated banter between Munch and Bolander. Imagine Munch's rolling of eyes and throwing up of hands as Bolander and Fin Tutuola compare stories of what it is like to be partnered with Detective John Munch. (Ned Beatty sharing quality screen time with Ice-T!!) And, imagine the elder pair reviving their old intuitive and interrogative skills to crack the case and see justice done, one last impeccable victory for an aging Bolander to carry into his twilight years.

So please, Mr. Wolf, bring back Bolander, Munch's old Homicide partner played by Ned Beatty. And just please don't make him turn out to be the villain, or kill him off, or send him to some similarly sorrowful fate. Bolander was, as a character, a class act, brought to life by a class actor, so what do you say, give him a whale of a last act!!

Yours truly,

A Fan

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