Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Character resurrection

So to tie loosely into the Easter weekend I have decided to look at 5 shows that have characters that have been resurrected. Also, a warning that there will be spoilers within for Lost, Alias, 24, Heroes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so you have been warned:


  1. Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): this girl has died several times, ranging from a few minutes to several months. When she first dies this brings about the calling of another slayer, which first gave us the somewhat annoying Kendra and then the super Faith so it isn’t all bad when your main character dies for a few minutes. However she will let you know through song how unhappy she was about being dragged out of ‘heaven’ when she died for real and had to climb out of her own grave. As Buffy is a show about demons and the undead there are many others that have been resurrected but none so spectacularly than Buffy herself.
  2. Jack Bauer (24): Jack has technically died more times than I can remember from the time they faked his death at the end of season 4 to the countless other times that he has been tortured to death with his torturer having to resurrect him. Although the case of Tony Almeida returning this season after ‘dieing’ in season 5 is a little more unexpected, it seems a little ridiculous but even though 24 is a show that is meant to be close to reality it is expected that there will be some crazy plot twists like this one. I’m not sure how much I buy it but then again I have only seen the very start of this season so I need to watch the rest before I can properly judge this plot point.
  3. Michael Vaughn (Alias): In the opening episode of season 5, Vaughn was gunned down in front of his pregnant fiancĂ©, super spy Sydney Bristow. He wasn’t shot once but suffered a hail of bullets to the chest. Vaughn died, there was a funereal and Sydney mourned the father of her unborn child. Now this being Alias I was always a little suspicious of whether he was dead as they had a habit of ‘killing’ people and then bring them back due to the ‘doubling’ technology that existed in the world of the show. These suspicions proved to be correct when Vaughn returned soon after the birth of his daughter and the whole thing had been an elaborate ruse that Sydney and her father had been part of. This made fans very happy as there had been an internet campaign to save Vaughn after rumours starting flying that he was being ousted due to personal issues.
  4. Everyone in Heroes: It would seem at one time or another that everyone in Heroes has either died or come very close to death. Obviously Claire has the ability to die and come back so it is never a surprise with her, the same can be said about Peter and Sylar who have both at points had her power. The surprise moments in Heroes are when characters are not resurrected rather than when they are. The most surprising was in season 2 when Adam Munroe who also had the power of regeneration had his power stolen by Arthur Petrelli thus killing him, I kept expecting him to come back but unfortunately this was a point when Heroes surprised me. It is hard to trust a show that often resurrects its characters; this is definitely an issue I have with this show especially when with the powers they have so many of them seem invincible. Alternatively, they will resurrect someone through the soap opera classic of another sibling, in the case of Heroes: the Ali Larter triplets, the third of which we are sure to see before the season is out.
  5. John Locke (Lost): At the end of last season we learnt that it was Locke who was dead in the coffin but in true Lost style all was not as it seemed. We saw this season that it was Ben who killed Locke, staging it as suicide and stressed the importance to Jack that Locke must accompany them on the plane back to the island. On return to the island Locke is no longer in the coffin and appears to be living and breathing. This weeks episode appears to have a resurrection theme or the reverse as the title ‘Dead is Dead’ appears to suggest, nicely timed for Easter. Lost as we know has a habit of also having the dead appear to the living and it is still unclear as to the living status of characters such as Christian Shephard and Claire. A key theme in Lost is about resurrection and resolution; this is best highlighted by Charlie who was resurrected from death in season 1 and then sacrificed himself in season 3.


So there are my suggestions for the shows with the best resurrection plots, I’m sure I’ve missed some so if any one has any other suggestions feel free to add them in the comments below.


  1. Tracy isn't dead in Heroes. She's self-resurrecting. I'd prove it to you with some links to interviews with the producers but they contain other spoilers. Suffice it to say, the producers put in the wink/blink and tear at the end of her 'death' scene so that everyone would know she wasn't dead because they know how fed up everyone is with Heroes being resurrected all the time so wanted it to be clear that this wasn't one of those occasions.

  2. Cool, thanks for the heads up, I didn't really think about the wink in that way but now that you put it like that I can see that's what that meant. I'm guessing that we are going to Barbara at some point, but maybe not this season.

  3. It was supposed to be a blink but there was a 'miscommunication' with the FX department, apparently. Some people I've talked to thought the wink was like the thumb up at the end of Terminator 2, so maybe a blink would have been less ambiguous. At the very least, there's a lot of people who didn't pick up on it or didn't read anything into it so clearly it didn't work the way they intended.

    Barbara will at least get mentioned again before the end of the season, I'm told. Any more than that I can't say without spoiling you.

  4. Glad I'm not the only one that didn't pick on it, I guess I just figured it would be a way to bring in Barbara. Thanks for not putting spoilers up as well as I try to avoid them as much as I can, but it is good to know that they will be mentioning Barbara again (and I'm kinda hoping she won't be a blonde).

  5. Well, she might have dyed her hair since the picture of her* (with Doc Zimmerman and The German) in Zimmerman's house was taken. But at the moment? Chances are she's blonde.

    * We're assuming it her's, judging by Doc Zimmerman's reaction and the general ages of people in the photo, rather than her mother.