You can't make a Sequel -- You killed off the Character!

Authors and filmmakers have proven incredibly capable of resurrecting characters that were apparently “undeniably and reliably dead.” Sometimes it’s public clamor for the character, and sometimes it’s a desire or a need for money

the poster child for this is Sherlock Holmes.. Doyle wasn’t really very fond of his most famous creation, so he killed him off in the aptly-named story The Final Problem.. But the public wanted more Holmes. Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles, which was supposed to be Watson’s memoirs of a case before Holmes’ demise. But it wasn’t enough. So he resurrected Holmes in The Adventure of the Empty House.. Holmes wasn’t really dead – he faked his own demise. And Doyle was saddled with him for a few more decades.

H. Rider Haggard killed off his favorite character, the femme fatale Ayesha at the end of She: A History of Adventure in 1887. She is definitely dead, being burned to a crisp in the Pillar of Fire.

But she was Haggard’s favorite creation, and he kept tinkering with the text over the next fifteen years. I suspect he liked writing her too much, and eighteen years after the first appearance, she returned in a sequel Ayesha: The Return of She. She basically gets re-incarnated, then gets restored to her original appearance. As far as I know, this is the first complete Return From The Dead of a beloved character, at least the first with an explanation. Haggard went on to write two more books with her, in one pairing her with his other creation, Allan Quatermain.

Ygor, the evil shepherd/hunchbacked assistant to Frankenstein (played by Bela Lugosi) in the Universal film Son of Frankenstein, gets shot and apparently killed at the end. But he’s back in Ghost of Frankenstein, without even a token explanation. I guess he just Got Better. This is the most common way of treating inconvenient deaths and continuity problems – just Don’t Explain. John Carradine as Dracula gets killed in House of Frankenstein, but he’s back in House of Dracula the next year. And, despite being killed again, he’s back in Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (but played by Bela Lugosi).

Larry Talbot as The Wolf Man got killed at the end, of the first movie, and get buried. But, wouldn’t you know it, moonlight on his corpse brings him back to life in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

The biggest change in a movie series came when they ended Beneath the Planet of the Apes by blowing up the entire earth. It’s pretty hard to talk your way out of that. (“I got better…”), but darned if they didn’t do that. For the sequel, Escape from the Planet of the Apes they had three apes using the spaceship from one of the previous movie to go into space. they travel back not only to Earth, but also through time. This requires monumental suspension of disbelief – the ships weren’t in any shape to take off. They had no support facilities or fuel. The technology was way ahead of what the apes were shown to have. In the original two films the astronauts basically slept through the voyage, so no time travel was involved – but here you had to believe in it. And the apes’ ship had to somehow go through its gyrations and end up on Earth. But if you can buy all of that, it works.

Don’t get me talking about Spock and his damned katra.

What are your favorites?

Spock died in the second Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan, as Leonard Nimoy had tired of playing the character with which he was so much identified. Dying in self-sacrifice to save everybody else, a memorable death scene with quotable farewell words to Kirk (“I have been, and always shall be, your friend”), the whole nine yards.

And then… They brought him back from the dead! Vulcans have a transferrable soul, or spirit, and Spock’s had taken refuge with McCoy, and somehow I don’t remember now, his body hadn’t decayed and could be reunited with it via some dangerous Vulcan ritual that pretty much never works, except it did this time, and voila, Spock is back with only some memory fragmentation.

Hey, did you edit your post to say NOT to talk about Spock and his “katra”? Ooops :slight_smile:

Preceded by Spock’s hasty mind-meld with McCoy (“Remember!”) before entering the compartment. So the writers at least left themselves an “out”.

City Slickers had Curly (Jack Palance) as a memorable character, but he died (of old age?) in the movie.

So in City Slicker 2, his twin was introduced.

There was DC Comics and “The Death of Superman” story arc…

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) died in the Alien franchise–but then came back.

IIRC, the late Sir Sean Connery’s character reappeared in the second Highlander movie after being beheaded in the first. The only explanation offered was a toast: “Here’s to magic!”

About 20 years ago, there was an abortive attempt to revive Hawaii Five-O with Stephen J. Cannell (of A-Team fame) producing. (Those who saw the pilot said it resembled the latter more than it did the former.) When his people were putting the show together, they called actor Kam Fong and asked him if he’d like to reprise the role of Chin Ho Kelly. He said he’d be happy to, without reminding them Chin Ho had been bumped off toward the end of the original series. Oops! :confounded:

The winner in thsi category has to be Dallas, where Bobby Ewing wasn’t really resurrected because he’d never been killed: the entire (awful) 1985-86 season had been a dream.

Laura Palmer, played by Sheryl Lee, was already dead in the first episode of Twin Peaks. But in the fourth episode, Lee returned as Maddy Ferguson, Laura’s identical cousin.

How many of those were there, anyway? I remember having a Superman comic like that sometime around 1964, and another where he was going to be cremated in Inferno, the hottest sun in the Universe, a few years later. (I never did find out how that story arc ended. :frowning: )

Universal’s mummy movies were pretty wild with this.

The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
high priest Andoheb shot to death
mummy Kharis destroyed by fire
Heroine (reincarnation of Ananka) marries hero

The Mummy’s Tomb (1942, though it allegedly takes place 30 years after previous movie.)
Andoheb still alive, and played by George Zucco
Kharis back in his coffin in Egypt. At the end, he gets destroyed by fire (again).
Hero (son of previous hero) and heroine (another reincarnation of Ananka) marry, and hero gets drafted into World War II.

The Mummy’s Ghost (1943)
Andoheb finally retires. New high priest takes over.
Kharis is in rough shape, but still in one piece.
This time Kharis ends up with (another) reincarnation of Ananka. As they sink into a swamp together, she transforms into Ananka’s mummy.

The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
Many years after the previous movie, the swamp has somehow moved from New England to Louisiana. When the swamp is drained, the mummies are unearthed. Ananka’s mummy washes the mud off, and becomes a hot young babe, played by a completely different actress. When Kharis is unearthed, he is still a mummy.

The Mummy (1999, set in 1923) and The Mummy Returns (2001, set in 1933)
Ardeth Bey blows himself up with dynamite in the first movie. In the second movie, he is alive and well, with absolutely no explanation.
Imhotep’s body and soul are both dragged to Hell at the end of the first movie, but are intact, and buried in a pile of resin at the beginning of the second movie.
Ankh-su-Namun’s soul went back to the afterlife in the first movie. Although only ten years have passed in the second movie, she has been reincarnated and grown to adulthood.

If you want to go into comic book superheroes, they’re dying and returning constantly–Jason Bard/Robin, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Barry Allen/Flash, etc., etc., etc. … I have a feeling that Marvel does it even more often.

It was the genesis wave. His body was dead but the genesis wave forced some of his cells into life and accelerated the new body’s aging. You get to see at least one younger version of him.

To be fair, every damn thing about Highlander II: The Quickening was deeply stupid, and the return of Ramirez was the least objectionable thing.

Fortunately, his cells weren’t made of proto-matter. That would have been nasty. :confounded:

Remember what it did to the bacteria on the outside of the capsule?

I think I turned it off right after the toast. My brain had started to hurt. :confounded:

Yep. Nasty! :face_vomiting:

Am I the first to mention Phil Coulson?

Tim Dorsey killed off Coleman in the first Serge Storms book (Florida Roadkill), then realized his mistake. After a couple of prequels and some lame attempts at replacing him, Coleman shows up again a couple of books later. Seems the whole “dead” thing was a case of mistaken identity. Even the characters commented on how lame it was and how dumb the author had to be.

One of my favorites was the series Sledge Hammer! where, as Wiki describes it " Because ABC intended to cancel the series, the last episode of the first season ends with Hammer accidentally destroying the city when he attempts to disarm a stolen nuclear warhead. Just before the explosion Hammer embarks on his infamous catchphrase “Trust Me…”. The last scene shows the “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”-style ruins of the city with Trunk’s voice screaming “HAMMMMMMMER!”. However, this episode got much better than expected ratings, in large part because the network had moved the show to a better time slot. ABC changed its mind and renewed the show for a second season. The second-season premiere perfunctorily explained that it and following episodes were set “five years before” the explosion, though Doreau is Sledge’s partner in the second season, despite being introduced to him in the pilot, and despite the presence of references to contemporary events, rather than those of five years earlier."
Lovin’ it. :grin: