Dead isn’t always dead in genre television, whether we’re talking about science fiction, fantasy, horror, or supernatural programming. As mentioned in this week’s Sci Fi Fidelity podcast, the use of resurrection can sometimes undermine any raised stakes a storyline might have established in putting characters’ lives at risk, but when done correctly, a return to life can change a character’s whole motivation moving forward.
Because there are so many examples to choose from, we started off with a few obvious classics. Buffy Summers technically died twice, but her Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 resurrection was transformative. Fox Mulder’s rise from the dead in The X-Files season 8 was also remarkable given the character’s diminished role in later season that became pivotal in the reboot. And of course, no discussion of resurrected characters would be complete without including Jon Snow of Game of Thrones.
We also went with a couple of metaphysical series, which seemed appropriate for the discussion topic at hand. The Good Place featured a different kind of resurrection, changing the timelines of the main characters to erase their deaths. Bringing Chuck back from the dead in Pushing Daisies was pivotal to the core concept of the series and also created great tension for that romance in that show. We also included Laura Moon of American Gods, pictured at the top of the article, in this discussion.
Since there were obviously many characters we left out, we asked our listeners to contribute their favorites, and they obliged enthusiastically in the Sci Fi Fidelity Facebook group. Subscribe to the podcast to see if your show was included, or simply listen below to enjoy our discussion.
Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here.