10 TV characters who came back from the dead

Death was no obstacle…

As you’ve likely heard, this season The Walking Dead teased the death of one of its main characters, only to reveal that he had miraculously survived. This got us thinking about other characters that have bite the big one only to make miraculous recoveries. Here, then, are ten of our favourites. There’s no fake outs here, though, these resurrections are the real deal. Spoilers ahead…

Agent Phil Coulson

TV show: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D

How did he die? Nick Fury’s one ‘good eye’ is a dedicated S.H.I.E.L.D agent who was unlucky enough to get on the wrong side of Loki in The Avengers. “But that’s a movie”, we hear you yell. Well, his resurrection was on TV, where he has led a new team ever since. In fact, it’s unclear if his big screen pals even know he’s walking amongst us again.

How did he come back? Fury wasn’t about to let his best bud go. He despatches Coulson’s corpse to the mysterious Project TAHITI, where he is brought back to life with genetic material harvested from a dead alien Kree. Soon he’s back in the field, though with a disturbing new taste in art.

Buffy Summers

TV show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

How did she die? The Slayer has died not once, but twice, and lived to tell the tale. At the end of season one, Buffy is drowned by the Master (no, not the one from Doctor Who). And then in season five she cops it again, this time by jumping into a lethal interdimensional portal.

How did she come back? In the first instance she was resuscitated by her faithful friend Xander. Nice and simple, you might think, but her temporary death resulted in the calling of a new Slayer the wayward Faith, but that’s another story. She’s properly dead at the end of season five, but Willow uses her burgeoning magic skills to bring her back. The consequences, however, are dreadful: Buffy spends most of season six in a massive sulk.

Rory Williams

TV show: Doctor Who

How did he die? Poor old Rory dies so many times over the course of his two-and-a-half seasons that it becomes a running gag. He’s disintegrated in Amy’s Choice, which turns out to have been a hallucination caused by psychic pollen, but just two episodes later he’s erased from history.

How did he come back? He’s restored to life when the universe is reset in ‘The Big Bang’. However, soon after he appears to drown in ‘The Curse Of The Black Spot’ (he’s healed by an AI doctor) and then in ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’, we see him die not once, but three times. First, he dies of old age, trapped in a Weeping Angel prison. Then his younger self jumps off a roof, determined to abort the timeline and destroy the prison. That changes time and he is alive once more, but then we discover that he lives a long and happy life with Amy before dying peacefully of old age. Arthur Darvill must have wondered why Steven Moffat had it in for him…

Beric Dondarrion

TV show: Game Of Thrones

How did he die? The head of House Dondarrion has found himself in many nasty situations, and he’s not walked away from all of them like being impaled with a lance by the Mountain, or shot in the back with an arrow. In fact, it’s becoming something of an occupational hazard.

How did he come back? Luckily for Beric, he’s pals with Thoros of Myr, a priest of the Lord of Light. Thoros has the ability to resurrect his mates with a simple incantation: Lord cast your light upon this man, your servant. Bring him back from death and darkness. His flame has been extinguished, restore it! Beric better hope they never fall out…

Daniel Jackson

TV show: Stargate SG1

How did he die? Original Stargate explorer Jackson met his end in season five’s ‘Meridian’, when he was exposed to radiation after trying to fix a damaged reactor.

How did he come back? Jackson actually ascends to a higher plane of existence (which is a whole big thing in the Stargate universe), but his work in the mortal world was not yet done. In season seven’s ‘Fallen’, he is returned to our reality with no memory. He’s then killed again in ‘Reckoning, Part 2’, this time by Replicators, but once again he returns to life – this time with his memories intact.

John Locke

TV show: Lost

How did he die? After surviving the crash of Flight 815, Locke is stabbed by nefarious Ben Linus, who stages his death as a suicide. The rotter.

How did he come back? A bit of a tricky one this. Locke turns up again apparently alive and well. As the series progresses, however, it becomes clear that he’s not himself at all and it soon transpires that his body has been possessed by the island’s famous Smoke Monster.

Captain Jack Harkness

TV show: Doctor Who and Torchwood

How did he die? How didn’t he die, more like. The good Captain has proven to be remarkably resilient. We first see him die in Doctor Who‘s ‘The Parting Of The Ways’, where he is exterminated by the Daleks. Later we see him shot, electrocuted, encased in concrete and blown up by a bomb in his stomach.

How did he come back? The first time he’s resurrected, it’s because Rose Tyler has used the powers of the time vortex. This accidentally turns him into a fixed point in history, never ageing or dying… Except, we may well have seen his very final end. In ‘Gridlock’ we see the Face Of Boe – a creature who has existed for billions of years – finally pass away. But in ‘Last Of The Time Lords’ Jack reveals that ‘the face of Boe’ was his childhood nickname. Are they, in fact, one and the same?

Kara ‘Starbuck’ Thrace

TV show: Battlestar Galactica

How did she die? Bad-ass Viper pilot Starbuck is one of Battlestar’s most complex and interesting characters. She’s also very down-to-Earth, which made her resurrection from the dead in season four so surprising. In ‘Maelstrom’ we see her Viper explode with her inside, but in ‘Crossroads, Part 2’ she returns to Battlestar with the news that she has found the missing planet Earth.

How did she come back? Er… we’re not sure. Everyone naturally suspects that she’s a Cylon, but she passes all the tests to prove that she’s human. So what happened? An act of God? It looks like that’s the case, but it remains ambiguous right to the end of the show.

Fox Mulder

TV show: The X-Files

How did he die? After many years bugging aliens, it was really only a matter of time before Fox Mulder was actually abducted by them. That’s what happens in season seven (aka, the year we don’t talk about very much) at the end of ‘Requiem’. He endures torturous procedures at the aliens’ little grey hands and his body is eventually dumped back on Earth.

How did he come back? Luckily, it turns out that he’s only sort-of-dead (despite burial and decomposition). That’s because an alien virus is transforming him into a new being. Scully, however, manages to nurse him back to health.

The Doctor

TV show: Doctor Who

How did he die? [Deep breath]. First Doctor: Weakened by the planet Mondas, his body wore out. Second Doctor: The Time Lords force-regenerated him as punishment. Third Doctor: Radiation poisoning after hanging out with a massive spider. Fourth Doctor: He fell to his death after pratting about at a scientific research station. Fifth Doctor: Spectrox poisoning. Sixth Doctor: Er, he banged his head. Seventh Doctor: Was randomly shot in San Francisco. Eighth Doctor: He crashed into a planet. The War Doctor: His body wore out. Ninth Doctor: Absorbed Time Vortex energy. Tenth Doctor. Radiation poisoning (unlucky to have that happen twice). Eleventh Doctor: Old age.

How did he come back? The Time Lords can regenerate – a good thing too, given how dangerous his life is!

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