This is a request for help. The proofreader has been going through the manuscript of Hippo Eats Dwarf looking for errors. This is the final check that the book receives before it goes to print. After this, nothing can be changed. Anyway, in the final chapter of the book (about death), I include the following definition:

Xenacate, v.: To kill a TV or movie character off so completely that no chance remains of bringing her back from the dead. Inspired by the TV show Xena: Warrior Princess. Its occurrence usually indicates that the actor playing the character has lost her job under unpleasant circumstances and has no hope of being rehired.

The proofreader has pointed out that it would be good to name a character to whom this occurred. (And I suppose it would be best to name a character on Xena itself to whom it occurred... It must have occurred to someone on that show in order to inspire the term. Though, in a pinch, an example from any show will do.) So can anyone think of a character who has been xenacated? If I use your answer I'll send you a free, signed copy of the book once it comes out (which will be in about three months). I need the answer by Friday, or Monday at the latest.

Update: I ended up using the red-shirted characters on Star Trek as an example. So thephrog wins the contest. I should note that I pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch, because I decided to revise my definition of Xenacate by deleting the part about the actor getting fired. After reviewing the few uses of the term on the internet, I decided that wasn't part of the word's meaning. Instead, it means to get killed off and not return. In which case the red-shirted characters are probably the most famous example of characters who only exist to get killed off. (Though I was tempted for a while to use the guy from MASH, but decided he didn't fit as well with the new definition.)

Death Entertainment

Posted on Wed Dec 07, 2005


Joe Coffey (Ed Marinaro)was shot to death and Harry Garibaldi (Ken Olin) knifed on "Hill Street Blues."
Posted by Byron Taylor  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  04:53 PM
How about any star trek character wearing the red shirt? Green shirt? whatever color it was that let a person know they were toast.
Posted by thephrog  in  CA USA  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  04:54 PM
Yeah..... how about the original Kenny from South Park?
Posted by Marc  in  In a Tree  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:22 PM
Maude Flanders. The actress that provided her voice, Maggie Roswell, left the show after 10 seasons when she was refused a pay increase.
Maude may not qualify because she did return for one of the Simpsons Hallowe'en episodes, but she "returned from the dead" which implies she really was dead in the first place.
Posted by Meghara  in  Vancouver  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:36 PM
In the series "Lost" two characters have been killed (and the actors released) just in the first two seasons. The character "Boone" (Ian Somerhalder) was killed by a fall during the first season. In this season his sister "Shannon" (Maggie Grace) was accidentally shot.
Posted by Tim  in  Durham, NC  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:37 PM
The entire cast of Blake's 7
Posted by Doug Nelson  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:52 PM
Ironically, I just found out Maggie Roswell is back on the Simpsons as the voice of Helen Lovejoy. They didn't kill off Helen when Maggie left, they replaced her with another actress, so she just came back. Maude, however, is well and truly gone.
Posted by Meghara  in  Vancouver  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:55 PM
Oh, for goodness sake, I wish I hadn't read the comments on this one. I'm following Lost, which started some weeks ago in Britain.

I just saw Boone fall in the yellow plane earlier on tonight. I thought there was still a chance I'd find out he'd survived next week, and now it's been ruined for me, by the comment above.
Posted by Lost viewer  in  UK  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  05:58 PM
My wife reminded me of Rosalind Shays (Diana Muldaur) on "L.A. Law", who permanently ended her 24 episode run by falling down an elevator shaft.

("Lost viewer," sorry about the spoiler. I'm an idiot.)
Posted by Tim  in  Durham, NC  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  06:37 PM
Only death I can think of was that of Dr Daniel Jackson in Stargate at the end of season 5. A lethal dose of radiation knocked him off and he 'ascended to a higher plane'.

I heard that the female fan base bailed on the show in droves, so he was written back in for season 7 ('descended' with no memory of his time 'up there'). I suppose flexible SciFi scientific and philosophical rules tend to allow anything to happen.
Posted by Jo  in  Sydney, Australia  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  06:41 PM
Just to add to what Clare said about Sharren Doherty not getting along with Alyssa Milano. Apparently, Alyssa gave the producers an altimatin (pardon my bad spelling). She said "Either she(Sharren) goes or I do."
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  in  Chilling with 14 other tiny people in your head.  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  06:41 PM
According to the dvd commentary - Actress Rachel Gurney, who played Lady Marjorie Bellamy on "Upstairs, Downstairs," wanted out. So they sent her to go down with the Titanic.

But the series continued to do well, and eventually Gurney wanted to come back on board, so to speak. Everybody involved was regretful that, this not being a sci-fi or fantasy series, it was no-go.
Posted by Melinama  in  Chapel Hill, NC  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  08:09 PM
I would say Poochie from the Simpsons series. He's specifically killed in a way he can never come back and be in the Itchy and Scratchy series. I'll be waiting for my book lol
Posted by Brian  in  Philly  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  08:27 PM
Didn't some daytime soap (or was it Bobby Ewing on "Dallas"?) kill off a character and then bring him back by claiming it was just a dream some other character had? If that's the case, no character can be permanentely killed because there will always be that excuse to bring them back.

But, in keeping with the spirit of competition, I nominate Coach on "Cheers" to be the definition of Xenacate. They did a special episode in honor of him so they wouldn't have dared bring him back after that.

A similar thing happened with Detective Nick Yemana on "Barney Miller" when Jack Soo died.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  08:44 PM
On the TV Show "Magnum PI" there was a character named "Mac." In one episode, he is sitting in a car that blows up in a huge ball of flame. I think that the message was that he was gone for good.

(However, they did bring him back a couple seasons later. Ah well.)
Posted by elguapo  on  Wed Dec 07, 2005  at  09:32 PM
Tara, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was pretty well killed, complete with an immediate 'let's try and get her back' response, along with 'no, this is why that won't work'. Mind, the actress/character did show up a couple times after, but that was a super-evil being impersonating her.

Also, they killed off *the main frickin' character* in Earth, Final Conflict.. That show was rife with important characters dying left and right.. Which does add some drama, but you lose fans of individual characters.. Still, if TV and Movies have shown us one thing, it's that writers are endlessly creative (and non-creative) in coming up with ways to bring back favorite characters from beyond the veil..

It should be noted, regarding Henry Blake on MASH, they didn't tell the cast and crew they were going to kill him.. Was just going to be 'oh, ok, he's off back hom, yay for Henry!', then they shot the final scene. It's why some of the reaction shots are so good in that one; they were genuine expressions of shock, including someone dropping a tray of instruments.

Radar: "I have a message. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Blake's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spun in. There were no survivors."

The term probably applies more to bit characters and villians who might otherwise start casting a shadow on the main ones, given their popularity.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  01:41 AM
Oh, also on the subject of Buffy, there's Oz, who didn't die, but was basically removedpretty briskly.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  01:42 AM
Mr. Evans on "Good Times" (char. played by John Amos). From tvparty: "The character of James was written out with the explanation that he was going to work in a garage in Mississippi, but was killed in a car accident before the family could join him."
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  01:51 AM
I'm tempted to name Peter Jennings, the anchor of World News Tonight as an example of Xenacation, but that would be in bad taste, wouldn't it? Unless, of course, ABC finds a Jennings lookalike and brings him back as Jennings' clone or evil twin. Now, THAT'S a news show I'd be tempted to watch.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  01:58 AM
I thought the Xena reference was to her fate in the final episode.

Also in the Buffy-verse, there is Anya in the final episode. Supposedly that one was due to the actress who played her asking writer/creator Joss Whedon to kill her off, so that no future stories could be done using the character with a different actor (a la Bewitched or Roseanne).
Posted by Fred  in  USA  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  02:06 AM
There was a long running British TV sit com called One Foot In The Grave. At the end of the last series the main character, Victor Meldrew, was hit by a car and killed. That was the end of the show, never to be done again. It was quite sad really. Classic series!
Posted by Gareth  in  Brighton  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  06:59 AM
ah, but they did bring Victor back as a ghost in a one off "One Foot in the Grave" Comic Relief special!
Posted by Andrew Nixon  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  07:15 AM
In the British soap opera Coronation Street, the character of Ernie Bishop was killed off with a shotgun blast in a wages robbery after actor Stephen Hancock staged a one-man pay dispute. This seems to fit the bill - though you're spoilt for choice here!
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  07:43 AM
There are probably lots of examples of characters who were killed off because actors left/died/got fired but the "Dallas" case mentioned above should be proof that nobody has to stay dead. If I recall correctly Bobby Ewing died in a plane crash or something because Patrick Duffy got fed up with the part or wanted more money or something (Duffy got huffy?). After an entire season without him the producers decided they needed him back and the next season began with an explanation that Bobby's death and the entire previous season had all been Pam's dream.
Posted by Blondin  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  07:53 AM
Now that I think about it there were several actors who left or died during Dallas's run. Jim Davis, Barabra Belle-Geddes, Keenan Wynne... Some were replaced, some weren't. Some were even replaced twice.
Posted by Blondin  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  08:06 AM
The first one that jumped to my mind was from Serenity, when a large spike comes through the windshield and kills off ... (I wouldn't want to spoil this for anyone!)

The other idea that occurred was the Blackadder series. At the end of the first series, the main characters are killed off fairly thoroughly; also the second, and fourth, and one in the third series. I suppose that it doesn't fit your original definition, as the actors all came back, but they had very thorough killing-off of their characters.
Posted by Fawkes  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  09:01 AM
SPOILER ALERT FOR FIREFLY FANS who haven't seen the movie yet---
I believe this qualifies for your original definition: Wash, a character from the Firefly TV show was killed with a giant spike through the chest in Serenity, a movie that continues the (cancelled) show. He was mourned and buried, and this is not the type of show that would bring back a clone. Another character died, but he didn't get a giant spike through the chest. I don't think there were contract disputes, though.
Posted by Matt  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  09:08 AM
Well, the deaths of characters Don Schanke and Amanda Cohen on the vampire cope drama "Forever Knight" definitely count--they were blown up by a terrorist's airplane bomb. The show switched stations in its third season, and (I believe) the USA network wanted to appeal to younger audiences, so they killed off two of the middle-aged characters and brought in two younger (looking) ones.

Rank tyranny, that.
Posted by April  in  New York  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  09:51 AM
That's vampire cop drama...
Posted by April  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  09:52 AM
Speed from CSI is a good one, and so is Tara from Buffy, although in that universe I don't know that you could rule out a return. I don't think either Boone or Shannon on Lost have been xenacated, due to the nature of that show, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see any of the deceased characters somehow reanimated later on. Perhaps Arst, he was blown up pretty thoroughly. THe mother, Joyce, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer died pretty thoroughly, but then, what character hadn't on that show by then? I think Buffy herself had died at least twice by that season. The character of Fred, on the spinoff Angel, wasn't killed, but the personality of the character was destroyed in a kind of demonic possession and the actress ended up playing a different character in the original's body for the final season. They actually made kind of a big deal on the show that she was less likely to come back because she HADN'T died, since in that show's logic death was a lot less permanent than anyone would expect. (I think Angel had died about three times, including once on Buffy, and not including when he Died and became a vampire)

Most current shows have little respect for continuity or a narrative structure that would prevent returning a dead character. Particularly sci-fi. Even when the death of the character is the main narrative focus of a previous story, like the death of Spock in Star Trek II, they still come back. I don't even believe that Xena is forever gone. Offer enough money and anybody could be back. Heck, they may run into Colonel Blake wandering around on that Island in Lost. He's been in one of the bunker living off thsoe wierd old candy bars they found.
Posted by Gearyster  on  Thu Dec 08, 2005  at  09:55 AM
Comments: Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.