Most shows on TV have a pretty set theme when they start. The show is set in XXXXXXX, the character/s of So-And-So is the star, and the show is about yadda yadda yadda. The show’s creators pretty much start with exactly what they have in mind. But things don’t always go according to plan, and sometimes a character is introduced that is either intended to be a minor and unimportant background character, or even just a one-off character the creators never intended to use again.
But that unimportant character somehow completely captures the audiences’ imagination, and they want more. And somehow, that character becomes either as important as the original star character, or becomes the star themselves.
So here, in no particular order, are just ten examples of this phenomenon.
10. Spike (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Debuting in Season 2 and originally intended to be a three-episode-then dead villain, the vampire Spike (as portrayed by James Marsters), almost immediately became so insanely popular that series creator Joss Whedon almost had no choice but to keep him around. Spike was evil no doubt, but he was also gregarious, charming, funny, and for a creature supposedly lacking a soul, had a very varied depth of character. He cared more about his beloved Drusilla than for any grand schemes. He even helped the protagonist, the titular Buffy Summers, prevent the destruction of the world by betraying his co-conspirators because he liked the world and thought destroying it was a bollocks idea.
Over the course of the series, Spike went from scenery chewing fun villain to deadpan snarker and reluctant ally of Buffy’s gang due to a chip in his head that prevented him harming humans, to going through hell to regain his soul and become a willing participant in Buffy’s fight against evil. Marsters’ portrayal of Spike has made him an enduring character still beloved to this day, long after the show left the air.
This article was first posted on July 26, 2013