Anyone who reads comic books knows that no one is ever really dead. Every character from Superman to Green Lantern has returned to life from the whereverafter they went to when sales figures dropped. Plus every zombie movie ever made brings your loved one back from the beyond, although they are never quite the same. Insta-reanimation doesn't happen as much in science fiction, where you have devices like nanobots and cellular regenerators that should make returning from the state of deadness quite easy. Of course when we do get a scifi resurrection, it's often so lame that you wish the character had stayed dead. Read on for our picks of the best bad returns from the grave.
- Spock in Star Trek: There's no doubt that Spock was one of the best characters on Star Trek, which is what made his death so awesome. However, when he returned to life by having his body shot onto the Genesis planet, it just lost credibility for the science-hardened. How did Spock's dead body get injected into the Genesis life matrix anyhow? Good thing he'd downloaded his brainfiles into Bones, eh?
- Ripley in Alien: Ripley was brought back to life in Alien: Resurrection as a clone, although with spotty memories of herself and a DNA strand laced with Alien bits and bobs, so she ends up as a freaky post-human mommy. It was creepy enough seeing all of the failed Ripley clones inside the vats, and the tied up Ripley who wants you to kill her, but the Ripley/Mommy clone was just devoid of everything we've loved about Ripley from the previous films. Yes, that's including Aliens 3.
- The Cylons in Battlestar Galactica: The Cylons aren't just exactly clones in BSG, they're identical copies that take on the personality of their previous self upon death, and "rebirth" into wet, gooey, slimy, and slightly sexy birth tubs. They have to fly giant "Resurrection Ships" within reach of their "bring me back to life, I'm dead" signal, which sort of defeats the purpose. Couldn't their memoryfiles just be stored until they're close enough to get zapped into a new body? Why is it a finite process? Why are we asking so many questions about a show we love?
- Just about any Jedi in Star Wars: When you die in Star Wars, and you have the power of the Force, you have the option of appearing as a glowing, transparent spectre. It's hinted that this is due to the research that Qui-Gon Jinn did sometime before he died, and it gets picked up by Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin so everyone can reunite and glow with pleasure around fires and dispense knowledge to your Jedi-kin. In fact, if you're lucky, you might get your own green glowy action figure.
- The Doctor in Doctor Who: If you ever need to keep bringing in actors to play the lead in your extremely long-running BBC science fiction show, what better way to just have them die and come back as the exact same person, who just happens to look completely different? The Doctor can resurrect or "regenerate" himself up to 12 times, although we're sure the writers could figure out some way around that. They might start working on that too, since we're already on the 10th model. Maybe we can get a new Doctor altogether? What about bringing back Romana?
- Captain Kirk in Star Trek: If you remember your Star Trek storyline, then you'll recall that Captain Kirk dies in Star Trek Generations, putting an end the The Shat in the series. Or so you thought. Shatner went on to write a book called The Return, which features the Borg and the Romulans teaming up to bring Kirk back to life. Sort of like your worst nightmare. It inspired several further novels, all co-written by Shatner, proving that the man will probably never die.