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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

What sort of list can we come up with? I am referring to characters who appeared to vanish off the face of the earth in shows. 

Thinking more of characters who disappeared and were never mentioned, but I suppose we can include characters who disappeared but whose disappearance was mentioned via a throwaway line.

Sadly, I can only think of two.

In T.J. HOOKER, Adrian Zmed played Officer Vince Romano, the protégé of Shatner's Sgt. Hooker. 

Anyway, at the end of the fourth season, Hooker went to Chicago, seemingly returning to detective work (he'd been a detective who'd reverted back to uniform when the show started). It seemed to be a permanent transition. Romano did not accompany him, but had appeared in the previous episode. When the fifth season started, Hooker was patrolling alone (in the other car was Officer Corrigan and Officer Sheridan, but Hooker drove alone). 

No explanation at all. I was disappointed. I'd have liked to have seen them include something, just a throwaway line of dialogue such as, "Oh, Romano has been promoted to sergeant and moved to San Francisco!" or something. So not only had Romano disappeared, but, also unexplained, Hooker was back in uniform again and on patrol after returning to detective work. 80s TV continuity, eh? 

The other example I have was Professor Victor Bergman in SPACE: 1999 (played by Barry Morse). Appeared in the first season. Absent in the second season. As Moonbase Alpha was travelling through space, I'm not sure what happened. My memory is telling me there was a line of throwaway dialogue explaining his absence, but I can't recall for sure.

There must be more than the two I've listed (damn memory at times!). ;-)


Edited by Robbie Parry on 16 January 2018 at 12:40pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 1:30pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

There was "Happy Days", where Chuck Cunningham simply didn't appear anymore.

I think Steve Austin stopped appearing on "The Bionic Woman" when it switched to NBC; not a big surprise, save that everybody else - including his parents - still appeared.

Ensign Kevin Reilly didn't appear no Season 3 of "Star Trek", unless my (admittedly faulty) memory is flagging.

"Legends of Tomorrow" has had NO sighting of Hawkman or Hawkgirl, and while I know they were sent into lover's limbo, there have been a couple of emergencies were they would have been really helpful.

"Big Bang Theory" lost Leslie Winkle to the winds... and I think that she would have made a great girlfriend for Raj and foil for Sheldon.

Was there ever an explanation of what happened to Redd Foxx' character on "Sanford and Son"? I know he eventually showed up again, but he was gone an awfully long time.

Don't want to overdo it, so I hope that these are what you're referring to, Robbie.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Thanks, although I don't think Austin counts. He may have stopped appearing on THE BIONIC WOMAN, but he still existed within that universe. I'm thinking more of those who just vanished without explanation, like Romano and Bergman. 
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John Byrne

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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 2:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As I recall there was a reference to Bergman having died.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Steve Austin's stepfather(played by Ford Rainey) appeared on the first NBC episode of THE BIONIC WOMAN, the last time Steve was referenced on that series(that episode introduced Max, the 'bionic dog'...who essentially replaced Steve as the 'other' bionic character in Jaime's adventures).
More tellingly, some more nitpickyfans noted that in the 'Fembots in Las Vegas' story later that season, the villain of the story wants revenge against 'everyone' responsible for his father's defeat, in the previous season's three-parter, Kill Oscar' The baddie makes this proclamation while addressing a group of Jaime, Oscar, Rudy, and Callahan...no sign of Steve, who is conveniently not mentioned(sort of like 'Justice League Bad Guy Syndrome', in which the villain has a 'master plan' to destroy the exact half-dozen heroes appearing in that story, without acknowledging the others).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

As I recall there was a reference to Bergman having died.

***

Yes, my memory is telling me an early Season 2 episode stated that, but struggling to remember the dialogue.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 3:19pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Eric, the explanation for Fred's absence on SANFORD AND SON was some extended 'trip to St. Louis.'(In real life, Redd Foxx was holding out for a bigger deal, and when he got it,  Fred returned from his trip as if he'd never been away).
The crap-tastic follow-up series THE SANFORD ARMS(in which the leads were absent, and a hotel opened on their property) explained that Fred and Lamont had moved away(presumably with Fred still living with Lamont). When Foxx returned for SANFORD in 1980, they ignored THE SANFORD ARMS completely, and acted as if Fred had always been there at the junkyard, with Lamont now working on the Alaska Pipeline.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 3:47pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The younger daughter on FAMILY MATTERS disappeared with no explanation, also.

Dan Briggs, the original MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE leader. The second season simply opened with Phelps in charge and no mention of Briggs at all. Didn't even bother with a throwaway line explaining he was retired, transferred or killed.

Yeoman Janice Rand, on STAR TREK.




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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Ah, Dan Briggs. How could I forget? He was actually my favourite, and I am dismayed that books devoted to the show, and magazine articles, rarely, if ever, mention his tenure.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 5:08pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

The fate of Victor Berman was never given an onscreen explanation when Space: 1999 returned for its second season. An explanatory line about a faulty spacesuit was dropped from 'The Metamorph'. Likewise we have no explanation for the disappearance of Paul Morrow and a couple of other Alphans. Maybe they didn't think the audience cared or would even notice.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The fate of Victor Berman was never given an onscreen explanation when Space: 1999 returned for its second season. An explanatory line about a faulty spacesuit was dropped from 'The Metamorph'. Likewise we have no explanation for the disappearance of Paul Morrow and a couple of other Alphans. Maybe they didn't think the audience cared or would even notice.

***

As a kid, I not only wondered where some characters disappeared to, but where some characters came from? Where the hell was Tony Verdeschi during the first season, especially in "End of Eternity", where an immortal killer threatened Moonbase Alpha?

As an adult, I just put it down to the fact that just because we don't see a character, it doesn't mean they're not there. Verdeschi could have been off-shift in his quarters during the first season (I hope).
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 5:59pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Was their ever an explanation for "Spearchucker" Jones absence in M.A.S.H.?
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 6:44pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Doug, none was given on the show, but in interviews after the end of the show the producers said they wrote out his character because there were no black doctors in a MASH unit in Korea.

Speaking of MASH, Ho-Jon was on for an episode and he never appeared again.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Thanks Kevin. Interesting.

BARNEY MILLER had a few characters come and go. The most memorable to me was Chano. There at the end of one season, gone at the beginning of the next. Never to be heard from or mentioned again.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 16 January 2018 at 11:27pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Another BARNEY MILLER character disappearance:

Max Gail's hair left at the end of one season and was replaced by a wig!

:-)

In all seriousness, there was Wilson and Chano... and also Linda Lavin's character disappeared after one season.
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 12:41am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Doctor Pulaski on Star Trek: TNG?

IIRC there was a young cabbie in the first series of Taxi who just disappeared.

It's Garry Shandling's Show: Garry's friend Lewis disappeared after a few episodes.

Private Walker disappeared from Dad's Army following the death of actor James Beck. In the penultimate episode of series six he only appeared on the film inserts shot on location as he was taken ill before the studio recording. In the final episode his character left a note saying he'd gone to London for a few days. When the series returned Walker was never mentioned again.

Khaki officers Leo Schnitz and Natalie DeRoy disappeared between seasons of Hill Street Blues. They were said to have run off together.


Edited by Robbie Moubert on 17 January 2018 at 6:04pm
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Mandy from THE WEST WING.

A regular in season 1 and then just gone in season 2, and never mentioned again. 

One of the characters that really didn't work, by the way, so no big loss. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I actually thought Mandy had potential, I was disappointed that she didn't return.
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I agree with both of you on Mandy Hampton. She didn't quite fit with the rest of the cast in TWW Season 1, but between Sorkin's writing and Moira Kelly's acting, the character would have blossomed at some point.

I'm not sure if pets count, but whenever someone mentions disappearing TV characters, I immediately think of Tiger, the family dog on The Brady Bunch.

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David Lopez
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 2:05pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Regarding Redd Foxx's lengthy stay in St. Louis in SANFORD AND SON, not only was this the explanation for Fred's absence (in reality, a tactic Foxx used to renegotiate his contract), but, as it turned out, the ratings stayed basically the same during Fred's vacation - audiences apparently liked the teaming-up of Grady and Lamont nearly as much as the episodes featuring Foxx...which was reportedly the reason that shortly thereafter, Grady was given his own short-lived show, and was never seen on SANFORD AND SON again.
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 3:49pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

I seem to recall that HEROES did this a lot as they dropped story lines throughout its run - the Irish woman stuck in alternative future and the black girl who had photographic reflexes or something were simply forgotten about.  
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 4:59pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply


One of the most notorious recent examples I can think of is Paul Schneider ("Mark Brendanawicz") from PARKS & RECREATION, who left at the end of Season 2 (when Rob Lowe and Adam Scott came on board), seemingly with the door left open for a possible return... and then he was never, ever, ever seen or even referenced again for the remaining 5 seasons.

Reading between the lines of some older stories and interviews, it almost appears as if there was some bad blood between Schneider and the producers, but something that no one explicitly states for the record.

It's too bad, I really liked him in the role, would have been nice to have seen him in some sort of humorous cameo in the final episode, at least.





Edited by Shaun Barry on 17 January 2018 at 5:00pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 5:16pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

 Matthew Wilkie wrote:
I seem to recall that HEROES did this a lot as they dropped story lines throughout its run - the Irish woman stuck in alternative future and the black girl who had photographic reflexes or something were simply forgotten about.

Of course.

HEROES suffered from what I call "superhero movie franchise syndrome": rather than explore existing characters, it just kept adding new ones and forgetting about old ones. I feel the early X-Men films did the same. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Oh, April Curtis in KNIGHT RIDER. I don't think her disappearance was ever explained.

I'm sure there must have been THE DUKES OF HAZZARD characters who disappeared, too, although it was hard to keep up with those Hazzard County folks at times.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 17 January 2018 at 5:41pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Enos left Hazzard for his own show (moving to Los Angeles), but eventually returned(and his replacement, Cletus, got phased out).
Coy and Vance were written out as quickly as possible once Wopat and Schneider agreed to new contracts.
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