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May 03 2010

The top ten tertiary Whedon characters. Some love for the unsung heroes of the Whedonverse.

I loved Skip in his first appearance. When they made him into a bad guy it took away what made the character so charming, the incongruity of his genial manner given his appearance.

In my heart of hearts I still believe that wasn't really Skip in the Jasmine story-line. It was his evil twin Scamp.
Lol, what a wacky compilation of characters. Victor's Topher for the win!
Klara from Runaways? Robot Phil? The annoying evil puppet from "Smile Time"? Weird list. The author definitely gets points for knowing her Whedon trivia, though.

I like that Badger is on here, but I'm surprised not to see some of the other great tertiary characters. I'd have included Ethan Rayne, for instance, and Quentin Travers.
That's a fun list. I would have included the 7-11 Demon from "That Old Gang of Mine" as he might be the coolest character that got less than 30 seconds of screen time.
Wow, Dollhouse makes designating primary/secondary/tertiary characters really complicated.
Highly eclectic list. Definitely a few I expected (Skip, Badger), a few I would have considered secondary (Dru), and some (the Sugarshock/Runaways characters) I really haven't encountered at all.
I wouldn't really consider Dru to be tertiary, but I can't argue with her as an excellent character. I would have expected someone like Mr. Universe instead. Yes to Skip though. I think he's still my favourite demon from Angel. Also, Victor's Topher was definitely a highlight.
Woah. Good list. Although I would have snuck YoSafBridge in there somewhere.
You guys are totally right! There are so many awesome characters both primary, tertiary, and everything in between...

Ten not nearly enough to cover it.
I loved Skip. For that reason, I heart this list.

And I dug D.B. Woodside as Robin Wood, the coolest of the Sunnydale principals (not listed).
My favorite "tertiary character" was Chantarelle/Lilly/Anne. I just loved that she had so little screen time, spanned both series, and had quite the arc. It's character things like this that makes me love Joss shows.
Oh yeah, Whisper. I love that she's in so many different seasons of the shows (four? five?), and that she grew so much. Definitely my favorite tertiary character.
I loved the list! If I were to vote for my favorite tertiary character, it would be Clem. But after reading these comments, I might want to change my vote to the 7-11 monster. I'm pretty sure his diologue consisted of only 5 words, but those few words managed to make me love him and then, a moment later, mourne him.

The best part of this list is how it causes us to think of all the random characters we love. Jonathan FTW!
This is definitely a cool idea for a list, but I think there are too many secondary and even, arguably, primary characters included. If Sugar Shock or Runaways were TV shows, Klara and Robot Phil would both be in the opening credits, so I'd count them as primary characters. And I think Whiskey and especially Drusilla are both secondary characters.

When I saw the title of the article, the first character that popped into my head was Skip. To me, Skip is the quintessential Whedonverse tertiary character. I think Badger also fits the bill perfectly.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned D'Hoffryn yet: "It's like somebody slaughtered an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue." He'd be close to the top of my list.

Also, if we're including tertiary characters played by main cast members, I think the Buffybot deserves a spot.
I'm particularly fond of Willy the Snitch personally. But the whedonverse is full of excellent characters like these so I guess we're spoilt for choice.
Gwen Raiden FTW.
Wow, great call on Klara. She was wonderful during Joss' Runaways arc (I would advise any fan of that arc who has not read the rest to ignore everything that came after Joss).

Really, this list is made up of great calls--well, except for Drusilla, who is definitely secondary, no matter how awesome. Replace her with Clem and it's all good.
Oh I love Willy the Snitch!!! I had forgotten about him The Do That Girl!!
@UnpluggedCrazy - Oh, I heartily agree re Runaways, if I had only known had lacksidaisical the series would become after Joss's output.

ETA - also just want to send some love out to Phantom Dennis, even though he did appear in the credits, and poor little Loo from Fray.

[ edited by viewingfigures on 2010-05-03 21:28 ]
I loved every character played by Jonathan Woodward, especially the vampire psych major.
@barboo: I think Skip has two brothers. The one who talked to Cordelia was "Hop", and the one who obeyed Jasmine's evil orders was "Jump" (as in, how high). Surprisingly, none of them did track & field in high school.

I'm more intrigued by the next few lists of characters that will come out. According to AskOxford:
The sequence continues with quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, denary. Words also exist for `twelfth order' (duodenary) and `twentieth order' (vigenary).
Always good to see some more Whiskey love. ;)
Eh, as much as I like Whedon I can't help but feel he kind of helped kill Runaways' steam. (In mean yeah, relaunching it for the third or fourth time after Whedon was a pretty silly move on their part, but they kept hemorrhaging readers who wouldn't really give it a shot and he represented a point where they could easily break off the artistic style of the series and try something new but not quite worth it.)

I actually saw some potential when they finally had a predominantly female creative team except they got cut off mid-storyline and I still have no idea what Marvel plans to do with them other than eventually release a film...

This is a pretty messy mix of characters though, all of which I generally enjoyed.
Okay, emotionally (not physically or morally) I've always idnetified with jonathan most of all and he's my third favroite verse character so I should give this unconditonal approval.

But, I have soem quibbles; with rare exceptions, I don't think a one-time guest character qualifies for tertiary or even quarternary status. Just my feeling. (must...stop...visualizing Tara and Harmony Smile Time puppets.....)

And I'm a bit adrift because they went to such a variety of his projects (I only know Buffyverse and Dollhouse) but still a fine list, albeit less familiar to me than it mgith be.
How could I forget Holden Webster?

Also: Sunday.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2010-05-04 02:16 ]
Holland Manners.
Ethan Rayne
Holtz and Justine
And everybody already mentioned.
@orangewaxlion - I see exactly what you mean about Whedon's run giving an exit point for readers of the Runaways, but also think that he left the series with a number of shifts in dynamic, that were just ignored by the following scribes.

I also agree that the last few issues, written and drawn by the female team of Immonen and Pichelli, did begin to regain ground.

I think though that we can rest assured that if a film does materialise that Marvel will relaunch the comic overnight. Which is a real shame as it was one of my favourite reads for a while.
How did D'Hoffryn not make this list? He makes every scene he's in even more enjoyable. And same for Ethan Rayne.
@orange: I much preferred Vaughan's run on Runaways over Whedon's.

Speaking to the fave tertiary characters, though, I have to agree with WindTheFrog about D'Hoffryn. He had so many great lines, and he delivered them perfectly. "It looks like somebody slaughtered an A&F catalog" is still one of my favorite lines of any Whedon series.
I can't believe I forgot Anne! She would definitely be on my list. Probably near the top.

And Dominic would probably be my pick from Dollhouse.
Slipping About, heh, "The Loa"...hamburger-mascot-possessing demon/messenger-thing.

Wouldn't say one-time characters count as tertiary though. Someone like Forrest, for example (Riley's later-zombified Initiative comrade), could be counted as secondary or tertiary. Within Season 4's arc, he's present and arguably important enough to qualify for secondary status, but if you take the Buffyverse as a whole, he's definitely tertiary.

Chanterelle/Lilly/Anne is a prime example of tertiary. So's Skip (was fine with him going evil, but then again I was fine with just about everything from previous seasons that was wrapped into that arc/turned out to be Jasmine's doing).

Re: Klara Runaways
Joss gave her a great introduction, but to Terry Moore and later writers' credits, they did throw a bone our way once in a while in terms of character development or referencing the fact that she was sold/married off to a much older man and basically made into a manual labour and sexual slave (plus all her turn-of-the-century early 1900s social mores, like being all "it is a sin!" in reference to Karolina and gender-bending Xavin's sometimes-same-sex relationship, were gradually shed in a believable fashion). Like most of the characters in Moore's too-long run on the book though, she mostly got short-changed. Many issues' worth of space to explore hers and others' characters and how the trip-to-the-past had effected them, spent on two pretty light-weight arcs instead ("Rock Zombies" and I can't remember the other one--I think maybe Nico got a bit of worthwhile development, but that was it until the two fill-in writers and Kathryn Immonen took over).

I'm still looking forward to a Runaways re-launch, but that was a cheap way to cliffhanger us at the end of Volume 3 there (with Chase getting hit by a car and his fate undetermined). I'd really appreciate a little more on the emotional fall-out of the big main character death of that volume as well. When Marvel re-launches it, it'll most likely be in direct-to-diget/direct-to-trade-paperback format, no more monthly issues. It'd be sweet if they could attract Brian K. Vaughan back to wrap it all up, or, if they don't want to end it (and they won't, if it's profitable, because this is Marvel), at least give it a boost in creativity and a solid direction again.

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