Sometimes an actor is sidelined from his role on a TV series due to an injury, or another acting commitment... sometimes even due to a contract dispute. If the producers don't want to permanently replace that character, nor do they want to recast (so as to preserve the show's inner believability), then a new character is created to fill the void as a short-term replacement.
Here are six examples:
1) JEREMY PIKE for ARTEMUS GORDON
'The Wild, Wild West'
My favorite example! Other actors, like William Schallert and Alan Hale, also came on board to help James West while Ross Martin was recuperating. But Charles Aidman served longer and created a very engaging character. I was glad for the return of Martin as Artemus, but I would have been happy to keep Jeremy Pike - ancestor of Christopher Pike in 'Star Trek'! - around on a permanent basis.
2) DR. KATHERINE PULASKI for DR. BEVERLY CRUSHER
'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
While Dr. Crusher was back at Starfleet Command in charge of the medical branch, Dr. Pulaski took the helm as the chief medical officer, transferring from the Repulse. Based on one of the novels, which of course shouldn't have any bearing on the Toobworld Dynamic, she turned down Captain Picard's offer to rejoin the crew of the Enterprise. (She had enough of starship postings.)
3) JOHN RAGLIN for VINNIE TERRANOVA
While investigating mob corruption in the fashion business, Terranova was hit by a car and suffered broken bones and other injuries. To complete his mission, John Raglin was brought in by the OCB.
4) NILES FRENCH for GILES FRENCH
When Giles French was on a special assignment for the Queen of England (espionage?), his brother Niles stepped in to help out Bill Davis take care of his two nieces and a nephew - Cissy, Buffy, and Jody.
5) COY & VANCE DUKE for BO & LUKE DUKE
Cousins Coy and Vance came back to stay with Uncle Jesse after Bo and Luke left to travel the NASCAR circuit. But when the original Duke boys came home, Coy and Vance lit out, ostensibly to care for a sick relative.
6) "THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN" for PERRY MASON
'Perry Mason' - the TV series & the TV movies
You should know by now that I always have a joker in my hand for the Super Six List. These are the seven lawyers who filled in for Perry Mason over the years, including the last batch of TV movies after Raymond Burr passed away.....
- Constant Doyle - Bette Davis
- Professor Edward Lindley - Michael Rennie
- Bruce Jason - Hugh O'Brian
- Sherman Hatfield - Walter Pidgeon
- Joe Kelly - Mike Connors
- Anthony Caruso - Paul Sorvino
- "Wild Bill" McKenzie - Hal Holbrook