In the running for the 2016 Toobits Award for Best Contribution to Toobworld....
According to 'Lucifer', the vessel of a recently deceased person is needed for angels and demons to be on Earth.
However, Lucifer, as well as Amenadiel and Uriel, are in their own physical forms according to the show runner Joe Henderson.
I've written about the Devil's ability to "morph" his outward appearance, but I will accept Henderson's statement regarding Lucifer.
That's because this Lucifer is not "The Devil". He's Lucifer Jr., one of the many Hellspawn whelps of Satan.
As for Uriel and Amenadiel, these physical forms may be their original bodies but they do have the ability to change their appearance as most demons do. That's to splain away any pozz'ble Zonks, just in case either character has appeared in some other TV show.
(And Uriel has indeed shown up in other TV shows, chief among them 'Supernatural'.)
But what really has me excited is the information about demons AND angels inhabiting the "vessels" of the recently deceased.
So now we have another splainin as to why so many characters look alike within one series. (Besides the fact the actor keeps getting cast in new guest roles.)
Previous splainins have been:
Resurrection of the Dead by Jared Garrity
('The Twilight Zone')
Possession by the gaseous aliens known as the Gelth
And now they also serve as homes for the Heavenly Host as well as The Infernal Fiends.
It's the inclusion of angels that is intriguing. A guest actor who played a bad guy in one episode but a good guy (or at least someone who wasn't the villain of the piece) could have been the same body but now possessed by an angel. And the reverse would be true: good guy dies and becomes the bad guy in another episode, all due to demonic possession.
Westerns are usually best for examples of these multiple recastings, and I usually use Morgan Woodward, Jack Elam, and John Milford as the standards. But action shows of the 1970s also kept reusing actors especially 'Columbo' as well as all of those Quinn Martin detective shows.
Speaking of 'Columbo', here's a possibility to illustrate this scenario:
Val Avery is one of the 'Columbo' repertory of players who played more than one role in the series. In fact, he played four:
"The Most Crucial Game"
Ralph Dobbs (private investigator)
Harry Barnes (boat rental man)
"A Friend in Deed"
Artie Jessup (cat burglar)
None of these were the murderer or the victim. But here's my possibility:
At some point after the General Hollister murder case, Harry Barnes took one of his rental boats out on the ocean. But he had an accident and was swept overboard where he drowned. His body was never found....
That's because an angel, perhaps one bored with the celestial sterility of Heaven, decided to possess Barnes' corpse and sample the sensual pleasures of the mortal life. Mundane though it might seem, he chose to experience Life as "Louie" the publican in a dive bar on the piers.
There he lied to Lt. Columbo about his past (claiming to once being a cop), but he made sure he helped as much as he could so that Columbo could track down Lawrence Melville, who played a key role in the "AJ Henderson" murder investigation.
As for Val Avery's other 'Columbo' roles of Artie Jessup and Ralph Dobbs, they are separate characters who at best are identical cousins to Harry Barnes.
Here's another example:
"BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER"
Elliot Markham was a world-famous architect who would not let the dictates of his "patron" stop his dream of getting his greatest project realized. Unfortunately, Lt. Columbo caught him red-handed trying to dispose of Beau Williamson's body.
For a 'Columbo' website, Nathan Sikes put together his conjectures as to the fate of each murderer. And for Markham, Sikes believes he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
As for me, I agree that Markham was found guilty. He could even have been sentenced to death. Or to life in prison without parole.
But in the end, I don't think it mattered. I think before Justice could be meted, Markham decided to take his own life.
And that's when his corpse was possessed by a demon.
"MAKE ME A PERFECT MURDER"
I don't know who that demon was, but for his new life he adapted the name of a 1940s newspaper columnist whose soul he had recently collected upon death - inspired by Frank Flannigan (as seen in 'Ellery Queen'), the demon became Frank Flanagan.
Using his satanic prowess, "Flanagan" quickly rose to the top in the television industry, becoming the president of the CNC network.
Why? Probably because he saw the medium's potential, that the fastest way to garner the most souls for Hell would be to draw them in through the temptations promised by television.
Hey, it's just a theory. And it keeps me off the streets.