You Look Familiar: British TV Shows That Cast Too-Similar Replacement Actors

Yahoo Contributor Network

Year after year, TV producers on both sides of the pond make the same foolish mistake. When a beloved actor leaves a show, the producers often replace that actor with another person who looks (and acts) just like the character who left.

These replacements are almost always a poor substitute for the departed actor, and both U.S. and U.K. TV fans rarely warm to the new cast member. Here are some prime examples of Britcoms and British dramas that brought in replacement actors who were just too similar to the original talent.

"Hotel Babylon"

This frothy nighttime soap from across the pond featured Tamzin Outhwaite in the leading role. After her character's departure in Season 2, another frosty blonde joined the show: Alexandra Moen.

Fans were slow to warm to Moen, who seemed like a carbon copy of Outhwaite's character. Both blondes were deemed untrustworthy by the rest of the hotel staff, for example. The show would have been better bringing in a non-Caucasian, non-blonde female character to replace Outhwaite, rather than trying to mimic what made her character unique.


The fourth and final season of "Coupling" is a divisive one for fans. On the one hand, Sally and Patrick's relationship makes for great TV. On the other hand, fans had to suffer through the antics of Oliver, the character who replaced Jeff. Oliver was meant to fill the role of the group's "kooky guy," but he just lacked Jeff's charm and sexiness. More importantly, he also lacked Jeff's comedic timing.

"Being Human"

Though some fans might argue that the frequent character replacements were the reason that "Being Human" got canceled, the truth is that "Being Human" was simply a victim of its own popularity. That being said, many fans were frustrated by the too-similar vampire character that was introduced to replace the show's original lead vamp.

Vampire John Mitchell was the show's original blood-sucking roommate, played by Aidan Turner. But when Turner was offered a role in "The Hobbit," he opted to leave the show, and his character was killed off. The hallmarks of Mitchell's character included his troubled past and his refusal to consume human blood. Mitchell was replaced by another vamp, Hal, who also had a troubled past and had sworn off blood.

Hal and Mitchell also share similar storylines: Both were being manipulated by vampires from their past. Hal even had a previous supernatural roommate situation: Back in the 1950s, he lived with a werewolf named Leo and a ghost named Pearl, mirroring Mitchell's living situation with Annie and George. On top of all that, the actors that played Mitchell and Hal were both Irish, and both had a dark, brooding look about them.

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