Update: Forgot to mention this post contains spoilers for The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Given Tomsks comment, I should add also Angel and for The X-Files in there too, but I have decided to impose a five-year rule. Any TV event that occurred five years of more before the date of the post is fair game. You have been warned...
Update 2: Let's do this properly. The statute of limitation for film and TV is five years, for books ten. Comics I'll judge on a case-by-case basis.
I'm on record as stating that this month's Torchwood story was the least shit ever, but even so, a "bring back Ianto" petition is surely a bit much?
This scratches at my brain in at least two different ways. Firstly, I think it's important to note that Ianto was one of the weaker Torchwood characters, a statement that carries the same implications as "Bubonic plague was one of the worse international pandemics". He threw a paddy the first time he went out in the field, he forgave his boss for murdering his girlfriend the instant he decided he wanted some futuristic immortal ass-timing, and, most importantly, he spent the entirety of his time on-screen looking like a sulky fridge balanced on top of a cheap suit. I get that mileage varies when it comes to fictional characters, but the people who claim that watching him cark it leaves them "as sorrowful and hurt as any death of a person close to us" must have pissed of more than one spirit of the departed feeling somewhat undervalued. I did feel sorry for Ianto, but I would be genuinely have been more upset had they set fire to a cardboard cut out of him instead, because of the wasted opportunity to recycle wood pulp. 
Problem number two: the further fading of whatever spark of hope I still had that people in this world understand what good television is. The thought that anyone could have watched sufficient Torchwood to have become attached to a carefully carved sideboard like Jones and yet simultaneously hold the belief that the reset button wasn't used enough makes me wonder if there genuinely isn't any steaming pile of shit subsections of the British public won't cram into their mouths, so long as it's advertised with explosions and flashing lights.
I said "at least two", but my last problem is admittedly not particularly well-formed. Basically, I don't like the idea of telling people how to write their stories.
Obviously, this sounds massively hypocritical, given the bashing Davies and Chibnall have received on this blog, often on a weekly basis (though it is not my fault they managed such epic runs of shitty, shitty scripts). That's about craft, though. Method. Suggestions about how best to build tension, as oppose than just repeating the same phrase. Pointing out tat trying to maximise your emotional impact by concocting a situation that cannot be resolved in a dramatically satisfying way is counter-productive. Arguing that the Daleks cannot be terrifying every time they appear, because familiarity breeds contempt almost as quickly as repeated defeats do. Getting together and demanding specific story choices are reversed seems a ways beyond that. I doubt Davies will listen in any case (given his childlike insistence that he doesn't have to listen to anyone, and that he will call you names if you try ), and even if he did I wouldn't particularly care, since my attachment to the show is pretty minimal (though I would reserve the right to criticise the execution) but the idea still makes me nervous. Constructive criticism is great, and very important, but stories themselves shouldn't be written by committee.
Having said that, I figured I'd waste some time this afternoon deciding which fictional characters I would resurrect if I had the chance.
1. Cordelia Chase
Cordy's death hit me about 1% as much as Fred's, even though the latter event was something I'd already known was coming (damn me for flirting with spoilers!) and the former came entirely out of the blue.
Nevertheless, (and speaking of blue), Fred's death had a point to it. Sure, in the fictional world of the show itself, it was a heartbreaking, senseless waste, but that was the idea. Watching the way each character dealt with her death was horrible, but it was fascinating too. Marsters and Richards were both brilliant in the aftermath, and Denisof managed to find brand new ways to make Wesley compelling. His breakdown was tragic, his pain obvious, and his last moments with Illyria probably the saddest moment the show ever managed, and it isn't like that's an achievement without stiff competition. The whole saga also raised a (morbidly) fascinating question: how long can you spend with the one you love before their death can't erase what went before? Before, as harsh as it sounds out loud, you can consider yourself lucky for what you've experienced? Harmony tries to argue that it happens almost instantaneously, but Wesley can't agree, and even as a vampire Harmony is neither stupid nor unfeeling enough to push the point. It's probably not something it's too healthy to consider in-depth, but that doesn't make it any less interesting a question.
Enough about Fred, though, this is supposed to be about Cordelia. Ahem.
Cordelia died. Angel looked sad.
After seven years as a major player in the Buffyverse, poor ol' Ms Chase died off-screen, and people barely noticed. Sure, she spent most of the last few months she had awake trying to kill everyone, but people got over it with Angel, and he did way worse things than ensure the birth of a woman who wanted everyone to be hippies (that thing with the kitten, for instance). I realise that out in the real world, commitments and life get in the way of giving characters the goodbye they deserve, but even so, Cordelia's send-off was so pointless blink-and-you'll-miss-it (even the parts you could blink at because they were on-screen) that the whole thing pissed me off.
2. Derek Reese
War is Hell, so from that perspective having Derek brutally shot in what seemed a bog-standard gun battle before the credits even rolled makes narrative sense. The problem, though, (aside from the fact that narrative sense can often jibe with emotional sense, and I tend to get annoyed if both aren't being simultaneously served) is that the season finale (and now last episode ever) of The Sarah Connor Chronicles heavily suggested that the intention was to bring Derek back, albeit from an alternative time-line.
Even by my standards, this is probably more worthy of a YMMV stamp than most things, but I cannot stand it when characters are replaced by "alternative universe" copies. Hell, when Miles O'Brien got replaced by his own self from about ten minutes into the future, I was pissed off as all Hell . Maybe this implies I have more of a belief in a soul than I realise, but I think it's about uniqueness. That O'Brien was not our O'Brien. The new Derek is not our Derek, and whilst I would have trusted the ...Chronicles to deal with the situation rather more satisfyingly than I would Davies' crayon-scribbled scripts (not that I can be sure without ever seeing the resolution), it still irritates when characters with long and interesting back-stories are suddenly rubbed out, but then replaced with the same actor with the same character name.
3. The Lone Gunmen
Man, I loved the Lone Gunmen. I loved them so much I was one of, like, eight people who watched their spin-off show, and adored it to boot. You wouldn't think X-Files - monsters = hijinks would be particularly good TV maths, but it damn well worked, not least because the po-faced pseudo-philosophical bullshit that ruined every X-Files season from 4 onwards was entirely absent.
Then it got cancelled, because no-one in the world but me has any taste, and the characters returned to the parent series at roughly the same time as Duchovny gave up entirely. Perhaps the feeling was that without Mulder, the Gunmen didn't have any place in the show, but if that's true, someone messed up pretty badly . The entire point of the Lone Gunmen is that if Mulder was Holmes, and Scully was Watson (which I think is a pretty fair analogy), then the Gunmen were the Baker Street Irregulars. They're the scruffy (Byers' suits notwithstanding) nobodies whom no-one in power even notices, and certainly doesn't rate, but who help out where they can, and can do things and go places that Holmes himself can't. The two immediate questions in light of the end of Season 8 should have been a) how do the irregulars keep fighting the good fight without Holmes, and b) can they deal with Watson attempting to become Holmes, whilst dragging a brand new assistant who might or might not be working for the enemy?
All of that means that getting rid of them at all was something of an irritating call, but the real problem lay in the method by which it was done. If you're going to finish off characters that have featured in every single season of a show that's run for nine years, I would humbly suggest you not dilute the impact by bringing in a comedy villain, however funny he may have been in the past. Nor is it a particularly good idea to spend the entire episode implying they are bumbling idiots. Lastly, bear in mind that you can't make someone's death seem meaningful just by attaching a body-count to the alternative. Not even my brain works that way.
* * *
The running theme here, of course, is that everyone above died for no good reason and/or in fairly shitty ways. Hell, if someone had resurrected them purely to give them a less wanktankerous death, I'd be cool with that too.  Maybe, in the final analysis, I wouldn't want them back, I'd just want to go back in time and slap down the idiots who wrote the episodes in question. Some people would kill Hitler, I would shout at Chris Carter. Go figure.
h/t to Garathon.
 Actually, I might not even have noticed at all. Oh, burn!
 I should point out though that for a man who claims to never listen to critics, Torchwood has gotten better each year by cutting out a lot of what people complained about. I still think the man has the attitude of a seven year old, but better he pretends not to listen but does than the other way round. Better the carpenter is an arse than all your chairs can't be sat on.
 I seem to remember an episode of Voyager in which this idea was taken to its very nadir by having Harry Kim die and be replaced by someone from an alternate reality that was apparently so identical to our own that their Kim had our Kim's entire memory and skill set, and moreover that this development didn't freak out anyone at all, or at least not by the time the credits rolled over the sound of a reset switch being rammed home by Rick Berman's idiot forehead.
 It might alternatively have simply been Carter deciding that if he couldn't use them the way he wanted, he was just gonna kill 'em dead, but I'm trying to be generous for once.
 This probably explains why Magneto is still running around, it just wouldn't be fair for one of Marvels' most complex anti-heroes to bow out whilst acting like a pantomime villain. More on that next month, though.