Secondary cast
A set of secondary characters who have their own sub-plots


(permanent link) added: 2012-01-10 14:16:34 sponsor: ArsThaumaturgis (last reply: 2012-02-14 11:11:49)

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A group of secondary characters who have their own plot threads (potentially interacting with or related to the threads of the main cast).

Note that these are not characters who simply appear for a scene or two as part of the main plot thread; to be a Secondary Cast, they should have their own plot thread, even if it's in service to another thread.

For example, a character who is contacted by the main cast for information, gives it to them, and then disappears from the plot does not compose a Secondary Cast. If, however, they didn't have the information on them, and a new plot thread followed their searching it out, then for the duration of that thread they would be a Secondary Cast.

Some shows might have standing Secondary Casts, while others may split off characters as called for.

Overlaps with Two Lines, No Waiting, with the most prominent characters (usually) in the A plot and the secondary characters in the B plot.

Supertrope to Geodesic Cast. In cases in which the group is not secondary, but simply split for the sake of reducing the complexity introduced by having Loads and Loads of Characters, you may have a Cast Herd and not a Secondary Cast.

See also Lower Deck Episode, for when a Secondary Cast is featured as the primary cast. Compare Deuteragonist, where one character is the secondary focus of the work.

Examples:
  • The Fourth: The main plot follows Skärva (an evil overlord), his main henchman and their adopted ally. Parallel with this we have a connected plot following a group of named minions, currently acting on his orders as part of his overall plot.
  • The Phoenix Requiem has Robyn and Petria.
  • Perry and Dr. Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb.
  • Zig-zagged in the anime Honey and Clover: it has this so extensively that season 2 seems to have reversed supporting and main..... Each season also causing a good amount of clashing amongst fans over who actually counts as main/supporting.
  • Unsounded has two secondary casts: Quigley, Matty and the slavers, and Toma and Elka, two members of the Peaceguard. Both sets have had run-ins with each other and the main cast, but it remains to be seen how their threads may yet bear on the main cast.
  • The Cutie Mark Crusaders of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fill this role, as they are always on adventures to find their cutie marks.
  • The Mythbusters have the Build Team. They may collaborate with Adam and Jamie on large scale myths, but more often they will work on separate projects.
  • Niobi, Ghost, and related characters from The Matrix. Ghost and Niobi's story is greatly expanded on in Enter the Matrix where the actors actually filmed new scenes, some with the primary cast.
  • Final Fantasy II Dawn of Souls. Four characters who die as part of the plot have a plot of their own to defeat Emperor Mateus' Heaven form while the heroes defeat his Hell form.
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