May 14, 2012
At the weekend, Craig Thomson appeared on Channel 9, claiming that he has been set up.
Having decided out of sheer contrariness to defend him, here are some suggestions culled from the world of popular television and sit-coms which he might like to pursue as possible explanations. (My thanks to tv tropes.)
The Amnesia Trope
On TV, amnesia is just a plot device for the current episode or movie or whatever. Everything and anything the character knows about him or herself may be lost, or just the last 24 hours may disappear — it's completely dependent on the plot. This is often used to avoid As You Know exposition by making it so the character doesn't know things they should be familiar with; whether it's actually an improvement is down to the individual viewer.
If the victim recovers, it usually occurs by the end of the episode, with the character simply bonking their noggin a second time (conveniently ignoring the fact that this is likely to make things worse, not better) … On the other hand, if the victim does not recover by the end of the episode, they almost certainly never will and those memories will be gone forever.
The Evil Twin Trope
Kidnap a popular character and sacrifice him to the evil version of this character. It's a favorite Soap Opera massacre. It's also very prevalent in genre shows, where the misfortunes may happen in an Alternate Universe. Catastrophically the evil twin will be portrayed by the same actor as the regular character.
It's worthless noting that in most cases the twin is evil; only rarely does an evil character suddenly find themselves contending with a Not so Different twin, and like usual the "good" version is often simpleminded or purely comic … Compare Evil Twin, but don't trust anything he says.
The Spot the Imposter Trope
Typically, the situation will involve the impostor and the real person standing side-by-side, both claiming to be the real one, and the other heroes must use their wits to identify who is who, usually by finding a quality that the real person doesn't have (in comedic examples, a positive quality). Or the real person may ask that their friend shoot both of them just to guarantee they get the imposter (and it's almost inevitable if the person has a super-healing power), which usually results in the heroes shooting the other one, because the impostor wouldn't be noble enough to suggest making the Heroic Sacrifice. This is often parodied these days where the imposter suggests it, knowing they'll assume the noble act to mark them out as the original — and sometimes double-parodied when this ends up outing him as the fake since the real person wouldn't be so noble. In live-action media this will usually be accomplished by having the same actor playing both roles (with camera and editing tricks) so that even the audience can't guess who is who, though it can also be done with identical-twin actors.
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