There are three main reasons why a show or film might end up having multiple actors play the same role: (1) The original actor might have left, due to injury, contract dispute, illness, or even death. The most common way to handle this is to dispose of the old character in some way, and add a replacement. However, if a producer is too stubborn to write out the original character, they will need to do an actor swap. Three ways to do this are:
- Fake Shemp: Hide it by minimizing the audience's view of the substitute.
- The Nth Doctor: Explain it on-screen, using Applied Phlebotinum or Magic Plastic Surgery.
- The Other Darrin: Just do it with no explanation.
- The Other Marty: Reshoot everything with the replacement.
- Time-Shifted Actor: When the show has hefty time compression, squeezing decades into hours.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: The show is in real time, but the character ages unnaturally fast.