2011-12-28

Identity


Identity is a British crime show about, well, a police unit that deals with identity theft. It stars Holly Aird of Waking the Dead fame. The characters are well acted and urgent in that lovely crime-show way; they stride purposefully through each scene, speaking fast and with great seriousness about their areas of expertise.

The show opens with a heavily armed stand-off between police and Curtis. Curtis shouts, "it's not me doing this; it's Smith!" It is clear that the negotiating police does not believe in Smith, so at first you think "split personality" as your eyes roll back in your head.

But no no...

It soon becomes apparent that Smith is an actual person who has stolen the identity of the Curtis. Which kind of begs the question why the Identity Unit was present at Curtis's shootout, but never mind that. Smith is no ordinary identity thief; he has run up £500k debt, stalked a woman and then put her in a coma by running her over with a car, opened 12 credit cards (with different addresses!), rented 4 different apartments and houses, shot a policeman, and, of course, somehow implicated Curtis in all of these shenanigans...

After listing all of the stuff Smith has done (not even questioning why someone would go through the trouble of renting a bunch of different houses rather than, say, buy a Da Vinci) a long, serious discussion follows of how unsafe our personal information is, "All you need is a a mother's maiden name..."

When it turns out that Curtis was already deep in depth (but with an excellent credit rating?) when Smith took him over, so to speak, one of the policemen from the Identity Unit exclaims: "[Smith] is not in this the for the money, he is not trying to break Curtis's bank, he is trying to break Curtis. He doesn't want Curtis's identity, he wants Curtis's soul!"

Curtis is not Smith's only victim. The Identity Unit finds a previous victim in jail for the murder of his mistress. Says the previous victim, "Knowledge is power, and [Smith] knows everything!"


20 minutes and 59 seconds into the first episode I gave up. I can't even imagine what the author will have to do to follow such an outlandish start.

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