Plane crash with substituted bodies? I'll need to see if I still have a copy of the John Varley novel "Millennium" around somewhere. Here's part of the wiki description (there's also a bad movie starring Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd):
The time travelers can only take people will have no further effect on the timeline - those who have vanished without a trace, or died without being observed - otherwise they would be changing the past, which risks a temporal paradox and perhaps even a catastrophic breakdown of the fabric of time. Though they collect everyone they can, they exert a great deal of effort on those destined to die in various disasters such as sinking ships and crashing airplanes. As such incidents leave no survivors to report interference and change the timeline, they can freely remove the living but soon-to-die victims, and replace them with convincing corpses they have manufactured in the future.
- List of ten Science Fiction Inventions and Ideas from the novel.
- Movie Trailer
- More at Immodest Proposals
- Greg from BTD is Lost blogging at Kulturblog
I dropped the "Millenium" clue over in Alan Sepinwall's comments but no takers. You'd think that with all the speculation about time travel and possibly faked accident victims there'd be some interest in an actual science fiction story that's about time travel and faked accident victims. Guess it's just me.
For the last year or so I'd pretty much discounted every speculation I'd ever had about Lost -- I had some interesting ideas that were pretty much all wrong. But now I'm starting to see some traction in these old ideas. There's the rescue ship that isn't, for one. Even bigger, with the entire wreckage being found underwater, I'm back to my old speculation that there never was a crash, just that the "survivors" were made to believe there was one. I think this makes more sense than an alternate reality; but again, maybe that's just me. If I'm correct, there would have to be a third, as yet unknown group. The Others didn't know the Losties were coming and Dharma doesn't seem to quite know what's going on...and with Suzanne Pleshette dead there goes another theory.
Just for fun...
Revisiting some old Lost theories
From January, 2006:
fantasy projection #1: Stop the show at the end of season 3. Have them rescued. Happy endings all around, except for the handful killed off for dramatic purposes.
fantasy projection #2: Spring sweeps features the big battle. Last episode of season shows a rescue ship on the horizon. Next season the survivors realize they haven't been rescued, but picked up by a new version of the D.H.A.R.M.A. initiative. Lather, rinse, repeat. Basically turns into The Pretender - an interesting idea that loses our interest because it is unable to resolve anything.
fantasy projection #3: stuff happens, people die, season ends being rescued. Next season, everyone tries to reenter their old lives. But they're probably being observed and keep having weird flashbacks they don't understand. Rent Jacob's Ladder for plot points.
From May 2006:
The Others: At the start of season two I was convinced two groups of Others existed: one good, one bad. And the Losties would need to join forces with one to defeat the other. I've pretty much discounted this theory. Most likely just one group of DHARMA scientists.
I've mentioned this a few times, but I am becoming more and more attached to the idea that no plane crash occurred. We see it from the Losties perspective and they think they've crashed. The purpose is to study just a few of the passengers. Their circumstances were worked to get them on the plane; other passengers are coincidences.
... I'd like to see the Losties rescued in the season finale, but it turns out to be a DHARMA ship and they're still captives.