Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Breaking the fourth wall
A term used in theatre and television.

Imagine that you're watching a play on stage. The front of the stage has an unseen fourth wall, to add to the actual walls of the set. This fourth wall separates the world of the drama from the 'reality' of the audience. The same applies to watching TV, where the camera and the TV screen represent the fourth wall. When an actor turns to the audience, and addresses them, by acknowledging its existence he shatters the dramatic illusion, even if just for a moment: he breaks the fourth wall. William Shakespeare's plays have plenty of examples.
 [Related Image] When Treguard, Pickle and others talk to or about the Watchers (i.e. TV viewers), they're breaking the fourth wall, and acknowledging that they're on TV and we're watching them. This is done with great wit on many occasions, and complements the theme of illusion that runs through Knightmare. Perhaps it was conceived as a consequence of the need to call 'time out' during a quest, the rationale being: 'we're showing awareness that it's time for another TV programme, so we might as well acknowledge the TV audience.' And rather than undermining the world of Knightmare, it makes the Watchers feel necessary. Even when Pickle tells them to "bog off"!

In addition to sustained fourth wall breakage by those in the antechamber, there is an entertaining in-Dungeon example in the first episode of Series 3 (quest: Team 2 of Series 3), during Motley's first appearance. When Treguard expresses impatience with Motley's japes, the jester responds, "Just like to get the audience warmed up first," and looks into the camera. Later in the scene, he begins a riddle, "When our esteemed Dungeon Master ... goes to sleep, he gets nightmares," then as an aside, "Well, what else?"

At the end of the closing credits of the final episode of Series 5, Smirkenorff breaks the fourth wall.

[Earlier versions of this entry were provided on:
2006-05-03 15:44:26
2005-11-14 15:51:01]

Provided By: David, 2018-08-19 20:26:56
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