Best history TV mistakes of all time
These are the best TV mistakes as voted by visitors. Please use the voting icons under each entry when browsing the site to help the best rise to the top!
Factual error: In this episode we see Blithe get shot in the neck and are told that he died in 1948. In reality he was shot in the shoulder and survived. He later served in Korea and was promoted to master sergeant as well as receiving the paratrooper of the year award. Blithe died in 1967 while on active duty in Germany.
Factual error: Aetius' troops don't look anything like 5th century Roman soldiers. They are carrying a large rectangular shield, a pilum (a spear which was used for throwing) and a sword (gladius) on their right. This was typical for the Roman army until about the 3rd century A.D. In Aetius' time, the soldiers would have had smaller oval shields, a hasta (a lance used for stabbing and for fending off cavalry attacks) and a sword (spatha) on their left. Also, there would be an enormous amount of "barbarian" mercenaries in the Roman army (Goths, Vandals, even Huns.), so it was hardly a Roman army anymore. And where's Aetius' cavalry?
Factual error: With the exception of the RSM, no NCOs are ever seen. Stephen appears to have no platoon sergeant and no section NCOs (corporals or lance-corporals). There is no company sergeant-major (the RSM appears to do his job). There are no NCOs in the tunnelling company (which appears to consist only of a captain and half a dozen sappers). The entire army appears to pretty much consist of officers and privates with nobody in between.
Factual error: "Underground" is set in 1857 Georgia, yet the padded baseball glove August Pullman gives to his son is of a type used during the early 20th century. Before 1883 when padded gloves were first manufactured, gloves were either not used by baseball players or railroad brakeman's gloves were used.
Continuity mistake: At the wedding of Jonas and Mary she is wearing a large hoop skirt, and also at their wedding reception she is wearing a hoop skirt under her dress. When they enter their carriage to leave on their honeymoon she struggles a little to get the hopped skirt into the carriage seat. When they arrive at their house to start their honeymoon she gets out of the carriage in the rain to run to the house and she is no longer wearing the hoop under her wedding dress. It is also missing when Jonas picks her up to carry her upstairs to the bedroom.
Factual error: The Merchant Navy rank insignia is very poorly researched. Each officer seems to have a different style of insignia, despite working for the same company and they incorrectly wear rank insignia on the shoulders of their blue uniforms as well as the cuffs. The main character, Junior Third Officer Mortimer, wears a bizarre mix of insignia, apparently consisting of a Royal Navy petty officer's sleeve badge, a Royal Navy chief petty officer's cuff buttons, and a rank badge of three inverted chevrons on his shoulder boards that doesn't seem to resemble anything from reality. In reality, he should simply wear a single cuff ring (or shoulder bar in white uniform).
Continuity mistake: During the Medici brothers vs. Marco Bello confrontation near the end of the episode Lorenzo grabs a candlestick to defend himself against Marco Bello's knife - you can even notice a candle slipping off the candlestick. As Marco Bello turns to leave the chamber, however, Lorenzo's hands are empty and the candlestick rests on the table. In the next shot he's holding it again, with the candle sitting atop of the candlestick.
New this month Factual error: At the picnic, a woman says she is going to New York by train. It is 1828. Railway passenger service in the United States did not begin until 1830 and it would not be possible to travel from North Carolina to New York until some years after that.
Factual error: Robert Leckie returns to Bergen County, N.J. in the mid '40s. While talking to his dad he says of that afternoon "Bergen Catholic plays Don Bosco Prep." Bergen Catholic wasn't established until 1955, and while Don Bosco did exist in the 1940s, it didn't have a football program until the late 1950s.