Best sci-fi TV deliberate mistakes of all time

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Star Trek: Voyager picture

Drone - S5-E2

Deliberate mistake: When the Doctor begins to "fade" in the transporter room his mobile emitter fades with him. Since it's made of solid matter and is not a hologram, this shouldn't be possible.

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Doctor Who picture

Rose - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: The final Auton attack in this episode is supposed to take place in a busy London street, but it is a pedestrianised area, and several shots reveal this. For example, there are no road markings visible, no apparent distinction between pavement and road, and a bus stop appears to sit in the middle of the 'road'.

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Star Trek picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Special effects of the ship in space were very expensive in the 60s and couldn't be wasted. So when a larger model was built with slightly different nacelles, shots of both versions became common, even within the same episode. This is why the Enterprise sometimes had red needle-tipped nacelles and sometimes lighted "spinning" ones, and in aft views she had either round white spheres or perforated vents at the nacelles' ends.

Jean G
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine picture

The Passenger - S1-E9

Deliberate mistake: The dying Vantika hides his consciousness away in a portion of Dr. Bashir's mind. At one point, "Bashir" (heavily cloaked in clothing and shadows) comes up behind Quark and makes sure his demands are clear. At this point, it should still be unclear just how Vantika is still "alive", and whose body he is using. However, when he shoves Quark away, for a fraction of a second, Bashir's face can be seen under his hood. They were true to plot in using the right actor (though he shouldn't have been seen), it is possible some might have spied the secret earlier than the show meant to reveal it.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars pictureStar Wars: The Clone Wars mistake picture

Nightsisters - S3-E12

Deliberate mistake: At the beginning, Asajj Ventress is wearing an outfit with a long skirt. When she is rescued from her damaged starfighter by the scavengers, the skirt has vanished. This was done because the animators found the skirt too difficult to animate. This is also why she receives a brand new outfit that never had a long skirt later in the episode. (00:08:20)

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Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers picture

Season 1 generally

Deliberate mistake: In fight scenes, the Yellow Ranger's stature matches that of a male (and not Trini). This is because in the Japanese version of the show, the Yellow Ranger was played by a man.

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Red Dwarf picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: In the first few series, it is suggested Lister and Kochanski barely know each other. In 'Balance of Power' Holly says that Lister has only ever spoken 173 words to her. However, by series 4 Kochanski is referred to as Lister's ex-girlfriend with whom he shared a relationship. In the series 4 documentary, Doug Naylor explains that Lister's attitude towards Kochanski was immature in the first series which is why they changed his back story from wanting to be with Kochanski to actually having been with her by series 4.

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Battlestar Galactica picture

Saga of a Star World (1) - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: When the large formation of Cylons attack, the graphic that Athena is looking at shows the approaching Cylon ships as triangles, as usual. But it also shows two asterisks leading that formation, and the asterisk is the symbol for Vipers. There are NO Vipers leading the Cylons in this sequence. This graphic is a reuse of the one from the big battle at the start of the episode when Apollo and Zac were being pursued by an earlier large formation of Cylons. (02:00:30)

johnrosa
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Smallville picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: Clark's CPR form is terrible. When he performs emergency breaths on Lex, Lex's chest doesn't rise and fall, indicating that he's not actually breathing much air in. He doesn't bother to measure for the proper location for chest compressions, a very important step that is the difference between proper CPR and simply cracking ribs. As he performs compressions, he is not chanting the rhythm (one-and-two-and-three) and his elbows are bent. All of these were altered for dramatic reasons or the purpose of safety, but the sloppy technique probably would have killed Lex. (00:18:40)

Phoenix
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Sliders picture

Greatfellas - S2-E10

Deliberate mistake: When Quinn comes back to the hotel room with a large stack of money he'd won at the casino, he waves it, and you can see a 1-dollar bill in the middle. He was supposed to have over $100,000, but since the crew couldn't get that much money for a brief scene, they used a stack of dollar bills. (00:35:40)

Grigory the Wanderer
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The X-Files picture

One Breath - S2-E8

Deliberate mistake: When Scully is shown on her hospital bed, it's obvious she's wearing a bra under her hospital gown. It's doubtful that a patient in a coma would be wearing a bra as it could restrict her circulation.

Grumpy Scot
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Futurama picture

Space Pilot 3000 - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: When the world is counting down to the new year, we see people in various countries, Egypt, the USA etc all counting down together. Because of time zone differences this isn't possible. [It is a little joke.] (00:01:35)

David Mercier
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Firefly pictureFirefly mistake picture

Serenity (2) - S1-E12

Deliberate mistake: After the Crazy Ivan, where they escape from the Reaver ship, the shot of Mal, Wash and Zoe celebrating on the bridge. Wash has his hands out in front of him like he's still holding the stick, but there's nothing in his hands. In the commentary, Joss Whedon mentions that, in order to get the shot right, they had to move the seat back far enough that Alan Tudyk couldn't reach the controls, so they instructed him to mime it.

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Babylon 5 picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Though he moved freely about the station in his environmental suit, Kosh was never actually seen going through a door. He approached doors, but then, sometimes rather disconcertingly, would suddenly be shown on the other side. The reason: look closely and you'll realise his costume was too large to fit through any of the doorways on the set, so in reality the character would never have been able to move around the station.

Jean G
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Knight Rider picture

Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular - S1-E5

Deliberate mistake: Watch the end of the test run for Michael and KITT. Michael was using the KITT steering wheel, but then he gets out of the car and it switches to a performance steering wheel instead.

Joseph Z
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Blake's 7 picture

Power - S4-E2

Deliberate mistake: Because Paul Darrow had turned an ankle while shooting the fight scene with Gunsar, the uninjured Avon is inexplicably limping throughout most of the fight. (00:14:00)

Jean G
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Star Wars: Clone Wars picture

Chapter 5 - S1-E5

Deliberate mistake: At the beginning of the chapter, as the scene switches to the surface fighting on Muunilinst, we see a score of droids blasted before the Republic Army's heavy artillery is brought in. But there are no remains on the droids to be seen after the smoke has cleared, whereas there should be something left.

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The Prisoner picture

Once Upon A Time - S1-E16

Deliberate mistake: The credits list "Number 86" as played by John Maxim. But no such character appears in the episode. Apparently, 86 was left on the cutting room floor, but the titles weren't altered accordingly.

Jean G
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Ben 10 picture

Hunted - S1-E5

Deliberate mistake: When Sixsix impacts with the ground due to Greymatter sabotaging his jet pack, the furrow he ploughs into the ground is already present when he skips across the ground.

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Doctor Who picture

Battlefield - S26-E1

Deliberate mistake: Look for the "creases" in the wall inside the TARDIS, which look as if the wall was just a sheet hung up behind the console. (In fact it actually WAS a sheet and not a "solid" wall - the TARDIS wall prop was apparently unusable due to water damage, due to poor storage between seasons. This also explains the lack of TARDIS interior scenes throughout the rest of season 26: it was not thought worth repairing the TARDIS set [or building a new one] when the show was in imminent danger of being cancelled after season 26).

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