Best sci-fi TV factual errors of all time

Please vote as you browse around to help the best rise to the top.

Red Dwarf picture

Meltdown - S4-E6

Factual error: Kryten tells everyone that the matter paddle transmits matter in digital form from one place to another at the speed of light - he is very clear on this point. He then locates Waxworld, which is 200,000 light years away. Okay - so when they use the matter paddle to transmit themselves to Waxworld, why doesn't it take them 200,000 years to get there?

More Red Dwarf factual errors
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. picture

Riverboat - S1-E6

Factual error: A character in the episode has invented denim, but denim was invented in 1873 and was being used widely up to the time period of the series, which is set in 1893.

Scott215
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The entire series was set in an alternate history of sorts, so most, if not all, historical "inaccuracies" cannot be regarded as mistakes.

zendaddy621
More The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. factual errors
Star Trek: The Next Generation picture

The Royale - S2-E12

Factual error: 30 seconds in Geordi says: 'surface temperature -291 degrees Celsius'. (The scale only goes down to -273.15 which is absolute zero). (00:00:30)

More Star Trek: The Next Generation factual errors
Limitless picture

Page 44 - S1-E4

Factual error: When discussing a recent search of a suspect's home, Hill Harper says "we got his hard drives", but pulls a computer power supply out of a bag. Hard drives are significantly smaller and don't have a bundle of wires coming out the back of them.

Jon Sandys Premium member
More Limitless factual errors
Doctor Who picture

The Doctor Dances (2) - S1-E10

Factual error: Magnetic tape recorders weren't available outside of Germany during World War II. True the tape recorder could have been captured from the Germans, but, as it was "cutting edge" technology for 1941, it would hardly be likely to have ended up in a hospital office.

More Doctor Who factual errors
Doctor Who picture

Marco Polo - S1-E4

Factual error: The story is set in 1289, when Marco Polo was anxious to leave China against Kublai Khan's wishes, so what's Polo doing on the Pamir Plateau?

More Doctor Who factual errors
Arrow picture

The Scientist - S2-E8

Factual error: There is no way Laurel Lance would have been allowed on the prosecution team for Moira Queen's murder trial. Due to the facts that she used to date the defendant's son, the defendant's daughter used to intern for her, and her boyfriend was one of the people killed in the Glades it would have taken all of two seconds for the court to have her removed if she didn't willingly recuse herself, since her presence would be a major conflict of interest. Laurel also was Oliver's lawyer when he was on trial in season 1, which also wouldn't be allowed.

AD
More Arrow factual errors
The Last Ship picture

Show generally

Factual error: On the door of the Captain's stateroom is a plaque with Gold Submarine Dolphins. A submarine qualified line officer, all of whom are nuclear propulsion qualified, would never be stationed as a CO (or anything else) on a non-nuclear surface combatant. (00:40:00)

More The Last Ship factual errors
Quantum Leap picture

The Leap Home (1) - November 25, 1969 - S3-E1

Factual error: The Post Raisin Bran cereal box sitting on the Beckett family breakfast table in 1969 has a 1990s box design. (00:18:00)

Jean G
More Quantum Leap factual errors
Star Trek picture

Tomorrow is Yesterday - S1-E19

Factual error: Towards the end of the show the Enterprise is leaving Earth orbit and heading towards the sun. We see the Earth diminish and the moon appear looking exactly as it does from Earth. From this angle we should be seeing the "dark side" of the moon, which looks completely different. (00:40:50)

von
More Star Trek factual errors
The X-Files picture

Tithonus - S6-E10

Factual error: Lewis Brady had a "Felon wanted by the FBI" file in 1929, but the FBI wasn't called the FBI until 1935; until then it was just the "Bureau of Investigation." (00:34:30)

More The X-Files factual errors
Smallville picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: Lex crashes and his car lands on its roof, but in the span of a few seconds it has sunk straight to the bottom, and turned the right way up. Cars don't sink that quickly. (00:17:25)

More Smallville factual errors
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine pictureStar Trek: Deep Space Nine mistake picture

A Man Alone - S1-E4

Factual error: Aron Eisenberg's name is misspelled on-screen as Aron Eisenerg. (00:04:25)

Craig Wilson
More Star Trek: Deep Space Nine factual errors
Courage the Cowardly Dog picture

Heads Of Beef / Klub Katz - S1-E11

Factual error: In "Klub Katz" the captian yells "Iceburg, Iceburg, on the starboard side." But when you see the iceburg and the ship, the iceburg was about to hit the bow of the ship.

More Courage the Cowardly Dog factual errors
The Twilight Zone picture

Elegy - S1-E20

Factual error: The astronauts land on an asteroid said to orbit a binary star 655 million miles from Earth. This is impossible, as that distance would place them well within our solar system. In fact, they'd be inside the orbit of Saturn, where of course there aren't (nor could there be) any extraneous suns. The nearest star to our system is, in fact, trillions (not millions) of miles away. (00:02:15 - 00:04:00)

Jean G
More The Twilight Zone factual errors
Battlestar Galactica picture

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

Factual error: When Apollo decides he and Zac will attack the Cylons that are following them, he tells Zac to "hit your reverse thrusters and maximum braking flaps", but they aren't in an atmosphere. Brake flaps would have no effect in the vacuum of space. (00:10:30)

johnrosa
More Battlestar Galactica factual errors
Stargate: Atlantis picture

Show generally

Factual error: Anytime a character fires a missile at an airborne target, it's invariably from an M136 antitank launcher. The M136 is designed to hit relatively slow moving ground vehicles and is useless against fast moving airborne targets. (This is because used M136 tubes can't be reloaded and are very cheap to use as props).

Grumpy Scot
More Stargate: Atlantis factual errors
Fringe picture

And Those We Left Behind - S4-E6

Factual error: In the final scene with Peter and Olivia in Walter's campus housing, Peter uncovers items that should have been in the house for years and they are dusty. The last thing he uncovers is a brand new flat screen HDTV with stickers on it, which would not have existed 17 years prior to then, when he was committed to St Clarie's Institution. (00:42:10)

Ni Mitchell
More Fringe factual errors
The 4400 picture

Show generally

Factual error: In episode 17 there are some scenes showing sick 4400s all around the world. One of them is being carried into an ambulance car in Frankfurt, Germany. The ambulance car's number plate begins with the letters FM meaning Frankfurt am Main. The correct abbreviation for Frankfurt am Main on German number plates is F - not FM.

More The 4400 factual errors
Tru Calling picture

Haunted - S1-E5

Factual error: Tru arrives "more than three hours late" for the MCAT and then begins the test. Firstly, it would be pointless for her to even bother going at that time, since she'd have already missed the entire Verbal Reasoning section and possibly the Physical Sciences as well (depending on how much more than three hours she was late). Secondly, that's really a moot point since late arrivals to MCAT testing centers are not permitted to take the test.

DavidK93
More Tru Calling factual errors

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.