Best sci-fi TV factual errors of all time

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Red Dwarf picture

Back To Reality - S5-E6

Factual error: While it is true that lithium carbonate can be used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders, it cannot be administered in gaseous form. It is a very stable salt and only starts to form vapour at 1,310 degress Celcius. Spraying it about as a 'mood stabliser' at that temperature, as Kryten does, is going to kill everyone on the spot.

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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
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
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.

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The Last Ship picture

Achilles - S2-E5

Factual error: 1. Why wasn't Prairie/Masker operating all the time they knew a sub was out there? That's SOP for the US Navy. 2. Spearfish torpedoes are homing torpedoes. They wouldn't just shoot by on each side of the ship, but if they did, they'd turn around and pursue their target until they ran out of fuel. 3. Why didn't the ship employ countermeasures when the sub launched torpedoes? A noisemaker, a nixie - Navy ships don't just cross their fingers and hope the torpedoes miss.

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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?

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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
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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
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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
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Falling Skies picture

Live and Learn - S1-E1

Factual error: When Tom has decided his scout group will have to go for the food and then his look for his son later, they are stood on a green. There is a war memorial dedicated to both World Wars, 1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945. That's got to be in Canada, as the USA didn't enter either war until later than those dates. (00:28:00)

Dominic Ceraldi
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Batwoman picture

The Rabbit Hole - S1-E2

Factual error: Alice and Kate's little reunion underwater is disrupted by policemen that fire at them, and one of the shots reaches the transport truck, ignites it and makes it explode. The scene is baffling; forgetting the complete disregard for fellow policemen in the vehicle, how would bullets have enough strength to penetrate into an armored truck deep underwater, reach a critical weak point from that angle (the truck is upright, they should be barely get to shoot the roof of it) and still underwater cause inside the completely immersed vehicle a spark that would ignite fuel and make the whole truck explode? (00:31:45)

Sammo Premium member
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Star Trek picture

Tomorrow is Yesterday - S1-E20

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
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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
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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)

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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)

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

Suggested correction: Since the Colonial Vipers CAN fly in atmosphere and in space, that move would just be standard operating procedure and used either in space or in air. Similar to the way Navy pilots deploy a tailhook (for carrier use) when they land on runways.

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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.

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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
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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

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