Best TV factual errors of 2014
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Factual error: Sir Malcolm tells Vanessa to wear a facemask when they go to minister to the poor as cholera is rife in the area. However, the series is set in the 1890s and it had been well-known since the 1850s that cholera was caused by contaminated food and water and not by airborne germs. As an educated man, Sir Malcolm is bound to know this.Necrothesp
Factual error: Henry states that the car bumper of an 2007 'XJ' is a certain height off the ground and led to a particular injury to a dead person. He claims he knows this because he is a Jaguar enthusiast. He then points to a photograph of the 'New York Kids' in a pre-2002 Jaguar XKR as 'circumstantial evidence' that it was this car that caused the injury. A Jaguar enthusiast would never mistake an XKR for an XJ.
Factual error: In the scene where the shadow of the eclipse is seen from space, the shadow forms an almost continent-wide and elongated "swat" of uniform darkness across the Earth, which is astronomically impossible. Real total solar eclipse shadows are circular, with only a small area in the middle being inside heavy shadow (the Umbra) at any one time, with a larger area of half-shadow (Penumbra) surrounding it. The area inside the eclipse shadow is also far smaller than the one seen in the episode. Also, in the same scene, New York is seen to be near the edge of the shadow, meaning that the perfect solar corona that appears in a later scene should not be visible from there, since it's only visible near the shadow's center. (00:36:30)
Factual error: In the first flashback scene of Ballard serving a Mormon mission in Lithuania, he laments that he has been on his mission for 18 months and has yet to baptize a single person. In a later flashback scene when he and his companion are visiting the prostitutes, he states that he and his companion are 19 years old and they should be in college, going to parties, getting drunk, getting laid, etc. Instead of serving missions. These scenes take place in 1991, at which time young men did not serve missions for the Mormon church until after they turned 19, so if Ballard had already been on his mission for 18 months, then he should have been at least 20 years old, and closely approaching 21.Phaneron
Factual error: In one early scene (maybe third or fourth of the episode) Special Agent LaSalle greets and shakes hands with a sailor he knows, a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer. The CPO is wearing a gold surface warfare insignia, which is an Officer's device. A CPO should be wearing a silver insignia. Later in the episode the the same Chief Petty Office is shown close up, still wearing a gold pin, not a silver one.
Factual error: When Octavia goes to challenge Raphael and instead kills him, she does so using a very long skewer she grabs from the table. If she had actually put that through his head, it would've either stuck out from the other side or not gone in completely. (00:34:30)balistener
Factual error: Chip-augmented federal agent Gabriel Vaughn is chasing a former Delta Force comrade, now suspected of being a hired assassin in Bolivia. He catches up to the man, telling him to freeze because he's standing in a minefield. Vaughn says the field was planted by "Pinochet," which is wrong, since the episode takes place in Bolivia, and General Augusto Pinochet was the military dictator of Chile. Earlier in the episode, Vaughn is asked what happened between him and his former close friend, and he refers to an incident in Fallujah. But flashbacks of the incident show the two men in Afghanistan in 2006. Fallujah is in Iraq. (00:37:00)Nightguy
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