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-   -   Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc. (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=96824)

petervk2mlg 8th Jun 2013 4:09 am

Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
1 Attachment(s)
I went to the cinema the other day and saw The Great Gatsby. The film is set in New York in 1922.
Nick Carraway, the film's narrator his a nice radio in his house. A bit of an anachronism!
See pic

D.Finney 10th Jun 2013 10:50 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Peter, I saw a 1920s "period" drama a while ago and a Bush DCA90A was used as a prop!

Station X 10th Jun 2013 11:12 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
In view of that number of posts of this nature we get, this thread has been retitled and made sticky.

Electrone 10th Jun 2013 12:18 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
On Agatha Christie's Poirot Elephants Can Remember (ITV) last night, there was a brief shot of a radio, the dial looked typically Philips It was difficult to discern the rest of the radio, could anyone who saw it hazard a guess as to the make and model and was it right for the period (1938)?

CharlieH 11th Jun 2013 3:53 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
So glad I'm not the only one who spotted that in Gatsby Peter! Got a lot of strange looks when I had my 'Aha!' moment in the cinema.

emeritus 11th Jun 2013 7:58 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
The "Hovis" TV advert of a few years ago which showed the boy with the loaf going through time as he went through the village, showed a family listening to Winston Churchill's "We shall fight them on the beaches" broadcast on a Bush DAC90.

Nicklyons2 11th Jun 2013 8:35 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Yes, I think the TV props buyers assume the DAC90 was in continuous production from around 1920 to 1955! Foyle's war has one lurking in the inspector's office; IMHO it is a very good series generally but it has a few 'discrepancies'. In one episode the lights in a house fail and someone exclaims that "the ring main's gone" - bit naughty wiring lights into a ring main, particularly when they hadn't been 'invented' yet. One of my favourites is a US drama in which the Kennedy assassination is being viewed 'live' on TV on a Sony Trinitron; I've heard of being ahead of the game but......

Brigham 17th Aug 2013 8:06 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
One of the David Suchet (excellent) Poirots showed a BBC transcription turntable looking suspiciously like a Recordon dictation machine of 1950-odd. Not sure the BBC would consider that 'broadcast standard' even after it had been invented.

Welsh Anorak 18th Sep 2013 12:08 pm

Period TVs in the film 'Rush'
 
Hi there
Just seen the motor racing film 'Rush' about the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt - a good film even for someone like myself who knows nothing about, or has no interest in, the sport.
Of course any good train spotter looks at the props used - the film was set in the period 1970 - 1976.
Correct:-
A couple of the ubiquitous Sony KV1300s working well
A Thorn 1500 24" sitting in the corner, mute
A Bush TV193S, though alarmingly displaying a colour picture!
A slightly mysterious set, possibly a Teleton or Telrpo with four horizontal varicap buttons along the bottom
A Pye 697 series with, unusually, slider controls.
An unknown (to me) Grundig and similarly a Siemens both working in the German sequences, both appeared approximately of the period, though maybe the latter was a little too modern.
An unknown American large-screen TV - again, appeared period.
Mistakes:-
A Thorn 1691 mono portable - displaying a colour picture - in around 1972.
A grubby white Eighties Ferguson TX90 working well - and in the Japanese sequence!
A nice dial Trimphone, but with a 746 bell.
I'm sure there are racing car enthusiasts who will be busy spotting errors there as well, but the period was, to my eyes, well recreated. Be nice if someone did ask our advice about the electronics, though!
Some nice non-racing cars, such as a pair of Citroen DSs, a Lancia Fulvia and Hunt's Cooper-S, plus some early Datsuns.
Glyn

G6Tanuki 18th Sep 2013 1:18 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Equipment-spotting is always fun: one of my favourite movies, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" features closeups of a CGI-rendered radio which is very clearly a Hallicrafters S20-style radio with an oscilloscope screen where the speaker would normally be.

Fezziwig 19th Sep 2013 9:12 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It hardly matters really but it is fun pointing out these things.

In an episode of Endeavour (Young Insp Morse) they referred to watching the Coronation 1953 in Bicester. Not sure there would have been a TV signal there in 1953??

paulsherwin 19th Sep 2013 9:26 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It was just possible to pull in a signal from Alexandra Palace in Bicester. Oxford received its TV from AP/CP throughout the 405 era - there was a BBC relay built at Beckley in the early 60s, but by then everybody had paid for huge expensive aerial arrays and weren't prepared to pay again for them to be realigned.

London FM radio stations like Capital and LBC used to get to Oxford using a good aerial in the 80s before the FM band filled up with local stations. It's only 60 miles away.

Fezziwig 20th Sep 2013 6:43 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I thought I had read up how far AP reached.. Was well short of Bicester. Of course VHF and UHF has a patchy coverage. A good aerial at a high location can pull in a signal from well outside the official service area. Shame the FM band is crowded now. We used to get a weak but constant FM signal from BRT Belgium in North Wales on I think 98.5 before R1 took over.

Fezziwig 20th Sep 2013 6:50 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Not quite to do with radio etc but I was shocked to see a later generation London Routemaster in Foyle's War. Haven't been able to sleep since.

Often in WW2 dramas AR88s and HROs are seen. Not sure there would have been many AR88s in the UK at the time???

AC/HL 20th Sep 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
According to Bletchley park, the AR88 was introduced in 1940, so would be OK.

AndiiT 20th Sep 2013 8:26 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Hi,
Not quite radio related, but a small "Anachronism" all the same.

There was an episode of "Juliet Bravo" where I spotted a Push button telephone mounted on a Planset 625, at one point in the episode Sergeant (Joe) Beck picked the phone receiver up to make a call and used a dialing motion with his hand - this, of course, was seen from the rear side of the phone instrument.

Andrew

paulsherwin 20th Sep 2013 8:52 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fezziwig (Post 631464)
I thought I had read up how far AP reached.. Was well short of Bicester.

This map shows the CH1 coverage from CP. I suspect AP didn't travel so well so you could be right after all.

McMurdo 20th Sep 2013 10:40 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I've just seen a Channel-5 documentary on the Apollo-13 incident where mission control appeared to have gained LCD computer monitors

Relay Automatic 21st Sep 2013 2:33 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Years ago in Australia there was a TV series 'Power without Glory' with a storyline that went from the 1890s to the 1940s. Curiously the main character started with a 1930s Bakelite Tele 162 and finished with a wooden Ericsson magneto wall phone circa 1901. On another long running Aussie sitcom set in a 1980s country town the doctor's surgery and the police station had dial 801 type phones but the actors always lifted the handset and waited for an operator to answer to make a call. Makes you wonder what the set people were thinking. Then again I was recently told by a young technology 'expert' that TV was invented in 1976, it had always been colour and the B&W bit was only when old films were screened.

Andrew

Andrew2 18th Dec 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Just watched the first part of the Great Train Robbery drama (BBC1 Weds 18 Dec) and near the end it showed one of the gang listening to the BBC News on a portable radio. Oh dear, they got the time pips wrong. This was set in 1963 when there were six equal pips, but we heard the 'long' final pip which didn't come in 'til the 70's (I think).

emeritus 19th Dec 2013 12:21 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
In the film "The King's Speech" there's a scene where the King puts on headphones and is instructed to read something out loud while music from a gramaphone record is played loudly though them. I am pretty sure that the record player has an acoustic tone arm rather than an electric pick-up, but don't have a recording of the film to hand to be certain.

paulsherwin 19th Dec 2013 2:15 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew2 (Post 649557)
Just watched the first part of the Great Train Robbery drama (BBC1 Weds 18 Dec) and near the end it showed one of the gang listening to the BBC News on a portable radio. Oh dear, they got the time pips wrong. This was set in 1963 when there were six equal pips, but we heard the 'long' final pip which didn't come in 'til the 70's (I think).

The designers had clearly put a lot of effort into sourcing suitable props and vehicles, but there were a number of pretty obvious clangers. The most obvious thing I noticed was the train running on the wrong track of a two track section, particularly odd as they had exclusive use of the Worth Valley Railway during filming so could easily have run the train on the correct track, and there would have been lots of railway preservation anoraks around who would have pointed out the error.

I particularly liked the cheap Hong Kong radio, though that may actually have been a bit early for 1963.

KeithsTV 19th Dec 2013 8:44 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew2 (Post 649557)
Just watched the first part of the Great Train Robbery drama (BBC1 Weds 18 Dec) and near the end it showed one of the gang listening to the BBC News on a portable radio. Oh dear, they got the time pips wrong. This was set in 1963 when there were six equal pips, but we heard the 'long' final pip which didn't come in 'til the 70's (I think).

I spotted that as well and have been trying to find out when the extended 6th pip came in but information seems to be virtually non existant even on sites dedicated to the Greenwich Time Signal.

Keith

Radio Wrangler 19th Dec 2013 8:53 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Wrong rail track, wrong radio…. but for something centuries further out-of-era, keep an eye out for modern stainless stirrups :-)

I personally love scenes with wonderful old Cossor and Solartron scopes being used to control time machines, spaceships and general spatial discombobulators.

HP used to have a sales office not far from the studios in Hollywood. Occasionally big names would come over for a look around the bits of machinery on offer, but when the official orders came in, they said things like "Four of the ones with the green wiggly lines"

David

Sean Williams 19th Dec 2013 8:57 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
UHF TV did not start until 1964, but the shot of thr farmhouse after the gang had taken the train clearly shows a UHF antenna on the roof......

There was also a problem with one of the landrovers - it was a series 3, which was not available in 1963, nor was the bedford truck turbochatged, despite the sound effects....

Will now go and hanh my anorak up again....

KeithsTV 19th Dec 2013 9:50 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
According to Mike Todds website the 6th pip was lengthened to 500ms at midnight on 31st December 1971. This allowed the last pip to be distingishable from the rest to cope with the addition of leap seconds.

http://www.miketodd.net/other/gts.htm

Anorak now back on the hook.

Keith

Junk Box Nick 19th Dec 2013 12:31 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I wondered where the GTR was shot. I did wonder about the Great Central as it has a main line appearance with a lot of dual track whereas most heritage lines are single. The Worth Valley Railway is also famous for the location of "The Railway Children".

Of course the main line at Cheddington was four tracks and dead straight for a few miles.

The diesel engine was correct.

I did wonder about the radios, particularly the walkie-talkies in 1963. Don't know much of what was available then so would be interesting to know. I got a glimpse of a Pye Westminster (?) in the farm. I certainly saw a Pye microphone.

Around 1963 I was having to stay with various relations due to parental illness and I remember the grown up son in the house hold showing off to me a snazzy little Japanese type radio he had bought with a telescopic aerial which fascinated me - is this where it all started for me?

The other radio in the household was a Bush VTR of some sort.

Detail, detail! Two Mk II Jaguars were used in the getaway from the BOAC robbery - one shown was a Daimler 250. The registration plates on the Land Rovers were incorrect - they both bore the same reg with an A suffix. The getaway lorry was an Austin Loadstar.

Perhaps I'll get an anorak for Christmas...

Andrew2 19th Dec 2013 12:56 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
The little walkie-talkies caught my attention too, Nick. There was one brief shot in which we can see a label on the back of one of them, so when the episode comes up on I-player I'll try to spot it.
In the mid 60's I had a pair of walkie-talkies. They were on 27MHz and on a good day with the wind behind them they'd do about 300 yards.

paulsherwin 19th Dec 2013 2:00 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick (Post 649632)
I wondered where the GTR was shot. I did wonder about the Great Central as it has a main line appearance with a lot of dual track whereas most heritage lines are single. The Worth Valley Railway is also famous for the location of "The Railway Children".

Of course the main line at Cheddington was four tracks and dead straight for a few miles.

The diesel engine was correct.

Most of the location filming took place in and around Leeds so the choice of the K&WVR may have been down to that - I imagine most preserved railways would have been happy to provide facilities off season. The engine isn't on the K&WVR rolling stock list so it must have been on loan or hired specially. I know it was repainted for filming.

Andrew2 19th Dec 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Great Train Robbery. I've just had a gander at the sequence with the walkie talkie (51:44), and the label reads 'TEN FOUR', with some much smaller print beneath. Googling doesn't help. The front view is rather distant (50:57), but seems to show a tall, thin radio with a circular speaker and two knobs arraged vertically below it. I've just spent half an hour looking at images of CB sets to no avail. The styling looks (to my eyes) much later than 1963.

merlinmaxwell 19th Dec 2013 5:37 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I did see a 'Marple' with an A22 dial all lit up (not just the pointer bit), not correct but it did look very good in a dimmly lit room. The GTR last night was very enjoyable, looking forward to the 'Cops View' tonight. All good fun picking out the errors, also good telly (for a change!).

Andrew2 19th Dec 2013 6:54 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
1 Attachment(s)
Ah, sorry to sound like an obsessive, but I've just found the walkie-talkies:

70's specials, I'd say:

Junk Box Nick 19th Dec 2013 7:04 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I think that the most important thing is that a programme - especially a drama - is enjoyable.

I thought that the GTR was very well done - a good piece of work. I am looking forward to tonight's instalment - I'm sure there will be a few police radios to spot. (The two policemen who discovered the farm arrived on a police bike and had no radio - imagine if the villains had still been there!)

The 'errors' if one wants to count them as such took nothing away from the story. The makers of the GTR have clearly done their best - I was on the edge of my seat for much of it which is what counts.

If detail was accurate to the last nut and bolt - there must be plenty that experts in other fields pick up - it would end up less a drama and more an OU lecture. (And the research costs would multiply.)

Junk Box Nick 19th Dec 2013 7:20 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew2 (Post 649677)
Ah, sorry to sound like an obsessive, but I've just found the walkie-talkies:
70's specials, I'd say:

The artwork for the box looks early 70s. Take a look at the haircuts. Boys were invariably shown with short back and sides in the sixties on product packaging. Mod and Beatle cuts would have been a bit too rebellious for advertisers to use - they like a conservative clean image for their products. The styling of units themselves looks early 70s too.

McMurdo 19th Dec 2013 7:27 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
My mate had those walkie talkies for Christmas in the late 70's coinciding with the CB craze. I was intimately acquainted with them as I gutted them and fitted the innards into a wooden desk mounted box to make them look 'more professional'..at least to a child's eyes.

G6Tanuki 19th Dec 2013 7:44 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
2 Attachment(s)
1960s-era naughty 27MHz walkie-talkies looked more like these [Ads from 1967 'Practical Wireless' - one from Relda Radio, 87 Tottenham Court Road London NW1 the other from G.W. Smith & Co, 3-34 Lisle Street, London WC2]

The pricing is interesting - the top-end models are selling for something like the average weekly 'white collar' accounts-clerk/office-person/Tv-radio-shop bench-technician wage!

A lot of the cheaper radios were super-regens with the superregen stage turned into a 'power oscillator' on transmit. Shades of the WWII-era 19-set "B" radio?

paulsherwin 19th Dec 2013 8:53 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It's obviously true that the quality of the drama is much more important than the accuracy of the minor props, but what is irritating is when the production designer simply can't be bothered to source the right props even if there would be little or no additional cost.

For example, DAC90s are often seen in WW2 dramas because they look the part and 1930s bakelite Ekcos would be much more expensive to hire, which is fair enough. There's no excuse for the GTR walkie-talkies though, as historically accurate handsets could have been mocked up in only a few hours and probably at less cost than sourcing the 1970s models that were actually used.

Ekcoman 20th Dec 2013 9:29 am

Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
2 Attachment(s)
I wondered if anyone else was quick eye and spotted a Vidor Lady Anne Radio in Part 1 of the two part programme on The Great Train Robbery?
Only annoying thing was the August scenes were obviously filmed in winter as no leaves on the trees or hedge rows.;)
Still overall a cracking drama and well done BBC.

paulsherwin 20th Dec 2013 11:48 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Agreed, great popular drama and a very good period feel despite the occasional minor lapse.

Peter.N. 20th Dec 2013 12:18 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Has anyone else noticed that the Pye radio telephones in the 'Heartbeat' police vehicles apparently work without aerials - except the one on the bike.

Peter

Tim 20th Dec 2013 3:35 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick (Post 649632)
they both bore the same reg with an A suffix

Which WAS correct for 1963.
Whether or not robbers would have had new getaway vehicles of course..............

peter_scott 20th Dec 2013 4:35 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
In the second part of the Great Train Robbery the Police turn up in a white Jag MkII fitted with a Webasto roof! This seems an unlikely accessory for a Police force to specify.

Peter ???

dave walsh 23rd Dec 2013 10:48 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Currently watching Len Goodmans Dance Band days BBC4. Lots of technical references. There was a set at the beginning that's late 1940's. As this program is largely pre-war this might be out of place? I'm sure theres lots to go at but it's all quite interesting anyway. 78s/Mikes/BBC Archives/Racism and the Beeb being behind the curve as usual.

camtechman 24th Dec 2013 8:01 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew2 (Post 649557)
"we heard the 'long' final pip"

Yep, I spotted (heard) that, plus a few others.

For instance: When they got into the engine shed & started up the diesel engine and then it 'run away' and they had to jump out, leaving the engine to run along the distant track....how come it didn't come to a stop as no one was holding the dead man's handle open ?!

Andrew2 24th Dec 2013 9:25 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
^^ They even mentioned the dead man's handle when they started the loco! Somehow it was forgotten in the quest for drama.

Junk Box Nick 24th Dec 2013 10:15 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Actually, for me, that was probably the most ridiculous scene of what was a pretty good drama. I'm sure half the viewing population were shouting "let go of the dead man's handle!". The robbers did have a try at driving an engine in a shunting yard but Reynolds' chance encounter with Biggs (with his engine driver contact) seemed to solve the problem. 1963 had a bad winter and a poor summer but I doubt there'd have been snow on the ground by the time they went engine driving.

pmmunro 24th Dec 2013 1:24 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
On a slightly different aspect of the topic; does anyone know when oil lamps with bulbous funnels came into use? The patented Argand lamp which first used a funnel had one of cylindrical form according to the sources I've found.

Also, why do oil lamps in film or TV dramas always seem to have the wick turned up too high leaving soot on the funnel? I would have thought that every child would have been taught from a very early age that having the wick too high caused smoke and was a wicked waste - after all most things children did were wicked (in the sinful sense).

PMM

Herald1360 25th Dec 2013 12:58 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I wonder if an oil lamp simply isn't bright enough to be seen to be lit under film lighting if the wick is trimmed properly.

In a film, it only has to be seen to be alight, it doesn't actually have to do anything useful.

AC/HL 25th Dec 2013 1:14 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
On a brightly lit set it couldn't unless it was turned right up. This is TV (or Film) drama after all. Real life stops at the stage door, It's all an illusion, and it mostly works.
Remember the yellow nurses uniforms on Emergency Ward 10. White caused the cameras to flare.

Skywave 25th Dec 2013 1:44 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter.N. (Post 649782)
Has anyone else noticed that the Pye radio telephones in the 'Heartbeat' police vehicles apparently work without aerials - except the one on the bike.

Yup: noticed that. I've also seen the radio operator back at the station receiving those VHF transmissions - on a Trio 9R59 short-wave comms. receiver! :-) Surely they could have found a Pye base station somewhere, (even if it was just an empty case), or failing that, knock up a 'look alike'?

Al.


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