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Old 19th Dec 2013, 12:21 am   #21
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Default 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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 2:15 am   #22
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 8:44 am   #23
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
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
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 8:53 am   #24
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Default 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"

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Old 19th Dec 2013, 8:57 am   #25
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Default 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....
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 9:50 am   #26
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Default 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.

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Old 19th Dec 2013, 12:31 pm   #27
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Default 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...
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 12:56 pm   #28
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Default 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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 2:00 pm   #29
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 2:05 pm   #30
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Default 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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 5:37 pm   #31
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Default 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!).
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 6:54 pm   #32
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Ah, sorry to sound like an obsessive, but I've just found the walkie-talkies:

70's specials, I'd say:
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 7:04 pm   #33
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Default 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.)
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 7:20 pm   #34
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
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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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 7:27 pm   #35
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Default 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.
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 7:44 pm   #36
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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?
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Old 19th Dec 2013, 8:53 pm   #37
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Default 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.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 9:29 am   #38
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Default Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 11:48 am   #39
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Agreed, great popular drama and a very good period feel despite the occasional minor lapse.
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Old 20th Dec 2013, 12:18 pm   #40
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Default 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.

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