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10/14/2021 9:40 am  #1

That Shouldn't Be There

This is for instances when something stands out as something that is very unlikely to be in a particular city, country, etc. I don't mean things like street signs (maybe in that world they share street names) but things that are more glaring:

Too many to mention, including Arrow/Flash/Supergirl: despite being set in major US cities, overhead shots often clearly show Vancouver's Science World.

In one episode of the US version of Queer as Folk, set in Pittsburgh, you can clearly see the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in the background.

In one episode of Supergirl, set in the fictional US city of National City, Kara and someone else (I can't recall who) pass by a Canada Post mail box.

Early on in the first episode of Chucky, again set in the US, a GO Transit train comes prominently into view in the background. GO stands for Government of Ontario, and GO trains and buses are mainly used to commute people to and from Toronto and vicinity.

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10/14/2021 12:00 pm  #2

Re: That Shouldn't Be There

Hmm. One location example and some incongruous items spring to mind.

The Mummy Returns, set in 1930s London, includes this skyline shot:
The big dome in the foreground is the roof of St Paul's Cathedral, the bridge with the two towers is (unsurprisingly) Tower Bridge, and the giant clock you can see in the distance is the Clocktower of the Palace of Westminster, often incorrectly dubbed Big Ben (but since that's shorter to type, I'll use it here). Trouble is, that's an impossible view. 

Here's an actual modern day view from the top of St Paul's Cathedral, where you can just make out Big Ben. I've marked where Tower Bridge would be:
and here's Google Map's satellite view of the area. I've marked the three locations - initials tell you which is which, and the red dots are the specific locations.

Incongruous item - in the 2016 movie Criminal, the villains are pursuing one of the good guys, who jumps into a taxi. Taking a note of the cab's license plate, the criminals hack the cab's Sat Nav and trick the taxi driver into taking the good guy to the wrong location and into an ambush. Only problem: This scene was set in London and it was a London Black Cab. In any other city with any other taxis, the villains' trick might have made sense, but London Black Cab drivers famously do not use Sat Navs. To get their cab licenses they have to pass a test known as the Knowledge, requiring them to prove they have memorized EVERY SINGLE STREET AND ROUTE in London. Even if we believe the driver had a Sat Nav, he'd have swiftly noticed when it began to take him off route. 

And one that might not be obvious to most people, but stood out like a sore thumb to me. In the 2016 TV show Class, a spin-off from Doctor Who, the main setting is a newly built, state of the art London secondary school. Yet the classrooms have blackboards that the teachers write on with chalk. This betrays the age of the writers. I've worked in dozens of London secondary schools, and none of them have used blackboards since the turn of the millennium. For a brand new, purpose built, top of the line school to be shown to have them is like seeing a modern hospital drama wheeling out the leeches to use on patients.


10/16/2021 5:26 am  #3

Re: That Shouldn't Be There

Another one: Kick-Ass. Again set in an American city. While Red Mist and Kick-Ass are in the former's car, while blurry, we can see them pass by a Future Shop (I suspect given what we can see of the background the one that was near Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto). Future Shop was a Canadian electronics franchise store at the time owned by Best Buy Canada. Best Buy Canada subsequently closed all Future Shops or rebranded them as Best Buys but at the time of the movie was still around, as a Canada only store.

Also the first episode of The Boys has a scene in what I think is supposed to be in Times Square, New York, but it's small space and distinct look make it all but certainly the aforementioned Yonge-Dundas Square.

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6/27/2022 4:35 am  #4

Re: That Shouldn't Be There

Another geographical one.

In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Robin and his companion Azeem land in England at the Seven Sisters, a distinctive set of white cliffs, and Robin proclaims that tonight they will dine at his father's home. Small trouble with this. His father's home is Locksley, just south (at the time) of Nottingham, some 180 miles away. The pair of them are on foot. There's no way they are making it to Nottingham.

Let's consider the best case scenario: The world record for running a marathon is just over 2 hours. So at that speed you could cover 180 miles in a little over 14 hours. The longest day in the UK is around 17 hours. So in theory if you landed at dawn you might be able to run that distance in the available time. If you didn't tire and fatigue like a normal human and so could sustain the speed for seven times longer than the fittest real-world marathon runner. And weren't carrying heavy swords and wearing armor. And running across rough country terrain instead of along level modern roads. In boots rather than running shoes. 

Basically, unless Robin and Azeem were secretly Captain America and the Black Panther, there's no way they are covering the distance in so short a time. Even if they procured horses, it'd be hard to do - there's a famous tale about real highwayman Dick Turpin that claimed he rode a similar distance in one night (12 hours) as a way of reaching the city of York before news of his crimes in London reached there. And the whole reason that ride was considered legendary was because it was viewed as an almost unbelievable feat. And that was a later era, with Turpin being able to ride on much better roads than would have been available in Robin's era.

Another amusing aspect of the two characters' journey from the coast to Nottingham is that the pair overshoot their destination by hundreds of miles, as we see them walk across a point on Hadrian's Wall, the barrier built by the Romans to mark the border between the lands they had conquered and the north of the island, then ruled by the wild Picts. To give non-Brits an idea of just how far north they'd gone, check out this map:

Robin and Azeem landed at the red dot. Their goal was the purple dot. On the way from the red to the purple dot, they briefly passed over the blue dot...


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