Downton Abbey's bottle and five other on-screen bloopers

Aug 15, 2014

Plastic bottle gaffe In Downton Abbey press shot adds to a long list of anachronisms in movies and TV

Downton Abbey producers were left blushing this week after a plastic bottle was spotted in one of their promotional photographs. Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael look the part in their 1920s costumes, but the offending item can be seen on a mantelpiece behind them. Eagle-eyed Downton fans have pointed out that plastic bottles were not widely used in the UK until the early 1960s. The modern mishap can be added to a long list of other on-screen anachronisms. Here are just five:

Indiana Jones's modern map

In Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc, the audience is helpfully shown a map with Indie's plane routes across the world. However, the filmmakers did not think to get a map for the 1930s and instead used one from the 1980s. Thailand should have been labelled Siam, while Jordan was Transjordan until 1949.

Braveheart's white van man

One of the most famous movie mistakes is the fabled Braveheart white van. It appears in the background during various battle scenes and at Murron's funeral – very advanced transportation for 13th-century Scotland.

The White Queen's zips

Viewers of the BBC's £10m adaptation of Philippa Gregory's The White Queen were less than impressed at the lack of laced corsets in the 15th-century drama. Instead, several costumes appeared to be fastened with zips – which were not invented until the 19th century.

Apollo 13's futuristic Beatles album

In Apollo 13, the daughter of Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks, can be seen clutching The Beatles' Let it Be album. Yet the scene was set in April 1970 and the album wasn't released until August of that year.

Gladiator's gas canister

During the Battle of Carthage, a chariot crashes into the wall of the arena. Just as its back falls off, you can clearly see a gas canister. The Romans were an advanced civilisation, but they certainly didn't invent gas canisters.

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