Best sci-fi TV factual errors of all time

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Red Dwarf picture

Back To Reality - S5-E6

Factual error: While it is true that lithium carbonate can be used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders, it cannot be administered in gaseous form. It is a very stable salt and only starts to form vapour at 1,310 degress Celcius. Spraying it about as a 'mood stabliser' at that temperature, as Kryten does, is going to kill everyone on the spot.

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Doctor Who picture

The Impossible Planet (1) - S2-E11

Factual error: The Doctor (and the staff on the station) refer to the idea of a planet being in orbit around a black hole as 'impossible'. It is not. Gravity (and physics in general) works perfectly well outside of the event horizon. For all practical purposes - regarding orbiting around it - the black hole might as well be any other object, as long as it has an equal mass. (00:07:15 - 00:08:30)

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Star Trek: The Next Generation picture

The Royale - S2-E12

Factual error: 30 seconds in Geordi says: 'surface temperature -291 degrees Celsius'. (The scale only goes down to -273.15 which is absolute zero). (00:00:30)

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The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. picture

Riverboat - S1-E6

Factual error: A character in the episode has invented denim, but denim was invented in 1873 and was being used widely up to the time period of the series, which is set in 1893.

Scott215

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Suggested correction: The entire series was set in an alternate history of sorts, so most, if not all, historical "inaccuracies" cannot be regarded as mistakes.

zendaddy621

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Star Trek picture

Tomorrow is Yesterday - S1-E20

Factual error: Towards the end of the show the Enterprise is leaving Earth orbit and heading towards the sun. We see the Earth diminish and the moon appear looking exactly as it does from Earth. From this angle we should be seeing the "dark side" of the moon, which looks completely different. (00:40:50)

von

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Limitless picture

Page 44 - S1-E4

Factual error: When discussing a recent search of a suspect's home, Hill Harper says "we got his hard drives", but pulls a computer power supply out of a bag. Hard drives are significantly smaller and don't have a bundle of wires coming out the back of them.

Jon Sandys Premium member

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The Last Ship picture

Achilles - S2-E5

Factual error: 1. Why wasn't Prairie/Masker operating all the time they knew a sub was out there? That's SOP for the US Navy. 2. Spearfish torpedoes are homing torpedoes. They wouldn't just shoot by on each side of the ship, but if they did, they'd turn around and pursue their target until they ran out of fuel. 3. Why didn't the ship employ countermeasures when the sub launched torpedoes? A noisemaker, a nixie - Navy ships don't just cross their fingers and hope the torpedoes miss.

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Batwoman picture

The Rabbit Hole - S1-E2

Factual error: Alice and Kate's little reunion underwater is disrupted by policemen that fire at them, and one of the shots reaches the transport truck, ignites it and makes it explode. The scene is baffling; forgetting the complete disregard for fellow policemen in the vehicle, how would bullets have enough strength to penetrate into an armored truck deep underwater, reach a critical weak point from that angle (the truck is upright, they should be barely get to shoot the roof of it) and still underwater cause inside the completely immersed vehicle a spark that would ignite fuel and make the whole truck explode? (00:31:45)

Sammo Premium member

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Fringe picture

Dream Logic - S2-E5

Factual error: When discussing whether Dr. Nayak's server could have been hacked, Agent Broyles says there was "no sign of a DDoS attack." A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is not a means of hacking into a server to alter data - it refers to flooding a web site with so many connections, through automated means, that legitimate visitors can't connect to it. It's a mode of attack that has no relevance to the situation they were discussing.

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Arrow picture

The Scientist - S2-E8

Factual error: There is no way Laurel Lance would have been allowed on the prosecution team for Moira Queen's murder trial. Due to the facts that she both dated and as a lawyer represented the defendant's son, the defendant's daughter used to intern for her, and her boyfriend was one of the people killed in the Glades, it would have taken all of two seconds for the court to have her removed if she didn't willingly recuse herself, since her presence would be a major conflict of interest.

AD

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The Twilight Zone picture

Elegy - S1-E20

Factual error: The astronauts land on an asteroid said to orbit a binary star 655 million miles from Earth. This is impossible, as that distance would place them well within our solar system. In fact, they'd be inside the orbit of Saturn, where of course there aren't (nor could there be) any extraneous suns. The nearest star to our system is, in fact, trillions (not millions) of miles away. (00:02:15 - 00:04:00)

Jean G

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Falling Skies picture

Live and Learn - S1-E1

Factual error: When Tom has decided his scout group will have to go for the food and then his look for his son later, they are stood on a green. There is a war memorial dedicated to both World Wars, 1914 - 1918 and 1939 - 1945. That's got to be in Canada, as the USA didn't enter either war until later than those dates. (00:28:00)

Dominic Ceraldi

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Z Nation picture

Show generally

Factual error: Throughout the series, there are scenes of decapitated heads speaking with audible voices, in spite of the fact that they have no diaphragms, lungs or larynxes. Even if a decapitated head was somehow fully animate, it still couldn't utter a sound.

Charles Austin Miller

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Legends of Tomorrow picture

Left Behind - S1-E9

Factual error: Ray, Sara, and Kendra are Left Behind in 1958. However, 10 weeks later Sara and Kendra are playing the board game "The Game of Life." The modern version, as seen, didn't come out until 1960 (previously it was called The Checkered Game of Life and doesn't resemble the modern version).

Bishop73

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Smallville picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: Lex crashes and his car lands on its roof, but in the span of a few seconds it has sunk straight to the bottom, and turned the right way up. Cars don't sink that quickly. (00:17:25)

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Battlestar Galactica picture

Saga of a Star World (1) - S1-E1

Factual error: When Apollo decides he and Zac will attack the Cylons that are following them, he tells Zac to "hit your reverse thrusters and maximum braking flaps", but they aren't in an atmosphere. Brake flaps would have no effect in the vacuum of space. (00:10:30)

johnrosa

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Suggested correction: Since the Colonial Vipers CAN fly in atmosphere and in space, that move would just be standard operating procedure and used either in space or in air. Similar to the way Navy pilots deploy a tailhook (for carrier use) when they land on runways.

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