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Absurdities and anachronisms on TV

The new ITV series Primeval, about dinosaurs coming through a time warp in the Forest of Dean, had its fair share of absurdities but the one I particularly liked occurred when the Professor went through the time warp himself in quest of his wife, who had disappeared eight years previously.

He and his paratroop companion soon came across a half-buried skeleton.

"Is it your wife?" the paratrooper asked.

The professor ran his fingers quickly along the tips of the vertebral spines, which was pretty much all of the bones that could be seen.

"No, it's a man," he replied.

Given that it is impossible to sex a skeleton from an inspection of the vertebrae I thought his confidence was rather misplaced.

Even the usually impeccable Foyle's War let us down in the plausibility department. No one in that period would have said "it was down to Grace"; they would have said "it was thanks to Grace".


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