Foyle’s Flaws

Obsessive picking at period TV shows.

Feeling all tired and run down again – which probably has something to do with going out with the family for my birthday on Saturday night and eating vast quantities of horribly unhealthy Chinese food. Extremely tasty Chinese I hasten to add, just probably not the best thing to be eating in bulk. And any attempt to offset it has been stymied by the fact that we’re in the midst of another heatwave. It was about 40 today, and it’s going to be about 42 until Thursday, so exercise is pretty much out of the question. As is sleep, emails or even decent blogging.

I’ve spent most of the day listening to podcasts and working on a fairly weird art project that came to me a few days ago. I’m not going to provide details because I may well fail to get it done. But we’ll see how I do. It’s not anything particularly amazing, just something that seemed amusing to me. And I can always whip up some post modern art-wank to justify it if I complete it (something about conceptual landscapes and superimposition and all that other meaningless stuff they teach you at university art courses these days).

In lieue of actually writing anything decent, I thought I’d mention something that’s been floating around in the back of my mind for a few weeks now – ever since the ABC screened the latest series of Foyle’s War. For those unfamiliar with it, Foyle’s War is a police detective show set in southern England (Hastings to be exact) during World War II. It is chiefly watched by old people and sad geeks such as myself *g*. They generally do a good job of recreating wartime Britain (as far as I know anyway, I wasn’t there after all 🙂 but there were two incidents of glaring anachronism that just lept out at me this season.

The first was in the first episode, when the Americans turned up. One of them made reference to “Farmer Giles, shooting off his blunderbus”. Now, this is almost certainly a reference to J.R.R.Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham, which features the eponymous farmer fighting off a giant with said blunderbus. So what’s the problem? Surely I’d be in favour of more Tolkien references in the media? Sure, except that the episode’s set in 1942 and Farmer Giles wasn’t written until 1947 🙂

The second anachronism was in a slightly later episode. I can’t actually swear that it happened, I was in the kitchen and walked in halfway through a conversation. But I’m pretty certain someone referred to “dealing with the fallout”. Now, not having a copy of the OED handy I can’t confirm that “fallout” only entered the general lexicon after the Castle Bravo test in 1956, but I strongly suspect it – so no-one in 1942 should be using the term at all!

(I suppose there might be an earlier, pre-nuclear use of the word – possibly in military circles – but I ain’t never heard of it 🙂

In spite of these kinds of minor goofs (which only an obsessive nut such as myself would worry about) it’s still a highly enjoyable series.

I’m going to go die from heat prostration now.

PS: Hang on, so Boston’s More than a Feeling and Hunters and Collectors’ Holy Grail share the same baseline? Who would have thunk it?

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