Ok, fellow Star Trek fans, here’s a mission for you. Can you spot the technical error in this screen capture from the ST: TOS episode “City on the edge of forever”? If you’ll recall, the story involves Kirk, Spock, and McCoy travelling to 1930 New York City by way of the Guardian of Forever. First aired April 6, 1967, our intrepid heroes must right McCoy’s interference in history in order to restore the timeline, and save the world from being conquered by the Nazis.
Well, I’m sure the sharp eyed among you have noticed the yellow fallout shelter sign on the building’s facade. Of course, there were no such signs in New York City in 1930, as atomic bombs did not yet exist. Somebody goofed!
Either the production company grabbed some stock “New York City, 1930, street scene” footage for a scene cut, or someone filmed a quick cut without noticing the ubiquitous (in 1967) yellow and black sign plastered to the building. Either way, even after 41 years (I’ve been watching since 1972, didn’t get to see it in prime time because Dad hogged our only TV set to watch Gunsmoke or Bonanza or something) of who knows how many viewings, it took a high definition computer screen for me to spot the mistake.
Although I’m sure some sharp-eyed viewer spotted this a long time ago, it’s the first time I’ve been aware of it’s presence. It’s kind of fun to spot mistakes like this, and I find myself doing it without ever meaning to. The most common time error I usually see is a telephone with a modular cord plug sitting on a desk in a time well before such things. It’s almost right, but when the actor holds that handset to their ear, and that plug is right there, I’m thinking “waitaminute!”
Beam me up, Scotty, before the fallout gets me!