Authenticism .. or not?
But this has got me thinking. Actually it does matter!
How many letters have been written to the Daily Telegraph about how such and such a locomotive could never have been in the region depicted in this or that BBC TV drama? My father would regularly comment on it.
Most of us will laugh at it - it doesn't matter, after all.
But I say again, it does matter - and here's why. When we are creating a drama we want it to be as believable as possible. Surely our objective is to engross our audience in the story. Anything that is not believable takes us out of the story, reminds us we are merely watching a film. Now I won't be taken out of the story if an LNER locomotive is shown in the West Country, but there are plenty who will be (many of them IAC members, I suspect)
Michael Slowe spotted the inaccurate phone number, not because he is a phone number geek, but by virtue of the fact he lived in the area when those codes were in use. Whether or not it spoiled the film for him, he was taken out of the story, however briefly, and I doubt anyone would disagree that it would have been better had he not.
Whether it's a digital watch worn by a Roman Centurion or the wrong colour livery for a locomotive in 1956 it is wrong and potentially takes the viewer our of the moment. The only difference is how many people might spot it.
So I've changed my opinion somewhat. As amateurs we might be hard pressed to get footage of our cast alighting from the correct carriage for the location in which our story takes place, but we can get phone numbers and postcodes correct with a little effort. Most of out audience won't notice, but why not cover ourselves and get it right?