Oh dear. There’s a stonking number of Brits and Australians* in the cast of Lost, aren’t there? So how come, when the show does its first proper flashback to England, they still manage to put together something that doesn’t even approach realism.
Not since the likes of The Fall Guy and other 80s classics of television have we been subjected to such tourist rubbish. UK viewers who haven’t seen the episode yet: I’m not spoiling you, I’m preparing you.
* Every single Australian over the age of 21 has been to London on a backpacking holiday at least once, so they could provide useful advice, too, I’m sure.
Here’s a traditional London pub. Looks authentic, doesn’t it, with that big Union Jack/Flag, everyone drinking pints and those dinky little table lamps?
Here’s a traditional London “roasted chestnuts” vendor, which of course all locals visit whenever possible. Again with the Union Jack.
Here’s an army recruitment poster for the Royal Scots. Notice how we now spell honour without a ‘u’.
Here’s a photo seller on the South Bank, somewhere around about County Hall. Notice the imposing shape of the London Eye, the clear open skyline and the authentic 60s architecture. Oh wait… Here’s what it should look like.
And, of course, it’s the US tourist double: the red telephone box and the good old British Bobbie. Let’s not forget to give them minor cliché points for the flat hat on the chestnut seller.
Okay. Let’s face it, 99% of the worldwide Lost audience won’t notice these problems. You have to be a local to pick up on it. I, for one, have no idea if there’s any realism whatsoever in the depiction of various parts of Australia or Korea in past episodes. But I’m pretty sure Lost‘s version of Nigeria was more like Somalia, so maybe others have noticed these problems and been irritated, too.
What do you all think? Should we care when TV programmes made and filmed in other countries get it wrong? Should we expect them to consult with locals first? Or should we just accept it’s never going to be perfect and swallow it up, wherever we live?