about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Brucey
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about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 2:47pm

Maybe I'm being nerdy, pernickety or something but has anyone else noticed the anachronistic nature of the bicycles used the 'Father Brown' TV series? To me it stands out as clearly as, say, a UHF TV aerial would do in that type of period-set TV show.

We see Father Brown in silhouette aboard his bicycle in the opening credits. Even in silhouette you don't need to be particularly sharp-eyed to see that the bike is most probably a modern hybrid, complete with sloping top tube and cable-operated V-brakes.

The bike we see Father Brown riding around on in most episodes is different to the silhouette; at a distance it looks more like the correct thing but in the 1950s heavy-duty roadsters like that were not often fitted with cable-operated brakes; rod brakes would have been almost ubiquitous on that type of bike, with cable operated brakes being the province of more sporty machines, and occasional hub-braked models . I recently saw a closer shot of the bike in a recent episode and the brake levers are very obviously the modern sort that are usually seen operating V-brakes. They are of course like the rest of the bike 'disguised' by a layer of matt black paint.

Completely 'period correct' bicycles are difficult to source and maintain these days. Most folk presumably don't notice these things. However I recently found myself similarly irritated by a bike in a movie set in the late 1970s; the bike (well one of the bikes, they used different ones for stunts, meant to be the same but not actually) had a reflective stripe on the tyre sidewalls, which is an obvious (and easily avoidable) modern feature.

Anyone else seen anything similarly anachronistic?

cheers
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Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 3:01pm

from the Radio Times

Image
another modern part has fallen off my modern bicycle....

It is fairly obviously a more modern Pashley with a slap of paint to 'age' it; pretty close if you intention is to buy a new bike that is 'good enough' at a distance. However the brake levers, stem, 3s trigger (with plastic cover), headset, pedals, cotterless cranks, Allen bolts, plastic chaincase and the hub brakes don't bear close scrutiny. At least they don't have reflective stripes on the sidewall of the tyres.

FWIW SA made hub brakes in the 1950s but they were steel-shelled and of a different size to the more modern ones. An obvious difference is that the flanges on hubshell would have been different sizes on the 'period correct' hubs.

cheers
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mattheus
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby mattheus » 8 Jan 2020, 3:22pm

Brucey wrote:Maybe I'm being nerdy, pernickety or something but has anyone else noticed

Frankly?

getting period stuff perfect costs money - getting it "vaguely right" or "looks right to the layman" costs a lot less.

I'd rather they spent my licence fee on decent scriptwriters than just about anything else.

The glass half-full view is that you nit-pickers LOVE pointing these things out, and it keeps you all out of trouble x-:

whoof
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby whoof » 8 Jan 2020, 3:24pm

I've notice that every episode at least one person gets murdered. In a village the size of Kembleford, which by the way I don't think exists I'm surprised there's anyone left.

Brucey
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 3:41pm

mattheus wrote:
getting period stuff perfect costs money - getting it "vaguely right" or "looks right to the layman" costs a lot less.

I'd rather they spent my licence fee on decent scriptwriters than just about anything else....


er, yebbut an actual 1950s bike would cost a small fraction of a recent pashley....?

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 3:43pm

whoof wrote:I've notice that every episode at least one person gets murdered. In a village the size of Kembleford, which by the way I don't think exists I'm surprised there's anyone left.


just like Midsomer Murders is a major influence on rural depopulation.... :wink:

cheers
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Brucey
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 3:52pm

Image

this is going well, considering it is the wrong bike and has no tyres...

cheers
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mattheus
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby mattheus » 8 Jan 2020, 3:55pm

Brucey wrote:
mattheus wrote:
getting period stuff perfect costs money - getting it "vaguely right" or "looks right to the layman" costs a lot less.

I'd rather they spent my licence fee on decent scriptwriters than just about anything else....


er, yebbut an actual 1950s bike would cost a small fraction of a recent pashley....?

cheers


I am NOT getting drawn into this!!! Take it up with the show's producers - maybe you can make a few quid as a consultant!

( If it annoys you, you won't get any sympathy from me, sorry … )

Mike Sales
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Jan 2020, 3:58pm

I believe period dramas take great care removing things like yellow lines and TV aerials. Perhaps they think only a few cyclists will notice chronoclastic bikes.

mattheus
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby mattheus » 8 Jan 2020, 4:06pm

Pareto principle in action.

Brucey
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Brucey » 8 Jan 2020, 4:22pm

mattheus wrote:…. If it annoys you, you won't get any sympathy from me, sorry …


I rather gathered that.... :wink: I'd describe myself as mildly irritated by it, to the extent that I noticed straight away, much as others might notice the wrong clothing, lampshades, motor cars etc.

Mike Sales wrote:I believe period dramas take great care removing things like yellow lines and TV aerials. Perhaps they think only a few cyclists will notice chronoclastic bikes.


Oddly enough when there are bicycles ridden by other characters in Father Brown, they are not so obviously wrong.

I recently saw first hand another period-set TV drama being filmed local to me and they did indeed take considerable care over these things. They had period correct vehicles (including bicycles) on hire and took care to cover things like yellow lines. In fact I think they may have digitally post-processed the road surface in some shots; they covered a small portion of the road with gravel. I expected them to cover the whole thing but they didn't do that. I guess (and I really am guessing here) that they would cut and paste the image of the gravel so that the whole road looked unpaved. I've not seen the end result yet. Each day's set up and filming apparently yielded only a few minute's footage, and each evening the street was returned to a normal state, whether there was due to be more shooting the following day or not.

cheers
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pwa
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby pwa » 8 Jan 2020, 4:31pm

You have to turn a blind eye to details in period dramas. Take, for example, pieces set in World War 2 and using genuine WW2 RAF buildings at genuine WW2 airfields. But instead of being brand spanking new, as they would have been, the buildings are old, as they are now. You just have to pretend you can't see the strings.

Oldjohnw
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Oldjohnw » 8 Jan 2020, 4:55pm

I recently heard a trailer for he current radio drama about he pilgrim fathers. A woman was speaking about someone being "off their head".

Unlikely 17thC language.
John

pwa
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Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby pwa » 8 Jan 2020, 5:00pm

Oldjohnw wrote:I recently heard a trailer for he current radio drama about he pilgrim fathers. A woman was speaking about someone being "off their head".

Unlikely 17thC language.

But if they used genuine period language we wouldn't understand half of it.

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: about Father Brown's time travelling bicycles

Postby Oldjohnw » 8 Jan 2020, 5:40pm

pwa wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:I recently heard a trailer for he current radio drama about he pilgrim fathers. A woman was speaking about someone being "off their head".

Unlikely 17thC language.

But if they used genuine period language we wouldn't understand half of it.


True, but this seemed rather unnecessary.
John