I’m looking at the promotional photos for the fifth season of Downton Abbey that were just released, and goddamn if somebody didn’t accidentally leave a relic of the twentieth century in one of the pictures.
It’s okay if you don’t see it right away, because I didn’t either — I had to have BuzzFeed spell it out for me. Up on the mantelpiece next to Lady Edith. Is that a crystal ewer, I see, or a tiny shard of a chandelier fallen from the ceiling? Why no, it’s a crappy old water bottle that apparently NO ONE ON SET noticed or thought to take out of frame. (Or maybe it’s a Sprite Zero bottle? I’m taking all bets at this point.)
I mean, I knew the Crawleys were rich, I just didn’t realize they were rich enough to build a time machine, travel into the future with said time machine, stop at a bodega in an era when plastic bottles exist, purchase a plastic, and then go jaunting back to their mansion with it. That seems like a lot of work to go to just to display their lavish wealth, but I guess I’ve seen crazier things.
And before you start to insist that this photo is a fake, just bear in mind that it was pretty much immediately pulled by ITV, the channel that airs Downton Abbey in the UK. But since we live in a world where screen shots exist, we all get to look at this photo forever more and wonder how it’s possible that in the process of this photo going from inception to publication, not one person was like, “Hey lemme zoom in on that weird part OH NO THE FUTURE GET IT OUT”. Better luck next time, 1920s enforcers! You let one slip by you. (Well two, if we’re counting Dan Stevens.)
Season five of Downton Abbey will begin airing in the United States on January 4th, 2015 on PBS.
(Photo: Nick Briggs / Carnival Film & Television Ltd / ITV)