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CoriSCapnSkip
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PostSubject: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyTue Feb 27, 2024 8:30 pm

I'm just starting Season 1 watching the complete series, but I watched much of it before so can name a few inconsistencies. I won't get heavily into historical inaccuracies or contradictions with the books or I might never get done. One of the biggest contradictions to the books is there is WAAAAAYYY more crying in the series, in situations in which the real people cried very little if at all. Laura was taught it was babyish to cry and may have even got in trouble for it. (Gotta read the books again.)

At the beginning of Season 1, it is made clear that Laura can't read or write. Her narration states, "If I had a memory book, I'd write (such and such)." A later episode is based around her keeping a memory book when they first arrived in Walnut Grove.

Season 1 makes several references to what was known as Custer's Last Stand, now politically correctly termed the Battle of the Little Bighorn. This took place June 25 and 26, 1876. So fine, Season 1 takes place after that. Only it doesn't, because in 1976 they did a big show celebrating America's Centennial in 1876, so these Season 1 references were to something that hadn't happened yet.

In Season 1, Doc Baker operates on Mrs. Oleson to remove her appendix. Later in the series, in the faith healer episode, the doctor insists a young boy get to a surgeon to have his appendix removed. Why can't Doc Baker perform the operation since he has already successfully done it at least once?

Of course the most famous one was that Albert returned 20 years later as a doctor, but a TV movie implied he died. I haven't seen this movie but understand it doesn't actually show him dying so there's hope.
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Rhonda
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Feb 28, 2024 3:07 pm

You are correct that the list of inconsistencies could go on and on...When you are watching the TV Series with Michael Landon and the rest of the cast, you have to remember that he was previously on Bonanza, and the kind of stories and writing there was used with Little House as well...you HAVE to separate the books from the movies and TV series since they took liberties with most everything there. ML was always into the emotions of people on the shows...Bonanza to Little House referenced again...

If you look closely at things, Michael Landon did not have a beard as most of the pioneer men did...ML LOVED his head of hair and I think the only time we see him with a beard was in the episodes where James got shot, and he took him away to pray for healing...NONE of the married women would be allowed to teach in the schools...it was for single women only...once you were married, your job was the home and your family...and so on...

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Inconsistencies Rhonda10Inconsistencies Lauram10
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Feb 28, 2024 9:54 pm

I know married women were not allowed to teach, and I'm not sure even married men were. Teaching salaries were not enough to support a family, so married people were barred from teaching. There were also rules about being seen while pregnant, though those may have been more strict out east.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Feb 28, 2024 11:55 pm

Two more episodes, two more inconsistencies. In "Survival," Charles says it's been 16 years since the 1862 uprising, implying it is 1878. About a year and a half later it was 1876. Time ran backwards...amazing. In "To See the World," Johnny Johnson ditches school. Later in the episode, he mentions it's July. There isn't school in July. The reason was not so much that kids were needed on the farm, but that school buildings became intolerably hot in summer. A three month vacation has been a tradition ever since.
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Rhonda
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Feb 29, 2024 9:53 am

I think when the show was made back then, Michael Landon didn't realize how popular it would end up being with people watching the episodes over and over again...and, of course, having the technology we have, we have ways to watch them more than just the reruns, people were able to catch those wrong dates and inconsistencies...I'm sure Michael Landon and the other writers would have made sure to have double and triple their research and made sure there were no mistakes...
scratchead


Inconsistencies Rhonda10Inconsistencies Lauram10
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Feb 29, 2024 12:18 pm

As far as research, as a child I was able to grab a World Book without getting out of my chair. I learned things such as: they played baseball, which was invented, but were using gloves, which weren't yet. Albert's pen pal claimed to captain the basketball team. Basketball wasn't invented until 1891 and I'm sure girls' teams started later. Football was also very new then and probably wasn't played on the prairie in the 1870s/1880s in the manner depicted on the show. I often wondered why the makers of a national TV show couldn't afford a set of World Book. These could go on all day and are probably found in every show, though some are more careful than others. (I understand Dr. Quinn was really pretty careful.) I just finished watching Daniel Boone, which was one of the worst offenders. It begins in 1775 and then bounces around in time so much between 1775 and 1807 (in only six years) that you'd think you were watching Quantum Leap. The main thing I kept track of was the music, and hope to list which pieces Daniel Boone could, and could not, have heard in his lifetime. I'm not doing this with Little House because although I recognized most of the fiddle tunes on Daniel Boone, I have recognized very few on Little House. I know Little House does use for instrumental background vintage tunes which weren't written yet back then.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptySat Mar 02, 2024 4:06 am

In Season 2, episode 2, the eye doctor tells Mary she must wear her glasses at all times at first, and then only for schoolwork. In episode 3 she is at school without her glasses.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Mar 07, 2024 12:16 am

Season 2, episode 12 involves a phonograph or "talking machine." Whether it was invented yet depends on your point of view. The man selling it says that Thomas Edison invented it the previous year. Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, implying this is 1878, which was also implied in the Season 1 episode "Survival," so yes it was invented. But in a later episode it is only 1876, so no it wasn't.

The term "airplane" is used when it should have been "flying machine."

Pa is hammering in round nails, which weren't in use in the United States until the 1890s.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptySun Mar 10, 2024 11:02 pm

In Season 2, Episode 16, "The Runaway Caboose," Mr. Edwards worries about his son Carl missing school.  In the very next episode, the Edwards children are not in school.  They are also absent from school and church in a number of other episodes.

In Season 2, Episode 21, "Soldier's Return," Mr. Whipple is a veteran of the Battle of Shiloh, which it is mentioned several times took place 12 years earlier.  The previous episode took place in early July 1876, so the Battle of Shiloh, which took place in April of 1862, should have been 14 years earlier.  Also (SPOILERS) Mr. Whipple ran away from the battle on two good legs and hid until it was over.  He received a medal for having a severely wounded leg, bad enough to have been treated by a surgeon, have a limp years later, and result in a morphine addiction.  It was never explained how he got the bad leg.

EDIT: I think I figured out what happened. He would have been executed for cowardice if it was known he ran, so after the battle he found some dead soldier in an out of the way place, took his gun (remember he didn't have one but only a bugle) and shot himself in the leg, then waited for help (if he couldn't walk) or went to the nearest field hospital (if he could). This was just both too gruesome and too long to be shown.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyTue Mar 12, 2024 11:03 pm

In Season 3, episode 2, "Bunny," Bunny was male in "Christmas at Plum Creek" up until Mr. Oleson said, "Atta Girl," at which time she became female. She is female in this episode.

When people collect in Nellie's room to see if she is all right, a shadow moves in the lower right corner of the screen as if someone suddenly moved out of the shot.

When Nellie breaks the glass on a sampler of a doll, the sampler seems to read "Porcelain 1920," though the doll looks older style than 1920, but the date sure looks like that.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Mar 13, 2024 12:08 am

In Season 3, episode 3, "The Race," Bunny the horse is still female, although Charles refers to the horse not being able to pull "his" weight around the farm.

Mrs. Oleson buys Nellie a horse against Nels's wishes and points out that the money came from her own bank account. Married women in America were not allowed to have bank accounts until the 1960s and many still had to have a signature from their husbands until 1974, which was only two years before this episode was made.

In Season 3, Episode 4, "Little Girl Lost," Willie ran into the church/school building to ring the bell when the rope was clearly on the outside of the building.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyFri Mar 15, 2024 1:31 am

In Season 3, episode 7, "Journey in the Spring, Part 2," Bunny the horse is still a girl although Grandpa Ingalls says of Bunny, "She loves him," showing Bunny to be gender fluid to the last.

Charles uses the term "living room," which didn't come into use until at least the 1890s. The older term was parlor which became too associated with death, hence "living room."
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Mar 20, 2024 3:31 am

Not so much an inconsistency, but a difference. The students of Walnut Grove School must have learned a lesson. In "Injun Kid," they practically killed the Native American boy, where in "The Wisdom of Solomon" their response to the black student was merely an unenthusiastic greeting.

Also in "The Wisdom of Solomon," when Solomon gets out of the bath it is visible that he is wearing shorts.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Mar 21, 2024 11:49 pm

In Season 3 episode 22, towards the end in the scene in church, a child is seen wearing a very modern-looking sweatshirt.

In Season 4 episode 1, when Bandit jumps on the wagon there is a big space between the boxes for him to jump into. In the next shot the boxes are stacked close together completely filling the wagon and looking too tight to shift. In the next shot they have shifted to a different position. Also it is unclear how Kezia knew Bandit's name when all Laura said was that he was a stray.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Mar 28, 2024 3:11 am

Season 4, episode 11: A dunk tank is featured, a carnival attraction which appeared no earlier than 1899 and is thought to have been more like 1910.
When the balloon is released, a man can be seen at the lower right side of the screen holding a long rope as if guiding it.

Season 4, episode 12: When Nellie is holding the yarn for Harriet to wind into a ball, the yarn Nellie is holding increases instead of decreases at least once, and when Harriet finishes the ball, Nellie is holding as much or more yarn than when she started.
Not an expert on this, but could a Justice of the Peace really annul a marriage by tearing up the certificate, or would more paperwork be involved?
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Mar 28, 2024 11:35 pm

Season 4, episode 13: When Charles and Doc Baker are riding in the wagon, a crew member's hand and wrist wearing a watch can be seen shaking the wagon.

Season 4, episode 14: A frog Laura is trying to catch is tied to a log with black fishline.
A closeup of the china shepherdess reveals it has been broken and mended. This doesn't happen in the books and wasn't shown on the series. Obviously an accident on the set and apparently they couldn't get a replacement.
The year is at least 1878 because a '78 bottle of wine is offered at the restaurant.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptySat Mar 30, 2024 6:10 pm

Season 4, episode 16:  Caroline's family name is given as Holbrook.  The actual name was Quiner.  This error was repeated in a later episode featuring Caroline's father.

EDIT: It seems Holbrook was Caroline's stepfather's actual name.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptySun Mar 31, 2024 11:53 pm

Season 4, episode 17: the photograph looks too modern. 19th Century photographs were generally stiff, printed or pasted on thick card or on metal if a tintype. This one is on thin curled up paper. Also the color is too good. In the 19th Century color would have been only tinting, and this looks like a full color photograph with natural color, not painted.

Season 4, episode 20: Caroline looks at her son's gravestone and says he has been gone four years. The date on the stone is 1876. Date the episode aired 1978. Episode in which the son died aired 1974, so four years is correct, but four years from 1876 is 1880. The centennial episode set in 1876 aired in 1976 so only two years should have passed since then. Son's death date should have been 1874 as far as the series timeline was concerned, not 1876, but the series did use the son's actual dates of birth and death although in the series he apparently didn't live as long as he did in real life, that is, unless 18 months were meant to have passed in "The Lord is My Shepherd," nine months for the baby to arrive and then nine more for his life, and he didn't appear to be that old.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Apr 03, 2024 11:07 pm

Season 5, episode 3 definitely states the year is 1880, although it aired in 1978, only a little over two years after the one aired in 1976 set in 1876.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Apr 04, 2024 11:37 pm

Season 5, episode 1: It's hard to tell at such a distance, but that looks like Jack trotting after the wagon. Jack has died and been replaced by Bandit by this time.

Season 5, episode 3: Laura states the date as November 29, 1880. Season 5, episode 5 states the date as July 4, which must be 1881 unless they have gone backwards in time (again).

Season 5, episode 5: Mary says, "Look at me" to Charles and then says it again. How did she know he was not looking at her, particularly the second time when she'd already said it?

The mean boss complains about losing Saturday business due to a July 4 fireworks display. July 4 in 1881 was a Monday.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptySat Apr 06, 2024 2:29 am

Season 5, episode 7: some of the cattle wear metal ear tags, first used in the United States for pigs as early as 1895. It is still supposed to be around 1881.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyMon Apr 08, 2024 11:29 pm

Season 5, episode 14: Carrie meets an imaginary friend who tells her her name is Alyssa. Carrie says, "I never heard a name like that before." Carrie previously knew a girl named Alicia. Carrie isn't too bright.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyWed Apr 10, 2024 8:30 am

I agree with showing the inconsistencies. Avoiding them completely must be difficult, since the creativity to write so many episodes observing all the details of dates, characters, historical events often makes their existence unfeasible.

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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Apr 11, 2024 3:01 am

Season 5, episode 17: Laura gives a boy a peanut butter sandwich. This is one of a number of references to peanut butter, which was not sold until 1904.
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PostSubject: Re: Inconsistencies   Inconsistencies EmptyThu Apr 11, 2024 11:00 pm

Season 5, episode 20 nitpicks: Andy left the lantern by the side of the barn, presumably starting the fire, but when the family discovers it, the middle of the barn is blazing and the side where the lantern was appears to have little or no flames or damage.

The ice in the icehouse wouldn't be uncovered, but packed tightly in sawdust. Of course they left it uncovered to show it was an icehouse.
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