Last Saturday’s episode of Jekyll found our hero(es) taking a short train journey – but doing so in a carriage more suited to a 1970s sitcom than a 21st century drama.
For some reason James Nesbitt boarded one of those old-fashioned doors-opening-outwards compartment contraptions with seats facing each other like in a Two Ronnies sketch. Yet the carriage appeared bedecked with contemporary accoutrements such as timetables and safety information. And the stations it passed through had modern ticketing machines.
This wasn’t some deliberate anachronism, as far as it was possible to tell; on the contrary, it was a proper bona fide working train running on proper tracks, albeit with doors like you get on kitchen pantries from the Edwardian era.
Such baffling sights are few and far between nowadays. There’s an episode of One Foot In The Grave which occasionally gets repeated in which Victor travels in a similar Two Ronnies-esque carriage, replete with really shoddy background CSO. There are probably countless examples in Last Of The Summer Wine as well, especially given how all the cast are too old to ride in public transport (but not tin baths).
Apart from that, no other recent instances of small screen antiquated locomotive upholstery spring to mind. Maybe there’s one ancient relic that lives in a siding somewhere, permanently hosed down with magic sealant like the Mary Rose to hold it in one piece, kept alive exclusively so that the BBC can hire it out from time to time.
A bit like Tom Fleming.