Downton Abbey Promo Photo Features Wayward Plastic Bottle

Can you spot the mistake?


Can you spot the mistake?

Can you spot the mistake?

Downton Abbey fans may be shocked to learn that the fifth season of the popular period drama set in Edwardian-era Britain will feature modern amenities like plastic water bottles. Wait, what?

It almost certainly won’t, but a major blunder in the new season’s promotional materials suggests otherwise. The offending image features the Earl of Grantham alongside Lady Edith Crawley, both dressed in 1920s garb befitting the beloved period drama, standing in front of a marble mantle decorated with ornate vases, an oil painting, and… a plastic water bottle. Once you notice it, it looks glaringly obvious, but somehow the bottle managed to sneak past the show’s marketing team. Of course, the eyes of the internet are incredibly sharp, and the mistake was pointed out almost immediately after the photos were released on August 14.

Fans took to social media to voice their outrage, amusement, and confusion with the snafu, and media outlets quickly jumped on the bandwagon. British photographer Darren Bell was one of the first to point out the historical discrepancy on Twitter, posting “Oh dear. Someone left a waterbottle in this press photo from @DowntonAbbey #Photo Fail,” alongside the picture. After his initial tweet appeared on countless websites, he later confessed via Twitter that he has “never even watched a single episode” of the hit show.

Unless there’s a time travel element to next season that we don’t know about, we can only imagine that someone down at Downton Abbey headquarters is getting an earful right now. Either that, or a pat on the back for a viral marketing stunt well executed.

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