These kids being (weird) kids
England was in the grip of fairymania around the time of Syndicate. A conversation between these two kids, in which one of them swears he can see fairies in sunspots floating on the wind, is a reference to the Cottingley Fairies incident, in which two young girls used paper cutouts and a camera to fake evidence of the magical beings. They even fooled Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who paid a visit to their Yorkshire cottage.
The incident actually occurred in 1917, but related myths and legends abounded long before. It gets weirder than that: the kid also talks about how green fabric can kill you, and discusses having to save people from eating plaster and exploding dresses. Sort him out, mum.
This lady, who lets her accent slip
While exploring the grounds of Big Ben I see a very posh couple chilling on the grass, exchanging sharp-accented flatteries. Upon getting a bit too close and startling them, the lady remarks in a thick North East Scottish accent: Aaargh, almost knocked ma wiles out, that did! These goddamned sassenachs [Gaelic word for an English person] act like animals in a menagerie. I miss ya, Aberdeen!
Voice glitch, or meta commentary on abandoning our mother tongue and by extension our true selves to fit within the expected brackets enforced by social class? It's hard to tell. But probably the latter.
These men salting fish by the Thames
If you didnt feel like immediately stuffing your meal down your throat before it turned rotten, this is how one preserved food in the days before electrically powered refrigeration. Your big three techniques were pickling, smoking, or salting, and each has existed for thousands of years. The latter was the quickest and most convenient method to preserve an animals protein, the hypertonic nature of salt dehydrating and deactivating microbes by osmosis.
Watch these guys long enough and one shouts at the other one for not doing it right. To be fair, its hard to concentrate when youre being closely scrutinised by a heavily armed assassin.
These posh guys wittering about fashion
In the notorious style hotspot of the Houses of Parliaments halls, these three gentlemen natter over the latest book from Beau Brummell. Brummell was the originator of dandyism, a style of fashion in Regency England that rejected ornate clothes (knee breeches, stockings) for understated but perfectly fitted dark coats and full length trousers. Hes the father of todays suit.
The book also contains advice on etiquette and becoming famous by expending effort on the small details, but given that Brummell himself claimed to take five hours each morning to dress and polish his shoes with champagne, you really have to consider whether its easier just remaining a nobody.
These fellows musing on modernising democracy
Back in early Victorian times, pretty much only rich white men could vote, which led to a system of government full of rich white men. I'm sure you can agree that weve come on in leaps and bounds since.
One of these chaps is in favour of equal representation, and backs the periods progressive voting reforms, saying, Every citizen should have a right to it. It is the mark of a just and civilised society...what calamity do you fear? The other answers, tyranny of the majority would lay to waste all weve achieved, as each man and woman declares their approach the best. His opponent fires back, There are rules in place to guard against what youve just described: the Houses of Parliament, common sense, the privy council to name just a few, calling the current electoral process an intimidation game. Aaron Sorkin-esque, this.
These men pig-headedly explaining to a woman why she is wrong
Take a look around you. Are things really fine the way they are? says the woman, highlighting the growing discontent of an entire gender who, at this time, couldnt vote, couldnt divorce unless in extreme circumstances, and were pretty much required to wear frilly dresses at all times.
No offense, my dear, but there's a reason no woman has ever entered politics, says one. Youre right, the annoyed lady replies. Theres a very good reason indeed. Sneakdiss alert. With 1918s Qualification of Women Act which gave women over 21 the right to stand for election as MPs, and the Representation of the People Act in the same year enfranchising women over the age of 30 to vote, whos laughing now?
Uh, still men mostly, alas.