The BBC miniseries Titanic
approaches the famous disaster in a cunning and evocative new way: each of the first three episodes starts before the launch and follows different characters through to the ocean liner's collision with the iceberg, slowly unfolding more information and approaching scenes from different perspectives--until the final episode follows everyone as the ship begins to sink, to powerful emotional effect. Some characters are from history (the ship's crew, Hollywood starlet Dorothy Gibson) but others are fictional, and writer Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey
) explores the collisions of wealth and class through these fictional characters: the wife (Geraldine Somerville) of the Earl of Manton (Linus Roache) is appalled to share a table with a middle-class lawyer and his wife (Toby Jones and Maria Doyle Kennedy); an Italian steward (Glen Blackhall) avidly pursues a ship's maid (Jenna-Louise Coleman) through the first- and second-class decks; an electrician who helped build the ship (Peter McDonald) fights to keep his family together in steerage, even as his wife (Ruth Bradley) finds herself compulsively drawn to a mysterious, violent stranger (Dragos Bucur). These and other storylines are slowly joined together like puzzle pieces, until a larger picture of loss and hope is unveiled. This format has its frustrations; getting more of stories that were only touched on in previous episodes makes you aware of how much more could be revealed, and some intriguing characters get left on the sidelines--but there's only so much they could fit in. The culminating horror and sadness of the final episode is wrenching and well worth the journey. Extras include the usual making-of puffery, but a documentary about the Titanic
's sister ship, the Britannic
, which also sunk under mysterious circumstances, is fascinating. --Bret Fetzer
The original four-part miniseries written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park) marking the Titanic’s 100th Anniversary.
Brought to life by a stellar, award-winning ensemble cast, this extraordinary re-telling of the doomed voyage reveals a world built upon class distinction – headed towards destruction as surely as Titanic towards the iceberg. From the aristocratic elite to the officers, crew, second class and steerage passengers, TITANIC follows the destinies of both victims and survivors as their stories of passion, betrayal and hope unfold amidst the tragic events of that fateful evening.
INCLUDES 2 HOURS OF BONUS MATERIAL:
Six Making-of Featurettes, Titanic: Behind-the-Production, “The Curse of the Titanic Sisters” Documentary
Episode One Audio Commentary with writer Julian Fellowes, producer Nigel Stafford-Clark and director Jon Jones