Titanic (2012 TV miniseries)

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Titanic
Alt=Series title over a watery background
Genre Miniseries
Period drama
Created by Nigel Stafford-Clark
Written by Julian Fellowes
Directed by Jon Jones
Starring See prose
Composer(s) Jonathan Goldsmith
Country of origin Coproduction of:
Hungary
United Kingdom
Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 4
Production
Executive producer(s) Kate Bartlett (ITV Studios)
Simon Vaughan (Lookout Point)
Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny (Sienna Films)
Howard Ellis and Adam Goodman (Mid Atlantic Films)
Producer(s) Nigel Stafford-Clark
Chris Thompson
Cinematography Adam Suschitzky
Running time

Episodes vary (43 to 46 minutes)

Full running time (184 minutes)
Production company(s) Deep Indigo
Sienna Films
Mid Atlantic Films
Broadcast
Original channel Global Television Network (Canada)
ITV (UK)
ABC (US)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original airing  • United Kingdom: 25 March 2012 – 15 April 2012 (weekly)
 • United States: 14 April 2012 (Episodes 1–3) – 15 April 2012 (Episode 4)
External links
Website
titanic.globaltv.com Production website

Titanic is a four-part television miniseries period drama written by Julian Fellowes based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic, a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, United Kingdom, to New York City, United States.[1]

It was released in at least 86 countries[2] in March and April 2012 for the disaster's one hundredth anniversary, 15 April 2012, one of two such productions, the other being Titanic: Blood and Steel.

Overview[edit]

The series is a four-part television costume drama created by producer Nigel Stafford-Clark and written by Julian Fellowes to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the maritime disaster on 15 April 1912. It sets out to paint a portrait of a whole society, telling the stories of a wide range of characters, both real and imagined, from every social level. Their narratives are developed and gradually interwoven over the first three episodes, each of which ends in a cliffhanger as the ship begins to founder. The fourth and final episode draws all of the different stories together and reveals to the audience who survives.

Cast[edit]

Titanic has over 89 main characters. They are listed in alphabetical order by actor's last name under the first episode in which each actor appeared.

Episode one[edit]

Actor Role
Thomas Aldridge Steward Taylor
Sally Bankes Mrs. Gibson
Ben Bishop Stoker Lyons
Glen Blackhall Paolo Sandrini
Ruth Bradley Mary Maloney
Dragoș Bucur Peter Lubov
David Calder Captain Smith
Stephen Campbell Moore Thomas Andrews
Jenna-Louise Coleman Annie Desmond
Pandora Colin Countess of Rothes
Olivia Darnley Bessie Allison
Paul Jones Mr.Titanic
Joséphine de La Baume Madame Aubart
Tim Downie Policeman
David Eisner Benjamin Guggenheim
Laurie Hagen Emma Sagesser
Ryan Hawley Jack Thayer
Celia Imrie Grace Rushton
Toby Jones John Batley
Linda Kash Molly Brown
Christine Kavanagh Mrs. Thayer
Will Keen Chief Officer Wilde
Maria Doyle Kennedy Muriel Batley
Diana Kent Eleanor Widener
Antonio Magro Mario Sandrini
Lyndsey Marshal Mabel Watson
Joseph May Giglio
Brian McCardie First Officer Murdoch
Georgia McCutcheon Theresa Maloney
Peter McDonald Jim Maloney
Noah Reid Harry Elkins Widener
Miles Richardson John Jacob Astor IV
Linus Roache Hugh, Earl of Manton
Lee Ross Barnes
Sophie Rundle Roberta Maioni
Geraldine Somerville Louisa, Countess of Manton
Izabella Urbanowicz Alice Cleaver
Steven Waddington Second Officer Lightoller
Perdita Weeks Lady Georgiana Grex
Peter Wight Joseph Rushton
James Wilby J. Bruce Ismay
Sophie Winkleman Dorothy Gibson

Episode two[edit]

Actor Role
Simon Paisley Day Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon
Ralph Ineson Steward Hart
Mark Lewis Jones David Evans
Grainne Keenan Laura Francatelli
Sylvestra Le Touzel Lady Duff-Gordon
Timothy West Lord Pirrie
Michele Moran Prostitute

Episode three[edit]

Actor Role
Colm Gormley Churchill
Jonathan Howard Sixth Officer James Moody
John Kazek Steward Turnbull

Episode four[edit]

Actor Role
Tom Andrews Seaman Hawkins
Ross Armstrong Seaman Penton
Shane Attwooll Billy Blake
Cian Barry Fourth Officer Boxhall
Paul Bridle Crewman Strickland
Lloyd Hutchinson Chief Steward Lattimer
Dave Legeno Seaman Davis
Iain McKee Seaman Scott
Ifan Meredith Fifth Officer Lowe

Plot[edit]

Episode one[edit]

The first episode focuses mainly on the family of the Earl of Manton. He, his wife, his manservant and the Lady Manton's maid have been booked on the Titanic for ages but the earl arranges for his daughter, Georgiana, who has been rebelling against society by trying to get women to have the vote, to get a booking at the last minute. They board the ship, and Lady Manton is instantly inhospitable to Muriel Batley, wife of the earl's employee, John Batley. A further rift is caused between the pair when Lady Manton tells Mrs Batley about her blood roots back to Ireland, which she mocks. Meanwhile, romance blossoms between Georgiana and the handsome son of an American millionaire, but everything is put aside when the ship hits the iceberg. As the Mantons look for a lifeboat that is not full, things do not look good as, although Georgiana is put on a boat, Lady Manton refuses to leave her husband.

Episode two[edit]

Going back to before the ship's ill-fated voyage, the designers of the ship are in conflict over how many lifeboats should be on the boat. One of them hires Irishman Jim Maloney to get a more competent team to finish the behind-schedule electrical wiring, in exchange for transporting his family to America for a new life. Although his wife, Mary, is unsure of the move, they go anyway and Jim manages to secure the family a room in third class. However, a stranger and fellow passenger, Peter, makes Mary wary by constantly appearing nearby and soon makes the acquaintance of Mary's husband. Meanwhile, Italian engineer Mario's brother, Paolo, catches the eye of a beautiful stewardess, Annie Desmond. The couple from Episode one, John and Muriel Batley, are shown having a turbulent time in their marriage. The ship hits the iceberg, and the Maloney family is trapped below decks. Peter steps out by attacking one of the stewards so Mary and her children can pass; however, both he and Jim are trapped below decks. Mary and her children manage to get on board a lifeboat, but the Batleys are not so lucky and the cliffhanger shows them with Second Officer Lightoller, the Earl of Manton and Harry Widener attempting to right an overturned lifeboat as the water reaches the boat deck.

Episode three[edit]

Italian stoker Mario Sandrini gets a job on the ship, and he also manages to secure passage for his brother Paolo, as the only foreign waiter in the first-class dining saloon. Paolo instantly becomes smitten with cabin steward Annie Desmond. Watson brings Lady Manton's jewel case down to steerage, and Barnes is shocked to discover why. Meanwhile, Paolo startles Annie with an impulsive gesture. Mary finally lets her guard down with Peter Lubov, enraging her husband Jim. But their argument is interrupted when the iceberg strikes, and fear builds in steerage as passengers find themselves behind locked gates. Lubov helps Mary and her children escape, and after Mario is dragged away by staff members, passengers from steerage manage to get up on deck, Jim and Lubov in their midst. When up on deck the Earl of Manton helps Mary and the children into a lifeboat but, in the scramble for safety, Mary's terrified daughter Theresa bolts back inside the sinking ship, followed by her father. Mario and the other Italians from Gatti's Restaurant have been locked in a storage cupboard and, after Paolo sees Annie safely to a lifeboat, he goes in search of his brother. The episode ends with Paolo standing outside the locked cupboard with the water quickly rising around him.

Episode four[edit]

The final episode aired in the UK and the US on 15 April 2012, the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. Global aired it on 11 April 2012. This episode follows the desperate plight of the passengers, in the gripping final instalment, as the Titanic sinks into the icy waters. Mr and Mrs. Rushton are left dining alone in the first-class dining saloon when the rest of their table goes to the Gatti's Restaurant. After dinner, when Margaret Brown asks them why they did not join them, Mrs. Rushton is mortified when her husband says they weren't invited, and she decides to go to bed. Jim and Mary talk about what happened with Lubov, and after Jim asks her if she's excited about getting a new life, she says that all she wants is their life. At the bridge the ship's officers talk about the speed of the ship, where it is revealed that first officer Murdoch feels they are travelling too fast. Paolo brings Annie to see Mario. The ship hits the iceberg, and Batley, who was on deck when it hit, wakes his wife. Benjamin Guggenheim and his mistress, Madame Aubart, are interrupted by her lady's maid and his manservant who inform them that the ship is sinking. Guggenheim asks his manservant to make sure they are never caught in a disaster with foreigners again, to which he replies "I am a foreigner". Watson is accidentally locked in the Mantons' cabin searching for her father's book when a steward orders that all first-class cabins be locked to prevent people from stealing. She is, however, saved when Barnes comes to her aid and gets a steward to open the door. When she is running for a lifeboat he gives her an envelope and tells her not to open it until she is safe. Lubov and Jim go in search of Theresa, Jim's daughter, but when Jim finds her, it is too late to escape. Theresa asks him what they do now, and he replies that they sit there and hold each other tight. Mrs Rushton refuses to get into a lifeboat without her dog, and just when it seems it is to leave without her, J. J. Astor appears on deck, having released all the dogs from the kennels, including his own beloved Kitty. Mrs. Rushton takes her own dog and Kitty into the lifeboat and promises to keep her safe for Astor. Paolo manages to get Lubov to help him free his brother and the other Italians from the cupboard. Lady Manton is finally persuaded to get into a lifeboat and, as it is being lowered, J. Bruce Ismay steps in. As Batley and his wife try to turn over the final lifeboat with the other passengers, water comes rushing over the bow of the ship, and they are all swept apart. Paolo and Mario jump into the water and try to swim to safety, but they are separated and, as Mario climbs on to the overturned lifeboat, he sees the ship break in half and sink beneath the ocean. He looks frantically for Paolo. Many other men climb aboard the lifeboat, including Lightoller. When 17-year-old Jack Thayer swims nearby, he is refused entry to the overturned lifeboat; but one of the men dies, and Jack is allowed to take his place on the boat. The Duff Gordons persuade the crew of their near-empty lifeboat not to return to help people when Cosmo Duff Gordon tells them he will give them each a fiver to stay where they are. All Lady Duff Gordon can think of is her secretary's beautiful nightdress which she left on board the ship. All of the women in the other boats want to go and assist the people in the water and, as they discuss what to do, Batley floats by, clinging to the body of his wife. He is persuaded to let her go and is pulled aboard. It takes too long for them to create a pontoon from the boats and, by the time a lifeboat reaches the people in the water, most are dead. Only three are saved, two being Paolo, who then died on the way back, and Lord Manton, who is revived with brandy supplied by Dorothy Gibson. Mrs. Rushton gives Kitty to Madeleine Astor. Jack and his mother are reunited; however, Harry Elkins Widener, drowned. (According to his mother in earlier episodes, he couldn't swim.) Watson reads the letter Barnes wrote her. It is his will, in which he leaves her a small house, which should be perfect for her father. The episode ends with the survivors being rowed towards the rescuing ship (RMS Carpathia), while remembering those they had lost.

Production[edit]

A two-tier set was constructed for the series at Stern Studios in Budapest, Hungary. This contained a representation of 60 metres (200 feet) of the ship's promenade deck and 50 metres (160 feet) of the boat deck. Other sets featured 75 metres (246 feet) of internal corridors and rooms such as the ship's bridge, pursers' offices, staterooms for the different classes, dining rooms and boiler rooms.[3]

The production also involved the construction of the largest indoor water tank in Europe. The 900-square-metre (9,700-square-foot) tank contained an immersible section representing part of the ship's interior and decks.[4]

The promos were shot at Pinewood Studios.

Reception[edit]

The miniseries received mixed reviews from Canadian critics. John Doyle of The Globe and Mail described Titanic as "exemplary entertainment", "a high-grade nobs-and-slobs story set on a sinking ship". He found the use of flashbacks and changing perspective to be an effective yet simple "approach to a story that everyone feels they know."[5] Alex Strachan of Montreal's The Gazette considered the miniseries "a mixed success" as the "upstairs-downstairs class struggle is old fodder for U.K. costume dramas" but it is "not as emotionally gripping" as James Cameron's film nor as informative as the many documentaries that exist. What makes it worth seeing is the "decision to tell his story using flashbacks and fast-forwards. Each hour-long instalment begins and ends at a different point in the ship's voyage, and the pace never flags."[6] Brad Oswald of the Winnipeg Free Press said that the miniseries lives up to the story it endeavours to tell, that it is a disaster. With such emphasis on class distinction "it completely misses the mark in terms of portraying the emotional and organizational chaos of the tragedy." He went on to say that, in comparison to the many programmes on so many channels and the James Cameron film, "this tepid offering feels rather redundant and pointless."[7]

United Kingdom ratings[edit]

Episode-viewing figures are from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.

Episode No. Airdate Total viewers
(millions)
1
25 March 2012
9.07[8]
2
1 April 2012
6.19[9]
3
8 April 2012
5.85[10]
4
15 April 2012
7.73[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]