ITV’s Titanic

Well, ITV’s Titanic premiered over the weekend and… wow. I must congratulate the station, and Julian Fellowes, for taking on the biggest non-wartime maritime disaster in history and making it feel unemotional, claustrophobic, small, and relatively unimportant. I realize they did not have James Cameron’s budget, but where exactly did their 11 million dollars go? Not on the script. Not on doing any actual research. (The errors ranged from Thomas Andrews having an English accent — he was IRISH, people! — to muddle-ups with lifeboats.) There were too many characters and too little time to get to know or care about them. Motivations went unexplained. The last hour was anti-climatic and melodramatic. I was actually a bit embarrassed for some of the cast members having agreed to this. And whose idea was it to sink the boat in every episode? That completely defeated the tension of the piece.

It was great at the start. The non-Titanic scenes were great. But once we got on the ship, it all fell apart. By the way, Titanic was much bigger than that. It was much more grand. And you couldn’t just walk into the boiler rooms to check the water levels. But that’s historical nitpicking… and about a million people are going to start in on that any minute, so I should probably give Fellowes a break.

My “official review” is here, but if any of you bothered to tune in, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

On a minor note, I’m still a fan of Linus Roache… even if he sounded pained in this part.

10 Replies to “ITV’s Titanic”

  1. Sorry you didn’t like this one, girl. Ironically, as I was watching it, I thought, “Charity is so not going to like this one.” I don’t even remember when I had the thought but as some point, it was in my mind. =)

    1. I have a low tolerance for mediocrity. Even if I had known nothing about the actual events, I still would have thought this was shoddily done. Too rushed, and no character development. If you’re going that route, you better have some damn good special effects to back it up — but they didn’t.

      1. Well… I thought it was good. Flawed, yes but “entertaining” nonetheless.

        It is interesting what you mentioned to Carissa – I’ll definitely be anxious to get a copy now if there are cut scenes that make it flow better because it was a bit jerky.

        1. For an INTJ, it has to be more than just “entertaining.”

          American and Canadian productions shortened it. I presume the DVD has the full miniseries, but it sounds like a lot wound up on the editing room floor — including some conversations between officers that should have stayed. *sigh*

  2. I enjoyed it up to a point and really liked a few of the characters like the maid in second class and the waiter from first. But I definitely didn’t approve of their filming style. It made the entire series feel long and drawn out by showing the same scenes from different perspectives. When does that ever work? So I liked it but didn’t love it. What I really want to know is if I’ll like it better when it’s not interrupted with an obscene amount of comercials. Netflix queue, definitely.

    1. I think it’ll improve on DVD — it sounds like ABC did a real hatchet job on it, since the Brits have been referencing scenes that never happened in the version I watched this weekend! But still… could have been so much better.

      1. Say what? There’s more? Well good grief, no wonder it felt helter-skelter! Sheesh, I was starting to wonder how bad of an author Julian Fellowes could be. Nice knowing it’s probably not as choppy as it felt. It’s coming out on DVD in a few days right? A trip to Costco might be in order.

        1. I guess so! On forums people were saying, “Wasn’t that scene between the Captain and so-and-so nice?” and I was going “um… what scene??”

          I’ll have to Netflix it at some point. Unless I like it much better a second time through, for me it’s not worth owning.

  3. Like I said in my email — having just watched the last hour, as something different on TV I was mildly diverted…but with the cast this had, from a writer who is capable of really pretty good things…yeah the way just the last hour played out was underwhelming. And maybe a Rashomon-style structure works for some films (Les Girls with Gene Kelly comes to mind) — but not here.

    Ruth @ Booktalk & More

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