Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Titanic Centenary

RMS Titanic began her fateful maiden voyage a century ago this week, when she sailed from Southampton. Five days later, the luxury liner lay broken in two at the bottom of the North Atlantic. Now the world is in the grip of Titanic fever yet again. The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the most famous ship in history is being marked by events across the globe, and in all media. 

A memorial cruise aboard the MS Balmoral is following Titanic's original itinerary, and will join many othersships that will converge at the site of the disaster. 
Walter Lord's definitve account of the wreck, A Night to Remember - first issued in 1955 - has been republished, and the classic British film (to be shown on BBC2) based on the book has also been given a new release.
The highest-grossing movie of all time, James Cameron's Titanic (1997) has been re-released in 3D, to positive reviews. Here in the UK, the TV and radio schedules are packed with a plethora of new documentaries and dramas to remember the tragedy:
  • the National Geographic channel presents Titanic: Case Closed, Titanic: The Final Secret, Titanic: The Final Word (also from Cameron), and Save the Titanic (with the discoverer of the wreck, Bob Ballard)
  • Titanic: The Band Played On was shown on Yesterday, and Channel 4 will screen Saving the Titanic
  • the Discovery channel broadcast Titanic Conspiracies (with Bernard Hill), Titanic: Birth of a Legend, and Titanic: The Aftermath
  • Heroes of the Titanic, Nazi TitanicTitanic: A Tale of Two Journeys, Ghosts of the Abyss (again with film director Cameron), and Titanic: Mystery Solved all feature on the History channel's Titanic 100 weekend
  • the BBC's Titanic 100 season includes SOS-The Titanic Inquiry (starring Paul McGann), a repeat of Timewatch: Myths of the Titanic (2002), a Newsline Special: Ryan Vs. the White Star LineTitanic: A Commemoration in Music and Film live from Belfast, and A History of the Titanic in 30 Pieces
  • the 12-part costume drama, Titanic: Blood and Steel, is also due to air on the BBC
  • the 1996 Titanic TV movie is screened by Channel Five
  • Titanic: The Myths and Legends was transmitted on Radio 2, followed on Saturday by a 'live' news programme from the stricken ship, Titanic: Minute by Minute - the BBC World Service series, Discovery, aired Titanic: In Her Own Words
  • Titanic Letters - a series of 44 shorts - and Titanic Town are both for Radio Ulster
  • this Sunday, 100 years to the day, the sinking is re-enacted in the final part of ITV1's lavish Titanic mini-series - and will be shown in 80 other countries - followed by Words of the Titanic
  • the BBC History website features an animated timeline of The Titanic

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