The Titanic is not a new subject for film and television by a long way. Doctor Who has tackled it twice, the 1997 film took out a million billion Oscars, and no-one can stand over water without screaming ‘I’m the king of the world’.
With the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic sinking fast approaching, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that film and television are clambering all over themselves to use this somewhat macabre opportunity. The film is being re-released in 3D, and on the small screen, we can expect two huge budget shows in the near future .
The first, Titanic, is a four part series hitting screens this month. If Wikipedia and the above trailer are anything to go by, it sounds like it could actually be pretty awesome. The format seems to be somewhat riding off the resurgence of shows set in the early 1900s, demonstrating characters from a vast variety of backgrounds à la Upstairs Downstairs. Aesthetically, it bears more than a fleeting resemblance to Downton Abbey – possibly because it shares a screenwriter with the series.
I have higher hopes for this compared to the second series heading our way. Titanic: Blood and Steel, is a twelve part series starring Neve Campbell and Chris ‘Mr Big’ Noth, due to be aired around the actual anniversary. Despite the B-grade horror movie-esque title, it sounds like it will be tackling the story from a different angle, covering the happenings in the town where the ship was built, to concerns about the structure of the boat itself. I can’t find a trailer, but Campbell is a journalist, Noth is playing J.P. Morgan and overall the sense I’m getting is that this is going to be a tacky Hollywood grab at ratings using the anniversary of a tragedy and some ‘big names’ of the ’90s.
I guess we’ll see.