tragic sinking of the Titanic has
been the subject of countless films
and documentaries from the perspective
of the passengers; but the story of
those working fearlessly below deck
attempting to keep the liner afloat has
been sadly neglected until now, with
the fascinating dramatised true story Saving The Titanic...
THE MANY FILMS RECOUNTING the catastrophic final hours of the RMS Titanic
include James Cameron's 1997 Titanic and The Unsinkable Molly
Brown, but the riveting docu-drama Saving The Titanic is the first
to actually go below deck to the heart of the ship to tell a remarkable story
of courage as nine dedicated men give their all in an attempt to keep the doomed
The dramatised events are a unique tale based on the testimonies of surviving
crew members that highlights how a team of engineers attempted to save the stricken
vessel. The story begins with the days prior to the ship's maiden voyage, counting
down from 2 April 1912 when the Titanic undergoes its sea trials in Belfast
Lough and including the iceberg warnings three days before the disaster.
RMS Titanic was born to drama in an unsettled Ireland. There were many disputes
between the Protestants and Catholics who worked on her and these continued
on board. Even among these workers was a set hierarchy that some would not see
The pride of the British Empire, Titanic entered the Atlantic Ocean on 12 April;
having changed course because of warnings of the ice field. Despite assurances
by designer Thomas Andrews (Stephen Hogan: Injustice; The Tudors); of
Harland & Wolff that her design would make her unsinkable, disaster struck this
magnificent vessel just four days into her maiden voyage when she hit an iceberg
at 11.40pm on the night of 14 April before disappearing beneath the waves in
the early hours of 15 April 1912.
A century later this intriguing true story is dramatised in Saving The Titanic,
a docu-drama that recounts how nine men valiantly, and despite the knowledge
that all was lost, attempted to hold back the might of the sea and keep the
power systems running essential for the ship's lights and the electric
Most of these brave men died, but their actions saved many lives. Based on eye-witness
accounts, Saving The Titanic introduces the key characters with an insight
into their private lives and looks at how they lived on board from day to day.
The main character of the drama is Chief Engineer Joseph Bell (David Wilmot:
The Guard; The Tudors; Intermission), who stoically oversees the attempt
to keep Titanic afloat.
When the news broke, it was one of the most profound moments in modern history;
one that signalled the end of the trust and belief that had been put in technology.
Southampton felt the loss deep in the heart of the working class community
high unemployment had driven many to sign on for work on the liner.
The tragedy was twofold. Not just the enormous death toll of the 2,223
people on board only 713 survived but man challenging nature and losing.
Saving The Titanic is a story of selfless bravery and duty; a story of
class structure, where the 'Blackgangs' the firemen, greasers and trimmers
all knew their place. The largest ship yet, there were too few lifeboats
and the first to be launched was carrying just 28 people despite a capacity
Leading Fireman Fred Barrett (Ciaran McMenamin: Young James Herriot; Primeval)
is to be one of the witnesses at the Board of Enquiry and he is asked to give
his version of events to Titanic's owners, The White Star Line, which is desperately
trying to shift the focus from tragedy to heroism and reassure the public that
they will be safe travelling on their ships. They needed heroes and they have
Saving The Titanic is an insightful look at one of the biggest maritime
disasters, approaching the subject matter in a unique way. It is supported by
a strong cast and a superb production design. A brilliant, riveting intelligent
docu-drama that is informative, poignant and a tribute to those who gave their
lives that others might live.
The film features a stellar ensemble cast of leading actors, which also includes:
Hugh O'Conor (Your Bad Self; Killing Bono) as Assistant Engineer Jonathan
Shepherd; Chris Newman (Love/Hate; Love Is The Drug) as Assistant Electrician
William Kelly; Conor MacNeill: (Cherrybomb; 50 Dead Men Walking) as Joseph's
son Frank Bell; Owen McDonnell as Thomas Dillon; Andrew Simpson as electrician
Albert George Ervine; Jonathan Byrne as electrician Alfred Pierre Middleton;
Paul Kennedy as assistant engineer Herbert Gifford Harvey; Douglas Rankine as
greaser Alfred White; Ciaran O'Grady as Leading Fireman; Dermot Magennis as
Tailor; Johnny Eveson as Second Officer; Helen O'Reill as Female Passenger;
Owen Roe as White Star lawyer; and David Heep as White Star official.
Narrated by Liam Cunningham; Written by Colin Heber-Percey and Lyall Watson;
Music Composed by Steve Lynch; Director of Photography is Richard Kendrick;
Co Producers are Keith Farrell and Reinhardt Beetz; Producer is Stephen Rooke;
Directed by Maurice Sweeney.
Saving The Titanic comes to DVD for
the first time, courtesy of Arrow Films, on 16 April 2012. Certificate: PG |
Running Time: 92 Minutes | RRP: £14.99 | Catalogue Number FCD644.
"Saving The Titanic… a brilliant, riveting intelligent docu-drama that
is informative, poignant and a tribute to those who gave their lives that others
might live" Maggie Woods, MotorBar