Next month marks 100 years since the RMS Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage. While Titanic heads back into theaters with a 3D make-over, it’s likely that we’ll be seeing more than a couple Titanic-related TV specials. Sure enough, PBS has a few lined up to air this April.
On April 1st, PBS will air Saving the Titanic, a new historical drama that “ tells the untold story of the self-sacrifice and bravery of the ship’s engineers, stokers and firemen in the face of impending death.” The story is based on eye witness accounts and chronicles the tale of nine men who attempted to keep the power systems running for as long as possible. (Encore presentations are scheduled on Friday, April 6, at 10:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, April 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET and Saturday, April 14, at 9:00 p.m. ET.)
The Titanic with Len Goodman airs on Tuesday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The special is hosted by Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman, who was once a welder in East London for Harland and Woolf, the company that built he Titanic. Here’s PBS’ description for the special:
To mark the centenary of the tragedy, Goodman takes viewers on an exploration of the ship’s hundred-year legacy through the stories of the handpicked group of men who helped build the Titanic and then died with her. He visits Southampton to find out why it was the city hit hardest by the Titanic’s death toll and explores the story of the ship’s band. He also uncovers the stories of 700 emigrants who were on board and had the smallest odds of survival. InLondon, he meets the men whose wealthy ancestors survived the tragedy, only to pay for their lives with their reputations.
Finally, NOVA’s Why Ships Sink airs on Wednesday, April 18, at 9:00 p.m. ET. The special examines the safety of cruise ships. From the sound of it, this one might make cruise fanatics question the safety factor aboard those giant ships...
Twenty million passengers embark on cruises each year, vacationing in deluxe “floating cities” that offer everything from swimming pools to shopping malls to ice skating rinks. And the ships just keep getting bigger: the average cruise ship has doubled in size in just the last 10 years. Some engineers fear that these towering behemoths are dangerously unstable, and the recent tragedy of the Costa Concordia has raised new questions about their safety. Now, NOVA brings together marine engineering and safety experts to reconstruct the events that led up to famous cruise disasters, including the ill-fated Concordia, the Sea Diamond and the Oceanos. Are we really safe at sea — or are we on the brink of a 21st-century Titanic?
Given the approaching centennial of the Titanic disaster, it seems doubtful that PBS will be the only channel exploring the subject of Titanic and disasters at sea. We’ll have to wait and see what other specials join the line-up. In the meantime, those with an interest in Titanic may consider renting A Night To Remember, the Titanic film that came before Titanic.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Tile Films Ltd.