6:05pm Saturday, May 19 on C4

James Cameron’s Oscar-laden epic – currently the world’s second highest grossing film -tells of the first and final voyage of the ‘unsinkable’ luxury liner through the love story of two very different passengers. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack Dawson, a brash chancer who talks his way up to the staterooms and fancy restaurants where he meets – and falls for – Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet).

Sunday, 15 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Titanic, Sunday 14th April 1912. Mrs Widener’s party are enjoying their dinner in Gatti’s Restaurant. In the First Class saloon Lightoller chats to Dorothy Gibson, and Molly Brown sympathises with an affronted Grace Rushton over her omission from the Wideners’ dinner party. Jim and Mary prepare for bed, with Jim still angry at Lubov’s effrontery and Mary dreaming of a new life in New York. On the bridge Officer Murdoch is maintaining the ship’s speed, but is not happy with his orders. Paolo takes Annie to meet his brother Mario. Although Annie still hasn’t said yes to his proposal, the brothers agree that her willingness to meet is a good sign. 

In her cabin, Grace Rushton is fretting about her dog. Back on the bridge, Officer Moody gets a warning from the lookout of an iceberg dead ahead, but too late for Murdoch to do more than avoid a head on collision as it scrapes down the ship’s side. John Batley tells an unimpressed Muriel of his encounter with the iceberg on deck. Guggenheim is in bed with his French mistress Mme Aubart when her maid bursts in and announces hysterically that they’re all going to drown. 

The Duff Gordons make their selfish escape in a near-empty boat, much to Hugh’s anger. Officer Wilde tells his stewards to lock the cabins to prevent looting. In doing so, they inadvertently lock in Watson who’s in the Mantons’ cabin searching for her father’s book. Amidst the chaos on deck, Harry and Georgiana share a brief moment together and she tells him that she loves him. Barnes comes to Watson’s rescue, kicking at the cabin door until a passing steward unlocks it, whilst threatening to report Barnes for damaging White Star property. 

Barnes has Watson’s book – he has mended it and was going to give it to her as a gift. Grace Rushton is still refusing to board a lifeboat without her dog when Astor appears with Suki and his own dog Kitty, amongst others. He has found and released them. In her gratitude, Grace takes Astor’s dog as well as her own and finally boards the lifeboat, briskly dismissing the admonishments of Officer Boxhall that dogs are not allowed. 

On the Promenade Deck, Theresa flees from her lifeboat after overhearing Murdoch tell Hart that it will split if any more passengers are loaded. Jim pursues her, as does Lubov at Mary’s urgent pleading. Once below decks they split up, whilst Mary, clutching her remaining children to her, is rowed away from the ship. Officer Murdoch, in danger of losing control, fires his pistol to quiet the crowd. John pulls Muriel away, but she is fast losing heart. 

Barnes and Watson join the Mantons. Barnes gives Watson an envelope to open later. Jack Thayer and another youth discuss the safest way to get off the ship without a lifeboat. Louisa is about to board the last of the boats when she has second thoughts about going without Hugh. Paolo learns from a stoker of his brother’s fate and races off to find him. Louisa is still hesitating but Hugh persuades her that her duty lies with her daughter. In return, she promises Hugh that she will care for his other illegitimate daughter, who she’s known about all along. Murdoch orders Lowe to take charge of the boat. As it’s lowered, Ismay steps in. 

Paolo finds the cabin in which his brother is incarcerated with the other Italians, but the water is rising and the door is locked. He chances upon Lubov and begs him to help. Lubov still has the piece of wire Watson gave him to open the jewellery case. After several desperate attempts underwater he manages to pick the lock and release the prisoners. Murdoch reports back to a sombre Captain Smith. Bitterly regretful of his hubris, the Captain is determined to go down with his ship. As is the designer Thomas Andrews, and the sublimely debonair Benjamin Guggenheim. Deep in the bowels of Titanic, Jim finally locates his terrified daughter. Wrapping her comfortingly in his arms, he settles down to await their inevitable fate. 

Paolo and Mario reach the deck and jump, as does Jack Thayer. Hugh, Lightoller, Harry and the Batleys are amongst those trying to free the last collapsible lifeboat when they’re all washed overboard, along with Bessie Allison and her family. Mario has made it to the upturned collapsible and calls desperately for his brother Paolo. Behind him, with a terrible sound of rending metal, the stricken liner breaks in two. Its stern rises up out of the water, towering over the survivors like some mythical sea monster, and finally sinks below the surface. 

In the boats, the survivors can hear the cries of those in the water. Louisa and Georgiana are determined to go back, and along with Officer Lowe override the objections of the more nervous passengers. But first Lowe must link two or three of the boats into a makeshift pontoon and transfer some of the passengers to make room. 

Despite the pleas of Lady Rothes and Mrs Widener, the seamen in their boat refuse to go back. And the Duff Gordons show no enthusiasm to hunt for survivors in their boat either. In the water, John Batley desperately searches for Muriel. Lowe carefully transfers his passengers to empty one of the boats. As he does so, one of the women turns out to be the Chief Steward. Lightoller struggles onto the upturned collapsible with the help of Mario and despite the reluctance of some already aboard as it’s becoming increasingly crowded. 

Back in their lifeboat, Molly Brown, Lady Rothes and the other women have lost patience. On the upturned collapsible, now precariously full, Jack Thayer is pulled aboard to replace a dead man. Lightoller leads them in the Lord’s Prayer anxiously awaiting rescue from the life boats.

Sunday, 8 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

The Siege of Sidney Street, London, January 1911. Home Secretary Winston Churchill surveys the burnt out house in which a group of Russian anarchists have been cornered and killed after a gun battle with the army. However, to his fury, the body of their leader, Peter the Painter, is not among them. 

Southampton, Wednesday 10th April 1912. Second Officer Lightoller is checking the vast quantities of food destined for Titanic’s maiden voyage when his attention is diverted by an altercation. An Italian stoker is trying to persuade Fifth Officer Lowe to take on his brother as a waiter. Given that one of the waiters has failed to turn up, Lightoller agrees to hire him. 

Once aboard, the stoker Mario confesses to his brother Paolo that he got the missing steward drunk to give Paolo the chance to join him in New York. Paolo is initially hampered by the sleeves of his waiter’s jacket, but a sympathetic steward, Annie Desmond, sews them up for him. In steerage the mysterious Peter Lubov tells Jim Maloney that he’s had enough of trying to change society. He’s off to the New World and won’t be back. Mary drops her cotton reel. Lubov returns it but her response is uncharacteristically abrupt. Paolo, who’s missed his rendezvous with Annie, catches up with her as she begins her rounds. 

Meanwhile Lubov is approached by ex-soldier David Evans, but brushes him off. On deck Paolo and Annie encounter Bessie Allison trying to get her young daughter Loraine to go to bed, and are stopped by an officious seaman who won’t let Annie back into Second Class until Paolo berates him for his lack of class loyalty. Annie visits her charges, amongst them the Batleys. Muriel is attacking her husband for deferring so readily to Lord Manton.

Sunday 14th April 1912. Jim and Mary attend Catholic Mass in steerage. Lubov has decided to attend the Anglican service in First Class. A curious Mary decides to go too. When Lubov arrives he sits next to her and tells her not to be frightened by the strength of her feelings. Mary moves away, but her eyes hold his. Annie visits Paolo as he lays the table in the First Class dining room, and he tells her something of his dreams for the future. Later he tells his brother Mario that he believes Annie is the one for him, although he has nothing to offer her. Mario wisely tells him to offer her his dreams. 

Steerage steward John Hart comes across Louisa’s maid Watson. The lock on Louisa’s jewel case has jammed and she wants to find someone in steerage who can unpick it. Hart leads her through, and Lubov volunteers to help. Strangely, Watson insists he take the case into a corner. He comes back to say that the key turns easily. At that moment Barnes appears and takes Watson away. He wants to know what she’s up to, and it doesn’t take long before she breaks down and tells him. Her beloved father is ill and she’s hatched a crazy scheme to steal a piece of jewellery Louisa hardly ever wears. The charade with the jewel case is to give her the alibi that it was taken by Lubov. Barnes is horrified by both the hopeless naivety of her plan and her willingness to cast suspicion on an innocent man. Watson is in floods of tears as they encounter Lightoller, but Barnes passes it off as seasickness. He suggests to Watson that during dinner they retrieve the brooch, which she has concealed in her trunk in the hold. Then she can slip it in with the jewels Louisa is wearing when she takes them off, and return it to the safe. 

Later, as Paolo puts together some dinner for Annie to take to Barnes and Watson, she asks him to tell her more about his dreams and he impulsively proposes to her. She is too startled to reply. On deck, a pensive Mary is joined by Lubov. She no longer pretends that she’s not attracted to him and they kiss, but it’s broken up by a furious Jim. He punches Lubov, who refuses to fight back and walks away. Mary pretends that he stole a drunken kiss. It’s steerage. What does Jim expect? 

Later that night Paolo and John Hart, and Mary and Jim are woken by the sound of escaping steam. In the engine room Mario and others escape as the doors begin to close. Billy Blake stays behind to rake out the boilers to stop them exploding. The bully will die a hero. 

Lightoller tells Annie to get her passengers up on deck. Paolo finds Annie outside the Purser’s office, and forces a reluctant Muriel to don her lifejacket. Meanwhile Ismay is anxious that the Italian waiters will spread panic, so they are taken below decks and locked in a cabin. Back on deck, Paolo and Officer Lowe try in vain to prevent the Duff Gordons having their boat lowered practically empty. 

In steerage, Lubov engineers a diversion that enables Mary and her children to escape. Evans beckons to him and Lubov follows, thinking he’s found another way out. But Evans has remembered why Lubov seemed familiar. His was the face on the wanted posters after the Siege of Sidney Street. Lubov is Peter the Painter. 

In the First Class dining room, Mary encounters a dazed Bessie Allison, still searching for baby Trevor. On his way up the ship Mario sees the rest of the steerage passengers, still held below decks. He argues with the officer in charge and is dragged off to be locked up with the Italian waiters, but his intervention enables both Jim and Lubov to get out. Jim and Hugh help Mary and the children into a boat but her daughter Theresa, terrified of the water, bolts back into the ship. 

Jim takes off after her. On deck Paolo and Annie find the last of the boats, surrounded by a group that includes the Mantons and Ismay. Paolo and Ismay persuade Annie to get aboard to help calm the women. Just then Paolo discovers from a stoker that Mario has been locked up and dashes off in search of his brother. He finds the cabin as the ship starts to flood, but the door is locked and there’s no key… 

Sunday, 1 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM


Belfast, March 1912. Workers enter the Harland and Wolff shipyard past angry Protestant Unionists, incensed by the prospect of Irish Home Rule. Inside the yard designer Thomas Andrews and shipyard chairman Lord Pirrie are concerned about slow progress on the fitting out of the new liner Titanic. They talk to electrical engineer Jim Maloney, a middle class Catholic. Maloney needs to recruit his own team with the expertise to get the job done, but they are Catholics and Lord Pirrie is under pressure to get rid of his Catholic workers. Jim despairs at the sectarian divide, and wants to get away from Ireland. Andrews offers him a deal – a steerage passage on Titanic with his family if he gets the wiring done on time. In a meeting with Pirrie and White Star Line chairman Bruce Ismay Andrews expresses his concern that corners are being cut in the construction. Ismay angrily dismisses his assertions.

Southampton, Tuesday 9th April 1912. After the sea trials, Captain Smith shuffles his crew, causing some confusion as the officers are assigned new duties. The following day, cabin steward Annie Desmond prepares for the first passengers, and encounters newly-recruited Italian waiter Paolo Sandrini. Meanwhile Jim Maloney smuggles his wife Mary and their children into a single steerage cabin to avoid them being split up, facing down steward John Hart to do so. At dinner in First Class, Paolo serves the Mantons’ table, winking at Georgiana. She’s amused, but the Chief Steward is not. 

In steerage, Jim falls into conversation with the taciturn Peter Lubov, another man escaping his past. Jim introduces Lubov to Mary, but her response is uncharacteristically abrupt. Up on deck, Paolo and Annie discuss the passengers in their charge, and she describes the altercation between the servants. Her theory is that Barnes has a soft spot for Watson. 

Sunday 14th April 1912. A mixed group attend the Anglican service which is held in First Class but open to all classes. Lubov attends and deliberately places himself next to Mary Maloney, who moves away. Grace Rushton is horrified by the class mix. Hugh finds it amusing. That evening Lightoller comes across Barnes trying to gain access to steerage, in pursuit of Watson who has made her way down there. Later, Lightoller comes across them together. Watson is in tears, but Barnes tells him it’s merely seasickness. Dressing for dinner in their cabin after the less than successful tea party with the Mantons, Muriel launches a verbal assault on her husband, accusing him of cringing subservience to his English master. Unable to contain her bitterness at his stalled career, which has condemned her to a life in Croydon amongst those she regards as her country’s long time oppressors, she lets him know that she’s aware his loyal service includes acting as a go-between with Hugh’s illegitimate daughter, a secret supposedly unknown to Louisa. 

Jim goes looking for Mary and finds her on the deck. As always she is coping with the vagaries of life, condemned to crowded steerage despite Jim’s skills because of their background. Jim promises her that things will be different in America. On the bridge, Captain Smith wants to maintain a fast pace to arrive in New York early on Titanic’s maiden voyage, but Ismay is against taking any risks. However, after Ismay leaves the bridge Smith instructs his officer of the watch, Murdoch, to keep up the pace despite warnings of icebergs. 

Smith takes a tour, greeting the card-playing Andrews and Dorothy Gibson and finally ending up on deck with a glum John Batley, recovering from the altercation with his wife. Smith wisely leaves him to it, but no sooner has he gone than Batley finds an iceberg towering over him as it scrapes down the side of the ship. Below decks, Smith and Andrews go on their voyage of discovery and we see the full impact of the collision. The extent of the gashes is so long that it will outweigh the buoyancy afforded by Titanic’s compartmentalised design. The supposedly unsinkable ship has only hours to live. 

Whilst the passengers remain oblivious to the danger for the moment, Lightoller is roused and tries to get orders from Smith and his Chief Officer Wilde, but they are both dazed by the enormity of what has happened. Lightoller takes matters into his own hands, organising the evacuation but restricting the numbers in each boat and allowing only women and children to board. Annie tries to help Muriel and John Batley with their lifejackets, although Muriel is more concerned with recovering her jewels. Outside the Purser’s office we experience again Muriel’s attack on Louisa and Hugh, but this time from the point of view of her horrified husband before he drags her away. 

Jim and Mary and their children are being held below decks with their fellow steerage passengers, until Lubov creates a diversion that allows Mary and the children to escape. Lightoller helps a distraught Dorothy Gibson persuade her mother to don a lifejacket. He presses an unwilling Dorothy to take a bottle of brandy with her in case it’s needed for medicinal purposes. 

Meanwhile, Annie and Paolo are trying to bring some order to the chaos, which is only increased when Steward Hart leads a party of steerage passengers up to the deck. Muriel is almost trampled underfoot. Andrews has joined Guggenheim and his valet in the saloon. Despite Lightoller’s urging, they are not planning to go anywhere. John and Muriel struggle unsuccessfully to find a boat, until Muriel slumps down in exhaustion and despair. And then, at their darkest hour, they find a way back to each other. 

Muriel expresses her regret that she has allowed her bitterness to destroy their relationship. John immediately forgives her – she remains the best thing that ever happened in his life. Muriel says that if they can do nothing else they can at least die together, but just then John spies one last boat preparing to launch, and drags Muriel towards it. As they get there to find a group that includes Hugh Manton, Harry Widener and Barnes there is the roaring sound of an approaching wall of water…

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