TITANIC DRAMA MINISERIES REVIEWED (ITV - Episode 3)


Encyclopedia Titanica

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Nautical Groundhog Day is here again. A second viewing of Episode 2 enabled me to sort out a few puzzling things including why the Catholic electrician was smuggling his family around in 3rd class. He just wanted to keep them with him although sadly it could never have happened as depicted for Titanorak reasons I won’t bore you with. But was it important to the plot? I have found someone to care about. I feel deeply for Mr. Batley Toby J... Titanic Review Tue, 10 Apr 2012

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Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Name badges. That's the answer. We've become quite accustomed to these for the contestants in game shows, so they wouldn't be too obtrusive and would be a great help for the audience (and maybe the actors) to keep abreast of the plots. For obvious reasons Peter the Painter would need to be badged with some name other than his own, and to avoid having too many names to remember the bit-part stereotypes could have badges with labels like 'Italian', 'Cockney' and 'toff'. I did have the idea also of the names as subtitles with arrows pointing to each character, but I thought that wouldn't be very practical during the crowd scenes.

On a serious note, Mon, I'd go one step further than you and say that the inequalities of the Class system were, in the main, not only accepted by those at the bottom of the heap but not resented either. The vast majority in the lower ranks accepted without question that the finer things in life were "not for the likes of us". Historical fiction seems to invest too many individuals with the benefit of hindsight and a burning desire to break the moulds in which society was cast. In reality, Edwardian socialists often met with nothing but apathy or resentment from the working people who had most to gain by casting their votes for a changed society. It's notable that the feisty Stewardess Violet Jessop remarked often in her memoirs that the ships' stewards with whom she worked were, as a breed, notoriously complacent about their stations in life and preoccupied with winning small victories over one another rather than breaking free of the limitations of opportunity which they all faced.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Name badges. That's the answer. We've become quite accustomed to these for the contestants in game shows, so they wouldn't be too obtrusive and would be a great help for the audience (and maybe the actors) to keep abreast of the plots. For obvious reasons Peter the Painter would need to be badged with some name other than his own, and to avoid having too many names to remember the bit-part stereotypes could have badges with labels like 'Italian', 'Cockney' and 'toff'. I did have the idea also of the names as subtitles with arrows pointing to each character, but I thought that wouldn't be very practical during the crowd scenes.

On a serious note, Mon, I'd go one step further than you and say that the inequalities of the Class system were, in the main, not only accepted by those at the bottom of the heap but not resented either. The vast majority in the lower ranks accepted without question that the finer things in life were "not for the likes of us". Historical fiction seems to invest too many individuals with the benefit of hindsight and a burning desire to break the moulds in which society was cast. In reality, Edwardian socialists often met with nothing but apathy or resentment from the working people who had most to gain by casting their votes for a changed society. It's notable that the feisty Stewardess Violet Jessop remarked often in her memoirs that the ships' stewards with whom she worked were, as a breed, notoriously complacent about their stations in life and preoccupied with winning small victories over one another rather than breaking free of the limitations of opportunity which they all faced.
 
Excellent message Bob. I agree with you about how the lower ranking crew and lower class passengers 'knew their place', it was how things were in 1912 but when they were trying to escape I'm sure class didn't come into it, just self preservation. I would like to know whether the wealthy and notable survivors ever felt guilty for surviving when they found out how many third class passengers died?
 

Bob Godfrey

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I can't recall any 1st Class survivors expressing guilty feelings about surviving because of their status, though some of the men were haunted by the fact that they survived while women and children died (irrespective of class). And there were not a few of the 1st Class women survivors who objected to the fact that their husbands had died while 'less deserving' people (ie 3rd Class passengers and crew) were saved. This was particularly so with reference to crew members who proved to have no competence in handling an oar in the lifeboats.

Self preservation no doubt did come to the fore in the final moments, but in the absence of those physical barriers so beloved of movie makers the bulk of the 3rd Class passengers couldn't have been kept off the boat deck for so long without their own full cooperation. It's notable that the English in 3rd class, who 'knew their place' and were more prepared than most to do what they were told by those in authority, had a very low survival rate. Those with less tradition of respect for authority, like the Irish, did very much better. And the Lebanese ('Syrians') did best of all, possibly because they couldn't understand the orders they were given.
 
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I think there was also a general view, which shared by transportation companies (that is to say railways and steamship lines) and their customers, that when purchasing your ticket you were making a conscious choice - you could travel as cheaply as possible as a third class passenger or pay extra, perhaps as a holiday or special "treat". For example, in the 1920s and 1930s the London & North Eastern Railway ran “Eastern Belle” Pullman excursions to east coast resorts such as Cromer and Yarmouth, the Pullman supplement guaranteeing an extra degree of luxury and pampering; you might have been "dirt poor", but for the duration of your trip you were treated like a king. This was not about class, as such, but about the level of service that was involved — you got what you paid for.
 

Paul Rogers

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I am enjoying Mon's reviews considerably more than the mini series itself. I'd like to recommend Monica for a medal for going above and beyond the call of duty. Not only has she undertaken a task that would bore Sisyphus, she's even watching episodes TWICE, to check her understanding. Rather her than me.
 

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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I'll be watching the show at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time on ABC. Then I can join in the bashing of the inaccuracies. LOL

It'll be two parts, I believe. Tonight and tomorrow night? What time tomorrow?
 

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