Dr. Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceamographic Institure and his research team become the first undersea explorers to locate, photograph, and explore the wreckage of the ill-fated HMS Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage 2 1/2 mile deep in the icy waters of the Atlantic in 1912, taking 1500 passengers and crew with it to a watery grave. Utilizing dazzling state-of-the art equipment and cutting edge expertise they record the decaying remains of the ocean liner once thought "unsinkable." Written by
20 years on this is still the BEST Titanic doc I've seen
I watched my video of Secrets of the Titanic for the first time in ages recently and it still leaves me as cold as the first time I saw it. Thankfully the 20 year old tape is still in good condition and plays really well.
From Martin Sheen's opening that 'It began here in Ireland' to Ballard's closing 'She's sitting upright on the bottom and at rest' the video is truly gripping, both in telling the story of the ships sinking and telling the story of the search and eventual discovery of the ship.
It includes photos taken on Titanic by Father Francis Browne, which are very sad as with pretty much certainty you know that those pictured were very soon about to lose their lives. One shows Captain Smith peering down from the bridge wing 'poised on the brink of destiny'.
Sheen's narration is perfectly paced, sombre when he has to be and informative when explaining about the technology the search team uses while exploring the wreck. If there is a star to this video it is the robot Jason Junior who skims around the wreck most notably taking a ride down what is left of the grand staircase area. Later, we get to see other areas of the ship, doors still with signs on, easily readable inscriptions on capstans and the chandelier still hanging from the ceiling.
The part where the camera pans over the deck is extremely eerie and you half expect to see the ghostly figure of Captain Smith beckoning you toward him with a bony finger.
The soundtrack is excellent, haunting when the ship is seen for the first time when the bow emerges from the gloom and sad when Sheen describes the victims and how they realised their fates.
All in all a great video and National Geographic should repeat it for its 20 year anniversary.
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