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Reviews & Ratings for
"Titanic: Blood and Steel" More at IMDbPro »

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31 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Inaccurate But Enjoyable

Author: KatharineFanatic from United States
14 October 2012

"Titanic: Blood & Steel" proves there are still ways to approach material that has been revisited on the big and small screens in new and appealing ways. From the laying of the hull to her departure from Belfast, this is the story of the workers, businessmen, and common Irishmen impacted through the construction process of the most famous ship in history.

It's strengths are its historical figures, such as the open-minded Lord Pirrie (Derek Jacobi at his finest) and the perfectionist, driven Thomas Andrews, who is depicted as I have always imagined him to be, soft-spoken and heroic. Its weaknesses lie in its lack of understanding for the social and sexual aspects of the period, as well as its (for me) rather unlikable leading man.

When it comes to historical accuracy, it relies more on fiction than fact to tell its story but somehow this never seems too troubling. The politics of the era are explored: the struggle to unionize Ireland, the rivalries between Catholic and Protestant fractions, even a foray into the beginnings of the Irish Republican Army. The expense of the miniseries shows not only in the terrific cast but the incredible detail on the ships, their construction, the shipyards, and the lavish interiors.

Some might complain about the ambiguous ending, but I like it, since it allows the audience to make their own conclusions about the fate of the main characters. The series held my attention and gave me twelve hours spent in the company of Lord Pirrie and Thomas Andrews -- as an amateur "RMS Titanic" historian, for that, I'm grateful.

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Just watched the last episode in Spain (Spoiler alert)

Author: Carloz Carloz from Spain
15 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched it faithfully from beginning to end. Spain's Antena3 played two episodes together each Wednesday, so it only took six weeks to watch.

In my opinion it was pretty good. Good dialog, great sets and costumes, and all the performances were good, except Derek Jacobi's, which was better than good -- it was terrific. The female lead, Alessandra Mastronardi, is a lovely actress.

At first it kind of bothered me that they cast an actor in the lead who looks rather like Leonardo DiCaprio did when he was younger, but I got over it. Kevin Zegers' performance was fine, but the resemblance was a bit of a nagging thing for me sometimes. I didn't watch this series because I wanted to be reminded of the 1997 film. I wanted something different -- and this was very different -- in a good way.

It had some interesting bits about Irish history in it. It even inspired me to do some on-line research and learn about The Ulster Covenant.

The Neve Campbell character's being coerced to spy for Germany was a story line that seemed pretty purposeless. It added nothing and just went nowhere.

Overall, I'd say it was worth tuning in to each week. I'm hoping there will be a sequel since it ended with the main characters and some of the minor ones sailing off on the Titanic to death or survival, who knows...

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Outstanding!! a must watch!!

Author: Michelle Michaels from United States
17 October 2012

I was channel surfing one night and came across episode 1 at the mid-way point and was intrigued. So i watched episode 1 from the beginning and liked what I saw and decided to give this series a chance, and i was not disappointed! James Cameron scored a hit with the movie Titanic by being able to infuse factual with fiction so well that you couldn't tell the difference. This series was the same thing, but in 12 parts.

The story line from episodes 2-9 were outstanding and the acting was incredible. I really felt like i had a window into these people's lives and knew what it was like in Belfast 103 years ago.

Derek Jacobi is an incredible actor and played Lord Pirrie masterfully. He was a great as he was in Gladiator. Alessandra Mastronardi is stunningly beautiful and is great as Sophia.

Her and Kevin Zegers chemistry was great and now i find myself looking for other movies they have been in and will be in because how good their acting is.

The sets and costumes were spot on and the dialogue was very well written.

My one knock about this series is that after episode 9, they rushed to finish it within 2 episodes. I really think they should have allowed the rest of the story to wrap in another 1 or 2 episode so it didn't seem rushed.

But the ending was still very good and I teared up a little as i did at the end of Titanic the movie back in 1997.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is a history buff, a Titanic buff, and anyone who wants a great series to watch.

I suggest watching an episode or two a day so you can absorb they story and you will find that you can't wait to see where the story goes next! Never mind the other reviews about how the accuracy may have been off somewhat, the hats should have been different, blah blah blah.

I think that if you watch this series you would thoroughly enjoy it and you may find yourself never wanting it to end. And you may even be like me and think about watching it all over again.

Speaking of, where's my remote?

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Imperfect, but interesting.

Author: foby from Russia
21 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Though I've always been haunted by the story of Titanic's tragic voyage somehow I've never been familiar with it's history - where and how it was built, so I was excited when the mini series were announced. It sounded like a very ambitious project back then, but I've heard very little about it afterwards and was surprised when I recently discovered it aired long ago and went generally unnoticed. For the first five episodes I just bought everything without doubting it's validity. Then I checked with Wikipedia and found out all about the blatant historical inaccuracy, but it did not actually put me off. The story itself is good enough, the main problem is in it's *pacing* and *editing*. From the very beginning and right to the end it was very uneven, some events and their outcome felt quite unnatural and odd and it felt almost as though a lot of things (certain events, plot turns, character personalities etc.) were changed or made up as they went along. In the end character's personal problems have almost completely overshadowed the building process – not quite fair to Titanic itself since the series were meant to be primarily about it. A lot of time has been devoted to the constructional problems, but essentially no information at all was given about the work on the ship's insides, which no doubt would've been no less interesting then the work in the yard. Considering the acting – it was mostly well-done (specially by the *older* generation), and I'd like to mention that Kevin Zegers keeps surprising me every time I stumble upon him on screen, there is a diversity in his choice of roles that keeps me interested. But my own personal favorite was Thomas Andrews Jr. (played by Billy Carter). Again, Wikipedia specifically points out that the personality of the real life Mr. Andrews was vastly different from the one presented in the series, but as a character he is likable (being hardworking, earnest and upright), sympathetic and his impending fate really does strike a chord. All in all, despite some obvious production flaws and already established historical inaccuracy, the series manage to keep the viewer interested and produce some really moving human stories.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

How the ship came to be...sort of

Author: jjnxn-1 from United States
5 May 2013

Opulent miniseries that chronicles the years leading up to and during which the Titanic was constructed in Belfast. As with something this complex some of the stories are more compelling than others as are some of the performances. Kevin Zegers holds the screen well in the lead, his startlingly blue eyes pulling you in. His storyline and several others intertwine and lead to interesting bits of history as well as storytelling. Neve Campbell's reporter storyline however feels superfluous. The best performance comes unsurprisingly from Derek Jacobi as Lord Pirrie. Effiiciently directed this moves along well with very few slow patches. Overall a good, if long, view with some soapy complications thrown in for good measure, but keep in mind this focuses on the building of the ship, not the ill-fated voyage itself.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sumptuous and Lavish, with bits of history as a backdrop.

Author: medcop2001 from United States
3 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been reading the reviews above, and can't for the life of me understand why some feel the need to tear it apart. My husband found this while cruising thru the viewing grid. We went back and downloaded the first couple of episodes to watch. When we watched, we were impressed with the high production values. We knew this was a work of fiction with the Titanic being the background. Most miniseries are originally based in some truth, but filled out fiction. Even James Cameron's movie had fictional characters. That said, I found the first couple of episodes very engaging. I did find the character of Mark Muir to be a bit of a pompous jerk. I loved Lord Pirrie and Thomas. I think Chris Noth did a great job as JP Morgan. It appeared that they gave Neve Campbell a completely factious role so they could have a little bit of recognition from the American audiences. They could've stretched this out to two seasons and not rushed the story lines along. Some of the background stories were rushed and you ended up not caring about it. There were all types of situations that some of those characters would never have been in due to class restrictions of the times. The accents are off and sometimes unbelievable. The production is of high values and in HD. They are beautifully shot. Some of the costumes are out of character for the people in them. The costumes are stunning. Sophia is a beautiful girl, and her dresses are equally beautiful. I found it a bit too rich for her poverty surroundings. She never wore the same outfit twice. Kitty's costumes were beautiful and class appropriate. The men mostly wore clothes that were appropriate. I hope that the people who watch this enjoy it for what it is, a miniseries that entertains. If you spend the entire series picking it apart for historical inaccuracies, then you are just wasting your time. Watch it and enjoy the production as a whole. Most of us have no idea of how Belfast looks today, much less back in the early 1900's. I enjoyed the story, but was frustrated about how it ended. They should've taken their time and spread it out into 2 seasons. Don't skip this program due to reviews. Watch the first episodes and decide for yourself. I watched it on demand from Encore. With all of the reruns being shown now, it's a fresh option to watch on a weeknight or weekend.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A very entertaining piece

Author: Son-of-WRA from United States
24 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I start, readers should be aware that I expect filmmakers to respect the intelligence of their intended audience. I am able to appreciate the effort behind a good production and won't hesitate to compliment those of whom were involved. I'm almost a perfectionist when it comes to entertainment, so understand that the review you are about to read comes from someone who isn't prone to gushing with platitudes.

I came into "Titanic: Blood and Steel" with an open mind and after viewing 10 of the 12 episodes I feel truly rewarded in a way not sensed since "Road to Perdition" or "Out of Africa" before that. It isn't to say I was moved in the same way each time for they were great productions all their own. But this a truly professionally executed example of filmmaking.

This series is very well-acted from the legendary Derek Jacobi as Lord Pirrie to the small part players. I especially like the performance of Ophelia Lovibond as Kitty because I feel almost as if I've traveled back in time whenever her character is on. I could go on about all the fine acting. The production values are nearly perfect but I have to say that the CGI rendering could have been slightly better. But hey, the matte backgrounds of many classic movies are obvious too.

If you watch this series expecting a documentary-perfect telling of events, you will be disappointed. This is a portrayal of fictional characters in fictional story arcs centered upon the factual events surrounding the conceptualization, construction and eventual fate of the Titanic.

I am absolutely hooked on this story and with two episodes to go I'm already mourning the fact that it will be over. I feel that this is one of my ten best films of all time even as I speak as somewhat of a history buff who demands accuracy. I'm not one who watches a series such as this. My usual entertainment consists of NFL football, EPL soccer and scientific documentaries.

With all the dreck coming out of Hollywood during my almost 53 years of existence, its refreshing as well as encouraging to witness such a fine effort from people who respect the tastes and intelligence of the viewers.


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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Couldn't stop watching.

Author: ivegonemod from United States
2 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought this series was wonderful. I have my mother watching it right now. I don't really understand any rating under 7, but oh well. I have been a Titanic fanatic since I was about 14, 1994. I know many of the details, and perhaps not every production gets them right, but most historical fiction is a bit off somewhere.

I thought most of the actors were older than they actually were. Kevin as Mark was good, but Branwell as Michael stood out more. I also thought Denise as Emily was quite an actress, but Emily was a bit too hotheaded for her own good.

Alessandra as Sofia had me from the first moment. Valentina as Violetta was good as well, doesn't seem she's been in anything else. I did not like one bit how she treated Michael, ugh, just leave her alone. I enjoyed Pietro, but grew tired of Andrea rather quickly. Conor was OK.

I thought Thomas Andrews was played quite well by Billy Carter, I loved all his scenes. There was something quite a bit awkward between Mark and Kitty, I don't know. Neve Campbell's character didn't really seem to have a point.

I do so hope that there will be another 12-episode season to wrap things up. Obviously we know what happened to Thomas.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful tale behind one of the most tragic events in history

Author: dewsis from Texas USA
18 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a history lover and Titanic is one of the subjects I love to study about. When I saw the commercial for the Mini Series I couldn't wait to see it. I planned my entire week around it. It captured my attention from where Tomas Andrews gives his opening speech and held it until they set sail. Seeing the struggles of these characters interweaving throughout the series felt heart worming and compelling. You were rooting for the couple to get together in the end. You wanted to see the father find his daughter. I found myself yelling at the Ismay saying you idiot lesion to him even though I knew the final outcome. There is a part of me that wanted to who survived and who didn't but I am glad it ended the way it did. Well done and a must see for all.

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Shocking Distortion of the Historical Record

Author: J Kent Layton from United States
4 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a maritime and Titanic author and historian, I was quite interested to see this production, as it focused on the construction of the legendary liner and came at things from a unique perspective. Unfortunately, I am beyond disappointed (appalled would be a more apt word) by the historical errors that made their way into the miniseries.

I have been working my way through the 12-part miniseries, trying desperately not to shred the arms of my chair or grinding my teeth to powder in so doing. Although the production might be an enjoyable piece if it were purely fictional, the history of the Titanic became a tragic, jumbled mess in this production.

In some respects I found that it captured the period. However even there the effect was not complete; for example, the "jazz" music in the early-episode society scenes was about 10-15 years too premature, and that's something that anyone could get right.

Was it poor research that caused this historical monstrosity? Apparently not. Why? Because of how many little details they apparently had easy access to and saw fit to include in the production (i.e., the number of passengers on Olympic's crossing where she tangled with the Hawke, the design of the Great Gantry, the fact that the riveters were paid by the rivet, the way the rivet seals were tested, the name of the British Board of Trade inspector, etc.). Meanwhile, the production included an overwhelming number of serious historical errors, many of which were easier to "get right" than the aforementioned factoids.

Included in this list of grievous technical and historical mistakes are:

* The "fact" that J. P. Morgan bankrolled and exercised great influence in the design and construction of the vessels. White Star paid for the vessels, and Ismay and White Star, rather than Morgan directly, had primary influence in the design and construction; * The steel issues, which is an older theory which has really been addressed and is blown entirely out of proportion in this production; * The blueprints for the Titanic shown from the opening credits through every episode, and which are actually, in every instance I noticed, of the Lusitania; * The slip that the Titanic was built on in the show is actually Olympic's slip; * The "fact" that the Olympic/Hawke collision (September 20, 1911) took place long before the launch of the Titanic (May 31, 1911) (???!!!); * The term "unsinkable" (or "practically unsinkable") is dreamed up and applied primarily to Titanic by the fictional character after the collision with the Hawke, when in reality it was introduced by White Star publicity and period Trade journals such as The Shipbuilder during construction of the two liners, and was applied to both equally. (Coincidentally, the special number of The Shipbuilder in which the term appeared is seen in the series long before Muir supposedly dreamed up the term); * The damage to the Olympic appears on the forward-port quarter of the hull, rather than the aft-starboard quarter; * Ismay saying that the Titanic would be 'much larger' than the Olympic; * Ismay didn't even have a speaking part, I don't believe, until the third episode; * The timing of any discussion regarding the possibilities of a double hull would have been back around 1907-1908 and applied to both ships, and would not have been applied solely to Titanic after the collision between the Olympic and the Hawke (in the end, a double-bottom was adopted for each); * The complete out-of-character, irritated, gruff behavior of Thomas Andrews throughout much of the first half of the series; * The worries within the yard that Titanic was just "too big" (the Germans were already starting work on the Imperator, which was still larger); * BOT Inspector Francis Carruthers was on site virtually every day of construction, yet he is not seen - until what, the fifth episode? - when he is lethargically tapping a couple of rivets. The implication is that Carruthers and the BOT exercised no real authority or oversight during construction, when in reality the original documentation and correspondence shows that they did not always see 'eye-to-eye' and had to work together to reach satisfactory results for both; * The concept that Harland & Wolff paid an unusually small amount of money to laborers (for the period, mind you) or were extraordinarily ungenerous in paying out benefits to families of those who were injured or killed in their yard (again, for the period). The record of payout benefits given to injured workers or to the families of those killed during construction of the two ships is still available and is actually quite high for the period.

The list of egregious historical blunders just goes on and on. They are quite shocking in this series, especially since someone involved with the production/screenplay writing so clearly had access to little factoids that they saw fit to include. It was so badly done that I began to see in the fictional Muir character shades of the German Second Officer from the Nazi propaganda film, where he was the sole voice of reason warning everyone that the ship was doomed.

If one even bothers to watch this miniseries, don't take anything in it as fact unless it is checked against leading research on the subject. In my view, this was a completely missed opportunity.

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