September 1942. While onboard the RMS Laconia, Junior Third Officer Thomas Mortimer befriends the enigmatic Hilda Smith. Beneath the sea, a German U-boat captained by Werner Hartenstein looks for targets.


Uwe Janson


Alan Bleasdale


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Buchan ... Thomas Mortimer
Brian Cox ... Captain Sharp
Ken Duken ... Werner Hartenstein
Lindsay Duncan ... Elisabeth Fullwood
Thomas Kretschmann ... Admiral Dönitz
Franka Potente ... Hilda
Morven Christie ... Laura Ferguson
Jodi Balfour ... Sarah Fullwood
Nicholas Burns ... Captain Coutts
Ciarán McMenamin ... Declan McDermott
Lenny Wood Lenny Wood ... Billy Hardacre
Ben Crompton ... Harry Townes
Matthew Aubrey Matthew Aubrey ... William Williams
David Butler David Butler ... George Steel
Ludovico Fremont Ludovico Fremont ... Vincenzo Di Giovanni


Part One:- In 1942, the Laconia, an old British cruise liner turned troop ship, is returning to Liverpool from Egypt with civilian passengers and Italian prisoners. Its guns are outdated, its captain, Sharp, lost his last ship and the Italians, unhappy at being caged below the water line, are tormented by their Polish guards. Third officer Mortimer learns that his family have been killed in an air raid and seeks comfort with Hilda Smith, a mysterious widow who seems to have visited Germany recently. At that moment the ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat, whose humane captain, Kapitanleutnant Werner Hartenstein, learning that the Laconia was not a warship, decides to rescue the survivors, bringing some into the submarine and towing others in life-boats. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Official Sites:

Official site at UFA.de

Release Date:

6 January 2011 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Talkback Thames See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the dry dock scene, the U-Boat officers walk by a ship with a bulbous bow, a feature that was not adapted by the German Navy until the 1950's. See more »

Alternate Versions

This British-German co-production exists in two versions. The British cut focuses more on the British side, the German one focusing more on the German side. This is mainly done by a different arrangement of the scenes. See more »

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