Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
on 2 May 2012
As it's the season of "Titanic", and having read Dr. Ballard's book on the discovery, I thought I'd give this a fly. I'm glad I did. It contains three documentaries, each taking the disaster from a different, and very interesting, perspective. In his book, Ballard says nothing about the quid pro quo with the US Navy on the use of the Woods Hole equipment to solve two submarine disasters, whose wrecks lay two miles down - I guess it was secret then. The lessons learned from those investigations turned out to be invaluable in the hunt for the "Titanic". The third documentary, in which a US Coastguard investigator has made iron rivets very like those used on the bow section of the "Titanic", and then subjects them to the sort of stress the ship would have experienced on hitting the iceberg, was fascinating - the ship may have sunk because the machine used to rivet the rest of the ship (and which used superior steel rivets) wouldn't fit in the bow section, and the rivetting there had to be done by hand, and with the old iron ones. It also makes clear that other alleged causes of the disaster (the lookouts' lack of binoculars, the speed of the ship, the failure to pass on the ice warning of "Californian") were reflections of the practices of the day, from which nobody deviated.
The only (slight) minus point is the natural awkwardness and stiltedness of re-enacted conversations for the benefit of the production.