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A full year before James Cameron broke box office records, Robert Lieberman directed a TV miniseries about the Titanic. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Peter Gallagher, Tim Curry, and George C. Scott, the film was aired in two parts in November 1996.
Tropes featured include:
- Anachronism Stew: Wynn says that soon people will be flying across the Atlantic in airplanes, which realistically no one would have believed in 1912.
- Jamie describes to Aase a "moving picture" he saw once, though by 1912 moving pictures were nothing new.
- Third Class had baths, not showers - rare in the UK at the time.
- Captain Obvious: "All attempts to raise the Titanic have failed." No such attempt has or ever will be made.
- Yes, there was the section of the hull they raised in 1996, but a tiny section is not the entire ship!
- Did Not Do the Research: And how, especially considering all the extensive volumes that describe the design and sinking of the Titanic.
- Even before the film was released, the poster got it wrong by depicting flames coming out of the smokestacks during the sinking.
- Practically all the sets onboard the ship are of incorrect design. The Grand Staircase had a dome, not a chandelier, and the 3rd Class had two bathtubs, not public showers.
- Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic who was onboard to assess the general performance of the ship and is well-documented to have heroically assisted in the evacuation of the ship before going down with it, is not even present in this film.
- After the iceberg is sighted, Murdoch uses binoculars to get a better look at it. However, no one had binoculars that night. They had been misplaced and the key accidentally taken by the original second officer when the senior officers were reshuffled at the last minute.
- For a more extensive list of the inaccuracies, look on That Other Wiki.
- Dolled-Up Installment: Some foreign video distributors marketed this miniseries as a sequel to James Cameron's Titanic.
- Fake Brit: George C. Scott, an American actor known for his highly distinctive voice, playing an English captain.
- Heaven Seeker: The Jack family and their saved Scandinavian, Aase. Aase is so into God, she does not care about the "incredible new" moving pictures.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line who was savaged by the press for merely surviving the disaster is here portrayed to be a deranged speed obsessed lunatic, undermining the crew at every turn and even going as far heading down into the boiler room (something that could never happen in reality) and screaming at the stokers to light more boilers. Once Titanic hits the iceberg, Ismay is shown to be a sniveling, panicking idiot who snakes his way into one of the last lifeboats.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Tim Curry tries to loot the first class staterooms during the sinking and gets into a lifeboat disguised as a woman. After a scuffle on the lifeboat following the sinking, he is hit by an oar, which breaks his neck and he falls into the ocean, with all the money he stole floating on the surface.
- Mr. Exposition: Captain Smith and J. Bruce Ismay. A good number of their lines are facts about the Titanic, from how much food they are carrying to the horsepower of the engines.
- Sympathetic Criminal: Jamie, who plans to rob the ship with Tim Curry but decides to flee.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Allisons, for waiting until the last minute to put their daughter on a lifeboat.
- In real life, Alice did not take Trevor and get on the first boat to be lowered. She escaped late in the sinking, adding to the confusion of the rest of the family.