The discount love story is actually much more gritty than the centre love story – but the film itself is discount all round

In order to beat James Cameron’s version out and capitalise on the hubbub, this TV version released in 1996 is a sadly inferior version to most others in almost every way.

Released: 1996

Runtime: 2hrs 53 mins

The Premise

Once again a cross-section of passengers are followed throughout their voyage on Titanic.

The Disasters Faced

Aside from the ship itself, there’s Tim Curry as a whole whose role can only be described as pantomime evil villain, a mental nanny with no nanny skills whatsoever and the possibility of being swallowed by Catherine Zeta-Jones mouth.

The Execution

One of the things I do appreciate sometimes with these three-hour mini-series’ is that you can get some good character depth. Here all we get is to see how as a whole, the majority of the cast are completely dislikeable. Zeta-Jones is miserable and snotty, Tim Curry is just vile, as is the thief Mike Doyle. Why on Earth the Allison’s hired the quite clearly not all there Alice I’ve no idea. In fact, the more of a misfit they are, the more the film laps them up. The film decides it would rather spend time watching two romances. The first with Zeta-Jones and Peter Gallagher left a bad taste in my mouth as she’s meant to be married and she has absolutely nothing bad to say about him at all. It’s as if she’s just decided to be a filthy moose. The second has such a vile lead in Mike Doyle’s character that I wanted poor Aase to tell him where to go. Worse still, if I drew a line across all the characters that were likeable of all the fictitious ones, almost without fail they all perish. There’s an underlying tone to the film that says “being an awful person means you’ll come out on top”.

Tim Curry and the Theif – one of the more amusing subplots

The Effects

The effects are poor to say the least. Some mid 90’s fuzzy smoke, and bad compositing. The actual sinking is shown by some dissolves and although it should be noted it’s the first film to show the ship break in half, even that’s shown by a few pieces of snapping wood.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Tim Curry’s performance and character as a whole are so out-of-place it has to be seen to be believed. Do we really need a jewel stealing plotline? Have we not seen Beyond the Poseidon?! Aside from that, it feels like whoever wrote the script and directed it had seen some parts of next years blockbuster as some of it worryingly parallels the other version and it’s slightly morbid to watch and see how they’ve desperately tried to not rip it off whilst not actually changing much at all. It all reeks of no creativity and what changes are there are grossly out of tone. We don’t need premonitions from a nutcase Nanny to add to the drama – we know what’s coming!

Favourite Character

Gotta love the Jack family. Most underused people in the film yet the ones with the most heart and soul.

Best Death

Forgive the subtitle but one of the few areas where this film doesn’t toe the line is showing that children were also killed in the disaster, something skimmed over by a few others. The Jack’s and Allison’s don’t make the boats and that’s the saddest part of it all – circling back to the generally cruel tone of the film. Anyone vaguely nice and normal will not get far in this world.

Apparently, the set was so badly damaged towards the end of the shoot that extra’s had to hold bits of it together

Weirdest Moment

Tim Curry aside, I thought Peter Gallagher was going to be swallowed by Catherine Zeta-Jones whenever they kissed. There’s a whole lot of mouth going on. Oh – and enjoy our Theif’s and Nanny’s English skills. Accurate maybe, but slightly oddball too!

Drinking Game

What the hell is Tim Curry up to now?

Random Trivia

The film was rushed through to get onto TV before the James Cameron film was launched, but in a bizarre twist of publicity, Brazil launched it as “Titanic 2” and various Asian film distributors actually marketed it as a sequel to the big budget movie!


An utter ripoff that brings very little to the subject as a whole. I’m quite shocked at the fact IMDB has it rated as a 6.0. Decent acting lifts the obviously ramshackle production values but it’s far more a dubious romance story than anything else and everything feels like an afterthought.

One thought

  1. I thought that the scene where Curry’s character brutally raped Aase in the showers was offensive and unnecessary.

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