100 Years After The Sinking of Titanic, National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence James Cameron and Dr. Bob Ballard Mark The Anniversary in Two National Geographic Channel Specials
TWO-NIGHT WORLD PREMIERE EVENT
Titanic: The Final World with James Cameron premieres Sunday, April 8, 8-10 p.m. ET/PT Save the Titanic with Bob Ballard premieres Monday, April 9, 10-11 p.m. ET/PT
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2012 -- It was the largest and most luxurious ocean liner of the time, called a "ship of dreams." But just five days into its maiden voyage, RMS Titanic sank to a watery grave, along with more than 1,500 passengers. A century later, the world is still captivated by the ill-fated ship and the mysteries that surround it. Now, two of the world's leading explorers are marking the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic's sinking in two National Geographic Channel (NGC) world premiere specials.
Kicking off the two-night world premiere event is Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron, premiering Sunday, April 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. In the two-hour special, Oscar-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron leads the ultimate cold-case investigation into the tragedy. In 1997, Cameron brought the iconic ship to life in his blockbuster feature film "Titanic," which fueled not only the world's fascination with the shipwreck, but also his own: "I wanted to dive the wreck more than I wanted to make the movie," he explains. "Diving the wreck was my way into the story."
Then, the next night, on Monday, April 9, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the man who discovered the ship's final resting place more than 25 years ago is on a new quest: protect Titanic's massive underwater graveyard. In Save the Titanic with Bob Ballard, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Robert Ballard retraces Titanic's beginnings and examines the ship's original plans - never before filmed - to reveal untold stories of Titanic's heroes and the unwritten story of Titanic's future.
As evidence mounts that the ship is under siege by natural forces, careless visitors and even possible rogue salvage attempts, Ballard teams with the families of victims and survivors to protect the legacy of history's most famous ship. According to Ballard, "The Titanic is in greater peril than ever before." He goes on to explain, "If the Titanic is not protected and there's no guard on duty, it will get stripped, it'll get stripped until all the jewels have been taken off the old lady's body."
The two landmark specials are the centerpiece of a larger cross-platform National Geographic Society initiative to commemorate the 100th anniversary, which will include the April 2012 cover story in National Geographic magazine, the first magazine to fully chronicle Ballad's 1985 discovery of the wreck. The commemorative plans also include a major digital hub, interactives, books, home entertainment, lectures, maps and kids' products.
Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron
Sunday, April 8, 8-10 p.m. ET/PT
James Cameron's epic 1997 film "Titanic" won 11 Oscars and grossed well over a billion dollars worldwide. Now, on an empty sound stage, in the shadow of a massive 42-foot replica of the Titanic and other props from the blockbuster film, Cameron brings together some the world's leading Titanic experts, including engineers, naval architects, artists and historians, to solve the lingering mysteries of why and how the "unsinkable" ship sank. With their combined expertise, they'll examine the feature film and determine what technology has revealed since its release in 1997. An investigation of this magnitude has never been attempted before, and some of the revelations may alter the fundamental interpretation of what exactly happened to the Titanic on April 14, 1912.
Save the Titanic with Bob Ballard
Monday, April 9, 10-11 p.m. ET/PT
Dr. Bob Ballard has been living and breathing the Titanic since he was part of the team that discovered it in 1985. Now, he revisits the iconic ship in an entirely different way - from the perspective of those who set sail on it some 100 years ago. Ballard travels to the shipyards of Northern Ireland to meet with descendants of Titanic's Guarantee Group - nine men who helped build the magnificent ship with their own hands and were selected to sail on her maiden voyage. Throughout his journey, Ballard is driven by one personal question - will the Titanic survive another 100 years? Already, crucial pieces of Titanic's history are gone, including the crow's nest where lookouts spotted the fatal iceberg - possibly knocked into a cargo hold by a passing tourist submarine.