Historians put holes in ITV's Titanic for period inaccuracies
Titanoraks complain of dances that never happened and a solitary stoker keeping the engines turning
AS ITV's Sunday night series Titanic continues to entertain viewers – while generally leaving the critics underwhelmed - 'Titanoraks' are putting holes in the £11m show, complaining of historical inaccuracies.
Screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who endured similar criticism when his previous series, Downton Abbey, was first broadcast, is remaining stoical. "This is indicative of when a show gets noticed," he told The Sunday Telegraph. “Nobody nitpicks over something no one watches.
"Having been irritated at these sorts of observations of Downton Abbey, I now find them rather a compliment."
Among the errors picked up by 'Titanoraks' are:
- The dancing scandal. Charles Lightoller, the highest ranking officer to survive the sinking, is seen asking a first class passenger for a dance as the Titanic heads for the iceberg. Not only would Lightoller have been considered "on duty" for the entire voyage, making such a request scandalous, but historians maintain there was no such dancing in first class.
- The naval architect. Thomas Andrews, the ship's naval architect, on board for the maiden voyage, was from Northern Ireland. But ITV chose a London-born actor, Stephen Campbell Moore, to play the role - with an English accent.
- The solitary stoker. In one scene in episode one, a single stoker was seen shovelling coal into the ship's furnaces. In reality, eight men would have done the job. "With just that one stoker, the ship wouldn't even have got out of port," said Dr Paul Lee, author of The Titanic and The Indifferent Stranger.
- Sailing backwards. Also spotted by Dr Lee, the positioning of retractable windows in some scenes would suggest the liner, travelling from Southampton to New York, was sailing backwards across the Atlantic.
- The wrong car. The Titanic sank in 1912. But a Model T Ford car featured at the start of episode one looked to at least one viewer like a version from the early 1920s.
There are still two episodes to go, with the series set to finish on the centenary of the tragedy, 15 April.