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PBS Titanic 100th Anniversary Programming

Posted on 23 Mar 2012

PBS will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history, with three new programs scheduled for April 2012. Each program provides a unique perspective on the April 14, 1912, disaster — from historical drama to science to personal stories of the effect of the tragedy on the descendants of those who perished and those who survived.

Titanic with Len Goodman

In this program, Len Goodman, a judge on "Dancing with the Stars," discovers how the impact of the Titanic disaster is still felt a century after the ship sank. Goodman has his own connection to the ship. Before he was a dancer, he was a welder for Harland and Woolf. This was company that, from 1909 to 1912, built the Titanic in Belfast. Goodman worked for the same company 50 years later, at their yard in East London. To mark the centenary of the Titanic tragedy in 2012, Goodman explores the ship's 100-year legacy. He learns how for victims' families and for the survivors themselves, the sinking was just the beginning of the story. Generations later, those stories are still unfolding as Goodman meets the modern-day descendants to learn how, 100 years after it sank, the Titanic's legacy lives on. "Titanic with Len Goodman" airs Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Saving the Titanic

She was the pride of the British Empire. A leading example of state-of-the-art engineering in a time of groundbreaking scientific and technological innovations on a global scale: the Titanic. Yet she sank in less than three hours after striking an iceberg on April 14, 1912. We all know about the many deaths in the icy waters, the fates of the rich and famous on the ship's maiden voyage and the dramas that played out in the Titanic's last hours. What is less known however is how a team of shipbuilders and engineers attempted to save the stricken vessel. Seeking to answer the question of what happened in the engine and boiler rooms after the collision, this program tells the story of the disaster from below deck, with the action taking place between the time the crew embark the Titanic at Southampton and the eventual sinking of the ship. Based upon eyewitness accounts, this is the story of nine central characters from the engineering crew as they work among the huge, coal-fired furnaces heating the boilers and massive dynamos whirring to satisfy the ship's demand for electricity. Their personal stories of bravery are recounted as the men fought courageously to hold back the power of the sea and keep the power systems running, even when they learned that all was lost. Most of these men died but their actions saved many lives."Saving the Titanic" airs Tuesday, April 10 at 8 p.m.

NOVA: Why Ships Sink

Are you safe aboard a modern cruise ship? Twenty million passengers embark on cruises each year, vacationing in deluxe "floating cities" that offer everything from swimming pools to shopping malls to ice skating rinks. And the ships just keep getting bigger: The average cruise ship has doubled in size in just the last ten years. Some engineers fear that these towering behemoths are dangerously unstable, and the recent tragedy of the Costa Concordia has raised new questions about their safety. Now, NOVA brings together marine engineering and safety experts to reconstruct the events that led up to famous cruise disasters, including the ill-fated Concordia, the Sea Diamond, and the Oceanos. Are we really safe at sea-or are we on the brink of a 21st century Titanic?"NOVA: Why Ships Sink" airs Wednesday, April 18 at 8 p.m.

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