TV Review: Titanic: The Band Played On
Titanic: The Band Played On Yesterday, 9pm
WHEN Titanic, pictured, set sail across the Atlantic from Southampton on her maiden voyage 100 years ago, the luxury passenger liner that cost $7,500,000 to build was reckoned to be unsinkable.
After stop-offs in Cherbourg and Queenstown, in Ireland, she was ready to make the crossing. With 2,201 people onboard she set sail for New York.
What happened 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland four days later is history.
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From the moment the ship sank, a series of powerful myths grew up around Titanic. Perhaps the most potent of all was that of the band standing on deck, bravely playing on until the last lifeboat had left and there was no hope of escape.
Titanic: The Band Played On tells the story of these men who prepared to play for the last time.
Madness frontman Suggs – a mysterious choice as host, although he did have a hit with Night Boat To Cairo – reveals why the media and public were so captivated by this courageous story, interviewing Titanic experts and descendants of the musicians to examine the truth of the legend.
He reveals new details about the band, who played together for the first and last time aboard Titanic, as well as examining the facts surrounding their role in the tragedy.
It also asks whether they really did play Nearer My God To Thee or whether this is simply just another convenient myth that has grown up around the luxury liner's final disastrous hours.
More of our coverage about the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking: