‘Downton Abbey’ creator calls Titanic film ‘unfair’ depiction

The creator is also a Titanic historian

James Cameron’s film ‘Titanic’ is one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, but does that really make it one of the best depictions of one of the world’s biggest tragedies?

Julian Fellowes has threaded the sinking of the Titanic as a poignant storyline in his hit British series ‘Downton Abbey’ and although Fellowes has received his own share of criticism for alleged historical inaccuracies, he feels that Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ took liberties with the real life events that were”unfair.”

Fellowes says that his four part miniseries on the sinking of the Titanic will tell “the whole story for the first time.”  He called Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ a “wonderful film” and went on to describe it as a “love story set against the sinking of the Titanic”, but not an accurate representation of the actual events.

The ‘Downton Abbey’ creator spoke to British magazine, Radio Times, about Cameron’s film and said that some of the key players in the movie were misrepresented and that it was “unfair”. One of the main people involved in the real sinking of the Titanic was William Murdoch, the first officer on the RMS Titanic.  Murdoch was considered to be a hero in real life after he was said to have helped launch the lifeboats that saved 75 percent of the survivors.  In Cameron’s film, Murdoch was depicted as a villain and was shown firing a pistol at passengers before taking his own life.  Fellowes said;

“That was very unfair how Murdoch was depicted. He wasn’t cowardly. He fired the pistol to just stop a potential riot. It was suddenly getting out of hand, and he fired it in the air. That’s not being cowardly.” Fellowes added; “I don’t think you can just say, ‘Well, we’ll make this guy a villain — he’ll do.’”

Cameron has not responded to Fellowes comments at this time.

Photo: Downton Abbey, Masterpiece, PBS