Pretty much everything makes its way
onto DVD nowadays, and that includes short television documentaries
like Titanic Revealed. Originally shown on the National
Geographic Channel, Titanic Revealed has enough of a hook in
its subject matter to be of casual interest to a decent number of
viewers, but it's not in-depth or content-rich enough to satisfy more
than a mild sense of curiosity.
Titanic Revealed is not so
much a program about the wreck of the Titanic itself, but a
film focusing on certain aspects of its discovery and conservation.
The program focuses on Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the site of
the wreck in 1986. There's some attempt at drama here, as the
documentary dwells on the "top secret" nature of Ballard's
original mission, during which he discovered clues that would later
lead him to the Titanic, but there's nothing really
outstanding in this thread of the documentary.
The more interesting aspect of
Titanic Revealed is its look at the current condition of the
wreck. According to Ballard, "sea tourists" and salvagers
have damaged the structure of the Titanic considerably. His
2004 trip to the site serves in part to document the damage that has
occurred over the past twenty years, as well as to create a detailed
photographic record of the entire ship.
At only 50 minutes in length,
Titanic Revealed doesn't have a lot of time to get into
details on any aspect of the subject. It does a reasonably good job
of pointing out different perspectives on preserving the Titanic:
should it be left untouched as a memorial, or should it be salvaged
as much as possible for people to see in museums around the world?
Overall, Titanic Revealed is
quite light-weight; its fairly tight focus on one aspect of the
Titanic makes it less interesting for viewers who are looking
for a more complete documentary on the ship, while its somewhat
sensationalistic angle and lack of real depth puts it out of serious
contention for viewers who are already familiar with the Titanic's
Titanic Revealed is presented
in a nice anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.85:1), even though the
back cover doesn't mention anything about this. The image is soft,
but clean and bright, and overall the appearance is quite attractive.
The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack conveys the
various participants' voices clearly and cleanly.
The special features don't add a
whole lot to the program. An 11-minute underwater montage provides
additional "never before seen" footage of the Titanic,
and there's also a photo gallery.
Titanic Revealed is an
adequate short documentary on one aspect of the sunken Titanic;
it's a bit on the sensationalistic side at times, and doesn't have a
whole lot of depth to it, but it does bring up a few interesting
thoughts. I'd suggest it as a rental for viewers who are very
interested in the Titanic.