Like most historical TV specials, "Titanic: 100 Years" doesn't deviate much from the usual style: talking head interviews, some dramatized voice-over taken from letters and journals of the crew of the Titanic, and the 3D footage itself, which has an eerie ghost-town quality to it. The 3D in the title may also refer to a 3D mock-up of the boat used to illustrate some of the the boat's progression underwater.
Although the 3D footage looks spectacular on this Blu-Ray, there's still a feeling that the filmmakers may not have taken advantage of the technology. With the advantage of depth and dimension, fading between the 3D model of the ship and the actual 3D footage of the wreckage would be a great way to help increase a sense of geography. Although each of the locations seen in the footage is identified with an on-screen caption, only one shot uses little animated lines to help the viewer make sense of what they're seeing on screen. It's hard to make visual sense of a destroyed cabin without an idea of where, say, the door is (or was). It's possible that this was not done to avoid potentially copying the format of James Cameron's Ghosts of the Abyss (which itself is arriving on 3D Blu-Ray this year), but, having not seen that film, it feels like a real missed opportunity.
More importantly, without utilizing the 3D properly, the special lacks a "hook." A good chunk of the material is built around a first-hand account by second mate Charles Lightoller, with the filmmakers and interview subjects using the 3D footage to illustrate how the wreckage corroborates Lightoller's memories, but it feels less of a focus than the most frequently used resource. Another option would be to try and make something more definitive, given that this is a centennial; hell, even a little comparative history on other expeditions down to the wreckage would give this special a new spin. Overall, this is an interesting and entertaining special that I enjoyed, but if you put it in a lineup with some documentaries on Titanic from Discovery or PBS, I'm not sure it stands out.
The 3D Blu-Ray
The Video and Audio
Sound is a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I'm sure someone will be mad that A&E didn't spring for full HD audio, but this track more than gets the job done with crisp separation between the narration and the background audio, and during interesting surround segments that use overlapping voice-overs to depict the passengers of the ship. English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian subtitles are also included.