With series like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men finding plenty of success and praise, period dramas seem to be all the rage on TV right now (especially with Pan-Am and The Playboy Club on the way this fall). Now another period drama is ready to set sail as Variety reports a new miniseries called Titanic: Blood and Steel is set to begin production in Serbia this week. The series, said to be a cross between Downtown Abbey and Boardwalk Empire, focuses on on designing and building the ship against the class-bound backdrop of Edwardian Belfast, Northern Ireland, where financial pressures led to fatal compromises.
The series will be directed by Ciaran Donnelly (The Tudors) and is in the midst of snagging Neve Campbell to play a reporter covering the liner’s first voyage who may have deeper reasons for being on board while Chris Noth is in talks to play financier J.P. Morgan. Meanwhile, The King’s Speech star Derek Jacobi has already joined the cast as Lord William Pirrie, chairman of ship builder Harland and Wolff, the company that built the ill-fated liner. The three actors join a cast that also includes Ophelia Lovibond, Billy Carter, Massimo Ghini, Branwell Donaghey, Martin McCann and Kevin Zegers (the kid from the first Air Bud). The 12-part miniseries doesn’t yet have a network home (though it’s looking to air during the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking next spring) and will be available to buyers at next month’s Mipcom sales mart in Cannes, so stay tuned as more details become available.