Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes (above) has hit out at James Cameron for his portrayal of Titanic’s first officer in the 1997 movie.
The Oscar-winning writer told the Radio Times that the film, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, had unfairly portrayed William Murdoch, who was first officer on the Belfast-made liner.
Murdoch, who went down with the ship when she sank after hitting an iceberg, was credited with launching the lifeboats that saved 75 per cent of the survivors. But in Cameron’s Oscar-winning blockbuster, the Scotsman was portrayed as a coward who shot passengers before taking his own life.
“That was very unfair how Murdoch was depicted. He wasn’t cowardly,” Fellowes said.
“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.”
The Gosford Park writer has penned a new four-part mini-series about the 1912 disaster to be screened on ITV1.
It ties in with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the liner next month.