02/04/2012 07:40 BST | Updated 02/06/2012 06:12 BST

Titanic - What Would you Have Done?

100 years ago one of the biggest calamities of our century happened.

A disaster of Titan proportions.

After hitting an iceberg the unsinkable ship sank and hundreds of people perished.

Until now the focus has been on the drama of this epic disaster.

James Cameron did it - and very well.

Effects were extraordinary. Yet his obsession with size meant that the characters got left behind. Indeed he had to digitally replicate people aboard from proto types to be able to fill his magnificent ship.

He has just rereleased his film in 3D. The wow effect is still there - cliche Jack and Rose also. But do we feel personally involved?

There was a missing link and now we are able to complete the puzzle.

ITV and lookpoint have for the first time produced a trulu human account of the events.

Julian Fellowes creator of Gosford Park and Downtown Abbey has turned his creative hand to this tragic story.

The opening of Downtown Abbey is marked in time by the sinking of the Titanic.

It heralded his third masterpiece.

At Cannes miptv conference the first episode was premiered to much acclaim.

It is different in every way to what has been recounted before.

It would have been all too easy to recreate a series out of the film version of the story.

But would we really feel deeply, at a human level?

Julian Fellowes and the production team have achieved this by sinking the boat in every episode.

It sounds absurd yet it makes perfect sense.

At the beginning of every episode we are on dry land and at the end the future is a watery one.

In each we meet the same characters and in each we go deeper into their world. Until the final episode where all is revealed.

The world of Downtown is also now on a ship which adds colour and conflict.

In a life and death crisis 'upstairs' is forced to meet downstairs and status and riches are stripped bare leaving raw humanity.

Women and children first is the ultimate predicament.

The episode I saw brought me to tears at the thought of having to choose between survival on the lifeboat or desperately clinging to my man.

Or as a middle class gal would I have pushed to save myself or let the the third class families go first?

Titanic the TV series introduces you to a raft of characters that prompt a human response. The Italian first class waiter with a glad eye for the ladies, the Lady and Lord with their unpredictable daugher (very Sybil from Downton), the Lord's lawyer and embittered wife who reveals the Lord's philandering ways Guggenheim with his lady lover, an American actress and the ship's crew.

All had a right to live yet not all could.

The big question is who deserves to? The rich? The young? The gentle and kind?

Titanic does not judge or point fingers. It leaves you to make your own mind up. No romanticising or glorifying. The true hard facts.

Mostly women survived and many of the crew had to forsake their lives.

It is a tale of personal heroism.

It is a journey we may never experience but through this acutely sensitive and empathetic series we may become richer in spirit.