While the coveted ticket holders and ship's principals prepare for Titanic's maiden voyage, a little girl named Sarah boards the ill-fated beauty with her mother, in search of a better life.
- #Spoiler alert!#
The series begins with Mark Muir getting the job as metallurgist at the project of Titantic, through his friend Joanna (Neve Cambell) that introduces him to J.P Morgan.
He is originally from Belfast but left because of the hard conditions and because he thinks his fiancée died of TB. He educated himself in London and was also in New York. He is actually a catholic, but presents himself as a protestant so he can get the job in management at Harland & Wolff. He has also changed his name from Marcus Malone to Mark Muir.
He is quickly accepted in the management and high society as "one of them" - and hangs around with Lord Pirrie, Thomas Andrews, Bruce Ismay and other people of the elite in Belfast. He has a fling with Kitty who is the daughter of some high society man in Belfast. She is set to be married with the son of one of her fathers friends Ashley - and feels trapped by her surroundings and duties. She eventually ends up not marrying him since it comes out she has been in bed with Mark, and runs away to London to become an actress.
Mark also develops a crush for Sofia Silvestri, who is a copyist at Harland &Wulff. She is an Italian immigrant who lives with her father Pietro (her mother is dead) and her sister Violetta. She has dreams for herself and dreams of designing and studying at the university in London (which Lord Pirries wife tries to help her with, but she cannot go since her father breaks his arm and cannot work for a couple of months). She is a catholic and therefore her relationship with Mark is very discreet to start off with.
Eventually Lord Pirrie and Andrews finds out Marks real past, but choose to keep him at the yard and not tell anyone. But the management eventually finds out and fires Mark. But after Olympic was in a collision and they found out some problems with her steel in cold waters, JP Morgan interferes and rehires Mark.
Also Mark reconnects with his father, a poor working man who drinks too much. Through this he finds out that his old fiancée did not die from TB as his father had said. But she was actually pregnant with his child, sent off to a convent and gave birth to a baby girl and afterwards died in child birth. The baby was adopted and Marks spends a lot of time trying to find his daughter. Eventually in the last episodes, after a catholic priest has helped him, he tracks down his daughter to a poor house only to be told that they have just left (to get on the Titanic it later reveals).
Meanwhile you follow a few other workers on the Harland &Wolff yard - Catholics who are struggling and trying to start a union and get a better life. Sofias best friend Emily is a stubborn woman involved in the struggles. Her husband is killed by British soldiers during a strike and she herself is put to jail for disturbing the peace and hitting a police man. Her brother (? or friend) Michael McCann runs for election and also tries to join the workers in different things, he also does some negotiations on their behalf with Lord Pirrie - who is quite sympathetic to their struggles as one of the few in high society.
Michaels brother Connor comes back from the military and joins the armed part of the struggle and also starts a relationship with Sofias sister Violetta. She gets pregnant and Connor gets killed. Michael offers to marry Violetta and be a father to little baby Connor, and take them to America on the Titanic for a better life. She accepts.
There is also some stuff going on with Joanna, who is originally from Germany. Her brother is some sort of traitor and is about to be hanged/jailed by the Nazis. She is forced to steel some drawings from Pirries office to find out how the ship might be used if Britain goes to war. In the end she also gets an assignment to take some documents from the Nazis to NY, so she also gets on board the Titanic. You never find out what happens with her brother.
Sofia was set to be married to her fathers apprentice at work (works as a stonecutter), another Italian immigrant- Andrea. But she is not in love with him, and does not marry him which his father unhappily accepts. Her father eventually ends up hooking up with Michael and Connors mother. Andrea and his friend eventually end up taking jobs as steamers of Titanic, to travel to a better life in America.
In the last episodes Mark is trying to decide if he wants to stay in Belfast and work further with Andrews on the coming Gigantic. Lord Pirrie has to stop because he is broken down by all the political struggles and struggles with the shipbuilding, so Andrews is now in charge. He also wants to stay because he has not yet found his daughter. The other choice is to go with Sofia, who has decided to go to America to create a better life for herself. Joanna has booked her an interview with her boss at The Times to start work there as an illustrator. Her father Pietro bought her the ticket to Titanic.
In the end you see Marks daughter and adoptive aunt getting on the Titanic (Mark meets her in the hallway at steerage but does not know it is her). You see Sofia and her sister Violetta and her new husband Michael and baby Connor. Also on board is Kitty, travelling to America to become a star at Broadway. Andrews and Mark is also on board, and Sofia and Mark share a big happy hug (but you don't really know if Mark plans to stay in America with her or if he is just travelling with Titanic as part of the qualitative check team with Andrews). Also Andrea + friend are down throwing coals in the boilers.
The Titanic sails off onto the open sea while Marks father is watching. You never find out who lives or who dies, which is a bit of an anticlimax I must say...