As Capt. Edward Smith (Harry Andrews) leads the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic, he begins to speed up the impressive ship. Meanwhile, billionaire John Jacob Astor (David Janssen) chats with Molly Brown (Cloris Leachman) in first class. In second class, teacher Lawrence Beasley (David Warner) shares a wide-ranging discussion with fellow educator Leigh Goodwin (Susan Saint James), beginning what could be a short romance. A group of Irish immigrants, happy to be aboard, sing and dance in third class.