April 24, 2012 10:01am PT by Lesley Goldberg
James Cameron's Historic Ocean Journey Gets National Geographic Special
A month after James Cameron's historic journey to the Mariana Trench, National Geographic is giving the trip to the deepest part of the ocean the special treatment.
James Cameron: Voyage to the Bottom of the Earthwill chronicle the Titanic filmmaker's solo dive and premiere Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m.
The Oscar-winning director and avid explorer made a solo trip in March in his uniquely designed submersible to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest point.
Cameron, a National Geographic explorer, reached a depth of 35,756 feet in the solo submarine, making the Avatar filmmaker the world's first human to alone reach the Challenger Deep -- about 7 miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean and roughly 200 miles from Guam.
The March trip was part of Deepsea Challenge, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, National Geographic and Rolex to conduct deep ocean research and exploration. Cameron became the third person since 1960 to reach the bottom of the ocean in a manned submersible.
“I couldn’t think of a better partner," Cameron said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. "National Geographic as an organization has always stood for the spirit of exploration. It’s what the magazine and the channel has been famous for, coming back from the boundary of human exploration. It’s a legacy of promoting exploration and keeping people excited about something new."
The special will focus on the seven-year design of the sub, which was built to endure the elements and shrinks about 3 inches because of the pressure during the descent. CGI will illustrate the scale of the trip to the ocean's bottom, which took more than two hours.
The half-hour special comes mere days after the network broadcast another Cameron special, Titanic: The Final Word With James Cameron, a forensic investigation into the famed shipwreck.
More information about Cameron's trip be found here. Voyage airs Sunday, April 29 at 9 and 9:30 p.m., with encores set for Thursday, May 3 at 9 and 9:30 p.m.