Take a look at the trailer that’s arrived for Around in the World in 80 Days, a PBS series adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel, first published in French way back in 1872.
The series, by UK production house Slim Film + Television and French production company Federation Entertainment, finds David Tennant (Good Omens, Doctor Who) playing classic explorer character Phileas Fogg, who was inspired by real-life American adventurer and author William Perry Fogg (1826 – 1909). Phileas decides to embark on a journey to circumnavigate the world, waging snobbish members of the prestigious Reform Club that he can do so in 80 days – which would certainly be a feat, considering the travel options available in 1872.
He is joined on his incredible journey by French actor Ibrahim Koma (OSS 117, Wùlu) as Jean Passepartout, Fogg’s irrepressible valet, and German actress Leonie Benesch (The Crown, Babylon Berlin) as Abigail “Fix” Fortescue, a determined and headstrong journalist.
This will be an updating of Verne’s tale, with new themes, characters and plotlines introduced, as well as reportedly drawing on Verne’s own history in love. The trip itself will also echo the globe-trotting, record-breaking trip taken by journalist Nellie Bly, who decided to emulate Verne’s story in 1890.
The series comes from writers Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars) and Caleb Ranson (Child Of Mine), who are also attached as executive producers. On board to direct are Steve Barron (The Durrells) and Charles Beeson (The Mentalist).
It’s a big production – one that was made all the more complicated due to the pandemic, which forced the shoot to halt for seven months in 2020. Fingers crossed it was all worth it and the show proves to be a hit. If it sparks up with audiences, you could expect another season. “We are in the early stages of wondering — if this goes well — if we could do it again,” Pharoah told Deadline in September. “Taking those three characters and doing a different adventure with them.”
Around the World In 80 Days will premiere on January 2nd on MASTERPIECE on PBS.