Around the World in 80 Days
Genre
Created by
Based onAround the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne
Starring
Composers
Country of origin
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
Original languages
  • English
  • French
  • Italian
No. of series1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
  • Simon Crawford-Collins
  • Lionel Uzan
  • Pascal Breton
  • Winnie Serite
  • Ashley Pharoah
  • Steve Barron
  • David Tennant
  • Caleb Ranson
ProducerPeter McAleese
Running time48 minutes
Production companies
  • Slim Film + Television
  • Federation Studios
  • Peu Communications
Original release
Network
Release5 December 2021 (2021-12-05)[1] –
present (present)

Around the World in 80 Days is a historical drama adventure television series based on the 1872 Jules Verne novel of the same name, in which, for a bet, Phileas Fogg travels the world in 80 days by various means both traditional and new. It was commissioned by the European Alliance, a co-production alliance of France Télévisions, ZDF of Germany, and RAI of Italy, with additional co-production partners of Masterpiece (US) and Be-Films/RTBF (Belgium). It was produced in the UK, France and South Africa, with filming also taking place in Romania. The series first premiered on La Une in Belgium, on 5 December 2021, and later on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 26 December 2021. In November 2021, ahead of the premiere, it was announced the programme had been renewed for a second season.

Premise

The story is about Phileas Fogg making a £20,000 (equivalent to £1,899,777 in 2021) wager with a snobbish member of the prestigious Reform Club that he can circumnavigate the world in 80 days, joined by his new valet Passepartout and journalist Abigail Fix.[2] Although the story is fictional, real-life people such as Adolphe Thiers, Jane Digby and Bass Reeves are portrayed interacting with the fictional characters.

Cast

Main

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal UK air dateUK viewers
(millions) [3]
1Episode 1Steve BarronAshley Pharoah and Caleb Ranson26 December 2021 (2021-12-26)5.89
Phileas Fogg is a man of routine, spending every day at the Reform Club reading his newspaper and eating the same meal. On October 5, 1872 he finds himself engrossed in an article by Abigail Fix about a new railroad in India that now allows one to travel round the world in 80 days, and recalls the postcard he's received that carried a single word "coward". His friend Nyle Bellamy goads him into declaring that he will undertake this journey, and they bet 20,000 pounds that Fogg will return by Christmas Eve. Together with a new French servant Jean Passepartout, he sails to France. Abigail follows them to report on his travels for her father's newspaper. In Paris, prevented from boarding the train to Turin, Fogg inadvertently foils an assassination attempt by the rebels of the Paris Commune (led by Passepartout's brother) on Adolphe Thiers, the President of France. The three companions are forced to flee in a hot air balloon.
2Episode 2Steve BarronAshley Pharoah
Story by : Caleb Ranson
26 December 2021 (2021-12-26)5.41
Having crossed the Alps by balloon, Fogg and his party crash-land near Florence and hail a train going to Brindisi in order to catch a boat to Egypt. During the journey, Fogg meets industrialist Niccolò Moretti and befriends his son Alberto, with whom he shares an interest in scientific inventions. When the train emergency brakes at a damaged bridge, Alberto is critically injured. Brindisi, two hours away, is the closest place they can get help, and Fogg convinces Moretti that it's possible for the engine and one carriage to go over the rails still in place above the gap. The train successfully crosses the bridge and, using the carriage's wooden components as fuel, they arrive in Brindisi in time to save the child. Fogg and his companions continue to Aden via the Suez Canal.
3Episode 3Steve BarronAshley Pharoah2 January 2022 (2022-01-02)5.21
Forced to stop in Al Hudaydah, Fogg is tricked by a local who claims he could safely lead them across the Empty Quarter to Aden. Believing the desert too dangerous for women, Fogg and Passepartout leave Abigail behind. When their guide robs and strands them, they are rescued by Jane Digby and her husband, a sheik, who Abigail has persuaded to assist. Initially reluctant to take Fogg to Aden, the couple agrees after the travellers help them fend off some raiders, with Passepartout shooting dead the one trying to abduct Abigail. In Aden, Mr. Kneedling, a man hired by Bellamy, bribes Passepartout to slow Fogg down by giving him a substance he claims would make Fogg sleep for a few days.
4Episode 4Steve BarronAshley Pharoah, Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis and Stuart Lane2 January 2022 (2022-01-02)4.69
Stuck in an Indian village after the railroad Abigail wrote about turned out to be still incomplete, Fogg is forced to stay the night because of a wedding. When the groom is arrested for deserting the British Indian Army, the bride's mother, Aouda, tells Fogg she will only provide a guide if he saves Arjan. He invites the groom's young lieutenant to tea, but Passepartout has already spiked Fogg's drink with an excessive dose of the drugs from Aden. Fogg gets delirious, and the meeting is a disaster. Later, mistaking Abigail for his lost love Estella, he bares his heart to her, which Abigail includes in her new article. Everyone works together to save Fogg's life. In the morning, Fogg recovers and speaks for Arjan at the court martial, making a speech about the power of love and managing to convince the lieutenant to dishonourably discharge him.
5Episode 5Brian KellyAshley Pharoah and Jessica Ruston
Story by : Debbie O'Malley
9 January 2022 (2022-01-09)5.09
In the British colony of Hong Kong, Kneedling tells the bank that Fogg is a wanted criminal and convinces them to withhold his money. The governor's wife has read Abigail's reports in the paper and throws a party in Fogg and his companions' honour. Fogg tries to exploit the occasion and persuade the governor to lend him the money needed to travel to Japan. Meanwhile, also looking for funds, Passepartout visits an old acquaintance who contracts him to steal a priceless white jade heirloom from the governor's house. Fogg escapes the party after discovering that Abigail has written about his private life without asking. Passepartout takes the artifact. Hearing that Fogg might be a criminal, the governor orders Fogg's arrest for the theft, and the money Passepartout was paid is found under his bed. Fogg protests his innocence, but gets sentenced to be flogged without trial. Abigail and Passepartout manage to secure a pardon, but only reach the prison as Fogg receives the first lash.
6Episode 6Steve BarronPeter McKenna16 January 2022 (2022-01-16)5.36
Frustrated so far, Kneedling confronts Fogg on the ship to Yokohama and puts the three companions in a lifeboat. After a stormy night at sea, they find themselves marooned on an uninhabited island. Abigail organises them to start looking for food, water and shelter. Fogg confesses to Abigail that he and Estella were supposed to travel the world together, but he panicked at the last minute and turned back, while she carried on alone. He's regretted it ever since. After it's revealed what Passepartout did in both India and Hong Kong, Fogg orders him away. Repenting, Passepartout finishes the raft Fogg has been building and ends up sick after working in the rain. Fogg and Abigail tend to him, using the raft for firewood to keep him warm. They are rescued by a passing British steamer on its way to the United States.
7Episode 7Charles BeesonStephen Greenhorn23 January 2022 (2022-01-23)5.57
Travelling from San Francisco to the next station to catch their train east, the group's stage coach is commandeered by US Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves, escorting a Southern war criminal and Klan member to stand trial in Louisiana. At Battle Mountain, their destination, the captive's friends stage a rescue. Abigail saves her companions by riding a horse into a saloon, and Fogg stops the criminal. Meanwhile in England, Bellamy hears about Fogg's death at sea and, facing bankruptcy, pressures the grieving Fortescue into releasing Fogg's money as the executor of his will, but Abigail's telegram arrives saying that they are still alive and heading to New York City.
8Episode 8Steve BarronAshley Pharoah30 January 2022 (2022-01-30)6.07
In New York, Fogg is met by press as a celebrity. He realizes that the "coward" postcard depicts the Grand Central Depot, and that Estella must have sent it. He boards a ship to England, but then hurries back to the station. Estella appears as he is about to leave, and they share their life stories. She encourages him to complete his journey. On his way to the harbour, Fogg is caught by Kneedling, but they get attacked by a street gang. The dying Kneedling hands Fogg proof that Bellamy was trying to sabotage his trip. Landing in England, Fogg is detained because the arrest warrant from Hong Kong had not been rescinded. He spends the night in a cell, convinced he's lost the bet, and returns home dejected, only for his butler to inform him that it's Christmas Eve, not Christmas, since they saved a whole day by going east. Fogg dashes to the Reform Club and arrives at the last second to win the bet. He stands up to Bellamy who leaves in disgrace while the team celebrates their victory. Though happy to be back home in London, they're enticed by another adventure as they read a newspaper's story about a mysterious sea monster attacking ships.

Production

Filming locations included South Africa and Romania. Filming was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but resumed on 1 October that year.[4] In November 2021, ahead of the premiere, it was announced the series had been renewed for a second series.[5] The main title score is by Hans Zimmer and Christian Lundberg.[6]

Release

Around the World in 80 Days first premiered in Belgium on 5 December 2021.[1] ZDF released the complete series online in Germany on 11 December 2021,[7] with an on-air release from 21 December to 23 December.[8] The series premiered on France 2 in France on 20 December 2021,[9] and in Norway on NRKs streaming website on 25 December 2021, with linear broadcasting the following days during Boxing Week.[10] In the United Kingdom the series premiered on BBC One on 26 December 2021, and on Masterpiece for PBS in the United States on 2 January 2022.[11][12] The series premiered on Rai 2 in Italy on January 2024 and simultaneously streaming on Raiplay.

Reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 79% approval rating with an average rating of 6.4/10, based on 14 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Around the World in 80 Days sometimes stumbles when it tries to add modern resonance to Jules Verne's globetrotting epic, but the core cast make for terrific travel companions."[13] Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 61 out of 100 based on reviews from 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian gave the first episode four out five stars, praising its cast, production values and escapism, but found the episode slow in its setup.[15] The Telegraph gave it three out of five stars.[16] Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter felt the plot did not justify eight episodes, but praised Tennant's performance.[17]

Ed Cumming of The Independent gave it two stars, feeling the budget did not do the epic scope of the novel justice.[18] James Delingpole in The Spectator also gave a negative review of the series, complaining about its attempts to speak to contemporary political issues. He criticized the updated characteristics of Fix and Passepartout, as well as inconsistencies such as Passepartout's lack of upset at the death of his brother.[19]

References

  1. ^ a b "David Tennant dans "Le tour du monde en 80 jours", une série co-produite par la RTBF". RTBF TV (in French). 29 November 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  2. ^ Carr, Flora (23 November 2021). "Around the World in 80 Days release date: Cast, trailer and latest news". Radio Times. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Most viewed programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  4. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (25 September 2020). "'Around the World in 80 Days' to Restart Production in Romania, South Africa (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. ^ Grater, Tom (29 November 2021). "'Around The World In 80 Days' Gets Second Season; Producers Also Developing 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth' Series". Deadline. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  6. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca. "Around the World in 80 Days review – David Tennant channels a Victorian Jeff Bezos", The Guardian, December 26, 2021
  7. ^ "Mit David Tennant "In 80 Tagen um die Welt": ZDF zeigt Event-Mehrteiler vor Weihnachten". Tv Wunschliste.
  8. ^ "In 80 Tagen um die Welt".
  9. ^ Slim Film + Television (27 March 2019). "Slim Film + Television, Federation Entertainment and the European Alliance / Frace Télévisions, ZDF and Rai to coproduce Around the World in Eighty Days". Slim Film and Television. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Jorda rundt på 80 dagar".
  11. ^ Fletcher, Alex (2 December 2021). "Around the World in 80 Days: David Tennant cast as Phileas Fogg in BBC adaptation of Jules Verne classic". BT. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  12. ^ BBC Media Centre (5 December 2019). "BBC acquires David Tennant fronted series Around The World In 80 Days". BBC Media Centre.
  13. ^ "Around the World in 80 Days: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Around the World in 80 Days: Season 1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Around the World in 80 Days review – David Tennant channels a Victorian Jeff Bezos". TheGuardian.com. 26 December 2021.
  16. ^ Singh, Anita (26 December 2021). "Around the World in 80 Days, episodes 1 and 2 review: A fun story that needed far fewer changes". The Telegraph.
  17. ^ "PBS' 'Around the World in 80 Days': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 31 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Around the World in 80 Days deserves better than this new adaptation - review". Independent.co.uk. 26 December 2021.
  19. ^ Delingpole, James (29 December 2021). "Around the World In Eighty Days is the worst TV this Christmas". The Spectator. Retrieved 29 June 2022.