A hot air balloon may not quite reach the same heights as a time machine, but “Around the World in 80 Days” still promises a sweeping crusade. Tennant plays the role of the English gentleman who became the adventurer Phileas Fogg, who declared at the start of the teaser: “I will bypass the earth for eighty days.” After following his wild claim, Fogg is betting £ 20,000 with snobbish members of the prestigious London Reform Club that he can truly complete the worldwide journey in just 80 days.
Fogg is joined on his journey by his loyal officer Passepartout (Ibrahim Korma) and determined journalist, Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch). The trio makes an exciting team fit into an exciting adventure that sees them wandering across deserts, dancing through ballrooms and whipping weapons to ward off dangerous opponents. Based on the trailer, the trip does not go nearly as smoothly as they hoped – which should not come as a surprise to the audience.
If you have not already solved it, this very well-known story comes from the fairy tale novel from 1872, “Around the world in eighty days”, one of Jules Verne’s most praised works. Previous adaptations include the Michael Anderson-directed best picture winner and Frank Coraci’s flawed remake from 2004. Between the many iterations and the novel itself, this eight-part series has plenty of material to extract from. Taking the form of a series also gives the creative voices behind the camera more time to unfold the characters, including the over-educated but very childish Fogg.
The series began filming just over a year ago, in March 2020, but delays with COVID-19 led to a 5-month fine. Filming was resumed in various locations, including in South Africa and Romania to capture the series’ “live and cinematic” look. “Around the world in 80 days” aso stars Jason Watkins, Peter Sullivan, Lindsay Duncan, Dolly Wells, Richard Wilson, Faical Elkihel, Anthony Flanagan, Gary Beadle and Giovanni Scifoni.
No official release date has been announced, but “Around The World In 80 Days” is not expected to premiere on BBC One until December. Unfortunately, that could mean an even longer wait for Americans who hope to spend some quality time with Tennant’s recently mustached face.