The plot centres around Phileas Fogg (David Tennant) making a £20,000 wager with snobbish members of the prestigious Reform Club that he can circumnavigate the world in 80 days. He’s joined by his new valet Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma), and journalist Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch). (synopsis courtesy Wikipedia)
Much delayed, as so much has been, by the COVID-19 pandemic, Around the World in 80 Days, which appears to just the escapist adventure we all need right now, is coming to our screens to take us places to which many of us, at least here in Australia, cannot travel right now.
Based on the 1872 book by French writer Jules Verne, the series has been created to capture that excitable sense of novelty about the world around us that is too often lost or diluted on the journey into adulthood as Life On Mars creator and 80 Days head writer, Ashley Pharoah told Deadline.
“We wanted Fogg yes to be a preposterously upper middle class over-educated Englishman, but I wanted to give him a sort of childlike sense of wonder because he’s never traveled, he’s never left London or his club. As soon as I hit on that, I thought it’s a love letter to the world, if that isn’t a bit pretentious. He goes to Paris and India and Hong Kong and Yemen and he’s so excited to see a camel, the different colors and cultures. It felt like resetting our relationship with traveling and seeing the world like that.”
The exciting thing is this may not be the last we see of Phileas Fogg, Passepartout and Abigal “Fix” Fortescue with plans already underway for more globe-spanning period travel.
“We are in the early stages of wondering — if this goes well — if we could do it again. Taking those three characters and doing a different adventure with them.” (Simon Crawford Collins, Slim Film + Television, one of the production partners; information courtesy Deadline)
So get ready for a fantastically fun romp around the world, which will hopefully be the precursor to all of once again freely travelling around this (mostly) gloriously good world of ours.
Around the World in 80 Days commences its eight-episode run on 10 October 2021 on U.S. public broadcaster PBS.