‘Around the World in 80 Days’ – The First Two Episodes

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

On Boxing Day this year, I saw the first two episodes of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ with David Tennant. I greatly enjoyed the first two episodes. Hopefully I’ll get into more of the TV series as we move in 2022. So far, it’s had a good impression on me in terms of a period drama adventure series.

The series itself is based on the 1873 novel by Jules Verne of the same name. As I indicated in my review for the 1954 film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ with James Mason, I’ve not read any of Jules Verne’s works as an author. So, it was nice to check out this period drama adventure TV series.

Thus far, I think this series is well-put together. I don’t know if it’s considered a faithful adaptation of the Jules Verne novel yet, but I was captivated by what was going on in terms of Phileas Fogg going on his journey to travel the world in 80 Days. The series is also very straight-forward in its approach.

There are times when the series put me in mind of the ‘Tintin’ stories that have a similar feel in terms of period adventure. This is indicated when Phileas Fogg and his friends are visiting continents like France, Italy and Egypt (the latter will be shown in the third episode on the 2nd of January 2022).

David Tennant is well-known for playing the Tenth Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ both on TV and in Big Finish. Knowing David Tennant is in this TV series is a joy to behold. He’s joined by Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout, his travelling French valet, and Leonie Benesch as the journalist Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue.

In the series, Phileas Fogg decides to go on a world trip in 80 days to prove to his peers that he can achieve something. Phileas ends up accompanied by Passepartout and Abigail, but his self-respect could soon be shattered. Will the trio be able to achieve this adventure and arrive home very safely?

Ironically, the bet is that Phileas achieves his 80 days-world trip before Christmas Eve. I’m surprised this series didn’t begin in November and end in December. After all, so far, this is eight episodes as opposed to more than 26 weeks or 80 weeks. Mind you, there could be a second season. 🙂

Also appearing in the series is Jason Watkins as Bernard Fortescue, Abigail’s father. I’ve seen Jason Watkins before in the short-lived BBC Four ‘Dirk Gently’ TV series, ‘Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger’, and the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Nightmare In Silver’ with Matt Smith. It’s nice he’s in this TV series. 🙂

There’s also Peter Sullivan as Nyle Bellamy, André Penvern as Monsieur Lôme, Loic Djani as Gerard, Anthony Flanagan as Thomas Kneedling, Simone Coppo as Marco, Glovanni Scifoni as Niccolò Moretti and Aida Economu as Eva. A lot of the actors that play characters seem pretty international.

Two actors I recognised in this series so far include Richard Wilson (from ‘One Foot in the Grave’) who plays Grayson, Phileas’ butler at his London home. Thank goodness Mr. Wilson didn’t say “I don’t believe it!” in this. 😀 And there’s Jeff Rawle as Bank Manager Hughes in the second episode of this series.

Jeff Rawle was in ‘Frontios’, a ‘Sarah Jane Adventure’ and ‘An Adventure In Space and Time’. It was intriguing to see how France was depicted in the series’ first episode, with there being a revolution going on, echoing what was in Les Misérables’ as well as the ‘Doctor Who’ tale ‘The Reign of Terror’.

I also liked how David Tennant’s Phileas Fogg connected with the son of the arrogant widower aboard a train in Italy and how Phileas worked out how to get a train over a damaged bridge when the boy needed medical help. It put me in mind of ‘Edward’s Exploit’ from ‘Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends’.

‘Around the World in 80 Days’ seems to be a very good period drama adventure series so far. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this series and David Tennant is certainly a highpoint in the series as Phileas Fogg. I’m glad my parents and I have been able to see this series for the Christmas period.

Stay tuned for my review on the next two episodes of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂


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