Around the World in 80 Days Synopsis
‘Some are born to adventure. Others, simply, are not’
Literature’s most famous race against the clock comes to life in this innovative new adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, broadcasting globally from the end of 2021 in eight thrilling episodes.
David Tennant stars as Phileas Fogg, the Englishman who impulsively takes on a daring bet to circumnavigate the globe in a mere eighty days—quite a feat, considering that it’s 1872 and Fogg has spent the last twenty years in the safety of his leather armchair. With the assistance of the quick-witted and resourceful Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma), Fogg leaves behind his life of routine. Joining them to chronicle their journey is the intrepid Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue (Leonie Benesch), the journalist who came up with the whole crazy idea in the first place. Together they embark on an expedition that packs far more adventure than the trio bargained for.
The series updates this enduringly popular tale, with lead writer Ashley Pharoah weaving Verne’s original plot with new themes and stories. Inspiration was also provided by true characters and events, including ground-breaking journalist Nellie Bly, aristocratic rebel Jane Digby and Bass Reeves, a former slave and legendary first black Deputy US Marshall.
Shot on location on two continents, the miniseries follows our heroes as they head east from London on October 5, 1872, intending to make it back to the reading room of the city’s snobbish Reform Club no later than one o’clock on Christmas Eve. En route, they take ships, trains, balloons, camels, stagecoaches and even rickshaws whilst encountering increasingly dangerous obstacles and facing journeys of their own.
Around The World in 80 Days also features Jason Watkins and Peter Sullivan alongside remarkable guest stars such as Richard Wilson, Loïc Djani, André Penvern, Jeff Rawle, Giovanni Scifoni, Simone Coppo, Lindsay Duncan, Anthony Flanagan, Faical Elkihel, Shivaani Ghai, Charlie Hamblett, Rizelle Januk, Kiroshan Naidoo, Victoria Smurfit, Patrick Kennedy, Thomas Chaanhing, Gary Beadle, John Light, Elena Saurel, Oliver Hembrough and Dolly Wells.
The series was co-created by Ashley Pharoah and Caleb Ranson, produced by Peter McAleese, with Steve Barron as lead director. It was co-produced by Slim Film + Television and Federation Entertainment.
The primary commissioners are the European Alliance of France Télévisions, ZDF and RAI. The series has already sold around the world including to BBC in the UK and PBS/Masterpiece in the US. International distribution is handled by Federation Entertainment. Legendary composer Hans Zimmer, Bleeding Fingers composer Christian Lundberg and score producer Russell Emanuel have created an electrifying soundtrack for Around the World In 80 Days.
Distributor: Federation Entertainment
Available on: BBC One and BBC iPlayer (UK), F2 (France), RAI (Italy), ZDF (Germany), PBS Masterpiece (US), RTBF (Belgium).