Around the World in 80 Days, the classic Jules Verne travel fantasy novel from the late 1800s is getting a new BBC and PBS adaptation starring David Tennant, Ibrahim Koma, and Leonie Benesch. The series will premiere on the BBC in the UK on December 26th and January 2nd on PBS in the US.
The story follows Phineas Fogg, played by Tennant, as he bets his modest fortune that he would be able to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. He sets out on an epic journey with his manservant Passpartout (Koma) and Abigail Fix (Benesch) to beat his deadline with adventures and hijinks galore. The 8-part series is written by Ashley Pharoah, a veteran of Life on Mars, with Hans Zimmer working on the soundtrack.
If you watch the trailer and squint a bit, it looks like Tennant is playing an old-school grump Doctor and Koma and Benesch are his companions. It looks like Doctor Who: Around the World in 80 Days, which might be a huge improvement on Doctor Who: Flux. The show also changes Fix from a police inspector pursuing Fogg across the world to a female romantic interest, whitewashing away the Indian princess that Fogg ends up marrying in the original book.
The show's production company, Slim Film + Television, also announced on Twitter that it has already been renewed for a second season where Fogg and company will embark on yet another epic journey. We're not sure if the story is truly sustainable after one season… where else can they go after literally traveling the globe in the first season? There's a reason there was only one book. We'll watch with curiosity. Meanwhile, the production company also announced they're developing an adaptation of Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
Around the World in 80 Days will be released on Boxing Day in the UK and on Sunday 2nd January in the US on PBS' Masterpiece Theater.