It's time to clear your viewing schedules and get excited about the BBC’s upcoming series Around the World in 80 Days, which premieres just after Christmas.
Adapted from Jules Verne’s well-known book of the same name, the BBC One eight-parter is penned by Life on Mars' Ashley Pharoah among others and stars David Tennant (Good Omens) in the lead role of English gentleman-turned-adventurer Phileas Fogg.
What's more, already Around the World in 80 Days has been renewed for a second season, and will see Fogg and his team take on yet another perilous challenge to venture across the world, with the primary cast expected to return.
- Around the World in 80 Days star David Tennant discusses shooting in Romania and South Africa and why camels are not the calmest creatures in the Radio Times podcast - listen now
Asked about the upcoming first season, Tennant recently described it as a “romp”. “I hope a bit of joy. I think it’s very apt that it’s set for a Christmas transmission. It’s that kind of a show, it’s got that kind of scale and that kind of ambition and that kind of warmth,” he told RadioTimes.com and other press.
“It’s a romp, but it’s got real heart to it, as well. It feels like a genuine – this phrase is overused – but it feels like a genuine piece of family entertainment, something that you can all, you know, grab a mince pie and enjoy together,” he continued.
“It has that sense of something that everyone can come together, and it works. It’ll work for your five-year-old, it’ll work for your 85-year-old. I think it’s got a genuine kind of cross-generational appeal to it and that’s something very special I’ve been involved in, in that kind of a story.”
Fans will also be thrilled to hear that legendary composer Hans Zimmer and Christian Lundberg scored the soundtrack.
Zimmer, known for The Lion King and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise among many other projects, said: “It was a great honour to help bring the iconic Jules Verne tale to life with such an amazing team.
“During this time as the world stood still and no one could travel, it was thrilling to experience the wonders of the world though Phileas Fogg. I’m excited for everyone to see it and be inspired.”
With the first look at the upcoming series already having been unveiled, exclusive new pictures of the series revealed on RadioTimes.com and an epic title sequence having been release, the release date is now also confirmed. In the meantime, why not check out our guide to the best David Tennant TV shows.
Here’s everything you need to know about Around the World in 80 Days.
Around the World in 80 Days release date
Around the World in 80 Days will premiere on BBC One on Boxing Day, 26th December 2021 and on Masterpiece for PBS in the US on 2nd January 2022.
BBC One released a first-look image of Around the World in 80 Days in September 2020 and announced that the series will air in 2021.
“The clock is ticking,” a statement from the production team said. “Join Phileas Fogg (David Tennant), Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma) and Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch) on their journey Around the World in 80 Days – coming to screens 2021.”
The first two episodes of the eight-part series receives its World Premiere at the opening night of the Canneseries & MIPCOM festival on Sunday 10th October at 9pm.
Around the World in 80 Days officially wrapped filming in March 2021, almost exactly a year after the shoot was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Around the World in 80 Days plot
The eight-part series, written by Life on Mars’ Ashley Pharoah among others, follows the legendary adventurer Phileas Fogg, who is attempting to travel around the world in 80 days in a bid to win a lucrative wager he entered into.
Fogg, whose ingenuity and clever contraptions will be tested over the titular time-frame, could do with friends on such a long voyage - and luckily he has them in the form of sidekick Passepartout and Abigail Fix, a journalist who accompanies the men in order to chronicle the adventure.
Around the World in 80 Days cast
Phileas Fogg is played by a moustachioed David Tennant (Good Omens), while the cast of Around the World in 80 Days also includes Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout and Leonie Benesch as Abigail Fix.
Koma recently hinted at a potential romance between Passepartout and Abigail.
“Opposites attract,” he said. “There’s kind of that [attraction] in the air, throughout the whole series. But when there’s attraction, there’s also a fight because, you know, they like each other, but they don’t understand each other. And they also like the fact that they don’t understand each other. So yeah, they are attracted to each other. And we’ll see [how the romance plays out].”
Around the World in Eighty Days trailer
A first-look trailer was released in September 2021, and showed off a few of the travel methods (including carriage and hot-air balloon) utilised by Fogg on his international journey, along with a first look at Tennant's co-stars and the man himself as he's struck by some of the difficulties of his journey.
In addition, an epic title sequence was released at the beginning of November 2021.
Considering the pressure Fogg’s globetrotting race puts him under, it’s no surprise that the title sequence features a ticking watch, as well teasing many lands Fogg and his companions will visit during their wager.
“Between the energising score delivered by Hans Zimmer, Christian Lundberg and Russell Emanuel that gets your pulses racing; and the dazzlingly beautiful clock face, with its hints at moments from the series, created by Paul and the team at Huge Designs – we feel we have created an opening sequence that captures the beauty of our world and the excitement of the journey that our trio are undertaking,” said Simon Crawford Collins, executive producer for Slim Film + Television. “We are so pleased to be sharing it with the public at last.”