A serial adaptation of the famous novel, this ambitious European co-production takes us on a more contemporary version of the crazy journey undertaken by the gentleman Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout. Successful bet ?
What is it about ?
London, 1872. Phileas Fogg, English gentleman, takes this crazy bet: to travel around the world in eighty days. He enlisted the services of Jean Passepartout, a resourceful French waiter. Together, they embark on a journey fraught with pitfalls, closely followed by a young journalist.
Around the World in 80 days – 8 x 52 minutes
Every Monday at 9:05 p.m. on France 2
Who is it with?
In the role of the phlegmatic Phileas Fogg, we find the British actor David Tennant, real jack-of-all-trades having tried the detective series (Broadchurch, The Kendrick Mystery), the fantastic (Good Omens, Doctor Who) through the Marvel universe (Jessica Jones.)
In front of him, the French Ibrahim Koma, revealed in the series Sous le soleil before turning for the cinema (La Cité rose) embodies Passepartout, a young man of many talents being recruited as a valet in the service of Fogg.
Finally, the German actress Leonie Benesch (Babylon Berlin) completes this international cast in the guise of Abigail Fix, a young intrepid reporter who immediately decides the English gentleman in his crazy bet to the four corners of the globe.
Well worth a look ?
Created by Ashley Pharoah (Ashes to Ashes) and Caleb Ranson, in corpoduction with RAI (Italy), ZDF (Germany), France Télévisions and the production company of Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan (Federation Entertainment), this new big budget adaptation of the classic adventure novel written by Jules Verne and published in 1872 shows his desire to dust off the initial material.
With great shots of scenery reconstituted on a green background, the series makes some changes to the main characters, starting with that of Fix: originally a policeman launched after Fogg he believes guilty of a theft, he is here become a young journalist wanting to prove to her father that she is just as brilliant as her male colleagues by committing to follow Fogg and Passepartout on their journey.
Exit also Mrs Aouda, the young woman saved by Fogg during their stopover in India and who ends up becoming his wife: here, the English gentleman is a hardened bachelor, haunted by an old lost love of which he tries to find the trace.
David Tennant is irresistible as a hero whose British phlegm hides a genius scientist entangled in his neuroses, associated with his two partners who push him always further towards self-fulfillment and new adventures. But it’s impossible not to find the spirit of Doctor Who in this clumsy and endearing explorer character, giving the British actor a slight repetition effect.
His two allies, embodied by the charismatic Ibrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch, bring a touch of humor and lightness and each benefit from a sufficiently credible story to justify their launch into the adventure, to the point of sometimes eclipsing this good Fogg in terms of credibility in the early episodes.
Finally, if it is laudable to have wanted to modernize the plot of the novel by modifying the character of Fix, we regret that Abigail is a new variation of the hothead heroine ready to all imprudence to prove her worth in a world of men, and to whom we will constantly reproach her “feminine” character (which translates here by the fact that she is too talkative …)
Rhythmic and pleasant to follow, although sometimes weighed down by too flat dialogues that serve their performers and sometimes too artificial special effects, Le Tour du Monde en 80 jours remains a great entertainment for the general public at the end of the year on the public service, and will be entitled to a season 2 which has already been ordered.