Buy a ticket for a trip “Around the world in 80 days” on PBS

It’s like the Amazing race for the Victorian era. The clock is still ticking in an entertaining old school Masterpiece adaptation of the classic by Jules Verne, Around the world in eighty days, arousing a sense of wonder at the potential for technological mobility before the age of the airplane and the automobile.

Trains, however, play a big part in novice traveler Phileas Fogg’s (David Tennant) 1872 chimeric odyssey to circumnavigate the world in a haste never seen before. The same goes for hot air balloons, boats and camels. And these are just the first three (of eight) episodes.

(Credit: Tudor Cucu – © Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-FILMS / RTBF (Belgian television))

Tennant, a versatile favorite of Doctor Who and Broadchurch celebrity, manages the transition well from a stiff upper-lip budget to a crazy-eyed adventurer, blurting out, “I’ve never felt so alive in my life!” after a near-death experience during a revolution in Paris.

Fogg is in good company with his mercurial French valet, Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma), and, new to the story, an ambitious journalist (Leonie Benesch) who knows a good story when she sees it.

Shot in South Africa and Romania, this Around the world frolicking might just be the ticket for those whose urge to travel has been reduced in recent years. Buckle up.

Around the world in 80 days, Premieres on Sunday January 2, 2022, 8 / 7c, PBS (check local listings on pbs.org)

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