Around the World in 80 Days: David Tennant cast as Phileas Fogg in BBC adaptation of Jules Verne classic

The BBC’s new eight-part adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Tennant, is coming to TV very soon.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 2 December 2021 - 9.18am
BBC David Tennant, Leonie Benesch and Ibrahim Koma in Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World In 80 Days, Jules Verne's classic novel, is being adapted into an eight-part TV series for the BBC.

David Tennant leads the cast, playing literature’s greatest explorer Phileas Fogg, in a globe-trotting adventure that is one of the most-anticipated TV shows of 2021.

Here is everything you need to know about Around the World in 80 Days…

What is the release date of David Tennant’s Around the World in 80 Days?

The series will premiere Boxing Day (Sunday, December 26) at 5.50pm on BBC One.

Production was delayed on the series due to the global pandemic, but in March 2021, production company Slim Film+Television confirmed filming was finished.

Who is in the cast of Around the World in 80 Days?

David Tennant, who will play Phileas Fogg in the new Around the World in 80 Days Getty

David Tennant, the award-winning actor and star of series such as Broadchurch, Jessica Jones, Doctor Who and Good Omens, will lead the cast as intrepid explorer Philieas Fogg as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.

Joining Tennant is rising French star Ibrahim Koma (Je Suis Daddy, Mother Is Wrong), who takes on the role of the mercurial Passepartout: an irrepressible chancer who falls into the role of Fogg’s ‘valet’, little knowing it will change his life forever.

Leonie Benesch (The Crown, White Ribbon) plays Abigail Fix, the young journalist determined to make her mark in a man’s world and emerge from the long shadow of her British establishment father.

The impressive cast will also include Jason Watkins (Des), Peter Sullivan (Poldark), Lindsay Duncan (A Discovery Of Witches), Dolly Wells (Dracula), Richard Wilson (Merlin), Faical Elkihel (The Spy), Anthony Flanagan (The Terror), Gary Beadle (Patrick Melrose) and Giovanni Scifoni (DOC – Nelle Tue Mani).

Ashley Pharoah (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes) leads the writing team on the series.

Speaking about the famous story of Phileas Fogg, Tennant said: “I think most people are familiar with Around the World In 80 Days as it’s one of those stories from popular culture and Phileas Fogg is one of those iconic names that you recognise.

"It certainly piqued my interest when the script arrived. It’s a story that is beloved and has been very successful over very many years in all sorts of different mediums.”

What is the story of Around the World in 80 Days?

Around the World in 80 Days poster with David Tennant playing Phileas Fogg BBC

London, 1872. On the day his world is turned upside down by a postcard from a lost love, Phileas Fogg is inspired by an article about the exciting advances in travel to take on an almost impossible wager–to circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. As a man who has spent the last 20 years in a comfortable leather armchair at The Reform Club, he will need all the resilience he can muster and of course would be nowhere without the assistance of quick-witted Frenchman, Passepartout.

Joining them on the road will be the Daily Telegraph journalist who came up with the whole crazy idea in the first place – Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue.

Around the World In 80 Days is a heightened, character-led romantic voyage, but it’s also much more than that. The narrative is a furnace of adventure that will reveal to Fogg, Fix and Passepartout the importance of trust, tolerance and openness. And love.

As our trio encounter new cultures and ways of life, all three have to find the courage to be the best version of themselves. For these three damaged, disparate souls who leave England on their extraordinary mission, the challenges and characters they encounter opens their eyes forever.

Previous adaptations of the novel have included Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan’s 2004 movie and a 1980s TV mini-series with Pierce Brosnan as Fogg.

Around the World in 80 Days trailer

The first trailer for the series introduces us to the main characters and reveals some of the incredible scenery on their route around the world.

Around the World in 80 Days is coming to the BBC on Boxing Day.

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