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S01.E01: Episode 1


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The first couple of episodes are already available on the iPlayer for UK viewers. They aired on Boxing day and it looks like we'll get 2 episodes every Sunday.

So far, I'm not enjoying this as much as I thought I would. The actors are allright, but the story is a bit of a slog.  Some critics thought the sets looked a bit cheep. Curious what you lot think.

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I thought it's a bit all over the place or simply not what I expected. I was hoping for something light-hearted and fun. But it's often grim and even depressing which I guess is a choice you can make but then the very next moment it tries to switch back to light-hearted comedy and more often than not that just felt jarring.

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On 12/30/2021 at 12:06 PM, Aulty said:

The actors are allright, but the story is a bit of a slog.  Some critics thought the sets looked a bit cheep. Curious what you lot think.

Set backgrounds look CGI'd to me, but so far the action has all been in London and Paris in 1872, so I guess that's not surprising. I was impressed by Tennant, who I've never really seen in anything. The man servant was fine, but I could have gladly done without the entirely unnecessary spunky rich girl reporter. I couldn't understand most of the dialogue in the Paris scenes, and this part of French history is not familiar to me at all, so I was lost.

The show seems to be trying to inject a lot of seriousness right in the first episode- the threatening/taunting postcards, the bloody riot with the brother dying, the balloon maker and his mawkish dead wife story, etc.  I was hoping for something more light-hearted.

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I never read the book. I think I will when this wraps. It was a lot for one episode, but I enjoyed it. I get a kick out of Ten flying through space in a wild contraption. 

They actually did a lot of exposition with the backstories so we can just get to the adventuring. 

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20 minutes ago, sempervivum said:

Set backgrounds look CGI'd to me, but so far the action has all been in London and Paris in 1872, so I guess that's not surprising. I was impressed by Tennant, who I've never really seen in anything. The man servant was fine, but I could have gladly done without the entirely unnecessary spunky rich girl reporter. I couldn't understand most of the dialogue in the Paris scenes, and this part of French history is not familiar to me at all, so I was lost.

The show seems to be trying to inject a lot of seriousness right in the first episode- the threatening/taunting postcards, the bloody riot with the brother dying, the balloon maker and his mawkish dead wife story, etc.  I was hoping for something more light-hearted.

Ironically the spunky rich girl reporter is (very loosely) based on Nellie Bly (and Elizabeth Bisland who often gets forgotten when talking about Bly's endavors). Why not make a show about their actual journeys around the world in 72/76 days instead of producing yet another not particularly inspired take on Verne.

As for the Paris setting, a bit of exposition would definitely have helped. What really irritated me was that Fogg himself seemed to have no clue what was going on. We saw him spending his time reading books and newspapers and debating politics in that infernal club. A well-bred gentleman of his time would have known about the Paris Commune. But since that was clearly not the case they could at least have thrown in a bit more exposition - the time spent with the not so funny scene of Fogg chasing after street urchins right out Les Miserables could have been dedicated to some short dialogue of what's going on. 

In the book Paris is just a station on the way to the Suez canal. Fogg and Passepartout spend 1 hour 40 minutes there to change trains. The Paris scenes in this episode were dedicated to show how much Fogg is in over his head and give Passepartout a hero backstory and some new trauma as additional baggage.

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I'm in! I think this episode was setting us up for the rest of the story.  I thought it looked fine on screen, maybe not as beautiful as All Creatures Great and Small, but still, well enough done to not bother me. 

Most of the reviews I've read seemed to think it was worth watching, if not the best thing on tv. I'll hang in with it.  😉 

 

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Ultimately, I’d recommend this Around the World in 80 Days mostly for Tennant’s mustache and his interpretation of the central character, and I doubt “The Saddest Fogg Ever!” is likely to get me blurbed.

(from The Hollywood Reporter) 

 

 

Edited by cardigirl
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12 hours ago, MissLucas said:

The Paris scenes in this episode were dedicated to show how much Fogg is in over his head and give Passepartout a hero backstory and some new trauma as additional baggage.

That's what I got out of it. Just because you read about something in the dry newspaper doesn't mean you really have a grasp on what's really going on. Given their disdain for the French in the club, I'm doubtful the editor is dispatching a correspondent to Paris to report on the situation, and if they're buying articles from French outlets, they may not be as willing to be realistic. You're in that club; you think you're better than everyone and London is the center of the world. Any of those guys would have been in over their head.

Credit Fogg for being a stand up guy and still going after his friend's daughter (Fix) when he could have turned tail and left. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I never read the book. I think I will when this wraps. It was a lot for one episode, but I enjoyed it. I get a kick out of Ten flying through space in a wild contraption. 

They actually did a lot of exposition with the backstories so we can just get to the adventuring. 

This has little to do with the original story, except for going around the world.  In the book Fix is Detective Fix (a male) who thinks Fogg is an escaping bank robber and is chasing him.  There is a female character in the novel, a woman in India who is saved by Fogg from suttee and who travels with them there after.  Fogg's personality in the book is more like a Sheldon Cooper ("Big Bang Theory")- he fired his last valet because his shaving water was slightly less than ideal temperature.

Abigail Fix, in the series, is basically Nellie Bly, a reporter who actually went around the world in 80 days (actually less than 80 days).

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I was disappointed with this...I'm so old, I remember going to the cinema to see the original "Around the World in 80 Days" when I was a child, and it was fun & exciting...David Niven was very cosmopolitan, a Mexican actor(forget his name) was the Valet & he was funny, and Shirley McClain played the lady rescued in India.  I could not understand any of the dialogue spoken in Paris, did not understand anything that was happening there.  The young reporter was rather annoying.  I just wanted something light & fun, like the original movie(altho maybe my childhood memories are 'foggy")

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I was hoping for more of a travelogue, but the show managed to make traveling depressing, almost as depressing as the people taking the journey. Seasickness, political turmoil and getting all of your possessions stolen does not make you want to travel abroad. There was a lot of running involved and all I could think was that Fogg would never be able to run that much.

I did like the shot of the Gargoyles and the Hot Air Balloon. Hopefully the story will leave the cities behind and provide us with some beautiful scenery and hopefully more upbeat travel companions.

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3 hours ago, Constant Viewer said:

I think it was Cantinflas. I've never seen the movie, but heard there were a lot of cameos from many actors/actresses of that time.

Yes, Thank You!  Cantinflas added humor to the movie.

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I watched the 1989's Miniseries starring a pre-Bond Pierce Brosnan and Monty Python's Eric Idle. It is better than the original movie there. Niven's portrayal was too cold as a fish for my taste. Really think that we know more about Passepartout and Fix than that over Fogg in the Tennant version. Just keep on giving it a chance.

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Fogg looked bored and hemmed in to me. The other guy ordered his lunch because he knew what he'd get. It looked like he's even kept the old butler out of habit. 

He looked dreadful at the club. 

He didn't really come to life until his empassioned speech to the balloon inventor. 

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5 hours ago, BuckeyeLou said:

I was disappointed with this...I'm so old, I remember going to the cinema to see the original "Around the World in 80 Days" when I was a child, and it was fun & exciting...David Niven was very cosmopolitan, a Mexican actor(forget his name) was the Valet & he was funny, and Shirley McClain played the lady rescued in India

Yes, Cantinflas. Got a Golden Globe for his performance. He was a very, very popular Mexican comedian. Most Americans only knew him from this and Pepe, but he was a super big deal in Mexico. Robin Williams level, maybe even bigger. Grew up on the Border and we watched a ton of Cantinflas movies back in the day.

5 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I did like the shot of the Gargoyles and the Hot Air Balloon.

I liked the gargoyle shot, too, but it made me sad due to Notre Dame tragic fire.

Also want to like this new version, but the jury is still out. Hoping future eps get better? We'll see.

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I'm enjoying this show so far, and am excited to see where they go. I don't mind the departures from the book, because every adaptation has changed the story, basically just using it as a framework to tell episodic adventures and do cameos from famous Victorians. The 1956 David Niven one, for example, introduced the whole hot air balloon ride, which wasn't in the book, and other versions since then have stuck with that tradition. I've seen the Niven one, the TV miniseries with Pierce Brosnan, and the Disney film with Jackie Chan. None of them are perfect to me because I like parts of all of them, while I get annoyed with other parts. Like, Niven's version opens with a boring, unrelated prologue that I hated. But I loved Cantinflas as Passepartout--he's the best version of this character, sly and charming and putting up with Fogg's eccentricities. That movie also did a detour to Spain just so Cantinflas could do bullfighting. Shirley MacLaine is charming at times, but still I side-eye them casting a white woman as the Indian princess. 

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I watched the 1989's Miniseries starring a pre-Bond Pierce Brosnan and Monty Python's Eric Idle.

Pierce Brosnan was charming, but I hated Eric Idle doing a terrible French accent; he wasn't funny at all, and he's the worst Passepartout by far. This also has the strangest version of Inspector Fix who tries to befriend the group and redeem himself. Ghastly. At least Aouda wasn't white, though she wasn't really Indian either. Interestingly, this version had Fogg encounter the Paris Commune as well, and they did a sidetrip to China to meet the Empress, so Jackie Chan's movie is not the first adaptation to do a stop in China.

In Jackie Chan's version, I loved the innovation that Passepartout actually IS the bank thief, and that Fogg is a steampunk inventor. It makes things much more fun, and the bet is not just for money but for scientific stakes that makes it more meaningful. They write out Princess Aouda though, because I'm sure they didn't want an Indian suttee ritual in a kids film, so they made up their own female character.

In all versions of 80 Days, I find that Inspector Fix and the plot about the bank thief is too contrived and coincidental. So I totally welcome Abigail Fix as a Nellie Bly substitute for the policeman. Will she be a substitute for Princess Aouda as well, or will we forgo love interests in favor of friendships? I also am very curious about how this new Passepartout will deal with racism, and if he will look for a higher purpose for himself instead of simply running away like has for 10 years since his father's death.

Edited by Cress
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I thought it was horrible.  The only thing it has to do with the book is the title.  Too many wrong people of the wrong sex and the wrong nationality and situations that never happened.  The personalities were wrong, they invented strange backstories and left out major plot points. 

It's pointless to consider this any type of "re-make" because the sole connection to the Jules Verne story, a trip around the world lasting 80 days, is the only one.  They may as well have made the main character conjoined female twins who travel by helicopter with a Pro tennis player and a trained Guinea Pig.  

Edited by SnapHappy
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8 hours ago, Cress said:

I'm enjoying this show so far, and am excited to see where they go. I don't mind the departures from the book, because every adaptation has changed the story, basically just using it as a framework to tell episodic adventures and do cameos from famous Victorians. The 1956 David Niven one, for example, introduced the whole hot air balloon ride, which wasn't in the book, and other versions since then have stuck with that tradition.

The balloon from Paris is based on the use of balloons to get mail out of Paris during the 1870 siege of Paris. Not in the book, though Verne did have a thing for balloons and airships.

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10 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Fogg looked bored and hemmed in to me. The other guy ordered his lunch because he knew what he'd get. It looked like he's even kept the old butler out of habit. 

He looked dreadful at the club. 

He didn't really come to life until his empassioned speech to the balloon inventor. 

That's basically Fogg in the book.  It's Verne making fun of a stereotypical Englishman (in the French mind).

9 hours ago, Ms Lark said:

Yes, Cantinflas. Got a Golden Globe for his performance. He was a very, very popular Mexican comedian. Most Americans only knew him from this and Pepe, but he was a super big deal in Mexico. Robin Williams level, maybe even bigger. Grew up on the Border and we watched a ton of Cantinflas movies back in the day.

Growing up in Chicago the local channels played a lot of Cantinflas movies at weird times, early mornings and late at night.  He struck me as kind of a silent movie comedian in the talkie era, like a Charlie Chaplin who talked.

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On 1/2/2022 at 10:00 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

I never read the book. I think I will when this wraps. It was a lot for one episode, but I enjoyed it. I get a kick out of Ten flying through space in a wild contraption. 

They actually did a lot of exposition with the backstories so we can just get to the adventuring. 

Speaking of Ten, I kept looking for the Tardis.   I thought the beginning started slow and I'm sure things will pick up since they are finally traveling.

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That's basically Fogg in the book.  It's Verne making fun of a stereotypical Englishman (in the French mind).

Yes, Fogg is very much a character of routine and precise habits. He even fires his valet for not heating his bath to the correct temperature. I was pleased in this episode to see Fogg tolerate his old valet's shaky coffee and not fire him. It is a better idea to let the old guy stay in London taking care of the house while Fogg and Passepartout travel the world. I like the sneaky way that Passepartout talked his way into the job.

Edited by Cress
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I found this to be incredibly boring and nothing like the book.  Fogg comes off as a twit and completely unprepared for the journey.  They just had to shoehorn in a feminist type and various other races to make sure they weren't blamed for lack of diversity.  Just curious as to how many black Frenchman were living in London with jobs at that point in time?

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I bet not negligible. London and England were still economic powers then, and with the strife in France, it's not hard to think some would migrate looking for better opportunities. They showed the kitchen had a lot of black people, and Fogg wasn't surprised that his new valet was black. It stands to reason that these lower class type jobs would be filled by migrants. 

Fix, it seems from this discussion thread, is based on Nelly Bly, who was a real person who did travel around the world in less than 80 days. 

Tv-wise, it makes sense to have a reporter there in order to have scenes in the club of all the harumphing around as they read about Fogg in the paper. 

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On 1/3/2022 at 12:15 PM, Tom Holmberg said:

This has little to do with the original story, except for going around the world.  In the book Fix is Detective Fix (a male) who thinks Fogg is an escaping bank robber and is chasing him.  There is a female character in the novel, a woman in India who is saved by Fogg from suttee and who travels with them there after.  Fogg's personality in the book is more like a Sheldon Cooper ("Big Bang Theory")- he fired his last valet because his shaving water was slightly less than ideal temperature.

Thank you. I read this book a million years ago, but I was distracted the whole time I was watching by the reporter lady. I kept thinking "I don't remember a spunky English woman", and this basically confirms why.

As far as Fogg's personality, I think they sort of get his persnickety nature, but he seems more idiotic in this version, which I never got from the book.

I'm really disappointed in this. I don't understand why things get adapted and then they make it unrecognizable from the source material. I will probably keep watching though because it fits into my wheelhouse of things I like.

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I've only seen the first episode so far and I like it. I was afraid I could not watch because of Tennant's moustache, since I despise all facial hair and could not look at him during the trailer, but I'm surprised how quickly I got used to it.

I'm glad they are showing us the difficult parts of traveling as well, like Fogg vomiting on the ship and immediately losing his hat. I'm sure that traveling was not so fun back in the day, since one had to have all of their cash with them all the time and had limited access to news, phones, etc.

I like that they are showing us the timecount of the days, hope that they keep that in other episodes so we don't lose track of what day it is.

I thought that the scene at the beginning when Fogg made the bet was a bit rushed, but I guess they wanted to get to the action as soon as possible and figured that we would be familiar with the story already. If I were Fogg, I would not start the count immediately but take at least a day to pack and plan the journey and start counting only once the ship departs, but this probably looks more dramatic.

It's interesting that they managed to film this during covid, I wonder if that impacted where they shot it, or if that was always the plan.

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23 hours ago, JustHereForFood said:

I've only seen the first episode so far and I like it. I was afraid I could not watch because of Tennant's moustache, since I despise all facial hair and could not look at him during the trailer, but I'm surprised how quickly I got used to it.

Tennant's mustache is a dead ringer for David Niven's mustache, when Niven played Fogg in the 1956 version of the movie.

image.png.108b57ac2690cc26b171b29c568d4c16.png

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I only discovered this existed yesterday, so I watched the second episode first and the first one today.  I have a soft spot for  David Tennant. He is a good actor and not afraid of being unlikable in some roles. I find the woman reporter interesting, I think it's awesome that she is  based on a real woman who actually did this journey - and in less time!

I did watch the old movie with my grand father years ago. He loved that movie and I never had the heart to tell him that I found the movie kind of dated and a bit racist.

This seems more my thing so I am sticking with it. It helps that it's renewed for a second season.

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I, too, really wanted some adventure and lightness so I found this really boring and trying to be too "woke."  I really don't care about the uprising and killing of the valet's brother.  Can't we just have adventure without inserting too many off-shoots of stories about minor characters?  I will watch the next couple of episodes hoping to enjoy it more.

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Too me Jackie Chan was the worst Passepartout. I had a heart for Eric Idle since the 80 days and loved Monty Python since. I think His Passepartout was the best IMHO, Loved Catalinflas but have a torch for Eric! The new Passepartout is great and glad he is played by a REAL Frenchman.

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On 1/4/2022 at 12:34 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

I had no idea the balloon isn't in the book. If you asked me to think of something about 'Around the world in 80 days' it would be the balloon. 

Thank the movie. The image of the Balloon became so much apart of the image most people think of when they hear "Around the world in 80 days" it has been included in almost every version and is even on book covers.

But, no there is no balloon in the book.

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I watched this episode last night; I'd put it off because I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch it. The first twenty minutes dragged a bit, then zoom! Let's get going! I haven't read the book, and don't remember watching any of the other movies, and I'm enjoying this very much. Also unfamiliar with this period of French history, so not sure how it all tracks, but it makes for a fine story. When the gendarmes were chasing them, I hoped they'd find out that Fogg had saved Thierry. But he got away, so that's OK.  

Also, for years, I thought it was Phineas, not Phileas.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/18/2022 at 9:35 AM, zoey1996 said:

Also, for years, I thought it was Phineas, not Phileas.

You would be correct, in a parallel universe sort of way.  This is an Wiki entry for "Phileas Fogg":

In the 1957 episode of Mr. Adams and Eve "Taming of the Shrew," David Niven portrays himself as he promotes a movie version of Around the World in 80 Days in which he plays Phineas Fogg, and at one point his balloon disrupts auditions Eve Drake (Ida Lupino) and Howard Adams (Howard Duff) are holding for their movie version of The Taming of the Shrew.

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On 1/18/2022 at 6:35 PM, zoey1996 said:

Also, for years, I thought it was Phineas, not Phileas.

I first knew the story from animated series with animal characters and Fogg was called Willy in that one (and was a lion). So it was weird getting used to a different name later 😃

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for all this discussion.  I'm just now watching and was feeling a bit grumpy about so many changes to a favorite childhood book.  It was good to be reminded of / learn about the many different ways this story has been adapted.  It calmed me down long enough to remember that, of course, page-to-screen always involves some compromise.  Now I can approach the rest of the series more openly.

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