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"Around the World" on PBS

The folks who produce Masterpiece on PBS have a new series: "Around The World", which appears to be based on the Jules Verne classic "Around the World in 80 Days" (done many times in cheesy movies).

I set my DVR to record it but I haven't watched the episodes yet, except for the first minute or two, which told me that yes, this is the story of Phileas Fogg et al, and the production quality looked very good, per the usual PBS "Masterpiece" standards -- they got "the period look" down well.

Has anyone here watched it? Enjoyable/Worth the time, or just recycled cheap filler?

Posted by
8669 posts

I've watched the 1st 2. They are pretty good. I liked the 2nd one better than the 1st as it had him using his brain a bit more to figure out an engineering problem instead of just looking depressed.

Not crazy about the addition of the woman journalist from the get-go as I am mentally seeing the woman side-kick as Shirley MacLaine who David Niven picked up in India from a funeral pyre.

Still, there is nothing else on TV on Sunday nights which is when my local PBS stations are airing this, so after reruns of the old All Creatures and before the airing of the NEW All Creatures season 2 it's worth the time.

Posted by
400 posts

Did not catch the 1st episode but the second was good and I am a fan of all things David Tennant… have set DVR to record series

Posted by
5225 posts

In the first two episodes, there’s a surprising amount of life-threatening situations, but Phileas survives to keep the series going. He’s off to a phenomenal start.

The show isn’t a direct copy of Verne’s book, nor of the David Niven/Cantinflas/Shirley McLaine movie directed by Michael Anderson. But it’s full of gripping suspense, and a wary view of class differences and social approaches to life.

There are sure a lot of mean people in both episodes. The world was a harsh place then (and clearly still is), which makes cunning, a huge amount of luck, and maybe some necessary skills critical in getting around the world possible. Looks like Episode 3 will involve more challenges for Phileas.

Interesting photography. Much of it’s dark. Makes the world in the show seem more foreboding. Episode 2 takes place in Italy, but was filmed in Romania. Maybe part of Romania today is what part of Italy was like, a couple centuries ago,

Phileas - a good, old, English name, no?

Posted by
3039 posts

People!! Please stop with the spoilers for those who have yet to see it!!! Thank you.

It's definitely loosely based on the Verne book, but it diverges greatly. Still, the production quality is, so far, excellent. Part travel adventure, and part social commentary, and is darker than the book. Steampunk fans will likely enjoy it immensely.

Posted by
5225 posts

If you’re squeamish, this PBS show might not be for you. Kind-of like Nature, a series with fascinating images of animals in the wild, and lots of cute babies, but there’s always some tragic end for some, either by predation or by unfortunate circumstances. Parts are hard to watch.

Posted by
5225 posts

Also (maybe) of note: the episodes make use of a relatively unique method of superimposing letters and numbers, e.g. Day 3, on the live action. The CBS show Bob❤️Abishola does something similar. It’s surprising when I see it, as it’s unexpected. If it was done too often, it wouldn’t be remarkable, but keep an eye out for it, in a really fast-paced program.

Posted by
164 posts

Watched 1st episode. Totally meh for us. Better stuff out there to stream.

Posted by
5225 posts

Second episode was more engaging than the first. We’ll see whether it just gets better from there.

You have to cheer for someone who’s traveling without a smartphone, no TGV or other high-speed train, no jet aircraft, and no Rick Steves Travel Forum for planning! Looking forward to this coming Sunday night’s episode. I’m sure more bullies await Fogg and his two travel companions. No shortage of mean people involving many aspects of international travel!

Posted by
5042 posts

He’s British so he wouldn’t use a RS guidebook even if it were set in 2022.

Haven’t bothered to watch any further than the first episode. Usually David Tennant is reliable. Dreadful acting from some of the supporting actors.

Posted by
663 posts

Just binged watch the last three episodes, really loved it. The connection with the book is loose!

Posted by
775 posts

Well, I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it thus far and I’m ahead of US viewers, but that’s all I’ll say because…..spoilers!

Ian

Posted by
1051 posts

Sometimes the conversations are difficult to understand because of the accents. I recommend turning on closed captions.

Posted by
5225 posts

Closed captions are a good recommendation. Episode 1 was on Denver’s second PBS station last night, and with nothing else interesting on, I watched it again. I picked up a couple elements I missed the first time. But there was so much whispering, or things said so quickly, or in a way that made it hard to understand (and turning up the volume was of little help), subtitles might work.

Trouble is, the frequent French being translated in Episode 1, and the Italian dialogue in Episode 2, would the subtitles in the original broadcast be covered up by closed caption lettering, making for visual misunderstanding?

So some of the audio isn’t ideal for American ears. This could get better or worse as the journey progresses into Asia. What’s the American part going to sound like, I wonder?

Posted by
5225 posts

Episode 3, I saw without captions, and for the second airing at midnight, I rewatched it with captions. Having the captions helped me get more of the dialogue. When there were already English subtitles for the show, captions didn’t display, so there wasn’t redundancy.

This episode, Fogg steps in a pool of petroleum seeping out of the Arabian desert. Had there been devices that burned crude oil or its refined products back then, he’d be looking at less than 80 days for circumnavigating the globe.

Awaiting Episode 4, and Day 19 of the journey . . .

Posted by
663 posts

Very interesting comments about accents. As a Brit they were so very mild I didnt notice them at all. It consiquently brough up a question in my head re Americans travelling in the Uk! These accents are really mild compared to what you might hear!!!!
Not a critisium, just an early morning ponderance. Brought back memories of when Newcastles Cheryl Cole was a judge on an American talent show and the audience claim them couldnt undersrand her. Yet you never hear the same over here about the multitude of American accents on tv shows?
Interesting, i am going to be thinking about this all day now🙂

Posted by
1984 posts

Apparently I’m in the midst of highbrow critics. I love this show, it is great fun! Don’t read these comments and conclude the show is not worth watching. It is. That’s my two cents!