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David Tennant may not be a Time Lord anymore, but that doesn't mean he has to stop playing quirky characters who go on all sorts of epic adventures with equally compelling companions. Case in point: the Doctor Who veteran assumes the role of the intrepid Phileas Fogg in a brand-new adaptation of Jules Verne's 19th century classic, Around the World in 80 Days.
Arriving on PBS at the start of 2022, the series has already been renewed for a second season, the project's two production companies — Slim Film + Television and Federation Entertainment — confirmed in a joint announcement today.
Tennant's co-stars and fellow adventurers who will attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a period of 80 days are Ibrahim Koma (Jean Passepartout, Fogg's loyal valet) and Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch, a journalist sent to cover Fogg's journey).
Watch the teaser trailer below:
The iconic source material has been adapted several times across several different mediums for over a century since Verne originally published the book in 1873. Perhaps the most well-known translation is the 1956 film version directed by Michael Anderson that took home several Oscars, including Best Picture at the 29th Academy Awards.
However, Around the World in 80 Days is only the beginning. Slim Film + Television and Federation Entertainment have decided to double down on their Verne-inspired content with a small screen adaptation of Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864).
Ashley Pharoah, showrunner on 80 Days, is leading the charge here as well. The story will center around Professor Lidenbrock, a geology professor who comes into possession of a 16th-century manuscript created by an explorer who claimed to have found a route to the planet's core. Using this information, Lidenbrock leads a similarly dangerous expedition underground — one that could shine a light on the origins of humanity and its unknown future.
“We have loved working on the sequel to Around the World in 80 Days and now we are excited to also bring Ashley’s trademark blend of humor and emotion to Journey to the Centre of the Earth," producer Simon Crawford Collins said in a statement. "Ashley has developed an ensemble of exciting new and updated characters to bring a fresh and modern take to another of Jules Verne’s beloved novels.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to embark on this thrilling new adventure with Slim and keep exploring Jules Verne’s deeply compelling and trailblazing legacy together," added Foundation Entertainment co-founder and CEO, Lionel Uzan. "Working hand-in-hand on Around the World in 80 Days has been an inspiring experience for us all, and fresh-off this first globe-trotting odyssey together, it only seemed natural that our next journey would bring us to the innermost depths of our planet and its many secrets through this ever-more relevant story.”
One of the greatest adventure stories ever written, Journey to the Center of the Earth has also been adapted in media numerous times — the most recent one being director Eric Brevig's 2008 blockbuster of the same name starring Brendan Fraser. Whether intentional or not, the book's creative influence can be felt in movies ranging from Atlantis: The Lost Empire to sci-fi adventure The Core.
Around the World in 80 Days will make its U.S. debut on PBS Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 at 8 p.m. EST.