Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin

Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin is a 7-part BBC television travel series first broadcast on BBC1 in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin. The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic 1873 novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which a character named Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days or less.

Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin
Title sequence of the series featuring passport-style markings.
Based onAround the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne
Written byMichael Palin
Directed byRoger Mills
Presented byMichael Palin
ComposerPaddy Kingsland
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series1
No. of episodes7
Production
ProducerClem Vallance
EditorDavid Thomas
Running time52 minutes
Release
Original networkBBC1
Original release11 October (1989-10-11) 
22 November 1989 (1989-11-22)
Chronology
Followed byPole to Pole with Michael Palin

Palin was given the same deadline, and not allowed to use aircraft, which did not exist in Jules Verne's time and would make completing the journey far too easy. He followed Phileas Fogg's route as closely as possible. Along the way he commented on the sights and cultures he encountered. Palin encountered several setbacks during his voyage, partly because he travelled with a five-person film crew, who are collectively named after Passepartout, Phileas Fogg's manservant.

The programme was a critical and commercial success, gaining strong ratings in the UK and selling well abroad. It was also released on video tape and later on DVD. Following the trip Michael Palin wrote a book about the experience. The book contains much more detail, along with photographs, than could be presented in the TV programme, and Palin's personal views are also more evident.

Around the World in 80 Days was the first of a trilogy of globe-crossing series featuring Michael Palin as he visited many countries. The second series was Pole to Pole with Michael Palin (travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole), an 8-part series first broadcast on BBC One in 1992, and the third was Full Circle with Michael Palin (the circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim), a 10-part series first broadcast on BBC One in 1997. The series were followed by several similar conceptual travel series featuring Palin as he concentrated on smaller areas of the world. Hemingway Adventure (following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway) first broadcast in 1999, Sahara (travelling around and through the Sahara Desert) first broadcast in 2002, Himalaya (travelling around the Himalayas) first broadcast in 2004, New Europe (travelling around Eastern Europe) first broadcast in 2007, Brazil first broadcast in 2012, and Michael Palin in North Korea broadcast in 2018.


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