Around The World in 80 Days with David Tennant - start date, plot and cast

Around the World in 80 Days David Tennant BBC drama
(Image credit: Joe Alblas)

Around The World in 80 Days will see David Tennant off on adventure of a lifetime as Fogg...

David Tennant will star as literature’s greatest explorer Phileas Fogg in a new BBC adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel Around The World In 80 days. And the first picture has arrived!

The former Doctor Who actor will play Verne’s hero in an eight-part version, which sees rising French star Ibrahim Koma as the mercurial Passepartout; an irrepressible character who falls into the role of Fogg’s valet.

Around the World in 80 days with David Tennant - what's the release date?

The BBC is yet to announced when the series will start. However, we do know it will be shown in 2021.

What's the plot?

Around The World in 80 Days, which was first published in English in 1873, sees Fogg make a vast bet with his fellow Reform Club members that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days.

Joining David Tennant in the cast is The Crown’s Leonie Benesch as Abigail Fix, a young journalist determined to make her mark in a man’s world, who claims the chance to report on the amazing journey.

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Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “This is such an exciting project. There is an amazing team both in front and behind the camera and we cannot wait to see their ambitious interpretation of this classic novel for a new generation.”

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David Tennant as killer Dennis Nilsen in recent ITV drama Des (Image credit: ITV)

What other versions of Around the World in 80 Days has there been?

Michael Palin poses with a globe for his new BBC2 series Michael Palin's Travels

Michael Palin is revisiting his famous series (Image credit: BBC/Firecrest)

The adventure has reached the screen in many different guises before, including a 2004 film which saw Steve Coogan play Fogg opposite Jackie Chan as Passepartout.

Perhaps mostly famously Michael Palin had a crack at doing the journey for real in his epic 1989 travelogue, which is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer. The seven-part series was an enormous hit and Palin went on to make a string of other travelogues. It was also recently announced that Palin will revisit his legendary series for a new four-part BBC2 documentary.

What else do you know about Around the World in 80 Days?

The series has been adapted by a a top team of writers led by Life on Mars co-creator Ashley Pharoah.

Is there a trailer for the series yet?

Not yet, watch this space!

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!