When we travel, we do more than step out of our comfortable bubbles. We see the world from another perspective and perhaps learn from that perspective.
The new Masterpiece/PBS series, Around the World in 80 Days, is an eight-episode miniseries based on the Jules Vernebook of the same name. The program stars David Tennant as Phileas Fogg, Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout, and Leonie Benesch as Abigail “Fix” Fortescue. Their goal (as explained by the title), is to travel to different parts of the globe and return to England within 80 days of their departure date.
To be clear, I have not read the book. I have heard of it, but it has yet to be on my TBR list. This review is based solely on the television program.
The problem is that whatever it is that should hook me in is missing. Maybe it’s because I’m not really a fan of Verne or his books. Or maybe it’s that I was just bored.
Do I recommend it? No.
Around the World in 80 Days airs on PBS on Sunday nights at 8PM.
There is something to be said about a good science fiction story. While the story must be out of this world, it must also have human qualities for the audience to relate to.
Dr. Who has been a staple of British television since 1963. The title character is a Time Lord in human form known as the Doctor. Traveling in a spaceship known as the Tardis (which resembles a British police box on the outside), the Doctor travels through time and space with their companion(s). Along the way, the main character helps the less fortunate while encountering villains whose goal is to see to their demise.
Currently, the title character is played by Jodie Whittaker. I am not a huge Dr. Who fan, but I appreciate that this program does not take itself too seriously. This, in my opinion, allows both the audience and the characters to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.
Among science fiction fans Dr. Who is one of the most respected television series. On the air since 1963, it has generations of fans.
Up until recently, the title role has been played by a male actor. That is about to change.
I am not a huge fan of Dr. Who, but I know enough of the basics to get by. The fact Jodie Whittaker is playing the new doctor is nothing short of amazing. It is one step further towards real equality, both on the screen and in real life.
I hope that she will be the first many women who will one day inhabit the role.
Thank you for bringing Downton Abbey into our lives. The fifth season premieres in the US on January 4th, 2015. The lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants have become part of our general cultural lexicon, in addition to being must see TV.
However, it is still 5 months in between the premiere in the UK and the premiere in the US. I am writing to tell you why Downton Abbey should air on both sides of the pond at the same time:
All important ratings. I have a feeling that PBS is slightly afraid to complete with the major networks in the US who will premiere new shows and bring back current shows in the fall. It’s easier to have a mid-season premiere when the major networks have had their fun in the fall. To be honest, I don’t think they have anything to worry about. Even if PBS aired Downton at 3am on a Tuesday morning, the fans would still find a way to watch it.
Spoilers. We live in an internet age spoilers are everywhere. Two examples of this:
When Sybil died in season 3, I was home when the episode had it’s initial run in the UK. The fans on twitter were not shy about sharing their grief and the news about the loss of a beloved character.
In the spring, when Mr. Selfridge was nearly done in completing the second season, one of the British newspapers spoiled the end of the series in regards to Agnes’s romantic choices. I was not happy.
The actors and producers only have to do press once. Instead of doing press twice ( the UK in the fall and the US in December), they only have to do it once. I’m sure they enjoy traveling and meeting overseas fans (I know I would in their shoes), but as fun as traveling is, it is exhausting.
I’m aware that ITV is a commercial cable channel and PBS is a public channel that relies on donations to survive. There are issues when it comes to rights and editing, I understand that. It’s not like BBC who has their own American affiliate channel and can air Dr. Who on both sides of the pond at the same time.
That being said, I believe that it would help, not hurt Downton Abbey if it were to air on both sides of the pond at the same time.