Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days (1989) BBC

Episode 7: Dateline to Deadline

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Video Description

 

Arriving in Long Beach, California only two days behind Fogg, Palin spends his first night in America aboard the permanently berthed Queen Mary. After a few days, he boards Amtrak's Desert Wind in Los Angeles and travels to Glenwood Springs in the Rocky Mountains. He takes a hot-air balloon ride and a dog sled trip in Aspen. After a nerve-wracking delay he realizes he probably should have stayed on the Chicago-bound train. Eventually arriving in New York, he boards the final ship of his journey dead even with Phileas Fogg on day 71. This container ship takes eight days to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and Palin arrives in Felixstowe, touching Great Britain for the first time in two and a half months. A few train connections later he arrives at his starting point, the Reform Club in London, but is not allowed in to film. The journey ends 79 days and 7 hours after it began. The closing credits show Palin chatting with his referees as he presents the souvenirs requested by them at the beginning to ceremonially prove his accomplishment.

Documentary Description

 

Around the World in 80 Days is a BBC television travel series first broadcast in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin. The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic 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. 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, winning 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. This book contains much more detail than could be present in the TV programme, and Palin's personal views are also more clearly evident. The book contains many pictures from the trip.

Around the World in 80 Days was followed by several similar conceptual travel series starring Michael Palin. These were Pole to Pole (travelling from the North Pole to the South Pole), Full Circle (circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim), Hemingway Adventure (following in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway), Sahara (travelling around and through the Sahara Desert), Himalaya (travelling around the Himalayas), and New Europe (travelling around Eastern Europe).

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