Fun for our days on ZDF today: the neat and group-dynamic Christmas series “Around the World in 80 Days”.
Frankfurt – The remake of “Around the World in 80 Days” on ZDF fits so well into this world that you have to briefly realize how old the plan is. A real pre-Corona plan, interrupted by Corona and postponed for a year, because since one of the most famous bets in literature has to be redeemed at Christmas, the termination is irresistible. It is also irresistible to watch people these days – by the way, people with sometimes pronounced closeness-distance problems – as they dart around the globe without consciousness. By ship, balloon, train, carriage, camel. On foot.
People are in such a hurry that the beauty of the world only reveals itself to them for a few seconds (it was shot in South Africa, among other places, but the computer makes everything possible, just like paper mache in the past, series cinema remains in this respect series cinema). They are also so English / French that the strangeness of the world remains alien to them somewhere. It is a refreshing moment when, after many adventures in a Hong Kong bank, the Brit walks up to the money counter with a carefully filled out form, “like a seal that returns to the sea,” comments the less well-organized French companion. This does not prevent the travelers from being delighted by the foreign like a group of passengers from the dream ship, which is offered as if by chance an Indian wedding.
Today on ZDF: “Around the World in 80 Days” (ZDF) – Killing is killing
But it also doesn’t prevent them from being humanly decent. The remake of “Around the World in 80 Days”, an international production with ZDF participation, is the perfect Christmas series for young and old in the 2020s. Equal rights, anti-racism, criticism of colonialism, social justice and respect for life – whoever kills here doesn’t put that and the gun away with a smile – are applied with such a thick brush that villains can only switch. Everyone else should think of their childhoods with squeaky women, stupid locals, and masses of murdered extras, underscored by US or European military or intellectual chauvinism. Adventure films have always been more than adventure, then rather a sympathetic contemporary variant.
The sympathetic version of “Around the World in 80 Days” on ZDF begins with a refreshing sentence: “We’ll have to buy bigger cups,” says Phileas Fogg, as the age-old servant tremblingly hands him the spilled tea. Phileas Fogg may be a useless snob, but he would never never exchange a person if he can also exchange the object for it. Even the orbit around the world, on well-meaning advice, he only starts with someone else because the ancient servant would not survive it.
|Phileas Fogg||David Tennant|
|Abigail „Fix“ Fortescue||Leonie Benesch|
|Bernard Fortescue||Jason Watkins|
|Nyle Bellamy||Peter Sullivan|
|Thomas Kneedling||Anthony Flanagan|
“Around the world in 80 days” today on ZDF – the script is based on Jules Verne
He thanks ZDF by saying that it is he who, eight episodes later, laconically explains to the clever guy Fogg, like Wikipedia, how it is with the time difference when traveling eastwards and why he won his bet after all. You don’t reveal too much here, because the awake screenplay by Ashley Pharoah (and others) is always based on Jules Verne’s novel. An extremely plausible Phileas Fogg is David Tennant, who became famous as Doctor Who, who can now be experienced on a tight, linear travel route. His Phileas Fogg also seems extremely English, civil, asexual.
Ibrahim Koma cheats his way into the action as a passe-partout, as does Leonie Benesch as the frenzied reporter Abigail Fix, just as names appear again and again from the book, a little game of hide-and-seek with an extremely loose connection. Because it’s a lovely trio of political correctness and dry humor that travels and leaves conventions at home. “No place for a woman,” says Phileas Fogg. “He doesn’t give a man much pleasure either,” says Passepartout. Abigail Fix’s job is an opportunity to put the newspaper in the spotlight in all its beauty and modernity (she’s always looking for the latest edition, it always arrives before her, it’s a delight).
“In 80 days around the world”
ZDF, two double episodes Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 8.15 p.m., one double episode each Wednesday, December 22, 2021, and Thursday, December 23, 2021, 10.15 p.m. And completely in the ZDF media library.
“Around the world in 80 days” – something that is lost on ZDF
In the course of time, the author and his hero ‘s belief in technology, the sense of tinkering, the trust in their own minds get a little out of sight in “Around the World in 80 Days”. After the episode in which a half-destroyed railway bridge can be crossed thanks to ingenious weight bearing – one stands there, the other there, but the formula for this is enormous – it becomes increasingly dynamic in groups. Only love counts, and adventurers like talking about relationships as much as the people in Rote Rosen. The imagery and style – staged by Steve Barron (and others) – is perfectly based on the Christmas adventures since the beginning of the Christmas adventures. And: to be continued! (Judith von Sternburg)