As first reported by Variety, producers have given major backing to showrunner Ashley Pharoah’s (Life on Mars) upcoming series, which is set to premiere soon on PBS’ Masterpiece in the U.S. and BBC in the U.K. Based on Verne’s acclaimed 1872 novel, the series stars Tennant as adventurer Phileas Fogg, a role he is expected to reprise in the second season.
In addition to the follow-up season, production companies Slim Film + Television and Federation Entertainment also revealed that Pharoah will serve as showrunner on another Verne adaptation, Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The story revolves around eccentric German scientist Professor Otto Lidenbrock and his expedition to reach the earth’s core.
“We have loved working on the sequel to Around the World in 80 Days and now we are excited to also bring Ashley’s trademark blend of humor and emotion to Journey to the Centre of the Earth,” said Simon Crawford Collins, who will produce both series for Slim Film + Television.
He continued: “Ashley has developed an ensemble of exciting new and updated characters to bring a fresh and modern take to another of Jules Verne’s beloved novels.”
Alongside Tennant, Around the World in 80 Days also stars Leonie Benesch (The Crown) as Abigail Fix, Ibrahim Koma (Mother is Wrong) as Passepartout, Peter Sullivan (Poldark) as Nyle Bellamy, and Shivani Ghai (Batwoman) as Aouda.
“We couldn’t be more excited to embark on this thrilling new adventure with Slim and keep exploring Jules Verne’s deeply compelling and trailblazing legacy together,” said Federation Entertainment producer Lionel Uzan.
He added: “Working hand-in-hand on Around the World in 80 Days has been an inspiring experience for us all, and fresh-off this first globe-trotting odyssey together, it only seemed natural that our next journey would bring us to the innermost depths of our planet and its many secrets through this ever-more relevant story.”
Around the World in 80 Days, Season 1, TBA, Masterpiece PBS