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Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days
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Monty Python comedian/writer Michael Palin takes up the famous challenge: to travel around the world in only 80 days. Air travel is forbidden, and wherever possible he uses the same routes and transport as Jules Verne's fictional hero, Phileas Fogg, meeting many interesting characters en route. As he races across continents and against the clock, Michael's charm and ingenuity delights the armchair traveler.]]>
Armed with his inflatable globe, Palin starts off by train across Europe before problems arise: missed connections, labor strikes, language difficulties, and the like. But Palin is adorable company to have for the seven-part, six-hour series. He manages the impossible, always making us believe we are in the moment, even though some scenes had to be shot to accommodate the camera (he enters a taxi alone, the next scene we are with him in the cab). Palin is light on his feet, with quick humorous jabs, which comes in handy as his schedule is always on the brink of disaster. He offers round remarks on the countries he visits and often has amusing side trips: garbage man in Venice, bit actor in India, and cook aboard a freighter.
The highlight is the third episode, set almost entirely on a dhow slowly moving from Arabia to India. Here Palin is introduced to a life slowed down to its basics with a crew of mostly non-English speakers. The segment is so distinct the producers asked--and were granted--permission to add an additional episode instead of cutting most of the dhow footage.
Although Palin continued his adventures (Pole to Pole, Full Circle), nothing is as nimble or kinetic--there is a ticking clock element--as this first voyage. His entourage or Passepartout--Fogg's righthand man--grew with each voyage. There were usually two to four production folks with him on 80 Days, but they are rarely seen. The end result is the best travel "slide show" anchored by one of world's most amusing men. For couch potato and traveler alike, this is compelling viewing. --Doug Thomas
Top Customer Reviews
But not this one. Ex-Python turned globetrotter and British national treasure Michael Palin delivers a thoroughly entertaining, funny, untraditional and quite exciting travel program with, what would become his first of many great travel programs, "Around the World in 80 Days", in which he tries to recreate Phileas Fogg's journey around the world in Jules Vernes classic novel. No planes allowed, only boats and land transportation.
Not only is (was) it a new and more exciting way to create a travel program, but Palin, with his great sense of humour and his happy go lucky sort of approach to the task before him, is one of the best television presenters ever. He really grabs your attention and makes you interested in the places he goes to. He has indeed made the entire UK sit and watch his travels to places they had never heard of before week after week.
I have never spoken to anybody who, after seeing Palin's travels, did not feel invigorated and full of lust for adventure. It did certainly rekindle my love of trains and boats watching "Around the World in 80 Days". Now I travel by train instead of plane whenever I can.
I have watched the series some 4 or 5 times over the years now, and it never gets boring. They are the benchmark of travel programming. Highest possble recommendation.
A wonderful film to be viewed more than once.
I also use it in teaching world history and geography.
He goes into off beat areas to show a different side of the places he passes through for some unexpected adventures.
For example, he uses his spare time in Venice to help out the canal travelling garbage men! His great humor is always present and you get some nice insight into the kindness of people around the globe.
It will be a wonder and a joy to experience this again now that it is FINALLY available on DVD.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had owned this on VHS back in the 1980s, so I was very happy to find it on Amazon on DVD. I was happy to share it with my husband and son who loved watching it as much as I do.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent series following Michael Palin's attempt to circumnavigate the globe in under 80 days. His witty narration and fascinating insights to the locations visited, make this... Read morePublished 16 months ago by JB
Entertaining and educational. Great look at other cultures.Published 16 months ago by Barbara A. Heusel
Absolutely love Michael Palin's travel videos - have 4 of them now - beautiful photography/video plus his unique sense of humor and interaction with local people.Published 19 months ago by RESpec
I highly recommend this DVD to anybody thinking about buying it.
Michael Palin in 1989 decided to chronicle a journey Around the World in 80 days - as Phileas Fogg did... Read more
I watched this show years ago and thought it was excellent. My opinion has not changed.Published 20 months ago by Larry L.