David Tennant takes a swipe at Phileas Fogg for representing ‘everything that’s alarming and peculiar about the British Empire’ as he stars in Around the World in 80 Days for the BBC
- David Tennant will star in eight-part BBC series Around the World in 80 Days
- The new series, based on Jules Verne’s classic novel, will air on Boxing Day
- Tennant will perform alongside his 19-year-old son Ty, whom he adopted in 2012
- The actor has criticised Phileas Fogg for representing ‘alarming’ traditions
He plays the intrepid adventurer in an upcoming Christmas adaptation of Around the World In 80 Days.
But David Tennant has criticised Phileas Fogg for representing ‘alarming’ traditions of the British Empire.
The first episode of the eight-part BBC series based of Jules Verne’s classic novel airs on Boxing Day.
But discussing the swashbuckling traveller, Tennant, 50, said: ‘In many ways Phileas Fogg represents everything that’s alarming and peculiar about that old sense of British Empire.’
The actor told Radio Times’s Christmas issue: ‘Potentially, it’s a story about an England that should elicit very little sympathy.’
David Tennant (centre) stars in Around the World in 80 Days alongside Ibrahim Koma (right) and Leonie Benesch (right)
The first episode of the eight-part BBC series based of Jules Verne’s classic novel airs on Boxing Day
The drama follows Fogg and his valet, Passepartout, played by French actor Ibrahim Koma.
German actress Leonie Benesch also stars as aspiring journalist Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue.
Tennant will also be performing alongside his 19-year-old son Ty, whom he adopted in 2012.
He said: ‘He plays a 19th-century New York hoodlum and manages to make everything cool.
‘I can’t identify with that, because at 19 I was so far from cool.’
In September, then media minister John Whittingdale announced new rules making it a legal requirement for public service broadcasters (PSBs) to carry shows that reflect Britain and British values.
He cited series such as Downton Abbey, Great British Bake Off, Top Gear, The Bodyguard and Doctor Who, in which Tennant played the titular Time Lord between 2005 and 2010.
Tennant (pictured) will be performing alongside his 19-year-old son Ty, whom he adopted in 2012
Tennant plays the role of Phileas Fogg, French actor Ibrahim Koma stars as his valet, Passepartout, and German actress Leonie Benesch plays aspiring journalist Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue
On this issue, Tennant said: ‘Is there some inherent criticism within this plea for more Britishness? Did Britishness mean ‘made in Britain’ or programmes that have a certain political viewpoint?
‘Is it just a government pleading for the artist to be more sympathetic towards it? Why would the Government feel they need more sympathy directed towards them?
‘Perhaps that’s a question they should ask themselves, rather than trying to blame it on the television industry.’
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