Saturday, August 1, 2015


Toobworld Central is throwing a British Invasion as the theme for 2015 in the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  However, August is traditionally the TV Western month, but that didn't stop me for a second.

Of course, I had to go to BookWorld first to find a Brit with a presence in the wild wild West.

From Wikipedia:


Phileas Fogg is the main protagonist in the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days.

Fogg attempts to circumnavigate the late Victorian world in 80 days or fewer, for a wager of £20,000 with members of London'sReform Club. He is accompanied by his French servant Jean Passepartout and followed by a detective named Fix, who suspects Fogg of having robbed the Bank of England and in the second half of the book helps Fogg in order to get him back to England. While in India, Fogg saves a widowed princess, Aouda, from Sati during her husband's funeral and she accompanies Fogg for the rest of his journey. She and Fogg eventually fall in love and marry at the end of the book.

For more, click here.

Fogg is a multiversal, beginning "life" in BookWorld and then being adapted into other media.  He has appeared in several dimensions of the Cineverse, beginning in the era of silent movies.  But his most famous incarnation was portrayed by David Niven in the all-star extravaganza of the 1950s.

On TV, he is a multi-dimensional, beginning with a Belgian TV series back in the early 1950s.  Now usually, I'm one who advocates that the first portrayal on TV is the official televersion.  However, Fogg is an Englishman and the actor playing the role should be speaking English naturally, not dubbed in later.  

So the very first Fogg would be found in the alternate Toobworld in which the world was conquered by either the French, the Germans, or the Dutch.  (Those are the three official languages of the Belgies.)  There are two other French Phileas Foggs, and a German one as well, so I'm inclined to give this over to the Dutch Toobworld.  What helps this argument is that I've seen Senne Rouffaer, who played Fogg, listed online as being Flemish - the Dutch-speaking people of northern Belgium.

The wonderful 1989 mini-series starring Pierce Brosnan, Peter Ustinov, and Eric Idle, which also had an all-star cast, was pretty much a faithful adaptation of the novel by Jules Verne.  However, I'm inclined to enshrine it in a BookWorld Borderland in much the same way as was done with the recent production of 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' and will be done with Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods'.

My preference for adaptations gives special treatment to those which can be seen as being part of the main TV Universe.  A series, no matter the length of its run or how dutiful it is to the source material, would take precedence over a faithful adaptation of a work.  And if the characters from a book crossed paths with a previously established TV character?  Even better!

And that's what we have for Earth Prime-Time in the case of Phileas Fogg: an English language series, even if it is fantastically, radically, different from the original Verne book, as well as a crossover with a famous TV character.

"The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne"
Played by Michael Praed

"Have Gun - Will Travel"
    - Fogg Bound (1960) TV episode, Played by Patric Knowles

Even though these two productions involve recastaways, they share the same dimension, the main Toobworld.  That Fogg was played by two different men and yet still be the same person can be splained away.  Over a decade separates Fogg in the TV series from himself as a guest star, plus we are seeing him from the perspective of Paladin.
And the fact that the TV series was a steam-punk wonder that had the most minimum of connections to the original story is not an impediment either. All of those adventures with their new friend Jules Verne happened after the events of the book (which Verne had yet to write, O'Bviously) but before the events of the "Fogg Bound" episode of 'Have Gun Will Travel'.  They both belong in the main Toobworld.
'The Secret Adventures Of Jules Verne' takes place during the American Civil War on the Toobworld timeline, with Jules Verne at least a decade younger than he was in the real world.  It's been a while since I've seen the series (which unfortunately is not available at present on DVD), but a very good website for the show suggests that Fogg's first trip around the world had already taken place by the time Verne met Fogg, Passepartout, and Fogg's loverly second cousin.  And that means that it happened at least before 1860. 
When we meet Fogg again, it is 1872 and he's now on his second voyage around the world.  This is the one Verne will end up writing about.  It is during this circumnavigation of the globe when Fogg will meet and rescue the Princess Aouda, whom he will marry by the time they reach England.  (Although he appeared to be enamored of his second cousin, she appeared to be out of the picture by 1872.  As she was the first female spy in the British Secret Service, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that she died in the line of duty.  And that would provide a third reason for the difference in Fogg's appearance besides aging and Paladin's perspective - grief.
Let's do a quick rundown of the other Phieas Foggs in the Toobworld Dynamic:

"Around the World in 80 Days"
Played by Pierce Brosnan

"Around the World in Eighty Days" (1972) TV series
Played by Alistair Duncan

Jules Verne's Amazing Journeys - Around the World in 80 Days (2000) (
Played by Alex Taylor 
... aka "Les voyages extraordinaires de Jules Verne - Le tour du monde en 80 jours" - France


"Around the World with Willy Fog"
... aka "La vuelta al mundo de Willy Fog" - Spain (original title)
   Played by Banjô Ginga (as Fog)

"Willy Fog 2"
Played by Claudio Rodríguez (as Willy Fog) 

"Le tour du monde en 80 jours" (1980) TV series
Played by Jean Pellotier (as Philieas Fogg)

Le tour du monde en 80 jours (1979) (TV movie)
Played by Daniel Ceccaldi

Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen (1963)
Played by Alfred Müller

"De reis om de wereld in 80 dagen" (1957)
Played by Senne Rouffaer
(The very first depiction of Phileas Fogg....)
And so there you have it - the many faces of Phileas Fogg in the TV Universe.  But it will be MIchael Praed as seen in the TV series 'The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne' and Patric Knowles in 'Have Gun Will Travel' who will serve as the official portrayals of the English gentleman and adventurer.

Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Mister Fogg!


No comments: