What could be more difficult than going around the world in 80 days? Design for a TV show with scenes in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Italy, India, etc. Fortunately, production designer Sebastian Krawinkel was up to the task.
Based on Jules Verne’s classic 1872 novel, the new Masterpiece PBS series Around the world in 80 days is a bit different from the Oscar-winning 1956 film starring David Niven and the 2004 comedy starring Jackie Chan. The latest take is part romance, part action-adventure, with the story following laid-back armchair traveler Phineas Fogg (David Tennant) as he accepts a bet to circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Fogg’s traveling companions include the resourceful French valet Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma) and the ambitious The telegraph of the day journalist Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch), who first introduced the idea in an article.
No stranger to the world of Jules Verne, Krawinkel turned to his own work as art director on the Jackie Chan version. “When I first presented it, I wanted it to be more authentic, more realistic, raw and edgy with saturated colors instead of ‘Disneyesque,'” he said. AD. “My intention was to create items where everyone has a sense of where they are in so many different countries around the world.” To help actors get into the zone, he even considered the smell on sets.
Due to financial constraints and COVID, Romania and Cape Town have become part of eight different countries. The series begins with Fogg in his natural habitat, the stuffy men’s social club known as the Reform Club. Shot in Bucharest, the design is inspired by the original 1836 club in London’s Pall Mall, with Italian Renaissance architecture as inspiration. With decorator Mark Rosinski, they mixed custom leather armchairs with Victorian furniture, white busts on pedestals, shelves lined with faux leather books, and an oversized map showing Fogg’s destinations.