Synopsis: Episode seven sees our world adventures in the wild west where they become involved with a laconic lawman and his prisoner. Back in London Bernard Fortescue is in mourning for his daughter Abigail. While debtors are on the heels of Nyle Bellemy.
It’s Day 65 of their world adventure and Fogg, Abigail, and Passepartout are traveling the rocky mountains by stagecoach. However, their journey is far from smooth and becomes bumpier when they meet lawman Bass Reeves and his prisoner. Things soon become testy when Reeves’s prisoner reveals himself to hold some rather racist views, which are somewhat unsettling to Fogg’s sensibilities. To make matters worse. The prisoner’s companions are gaining fast, which makes a showdown in a wild west town almost inevitable.
This week’s episode is somewhat of a challenging one for the actors as the storyline demands a certain degree of sensitivity. That being said, Gary Beadle does a brilliant job as Bass Reeves, who is apparently the US Marshal by who The Lone Ranger is said to be inspired. The character of Bass Reeves pretty much takes centre stage in this episode and has some strong scenes. One of which sees him getting Passepartout to back off from beating the prisoner by telling him, “We have to be better than them.”
Ibrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch get to unravel their onscreen relationship a little more as Passepartout and Abigail are forced to make things a bit more public. John Light is excellent as the prisoner Ambrose Abernathy who spends a good deal of the story trying to manipulate Fogg.
This for me is the best episode of Around The World in 80 Days to date. I really enjoyed how the writers included Bass Reeves in the story. Indeed it was an interesting choice and allowed for them to tell a nuanced story that dealt with the issue of racism in an educational and entertaining way. The story also gave more development to Passepartout who is easily my favorite character in this series. And is good fodder for a potential spin-off series should the BBC be brave enough.
- CGI & Stunts9.5
- Incidental Music9.5