Just a point to clear up, does the quality of the picture REALLY detract from a quality programme? Firstly, when watching this I didn't even notice much of a problem with the quality of picture, and secondly, if you take a piece of arse filmage and polish it up, does it make it good? No. The purpose of Around The World In 80 Days wasn't to be yet another celeb glam travel programme, it was meant to be a proper trial, a task, a race against time. The gritty film style gives a wonderful earthy, 'real' feel, backs up the impression that this is a bunch of people desperately trying to get round the world in 80 days. I found this series unique in that respect, several moments arise when the entire project could be scuppered thanks to delays here, strikes there, unforseen circumstance x .... sometimes there is no time for Palin to explore some of the exotic locations that his journey take him through. Just enough time for a quick hello before moving onto another form of transport. No carefully set up panning shots of your typical glitzy holiday programme, the essence here is the race. As a result of this dash around the world, the locations take second place to the characters that Palin meets. Everything is served up with the wonderful commentry by Palin himself, rather than just sitting back and vegetating in front of this, it actually excites.
You don't find that much in the way of extras with this, but its a nice lengthy series anyway ... plus you do get a nice interview with Palin on the third disc. Its something that you can find yourself returning to time and time again, feeling sad each time as Palin journeys through England to the finish line as you know that the adventure is over again. A fine DVD, and definately looking forward to other such as Pole To Pole and Full Circle being mastered to DVD. Unique.