In the sixth episode of Around The World In 80 Days, Phileas Fogg, Passepartout and Abigail Fix find themselves stranded on a desert island. With no-one around and nothing to do, the trio are forced to confront their secrets, bringing them closer to each other than ever before.
There’s been plenty of hairy situations in the BBC’s globe-trotting period drama Around The World In 80 Days recently, but at the end of the fifth episode, things really seemed to have reached a nadir when the dastardly Thomas Kneedling held Phileas Fogg at gunpoint. Would the explorer really meet his end on the high seas, or would his companions come to the rescue just in the nick of time?
As it turns out, there are no heroic rescues this time around. At the beginning of the sixth episode, Fogg, Passepartout and Abigail Fix have been cast adrift from the ship in a tiny rowing boat, presumably at Kneedling’s doing. To make matters worse, a raging storm is brewing, and on day 47, Fogg opens his eyes to find himself washed up on the shore of a beach.
Thankfully, Fix and Passepartout have also survived, albeit spluttering copious amounts of seawater. With the trio reunited, Fogg speculates that they might be in south-east Asia. They decide to walk the island to find signs of civilisation, while Fix reminisces about all her intimate moments with Passepartout. Their spirits soon dampen, though, when it dawns on Fogg that they are in fact walking in circles on a tiny desert island.
Meanwhile, back at the Reform Club, the conniving Bellamy receives a note saying that the wager is won. When Fortescue enquires about his news, Bellamy replies that a business venture has suddenly turned favourable.
Back on the island, Fix assigns everyone tasks: Passepartout is to find water, Fogg is to build a shelter, and she will forage for food. Passepartout manages to locate a source of fresh water, but Fix isn’t so lucky: the fruit she collects is practically inedible. The trio manage to build a makeshift shelter just as another storm hits. As the rain pours down, Fogg apologises sincerely to Passepartout and Fix for marooning them on the island, saying his ego and pride are responsible for making him believe that he was capable of undertaking the journey. He also says that he’ll never forget the loyalty that his two companions have shown him, unaware of Passepartout’s betrayal.
The following day, Fix tells Passepartout that they need to do something to stop Fogg from believing that the calamities are solely his fault, and that they are both in part culpable for bringing him to this low ebb. She warns that if his melancholia continues to deepen, he could die.
Passepartout resolves to speak to Fogg and make him see sense. He tells Fogg that Kneedling has been trying to sabotage their journey for weeks. When Fogg asks how Passepartout knows Kneedling, he admits that he accepted a bribe from him to delay the journey, but soon realised the error of his ways. Incensed, Fogg then informs Fix about all Passepartout’s indiscretions. Despite Fix’s attempts to mediate, Fogg declares that Passepartout’s betrayal is unforgivable, and banishes him from their company. He then declares his intention to build a raft from driftwood and ingenuity and sail away from the island, leaving Passepartout behind.
But Passepartout won’t give up on the friendship without a fight, and declares his intention to make amends. He proves his resourcefulness when he catches and cooks lobsters, which immediately wins the approval of a famished Fix.
Back at the Reform Club, Fortescue is informed by an ambassador from the foreign office that Fogg and Fix have been reported missing. Bellamy keeps quiet, leaving his friend in anguish.
Elsewhere, Passepartout suggests to Fix that the person behind the attempts to sabotage their journey is actually Bellamy, as he stands to win money from the wager. Fogg overhears and denounces the theory, claiming that Bellamy is one of his oldest friends. But later that evening, Fix tells Fogg in their shelter that she agrees with Passepartout’s suggestion. She also forces Fogg to confront the reality that Passepartout has made many painful sacrifices on the journey, including losing his brother in France and shooting an enemy in Africa to protect his companions; actions that have gone completely unacknowledged and unappreciated.
During the night, as torrential rain falls, Passepartout toils away fixing the raft that Fogg had attempted to build for their getaway. When Fogg awakes the next day, he finds a strong raft standing outside their shelter cleverly bound together with vines. Fix declares that she believes Passepartout has truly changed his character, while Fogg declares that if they launch the raft that day, the wager might yet be won.
Back in England, the newspaper headlines announce that Fogg and Fix have been lost at sea. At the Reform Club, Bellamy is asked to say a few words in Fogg’s honour, to which he reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, there’s further trouble for the travellers. After working on the raft in the rain, Passepartout has contracted a fever, and when Fix finds him, he’s freezing cold and shivering violently. Fogg puts him in their shelter and rubs his feet, and even asks Fix to lay beside Passepartout to help raise his body temperature. But with dusk falling and Passepartout showing no signs of recovery, they’re left with no choice but to burn the raft to keep the fire going.
The sacrifice pays off, and by the morning, Passepartout is on the mend. As they sit together by the fire, Fogg says that he believes Passepartout and Fix are in fact right about Bellamy. He then tells them the story of Estella, and how they were planning to marry and travel the world together. Bellamy, he recalls, was against it and repeatedly told Fogg that he wasn’t worthy of Estella or capable of undertaking their grand journey.
The seeds of doubt took hold, and Fogg explains how he made an excuse to Estella when they had boarded the ship about leaving a suitcase behind. He got off the ship and returned home, while Estella sailed away on the ship and out of Fogg’s life. Fogg admits that abandoning Estella is the thing he is most ashamed of and that he most regrets, and that he never felt that bond with anyone ever again – that is, until he embarked upon the trip around the world with Passepartout and Fix.
Later on, Passepartout and Fix talk a walk together on the beach. Passepartout declares how it is easy to misjudge people before you get to know them properly. Fix asks Passepartout what he thought of her when they first met. He says that he thought she was bossy and opinionated, but and also clever, independent, and very beautiful. Upon this admission, the pair draw together for a kiss; but they’re interrupted by cries from Fogg, who has spotted a ship on the horizon. They shout for its attention and are saved by its sailors, who send a lifeboat to fetch them. Even better, the trio learn that the ship is bound for America, allowing them to continue their journey as planned. But before they sail away, Fogg declares in a heartfelt moment that he won’t ever forget the time he spent on the island with his companions.
Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.