"The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne"
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Index 15 reviews in total 

12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Excellent premise, mostly successful

Author: grendelkhan from Xanadu
6 June 2003

The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne was a fine series that suffered from a lack of network support and a lack of budget. Despite those flaws, it was quite entertaining. Using a favorite steampunk premise, it imagined a world where Phileas Fogg and Passepartout are as real as their creator Jules Verne. In fact, they, along with Fogg's cousin Rebecca, are friends and companions. Together they work to stop the League of Darkness and other foul villains.

Michael Praed was outstanding as Fogg, now a retired secret agent and gentlemen. He is joined by valet and comic relief Passepartout, played with great aplomb by Michael Courtemanche. Courtemanche was adept with both physical and verbal comedy and made a decent adventurer. He gets a chance to shine in "Royalty" where he gets to perform a dual role as King Carl, ala the Prisoner of Zenda. Christopher Demetral is passable as Verne, but he lacks emotional depth and his performance could be wooden. The real standout was Fancesca Hunt as Rebecca Fogg. She was a sort of Victorian Emma Peel, and carried the role off with style and grace.

Despite the limited budget, the series matched the imagination of Verne. Many of the fantastic ideas from Verne's stories found themselves recreated; from the airship Aurora to the League of Darkness' aerial battleship Prometheus, inspired by Robur's Albatross, no doubt. The designs were inventive, while maintaining the Victorian feel.

Although I preferred the scientific plots to the supernatural; both were carried out quite well. Some of the history is a bit incorrect, such as Jesse and Frank James carrying Colt Peacemakers during the Civil War, but it is a fantasy series.

This is a series I wold have liked to have seen continued; but, I fear it was not commercial enough to be successful. It's a shame really, as the series would appeal to fans of the Wild, Wild West and lovers of the works of Jules Verne. Considering that Verne gave birth to speculative fiction (i.e. science fiction) I would think that the audience would be quite large. Definitely worth seeking out.

Some personal favorites from among the episodes: "In the Beginning", "The Cardinal's Design" and "The Cardinal's Revenge", "Lord of Air and Darkness", "Southern Comfort", "Let There Be Light" and "The Ballad of Steely Joe".

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A delightfully different show!

Author: Lagniappe from USA
28 April 2001

"The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne" is not a show ruled by conventions. It strays far from the formulaic scripts that seem to dominate network television. After all, when was the last time you saw a show that dealt with rocket-powered Victorian vampires, mechanical gunslingers, time travel and the Holy Grail? Is it science fiction? Is it fantasy? Is it action/adventure? Is it historical drama? Is it camp? All of the above? I don't know. What I do know is that it is refreshingly different.

Granted, Jules Verne ain't Shakespeare, and the first few episodes had more than a fair share of "cringe" and "wince" moments. However, the interesting plots, complex characters and fantastical gadgets kept me coming back. Thank goodness, as the show has done nothing but improve. The characters (and actors) really seem to be hitting their stride. What a combination: The angst-ridden Phileas Fogg; his daring, dynamic secret-agent cousin, Rebecca; the erratic genius/ funnyman, Passepartout and the young, idealistic and accident-prone, Jules Verne. Add escapades all over the globe (and through time) and you've got endless possibilities for adventure!

Furthermore, in a medium which too often relies on gratuitous violence and vulgar language for cheap thrills, "Jules Verne" is one television show the whole family can watch and enjoy without having to worry about R-rated content.

So, if you are seeking something outside the mainstream, something alternately brilliant and cheesy, something both humorous and tragic, something clever, cryptic and occasionally outrageous, this may be it!

This show more than deserves a second season… and a third… and a forth…

Keep the Aurora Flying!

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I am recommending this series because I feel it is amazing, creative, and something the whole family can enjoy together.

Author: DanaanM from Springfield, Mo
1 May 2001

"The Secret Adventures Of Jules Verne" is the most creative and visually stunning series I have seen....well ever. The actors are Perfect for their roles: Michael Praed as Phileas Fogg is a man tormented by tragedy and betrayal. He would be living the life of a gentleman of means if not for his cousin Rebecca Fogg. Need I mention that Michael Praed is an actor who can play all the complex emotions that Phileas tries to keep under control and can show more feelings with his soulful eyes than most actors can with their whole bodies. Rebecca Fogg is played by Franchesca Hunt. Rebecca is not a shrinking Victorian Violet. She is the British Secret Service's first female agent. Trying to keep her alive keeps pulling Phileas back into danger and adventure. Passepartout is Phileas valet. He is played to perfection by Michel Courtemanche. This includes not only inventing ingenious if sometimes wacky items that he feels Phileas might need but also doing a wicked impersonation of his master from time to time. And last but not least is Jules Verne. He is played with just the right amount of idealism and eagerness by Chris Demetral. But he is growing up and seeing the world through different eyes. Jules is living the adventures he will write about. Chris is careful not to play him overly exciteable like a puppy but as a young man wanting to know everything he can about the world. Phileas has taken Jules under his wing to make sure he doesn't end up as disillusioned as Phileas is himself . If you want to watch a show that combines the very latest in HDTV technology with creative and lively story lines you need look no further than "The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne". It is currently showing at sat. night/sunday morning at 1am eastern on Scifi. But it will be going into wide syndication this fall. Look for it!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful!

Author: Lestrade42 from USA
25 April 2001

Wonderful! This series is a breath of fresh air to this season of TV. Most networks are too inundated with 'Reality TV'. It's wonderful to see something so creative. The show has a very distinctive look to it and is marvelously made. The actors give top rate performances. I hope the Sci Fi channel realizes what a wonderful thing they have in their hands and keep it going.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Character-Driven Science Fiction

Author: ephian from Chicago
21 April 2001

In the genre of science fiction television that is known for lack of well-developed characters, "The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne" is delightful exception to the rule. The four regular characters, Phileas and Rebecca Fogg, Jules Verne, and Passepartout, wander the world of the 1860's in Phileas' fantastic dirigible the Aurora. Phileas, played by Michael Praed, is an ex-British Secret Service agent, an adventurer and a gambler, out to enjoy his pleasures but forever being diverted to aid his friends. His distant cousin Rebecca, played by Francesca Hunt, is a nineteenth-century Mrs. Peel, an agent extraordinaire who mixes strength and daring with warmth and vulnerability. Chris Demetral's Jules Verne is a young visionary, a blend of innocence and insight that forges a link with these people who recognize his extraordinary gifts. And Michel Courtemanche brings a wonderful blend of humor and intelligence to the inventive valet. It has humor, it has adventure, it has mystery, it has sexual tension (everyone is attracted to Rebecca, including Phileas and Jules), it has angst (watch for Phileas' reasons for quitting the secret service). It is science fiction with a refreshing nineteenth-century twist. There is a weakness in the early episodes in plot lines, but plots get better quickly. Stick with the series and it's a real treat. And kudos to Francesca Hunt's Rebecca, the strongest and most appealing female character on television today.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A wonderful idea carried off with style.

8/10
Author: captnemo from Skull Island
3 March 2001

There are 22 episodes at the moment, making the first season. How many more seasons there will/may be depends on ratings here and elsewhere. SF Channel started with episode #2- "Queen Victoria & the Giant Mole." The first episode is called "In The Beginning." I hope we get to see it. I am enjoying the show a lot. It's not the greatest, but it's getting better each week. It's sort of "Wild, Wild West" plus "The Avengers" with a little "Dr. Who" thrown in. There are four very engaging characters here, all doing fine work. Michael Praed is terrific as Phileas Fogg. Cris Demetral is good as Verne. Michel Courtemanche is funny and clever as Passepartout. However, the real standout in the cast is Francesca Hunt as Rebecca Fogg, Phileas' cousin. She has to be the most interesting woman on television since Mrs. Emma Peel. Sorry, Xena. Rebecca Fogg has all the class, sex appeal and moves of Mrs. Peel, but is a bit less aristocratic. This is not a knock on Emma, but it does make Rebecca a bit more earthy and enticing. I look forward to Miss Hunt having a long career. All in all, this show is better than just about everything currently on the big 3 networks. Let's just hope that it can build an audience and stick around for 5-6 seasons.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The best show on TV

Author: Iame from USA
8 December 2001

I am very pleased to say that there is a reason to watch television again. Say hello to The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. The show follows the adventures of Jules Verne, Phileas Fogg, Rebecca Fogg, and Phileas' servant Pasportux(I hope I spelled his name right) as they face danger at every corner. The show is safe for children, and will still amuse their parents. I recommend The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne to everyone.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Quite a treat to watch

Author: Tamarae from Boise, ID
27 April 2001

Meet Phileas Fogg, the owner of the Aruora a fantastic flying ship and employer to a mechanical genius and sometimes vocabulary confused valet named Passpartout. Fogg was Great Britian's best secret service agent. A bitter parting of ways with the organization has him wanting nothing more than the opportunity of gambling in Europe's finest casinos. Instead, he keeps on getting dragged into adventures due to the missions of his cousin Rebecca (England's first female secret service agent) and his friendship with (and mentorship of) the young idealistic writer Jules Verne.

Set in the middle of the 19th century `The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne' operates on the assumption that the events Mr. Verne wrote about in his 50 plus works were actually experienced by him. This is quite a fantastic notion if you think about it. It is also quite a daunting task for anyone who attempts to translate this type of Science Fiction tale on screen. Fortunately, the right people are involved and they give the viewer a unique and different take on the genre.

`Jules Verne' is part Western with a European slant, a historical drama with an undercurrent of Science Fiction, and an adventurous journey into the realm of imagination with some comedic elements as well. This is also a world devoid of computers and modern technology. Even though fantastic machines are present the characters still have to rely on themselves and each other to get out of the situations they find themselves in.

The characters are very well developed and three-dimensional. It is exciting to watch how well they interact with each other. At the core of the show is the meaning of friendship. These people truly care about each other. When one of their members gets into a tight corner the others come to their aid. They are also comfortable enough in each other's company to confide and enjoy a bit of humor at a member's expense.

As for the actors themselves, their display of friendship is genuine. You actually believe that they are friends. One also gets to see how the parts are well played and well thought out. There is such attention to detail from Phileas Fogg's immaculate appearing gentleman, to Passpartout's devoted servant, to Rebecca Fogg's espionage tactics to Jules Verne's sometimes-headstrong hopeful optimism. Each displays their own view on the tales that they participate in.

And what tales they are. There is some genuine storytelling going on here, which is rare in this particular era of television. The viewer finds himself or herself caught up in the episode wondering what is coming up next. Each story is different. Some of the episodes are a bit darker in tone, others a bit lighter and others use a combination of both.

There is also the pleasure of watching the characters interact with real life figures of the times. We get to see Queen Victoria (who is Rebecca Fogg's unofficial godmother), `Three Musketeers' author Alexandre Dumas (a personal friend of the real life Jules Verne) and burgeoning outlaw Jesse James during an adventure out West. This is great for those who like history and enjoy historical novels. It also creates a lot of what ifs and is a great opportunity to create an enthusiasm for history during the adventure that is taking place.

Along with the history aspect we are treated to other elements and some fine action. Phileas Fogg, when necessary, uses a sword and his fists (sometimes his head as well). Rebecca Fogg has a nice arsenal hidden about her petticoats and isn't above hand to hand combat either. Jules Verne doesn't participate in the action as much. He tries to use his intellect to solve the problems. Passpartout, on the other hand, provides some comic relief and gets to invent/create machines that help our heroes out in certain situations.

There is a lot to see and hear with each episode and many layers to unfold. A second viewing allows a person to see the show from another vantage. It is quite a treat to watch.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Why I Love This Show

10/10
Author: ToneeRhianRose from Odessa, TX
22 July 2007

This show is a really great action/adventure about the Jules Verne stories. I miss it very much and would love to see it on DVD for other people to enjoy. It has a stunning cast which includes Chris Demetral as Jules Verne, Michael Praed as Phileas Fogg, Francesca Hunt as Rebecca Fogg, and Michel Courtemanche as Passepartout. I wish it had gone on for more than just 1 season cause it was a truly great show. If you love Sci-fi shows, you'll definitely love this show. Chris is simply brilliant as the character of Jules Verne. He really brought him to life. There are quite a few clips of this show on YouTube if you'd like to see it, input The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne into the search box. If you like what you see, vote for it at http://tvshowsondvd.com/showinfo.cfm?showID=5491 so that future generations can see this show too.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good production let down by poor writing.

Author: wgray-3 from Omaha, Nebraska
24 April 2001

This is a show I really wanted to succeed. I've been a fan of shows like The Wild Wild West, The Avengers and Doctor Who all my life. And since this show is, in essence, an amalgam of all three, I eagerly looked forward to seeing it. I really wanted it to work.

And most of it does.

The production design, photography and visual effects are very good, especially for a rather modestly budgeted production. And although Chris Demetral is a little wan as Jules Verne, the rest of the cast is top-notch, particularly Francesca Hunt as British secret agent Rebecca Fogg. Hunt's is one of the best-realized performances I have ever seen, an absolutely perfect match of actor and role. As good as they are, though, it's hard for them to get past the cliché-ridden, haphazardly plotted, predictable scripting (particularly by series creator Gavin Scott, who was, as I understand it, deposed halfway through the series' 22 episode run).

This is a show that would probably benefit from getting a few more episodes under its belt. But I wouldn't hold my breath. Despite initially getting a great timeslot on the Sci-Fi channel (right after their most popular show, Farscape) the show failed to garner much of an audience and is now banished to the middle of the night graveyard shift , where no one will see it.

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