The Extraordinary Voyage of Jules Verne

This documentary explores the legacy of Jules Verne, one of the most prescient novelists in recent history, and reveals the many cases in which his foresight proved accurate.

Released : 2001

Runtime : 60 minutes

For the very first time, this film uncovers the astounding nature of Jules Verne’s prophetic imagination. Author of such classics such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne is best known as Hollywood’s most adapted author. Regarded as the father of science fiction, Verne was an author who foresaw not just the first space missions and submarine voyages to the depths, but movie-making, electronic communications, super-guns and even meteor strikes that could end our civilisation.

With the help of Verne’s great grandson, Jean-Jules Verne, science fiction author and Wired reporter Bruce Sterling, and Jules Verne screen writer Gavin Scott, we visit some of the key locations where Verne lived, worked and wrote; probing the secrets of a man whose work has been translated into more than 150 languages, establishing him as one of the most successful authors who ever lived. Yet Verne’s ‘Extraordinary Adventures’, as they were called, continue to be viewed by many as fantastical stories while in fact his tales of balloon flights in exotic locations, submarines travelling under the ice caps, expeditions into live volcanoes, and even predictions of the exact locations of where the Apollo missions would blast off from and where they would land, were anything but lucky guesses.

The real secret of Verne’s success was his obsessive attention to detail, his use of mathematics, engineering and a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of how the science of his day was likely to progress -and it was not always a comforting vision.

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