It’s a Small World in An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Around

Warwick Davis is introduced into the mix and the laughs pile on immediately with the new season of An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Around

Credit: Discovery

Grouchy Karl Pilkington is joined by Warwick Davis in the third season of Ricky Gervais’s An Idiot Abroad

Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington welcome Warwick Davis to the Idiot family with An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Around

There’s no denying Karl Pilkington is one of the strangest celebrities to emerge in recent history. A man with limited education, a worldview that can fit into a thimble and no demonstrable talent, Pilkington has become a media sensation precisely because of these qualities, with his bizarre ideas and aversion to anything beyond his comfort zone providing endless fodder for Ricky Gervais in the wildly popular podcasts they recorded with Stephen Merchant. 

After ending the podcast, Pilkington was sent packing in An Idiot Abroad, in which Gervais hilariously — and somewhat sadistically — sent his pal on a series of globe-trotting adventures to see the Seven Wonders of the World, and then had him tackle the ultimate travel bucket list in the show’s second season. 

In the third — and, apparently, final — season, Gervais has cooked up something even more unique by sending Pilkington to retrace the footsteps of Marco Polo by embarking on an 8,000-kilometre journey from Venice to China in the three-part series, An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Around, airing in its entirety this Sunday on Discovery. 

Warwick Davis Joins the Fray

This time Pilkington won’t be flying solo, and will be accompanied by three-foot-six Star Wars/Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis, who recently played a ridiculously creepy version of himself in the Gervais-Merchant comedy Life’s Too Short

The comedy is instantaneous as soon as these two are paired, with diminutive Davis emerging as an anything-goes adventure-seeker while Pilkington remains a moaning complainer for whom nothing is too small to whine about. 

In the first episode, airing at 4 p.m., Pilkington and Davis begin their odyssey in Venice, where they attend a masked ball, submit to a not-that-pleasurable “Pleasure Machine” and test-fly a water-propelled jet pack, yielding one of Pilkington’s funniest-ever moments.

In the second episode, airing at 5 p.m., the two hit the road and travel to India, which, as viewers of the show’s previous seasons will recall, is Pilkington’s least-favourite destination ever. To help cheer up his miserable travelling companion, Davis introduces him to laughing yoga before they both star in a Bollywood movie. 

The series concludes at 6 p.m. with the duo finally reaching the Far East, where Gervais has cooked up such activities as an unorthodox cruise along the Yangtze River and a visit with the bears at a panda sanctuary.

An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Around premieres Sunday, July 14, at 4 pm on Discovery.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.