Jekyll – a new take on an old story
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the original story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde in his book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, which has been covered many times in film and on tv. The basis of the story is of the mild-mannered genius Dr. Henry Jekyll, having an alter-ego as evil Mr Edward Hyde.
The BBC have updated the story in their TV drama “Jekyll”. James Nesbitt of Cold Feet and Murphy’s Law takes the lead as Dr Tom Jackman, a supposed ancestor of Dr. Jekyll, and the twisted Mr Hyde. Dr Jackman was abandoned by his mother as a young baby and left near a railway track. Gentle and brilliant by nature, he tries to keep the existance of the arrogant carnivore Hyde as a secret from his family. The two characters share the same body but know little of each other.
It is a convincing performance from James Nesbitt whose features get harder, teeth more visible and sharper, hair slicked back and manner more confident as the Hyde character. Dr Jackman awakes after a transformation wondering why he is blood soaked and his memory has been erased. To add to the plot Dr. Jackman is being followed by organisation intent on luring out Mr Hyde.
In tonight’s episode (the second of the series), Hyde found out that Jackman had children and communicated by a telephone that was not in operation. Jackman took his children to the zoo for the day only to find that his son had been placed in the lion enclosure. This was the work of the secret organisation who had bought the zoo and placed the child in danger.
Jackman scaled the heights of the lions cage to roar back at a lion who was about to attack his son. Next was a scene of a dead lion ending up on the top of the organisation’s van and a blood soaked and ranting Hyde commanding the lions. He later proceeded to tie a naked man to a chair, make him deaf and blind with most bones broken and dumped him on the floor of the local hospital. Having seen what happened to the man and meeting a woman claiming to be his mother, Dr. Jackman took a heavy dose of tablets akin to Pro Plus, he vowed that Hyde would never take over.
It’s an interesting twist on an old story, but as Nesbitt plays Hyde in a “Hannibal Lecter” fashion, it perhaps ought be screened later than 9pm.