ITV’s Jekyll & Hyde




Premise: A descendant of Dr. Jekyll must fight his dual nature in 1930s London

Verdict: Not better than Jekyll… [and not particularly good]

The ultimate battle between good and evil. It is quite a poetic concept and I can’t blame storytellers for wanting to rehash this concept over and over again. But a new twist is necessary. In this case, ITV pitched the series as “superhero themed Jekyll & Hyde”. [The guys who pitched it clearly thought they were working for The CW]. If you are confused by this concept… you are not alone.

This new adaptation of the classic story is set in the 1930s – taking it away from the much more interesting Victorian period – and focuses on Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original Dr. Jekyll who has obviously inherited his predisposition to… shall we say “hulk-out”? [Hey… ITV planted the ‘superhero’ notion… not me]. That’s the basic idea, then there is a good girl, and a bad girl [who works at a bar with Maester Luwin] and a group of guys who are some sort of Fringe Division agents and have a disgusting creature locked up in a dungeon.

I was not intrigued by the mythology at all. Even the idea of the descendent was already used on Jekyll… but we’ll get to that later. In regards to the tone… I am not sure what it was supposed to be. At points, it looked like your average subtle British drama with a hint of sci-fi [which would have been fine by me]… but then it crossed the supernatural line and featured creatures and monsters and ended up looking like a BBC show with a CW complex. Furthermore, the show focused too much on the “monster” and his abilities rather than the moral struggle [which is the true core of the story].

Finally, it is inevitable to make comparisons to the masterpiece that was Jekyll. The shows are different enough that comparisons shouldn’t be attempted. However, contrasting the performances is fair game. And let’s just say that James Nesbitt is in an entirely different league.

Should you watch it? I know I keep saying not to judge a show by the first episode… but I just can’t bring myself to watch more... If I wanted to watch a ‘Mr. Hyde superhero’ type, I would just go and rewatch CW’s Beauty and the Beast for the 100th time [which kind of is a veiled adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde if you think about it]


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TVEmpress

The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

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