Monday, August 06, 2007

BBC's Jekyll is Damned Good

When I first heard of this project, I rolled my eyes and sighed, "Not ANOTHER Jekyll and Hyde story". I think someone suggested that I watch it in the comments. I did and WOW! I did a marathon of the mini-series and was done with it in two days.
Jekyll is a British television drama series produced by Hartswood Films and Stagescreen Productions for BBC One. It was created by Jeffrey Taylor and stars James Nesbitt as Tom Jackman, a modern-day descendant of Dr. Jekyll, who has recently begun transforming into a version of Mr. Hyde (also played by Nesbitt). The series is described by its creators as a sequel to the novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, rather than an adaptation of it, and the Robert Louis Stevenson tale is used within the series as a backstory.
This version of Jekyll is a meek, frayed Dr. Jackman as the descendant of Jekyll and a sort of weird, psychotic BRITISH Tony Montana (Scarface) as Mr. Hyde. In plain spoken terms, James Nisbitt can act his ass off. He really pulled this off. It had suspense, action, sex, humor, lions, technobabble and even a costumed period piece.

The cast was stellar! I've never seen James Nisbitt in anything before but I recognized a lot of his co-stars. First my favorite, Paterson Joseph as Benjamin. He was The Marquis De Carabas in Neverwhere and also guest starred in Doctor Who's Bad Wolf and The Parting of Ways. Next was Denis Lawson as Peter. He was Wedge Antilles in Star Wars!!! We also have a new face that we're about to be really familiar with, her name is Michelle Ryan and she played Katherine. She is also the new Bionic Woman.

The meat of the story was Dr. Jackman trying to control Mr. Hyde and find out where he came from, who is following him and what they know about his condition. The potatoes of the story was finding out how there could be a descendant of Dr. Jekyll because the good doctor didn't "breed". There's a weird cloning twist that I won't go into and perhaps a bit of time travel.

This was a very different approach to the story and is totally worth watching. The BBC has really impressed me these past couple of years. They are really stepping up their game.

5 comments:

TllGurl said...

Well, it looks like it's time to "catch a flight on BT Airlines" over to the UK' (wink-wink) and check out Dr Jekyll. (I'm making a t-shirt that says: "BT Airlines: Ain't technology grand?!")
It would be nice if some of the pay cable networks like HBO and Showtime would buy some of the BBC shows so we could see them here...without the commercials and the censorship editing for content.

scifirantergirl said...

The flight is SO worth it. I didn't have to try to like this show. It was just likable with no questions asked.

Brian said...

I'm also watching the BBC miniseries, Jekyll. The actor that is playing the lead, James Nesbitt, is amazing. I've never seen an actor play such a wide range of emotions and switch from one emotion to another so quickly. They use the color of his eyes as a means of letting you know which of the two personas he is playing, but you almost don't need that trick because his acting and even his appearance and the way he carries himself lets you know which personality he is portraying. He should get an Emmy.

Debra said...

My friend and I bought the DVD box set and watched it all weekend. I can't believe how much I love it now!!!! I felt a serious attachment to Hyde, he's so... lost in a way. First he threatens to 'eat his childern' then he wants to 'be a superman'. I loved the ending the most I think, James Nesbitt made me cry when Hyde died, he was just so... lovable. I made a t-shirt that says 'my dark side likes mary poppins' and wore it to a concert.

scifirantergirl said...

Debra, I was just thing how good this show was the other day. I was also thinking that they should get Nesbitt over to the Bionic Woman set, maybe shake things up a bit.