Jackman is a modern day Dr Jekyll with an old dilemma - his
body also houses the devilish Mr Hyde. But they have a cunning
arrangement - a body share - and an impossible life is somehow
lived. What Hyde doesn't know is that Jackman is married -
there's a wife and two children he'll do anything to protect
from his dark side. With all the resources of modern technology,
and the best surveillance hardware, he's determined to keep
his evil side in line. He's done a deal with his own devil.
What neither of them knows is that an ancient organisation,
with limitless wealth and power, is monitoring their every
move, and that a plan, over a century in the making, is coming
to fruition. It seems the return of Dr Jekyll is no accident...
Tom Jackman's life has been turned upside down. Recently,
he's been playing host to an uninvited guest - a dangerous
alter-ego. Desperate to protect his wife Claire and children
from his dark side, Tom's has been forced to leave his old
life behind and strike a deal with his own devil.
and his alter-ego have hired a psychiatric nurse, Katherine
Reimer, to oversee their deal. When Tom sleeps, Hyde takes
over his body. Neither of them are privy to the other's thoughts,
or what they get up to once they are in charge of the body.
two have worked out a symbiotic relationship where they can
communicate with one another via a dictaphone. This deal means
that Hyde won't kill anyone, otherwise Tom has threatened
to turn himself in; and Tom can't work on a cure for his condition
or Hyde will kill them both.
is a six-part series that was originally broadcast on the
BBC in June/July 2007. As I write this review episodes 1-4
have been broadcast already, with the DVD release set to be
released shortly after the series completes its transmission.
This release is being marketed as Jekyll: Series 1 -
which surprised me a little, as this series is pretty self-contained.
While the BBC could well revisit the show for another series,
I can't really see the point as there's not really anywhere
else they can go from here.
originally broadcast some of the scenes were edited - mainly
for bad language - and it's good to see that all the scenes
have been survived, unedited, for the DVD release. Although,
having said that, there are some scenes that should have been
left on the cutting room floor. Sadly, poor old Gina Bellman
has some awful lines that are impossible to deliver believably.
There is a scene in episode one where she talks of Tom acting
like he's lying at the bottom of a pond and that someone should
drain that pond... cut from the BBC transmission, it's been
reinstated for the DVD release.
are more cringeworthy lines in episodes five and six. But,
as I'm writing this review before they have been broadcast,
I've no idea whether these were cut or not.
was also unsure what to make of Benjamin - the American villain.
Paterson Joseph does an incredibly good job with the accent,
and his acting is superb. But I couldn't help but feel that
his character was a little too much like a pantomime villain.
guest stars all turn in great performances, especially Denis
Lawson (who Star Wars fans will remember as Wedge Antilles
in the original trilogy); Michelle Ryan (soon to be seen in
the lead role of The Bionic Woman) and Gina Bellman
(Coupling). Also look out for a brief cameo by Mark
Gatiss (League of Gentlemen). But the whole production
rests on the shoulders of whether James Nesbitt can pull off
the duel roles of Tom and Hyde. Thankfully he can, but I must
admit to being a little worried that he was a little flat
in the very first scene - don't worry it soon becomes apparent
that is how he's supposed to be.
plenty of humour, subtle and otherwise. I loved Hyde's taste
in music: Lion King and other Disney Favourites; and
there's a great scene where the organisation is tracking Tom
via his mobile phone. Someone points out that he's moving,
at which point Benjamin explodes, yelling: "Of course
he's moving. He's on a train." To which Peter Syme simply
says: "You really don't have the hang of England yet,
include audio commentaries on episodes one and six; Anatomy
of a Scene (15 minute look at the Lion's Den scene); The
Tale Retold (35 minute featurette that goes behind the
scenes on the series).
audio commentaries are interesting. Here the writer points
out that in episode one there is a pretty bad mistake (which
to be honest I doubt most people will catch) which ruins the
entire story for those who are really paying attention.
was also a little surprised to see that Contender Home Entertainment
are marketing this with an RRP of £30. While this collection
is worth the money - you do get six hours of quality drama
after all - I couldn't help thinking that a £20 price
tag was more in keeping with the market.
end result is a strong, quality drama that will go down in
history as one of the best adaptations of the classic tale.