Jekyll and Hyde, ITV’s brand spanking new Sunday revival drama aired this weekend with the promise to bring a supernatural feast to a Doctor Who’s age audience– or attempt to win the un-followers of the series, who have lost interest in BBC’s leading sci-fi drama due to the muddled and murky direction it has been led astray into…but that’s just a personal opinion. Firstly, I found it’s success rate of achieving that goal a hit and miss situation but overall I believe it has the foundations for an interesting adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel of 1886.
Written by the creator of The Fast Show and author of successful young adult novels such as the Young Bond series, Charlie Higson has the perfect means to attract the audience that he openly seeks. Jekyll and Hyde, has the promising mythical flare, a crowd pleasing Anti-Hero as played by Tom Bateman and despite the recent flocking of complaints it has just the right amount of ‘scary’ for that 6:30 pm slot. There was one monster in particular called the Harbinger, that made me doubt the show’s credibility and special effects: an awkwardly, near cringe worthy looking head spiked on a elongated neck which only looked even more misplaced on a flabby, bald and over-sized bulldog’s body. However, once that thing was out of sight and mind the rest of the supernatural quirk was far more enjoyable.
Dr. Robert Jekyll, the protagonist with that infamous split personality that we all expect, is in fact the grandson of the doctor that features in the timeless classic and with this being the first episode the origins of his ‘condition’ is not yet known but I do not doubt that we will venture down a monstrous and mythical past rather than see an experiment that went horribly wrong. The transition between Jekyll and Hyde is one of the main factors to my interest in this show, Bateman plays a credible part which can so easily become a farce and being drawn to both sides is where I think this episode flares in excitement. Robert is endearing, polite and every bit of a gentleman which is why the transformation into his alter ego is tantalizingly intriguing and the unpredictable nature of it keeps the viewing experience interesting.
Fun Fact: Grason the Bartender is played by Donald Sumpter, famous for his roles in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Game of Thrones.
Jekyll and Hyde, gives it’s audience a lot to look forward to, Richard E Grant’s Bulstrode and his mysterious MIO, Stephanie Hyam’s Lily Clarke and the strange case surrounding her mother and I desperately can’t wait to find out what Grason knows about the supernatural creatures that are being kept under wraps in this fantastically dark version of Victorian London. I will say that the romance sub plot is a little heavy footed and predictable but I’m hoping for a dark twist that will surprise me. Here’s looking forward to next Sunday!
You can watch Jekyll and Hyde next Sunday at the later time of 7pm on ITV.
Did you tune in on Sunday? What did you think? Do you agree of disagree with my first impressions? Let me know in the comments! And for general television goodness and frequent updates you can follow me on my twitter @bingebox.