WARNING: Some spoilers might be included.
Well, hello to you too, Mr. Hyde…
There’s something about good british television (drama in particular) that completely sets it apart from the rest.
Is it the moral ambiguity of the characters?
Is it the limited budgets – compared to American TV budgets – that force writers to create more character driven stories instead of effects driven stories?
Is it the efficiency in storytelling?
Is it a question of style or a great literary legacy?
The point is, there’s a lot of good television produced in Britain, like Touching Evil, Ultraviolet, Doctor Who, and many many others.
The latest addition to my list of favorites is Jekyll, written by Steven Moffat, creator of the great Coupling, which starred the great Gina Bellman (one of Jekyll’s leads).
Jekyll is an alternate version, or – as Mr. Moffat pointed out in an interview – a sequel to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is a very modern take on the classic tale that is surprisingly full of little twists, making it seem very original amongst it’s many incarnations.
I’ve never read the book, but as everybody knows exactly what it is about even if they haven’t read it before, Jekyll should at least serve as motivation to get the book and quit being so damn lazy.
A wonderful aspect of Jekyll is the actual transformation of the main character, Dr. Jackman, a victim of his genetic legacy, into Mr. Hyde. Instead of making Mr. Hyde a horrible monstrosity, the physical changes are very subtle. It is the personality that completely changes, giving us the idea of two completely different people living in one body, instead of just one person becoming another.
At the core of the tale there’s also a love story; the type of love story all girly girls dream about but told in a very twisted way. And the effectiveness of this story is amplified by the excellent performances of Gina Bellman (who completely surprised me because I only knew her as the actress who played the ditzy girl in Coupling) and James Nesbitt.
I’m currently watching Murphy’s Law and Mr. Nesbitt is just as great in it as he is in Jekyll.
JAMES NESBITT. What a talent. I can’t imagine anyone else being able to get the job done the way he did.
So to end this little review:
STEVEN MOFFAT, I salute you.
And please, watch this wonderful miniseries if you haven’t. It is worth every second of your time.