Sunday 24 June 2007

Only two episodes in and we're already way over the top (repost from other blog)

James Nesbitt is having great fun on BBC 1 at 9 pm Saturdays, in a completely over-the-top performance as Dr. Jackman -- a modern day Dr. Jekyll. It's a case of split personality, with extra features. For instance, when the good doctor changes into Mr. Hyde (yes, the villain chooses that name) he has enormous, not to say superhuman strength and incredible agility. And being set in modern times, the story incorporates a good deal of modern technology. But just when you think something is about to be explained, something else occurs to let you know that nothing is even remotely simple. Secrets abound, concerning almost every character in the story, so you really don't know where you are.

This series has the advantage of being written by Steven Moffat, who wrote the recent, very spooky Doctor Who episode Blink, as well as previous Who episodes, notably last year's wonderful The Girl in the Fireplace.

We've seen two episodes of Jekyll out of six, and so far it's been a roller-coaster of manic, gory fun. I hope it doesn't just fizzle out.

(As a companion piece to Jekyll, BBC Four has shown a one-off documentary, Ian Rankin Investigates: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which relates how Robert Louis Stevenson came to write the original.)