The miniseries – written by Steven Moffat is a modern day story based on the famous classic story “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Jekyll is not really an adaptation, but a rather a present day continuation of the classic story.
The brilliant research scientist Dr. Jackman, wonderfully played by James Nesbitt, has the experience of blackouts in his life, where an alternative personality totally take control, as well as some visible physiological changes take place. The resulting Mr Hyde is (not unexpectedly) a darker, more violent personality.
The story is very well told, with some rather unexpected twists and turns, the least surprising element being that the original “Jekyll/Hyde” story is not fictional at all, and the assumed to be fictional Dr. Jekyll was a historical person, and Dr. Jackman, abandoned by his mother as an infant, is a descendant of the original Dr Jekyll – well – really of Mr Hyde, since Dr Jekyll had no (official) descendants. Even the old photos of Dr Jekyll show a stunning resemblance with Dr Jackman.
The story features an unknown organisation, claiming to have waited for more than 100 years to find and “cultivate” a “Mr. Hyde”. Also we get a revelation of what really caused Mr. Hyde to appear.
At the end of the story, when we should think the story is over, there is a wonderful revelation showing that the story never really ends.
Moffat writes a wonderfully dark story – without being totally overtaken by the darkness, this is first class drama.
This is classic style science fiction – a good continuation of the classic story. A story that has entered into our cultural heritage, these days essentially everyone knows the reference to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – it has entered as a phrase in English and many other languages.