Sunday, August 22, 2010

TV Review: Jekyll (2007, BBC)

(This review contains no significant spoilers.)

Alison and I just finished watching Jekyll via Netflix download, and I thought I'd post a review to this long-neglected blog.

The Setup

Note that I'm talking about the 2007 BBC miniseries, not the 2007 American movie of the same name. This series is not a direct adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel or a remake of any adaptation. Rather, it is a sequel. The main character is Tom Jackman, a contemporary Scotsman who does not create an evil alter ego by drinking a potion. Each of the six episodes was written by Stephen Moffat, who wrote perhaps the best single episode of Doctor Who and has been running Who for the last year.

What I Liked
  • The plot. The story is very interesting and moves very quickly.
  • The acting. James Nesbitt did an amazing job of portraying two very different characters. His expression, tone of voice, demeanor, and posture all changed from Jackman to Hyde, but remained consistent within each character. I think I've mentioned before that I was really impressed with Allyson Hannigan's and Amy Acker's portrayal of multiple characters within a single episode. Nesbitt was just as impressive in these roles. I also enjoyed Meera Syal as the detective, Miranda.
  • The makeup. I really enjoyed the subtlety of the makeup that was used to effect the transition from Jackman to Hyde and back. It was done so that the two characters were different at a glance, but it was difficult to say exactly how. (There was one glaring exception to the high make-up standards; during one scene, an ear prosthesis was glaringly, distractingly obvious.)
  • The music. The incidental music for this show consisted mostly of creepy and ethereal instrumentals combined with creepy and ethereal vocals. The result was, well, creepy and ethereal. But also effective.

What I Disliked
  • The resolution of the main storyline was very melodramatic.

The Bottom Line

Let me just say that, at the end of each episode, I wanted to see the next immediately. Alison felt the same. I give this show 8.5 out of 10. If you are an britophile like me, add another 0.5.

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