Starring: James Nesbitt, Gina Bellman, Denis Lawson
Director/Studio/Author: Matt Kinsey, Douglas McKinnon/BBC Worldwide/Steven Moffat
American release date: September 18, 2007
Format/Genre/Length: DVD/Horror/360 minutes
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Tom Jackman (James Nesbitt) has a bit of a problem. On the surface, he seems to have everything he could possibly want—a beautiful wife, Claire (Gina Bellman) who adores him and a set of twin sons that he loves to death. But Tom’s problem lies beneath the surface. He’s just discovered that someone else is sharing his personal space, and this someone else is more than just a facet of Tom’s personality, he’s an entity all of his own that happens to also inhabit Tom’s body. And he’s a psychopath.
This show will pull you in from the beginning, from the first image of the chair in the flat. It’ll keep you guessing and speculating and trying to keep ahead of what’s going on trying to second-guess the truth. But chances are you’ll still be wrong.
At first, I really didn’t like Tom’s wife Claire, and her poor me I want my husband back brand of sniveling. But as the series progressed, I saw her in a different light, and came to appreciate her as a person. By the end, I saw her as a worthy mate to Tom, and the perfect foil for Mr. Hyde. An interesting side note on the actor who plays Tom’s best friend, Peter Syme – he played a pilot in the Star Wars film, and inspired his nephew to go into acting also, and years later he too played in Star Wars films. The nephew’s name, by the way, was Ewan McGregor.
The acting is superb, the writing quick-witted and fascinating. There is never a dull moment, especially not when Mr. Hyde is around. It’s only six hours long, but it’s a fascinating six hours, and a journey I heartily recommend. In the hierarchy of films that deal with the infamous case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I place this series at the top. If you enjoy this, find the soundtrack to the musical version of Jekyll and Hyde, as sung by Robert Cuccioli. But be warned not to bother with the DVD, for that contains David Hasselhoff in the title role and is to be avoided at all costs because oh my God, he can neither sing nor act. Just saying.
Side note: I find it interesting and sometimes amusing when British actors take on an American accent. I imagine the British feel the same way when Americans attempt theirs.