Jekyll and Hyde (2015 itv) 101 - Jekyll and Hyde (Tom Bateman), Bulstrode (Richard E Grant) and Bella (Natalie Gumede) ©2015 ITV Studios, photo by Steve Brown

Is Jekyll and Hyde UK ITV’s answer to Doctor Who? Tom Bateman known for Da Vinci’s Demons stars in the mixed up title role.

Viewers of UK drama’s will recognise some of the additional cast. We have Richard E Grant last seen in Downton Abbey but also as the evil intelligence in a season or so ago of Doctor Who. There is Natalie Gumede best know for the UK soap Coronation Street and Donald Supter who will be familiar with viewers of the original UK version of Begin Human.

Comic book readers will feel Jekyll/Hyde is a kind of Hulk like character but of course it’s roots go back to The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Novelist Charlie Higson has written and executive produces this drama which we are told exudes mystery, fantasy, horror and sci-fi.

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Jekyll and Hyde 101 “The Harbinger” Image Gallery

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Jekyll and Hyde 101 “The Harbinger” Official Lowdown


It’s 1885 and Edward Hyde gets into an altercation in the street with his patron, Sir Danvers Carew – and murders him. Fast forward to 1935, in Ceylon, where Hyde’s grandson, the orphaned Robert Jekyll, is a young doctor and completely unaware of his ancestry. Here Robert saves a young girl with a superhuman show of strength.

This strength is a side effect of his mysterious ‘condition’, for which he has always taken pills. But this time the incident gets into the newspapers. The report reveals his whereabouts to a lawyer, one Max Utterson in London. So, Utterson summons Jekyll to England and Robert learns he is the sole heir to a large estate. There’s only one snag, Robert wants nothing to do with the dark story.

However, Robert has also been spotted on the radar by two other organisations. The first is MIO, a government department headed up by Mr Bulstrode. MIO’s mission is to combat monsters. For them Robert’s appearance is a harbinger of increasing enemy action. Tenebrae are the enemy: an ancient and sinister organization with a keen interest in recruiting shape?shifters like Robert. Sure enough Tenebrae and their top agent, Captain Dance, arrive in Ceylon and descends upon Robert’s family.

Now Robert is adrift in London, with only Utterson and a new friend, Lily, to guide him. At which point news of event’s with his foster family reaches him. Right now, right when he needs them most, Robert discovers his pills are missing and he suffers his first full blown transformation into another personality – Hyde.

In contrast to the sensitive, considerate Robert Jekyll, Hyde is a selfish, uninhibited, muscle?bound brute. He goes out on the town looking for trouble, and finds it. At ‘The Empire’ bar, an old watering hole of Edward Hyde’s, Robert’s drunken antics start a fight and he gets injured. An old man called Garson and the lovely bar owner, Bella, save his life.


Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online