Top positive review
66 people found this helpful
on August 19, 2007
Steven Moffat's writing, combined with James Nesbitt's extraordinary performance has me hiding behind the sofa--but in a good way!
Rather than rehashing all the old films that came before, Moffat took the "What if..." route--what if there was a Jekyll/Hyde combo running about *today?* His answer is a stylish, intelligent, scary, wickedly funny, and just plain wicked storytelling at its best.
The script is lean and mean, every line has a purpose, and one is not just invited, but compelled to try to anticipate what's going to happen next. This is suspense in its purest form, and there is always a solid payoff.
Certain tastes, raised on fizzy diet soft drinks, are not going to react well to their first pint of Guinness. As a writer myself, I am blown away by Moffat's handling of the material.
We are not presented with the same old "don't mess with this stuff" cautionary tale so much as invited along to truly see the world through Hyde's eyes. He's a fun fellow, honestly puzzled by some things and the absolute master of others. He is able to hone life down to its basics and enjoy himself and his carnal nature, yet Nesbitt makes this humorous as well as frightening. This is the true definition of horror in that we are repelled but at the same time attracted.
Did I mention intelligent scripting? That also goes for the direction, production, and a very well-picked supporting cast, able to keep up with the perfectly chosen Nesbitt.
His Jekyll (Dr. Jackman) is as solid and interesting as his devilish Hyde. So far as this fan of classic horror is concerned he now owns the character, and someone dang-well better give him some kind of an award for his outstanding work. It can't have been easy, yet he makes it look so. Wow.
There is close attention to detail in this series that one needs multiple watchings to pick out everything. In-jokes related to Stevenson's original story tickled my literary palate, such as Dr. Jackman's twin boys being named Henry and Edward. There's more, but I'm not spoiling them for you.
It is by perfectly executed turns funny, sharp, and bloody scary and for this jaded viewer, wholly engaging. I can't recommend it enough!