Jekyll & Hyde, Episode 1: The Harbinger

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An intriguing take on the old, old story. Some moments made me cringe a little but you can forgive these melodramatic slips because they mostly suit the subject matter and the tone is consistent throughout. Tom Bateman embraces the cheesy one-note debauchery of Mr. Hyde confidently enough to put you at ease and Richard E. Grant provides an amusing counterpoint to the heaviness of Jekyll’s journey.

The most interesting choice seems to be the expansion of the Jekyll and Hyde universe to include a variety of disfigured abominations, including a dog-shaped man-beast that predicts the future. Yes, you read that correctly. This scene alone was enough to make me want to watch more episodes.

The music is good but it’s a bit too sparse; Jekyll & Hyde is a story that’s crying out to be stylised rather than restrained.

There were some welcome moments of comedy during Richard E. Grant’s scenes and with a mysterious bounty hunter-style character in period safari garb. Overall, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde showed glimpses of a multi-talented show with a bright future but now that the first episode is out of the way, it’s time to make good on a variety of promises.

Jekyll & Hyde is broadcast on Sunday nights on ITV.

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