Charlie Higson’s fresh take on ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ headed to small screen


In the forthcoming Jekyll and Hyde, lead writer Charlie Higson was not only inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, he took inspiration from the The Prisoner, The Avengers and The Champions and added in a few of his favorite Indiana Jones movies with their perfect combination of action, adventure and humor for good measure.

Set in 1930’s London at a time of Hollywood glamour, aerodynamic cars and monster movies, Jekyll and Hyde will pay homage to the Stevenson novel, while focusing on the young, attractive, troubled hero, Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor.

Higson described the show’s Hyde as “sexy”, “good-looking” and “dangerous”, With Da Vinci’s Demons actor Tom Bateman playing the dual-role of Hyde and his mild-mannered alter ego Jekyll. Jekyll and Hyde also brings together Richard E Grant (Posh Nosh, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who), Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street, Death in Paradise) and Donald Sumpter (Game Of Thrones, Being Human).

Programme Name: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - TX: n/a - Episode: Ep1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Childermass (ENZO CILENTI) - (C) JSMN Ltd - Photographer: Matt Squire

Programme Name: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – TX: n/a – Episode: Ep1 (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Childermass (ENZO CILENTI) – (C) JSMN Ltd – Photographer: Matt Squire

The book is the prototype superhero story – it’s a guy with an alter ego. He can turn into someone else, nobody knows it’s him and he can do all the things he dreams about, so I thought there was a lot you could do with it that was new and exciting. We didn’t want Hyde to be a horrible monster with fangs and wild hair,” Higson explained. “He’s a really good fighter, he’s invulnerable, he’s really fast and he can regenerate quickly.”

According to the official ITV press release, at the heart of Jekyll and Hyde is Robert Jekyll’s quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’.  Jekyll transforms into Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress and when his or the lives of others are threatened.

Higson’s Jekyll is a young, sensitive and naïve man of intellect and morality, a well meaning if slightly repressed character who slips between his two personas unwillingly.  Hyde is a totally different person; a superhero with super powers, great strength, speed and invulnerability. He is confident, risk-taking and lives life on the edge.  His self-destructive nature gets him into trouble, and yet he is an incredibly powerful force.

Seemingly going where no previous Jekyll and Hyde has dared to go before, Higson’s J&H promises several recurring characters, some human, and some freaks of nature. Monsters will thrive throughout the series and there’ll be spooky creatures, ghouls, zombies, werewolves and vampires.

Look for Jekyll and Hyde this Autumn on ITV with, hopefully, a confirmed American broadcast date not too far behind.