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It's a Strange World, Jekyll It's a Strange World, Jekyll

Decades before she starred on Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, Laura Dern appeared in another Showtime series, desperately trying to catch the eye of Henry Jekyll on Shelley Duvall’s short lived 1989 anthology series, Nightmare Classics. With a teleplay by J. Michael Straczynski, this version of Jekyll and Hyde, like…

The Prison of Hyde The Prison of Hyde

I hardly expected the cruellest adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I’ve seen thus far to be a 1990 TV movie starring Michael Caine. But it is, simply by going with the premise that Jekyll really is a decent fellow whose life is being ruined by his experiment gone wrong. This is another Jekyll who sees morality as…

Jekyll for God Jekyll for God

Even by Victorian standards, the 2003 television adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is very conservative. Like The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, this version deliberately reframes the story to make a philosophical statement opposite to Robert Louis Stevenson’s and it also takes a cue from Mary Reilly in its focus on the…

Paper Doctor Who Paper Doctor Who

This week I finally got around to watching the 2016 animated version of 1966's Power of the Daleks, the first serial of the Second Doctor’s tenure on Doctor Who. The original live action episodes from the serial, with the exception of a few clips and stills, are lost due to the BBC’s ill-advised junking policy. Audio…

That Rascal Hyde! That Rascal Hyde!

Why would I watch the 1986 animated TV movie version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? I don’t plan on watching every adaptation. Though I might end up doing that. But I guess I was in the mood for cheesy 80s animation and that’s just what I got. From Australia’s Burbank Films, a studio that has produced cheap animated…

Don't Let the Drill Out in the Expanse Don't Let the Drill Out in the Expanse

Last night’s new episode was classic Expanse, doing one of the things it’s best known for, incorporating relatively realistic physics into the story for very effective suspense. We were also introduced to an interesting new character and familiar characters were shuffled about again. A real nice episode.

Jekyll versus Slapstick Jekyll versus Slapstick

For all the issues presented by the Jekyll and Hyde story, can we rely on Abbott and Costello for a solution? No. But 1953's Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is no waste of time though you’d be better off watching Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Their Jekyll and Hyde film is in many ways a less…

Bringing Tea and Sandwiches to Jekyll
and Hyde Bringing Tea and Sandwiches to Jekyll and Hyde

A well off guy like Henry Jekyll should have lots of servants but the only one we get to know in the novella and most adaptations is his butler, Poole. 1996's Mary Reilly approaches the story from the perspective of one the household’s typically anonymous maids for a film that, while certainly flawed, is nowhere near…

Fanny Obsourne Loves Henry Jekyll Fanny Obsourne Loves Henry Jekyll

And then there’s the pure sensual pleasure of transgressing all ethics and morality. 1981's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (apparently the director’s preferred title though it was released in France as Docteur Jekyll et les femmes) is Jekyll and Hyde by way of the Marquis de Sade. Essentially an S&M…

Hyde the Vicious Charmer Hyde the Vicious Charmer

Jack Palance makes an exceptionally fearsome, charming, and loathsome Hyde in 1968's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. With a cast that also includes Denholm Elliot and Leo Genn, it’s one of the more impressive productions, with great production design. Its biggest flaw, and it is a pervasive one, is that…

The Time Travel Budget Sink The Time Travel Budget Sink

At universities, subjects that fall under the humanities category—like history or literature—seem constantly threatened as schools find economic incentives to favour more measurably profitable things like business and engineering. Trust a Doctor Who audio play to posit that, in at least one case, it’s because…

The Physical Punished by the Abstract The Physical Punished by the Abstract

The impossibly pure image of the Victorian gentleman in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella is fascinatingly changed into the image of the white oppressor in 1976's Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. Like the best of the more direct adaptations of the novella, this features a Jekyll, in this case named Dr. Pride, who isn’t simply a…

Expanding Once More Expanding Once More

The Expanse returned last night and hit the ground running. The first episode of the third season picks up directly after the events of last season’s finale, running with some great tension in the Avasarala and Bobbie scenes while on board the ship we’ve come to know as the Rocinate there’s more of a slow burn as the…

Doctor Cordelier and Mister Opale Doctor Cordelier and Mister Opale

However thin the line may be between tragedy and comedy, blurring the line is a tricky feat only the best artists may successfully accomplish. Such an artist was Jean Renoir whose 1959 adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, Le Testament du docteur Cordelier, is among the most experimental and yet faithful ever made. As he did…

Strange Case of Dr. Marlowe and Mr.
Blake Strange Case of Dr. Marlowe and Mr. Blake

The most accurate Jekyll and Hyde adaptation I’ve seen so far doesn’t even have a character named Jekyll or Hyde. 1971's I, Monster was released the same year as Hammer’s Doctor Jekyll and Sister Hyde and featured Hammer’s two top stars, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, but came from Hammer’s rival, Amicus. The box…

Hyde's Immortal Hair Hyde's Immortal Hair

Do women hold the secret to eternal life? Given that, as far as I know, all women eventually die, I would say no. But this is not the conclusion reached by Dr. Jekyll in Hammer’s 1971 film Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde. It’s a film that mixes in two true stories of murder—that of Burke and Hare and of Jack the…

The Naivete of Mr. Hyde The Naivete of Mr. Hyde

Working from a philosophical perspective directly opposite to the source novella’s, Hammer’s 1960 film The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll drastically reworks the premise of the original story. Instead of a Jekyll seeking to morally purify himself, this film’s doctor subscribes to the 19th century intellectual fascination…

The Irrepressible Crystal   The Irrepressible Crystal  

You can’t keep a good crystal monster down. The 2013 Fifth Doctor audio play Eldrad Must Die is a sequel to the Fourth Doctor television story The Hand of Fear. Stephen Thorne reprises his role as Eldrad, the ancient and vengeful alien killer made of crystals. Featuring a really nice build up of tension and focus on…

A Well Hidden Hyde A Well Hidden Hyde

Incoherence is what’s brought to the table by the 1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, essentially a remake of the 1931 version but hampered by the enforcement of the Hays Code after 1934. The loss of explicit references to or portrayals of Hyde’s worst antics isn’t made up for by any effective suggestions. This would have…

The Bold Eye of Jekyll The Bold Eye of Jekyll

Intrepidity can be a double edged sword—this seems to be the main idea brought to the table in the 1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the first sound film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story. Fredric March gives a good performance as a Jekyll who’s a courageous man of action but his Hyde is an unfortunate…

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