Flixtream this! Jekyll

Flixtream this! Jekyll

You can get streaming Netflix in a lot of different ways: directly on a computer, through a Roku device, through a gaming system (Wii, XBOX 360, PS3), even through some TVs.  You can watch all the streaming stuff you want (and get 1 DVD at a time) for $8.99 a month.  I’m going to start recommending some things for you to watch…I call it Flixtreaming (for “NetFlix Streaming”).

Jekyll (2007 BBC miniseries)

Steven Moffat is a dark, edgy, funny screenwriter.  He brought a new flavor to Doctor Who. 

In a six-episode miniseries, he created a sequel to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Not a remake, a sequel.  In this world (which is our world, today’s world), the book exists as we know it.  Some characters are more familiar with it than others, as it should be.

It’s not the tale as you know it.  I’m quite careful about spoilers, so I’m going to stick with some broad observations.

This Mr. Hyde is not a werewolf, not a beast.  I think that image was heightened by the Abbott and Costello version.  No, this one is witty…vicious, but witty.  He has extreme speed, compared to a normal person, and remarkable strength.  He’s into pop culture.  In fact, he’s much more like Jim Carrey’s version of The Mask than a snarling animal.

Consider for a moment that you had this kind of…condition.  One of the key points in this version: it isn’t that Jekyll is real and Hyde is an illness.  They have worked out an understanding.  A psychiatric nurse is hired to help, and she must be approved by both of them.  She keeps their secrets from each other.  She protects them from each other.

High-tech comes into it as well.  They have a digital message recorder: Jekyll leaves use it to leave messages for Hyde (who isn’t so thoughtful).  They have rules, agreements.  Hyde isn’t to kill anyone, because Jekyll would surrender to the police.  Jekyll isn’t to look for a cure…because Hyde would put a bullet into his own (and Jekyll’s) brain.

They monitor each other’s movements by looking at the records from a GPS device.

That’s the basic set-up, and it works very well…for them, and for us as an audience.

Jekyll isn’t called Jekyll, by the way…it’s Jackman.

That’s only the beginning, though.  The six episodes have a logical, accelerating story arc.  Life becomes much more complicated for them, and others become involved.

I want to warn you: this Hyde is really evil.  He has restraint, but he’ll say things and do some things you probably wouldn’t want a child to see.  It also has what I consider a hallmark of Moffat’s writing: children in danger.

I thought it was quite well-written, though, and yes, funny (intentionally) at times.  The story kept me wanting to see what would happen next, and I did care about the characters.   Star Stephen Moffat was nominated for a Golden Globe his performance as Jackman (Jekyll) and Hyde.  There’s a fun part for Paterson Joseph, as a wise-cracking but very dangerous character.  He’s a Brit playing an American…and I almost wouldn’t have known (that’s certainly not always the case).  The only two times I picked up on the accent was the present participle form of the “f word”.  When something is described as “effing” (but he says the “real word”), his first vowel is bit off.  Small point, though.

For the most part, it isn’t gorily violent (although there is violence), and there is anything overly “adult”, except for themes.

I’d recommend that you give this one a try…both of you.  😉

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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