Monday, July 30, 2007

Catching up with overseas friends.

Catching up with overseas friends.

I spent most of the day yesterday hanging out with BBC America. I got all caught up with Footballer's Wives and Hex, and then discovered that the first episode of Jekyll was available through In Demand, even though it doesn't properly premiere until next week.

This summer's been pretty dull in TV-land for me, so I'd been looking forward to seeing Jekyll, and once I realized it was scripted by the same guy who brought us Coupling, Steven Moffatt, I was even more excited. I really like Moffatt's way with dialogue, and suspected he might be good at blending dark humor with suspenseful subject matter. After seeing the pilot, my suspicions were confirmed, since I found myself going from smirking at the screen during an encounter with a mysterious duo in a pub, to clutching the sides of the couch as the Hyde half of the main character elicits information from a therapist.

The true joy of the show is James Nesbitt, who plays Tom Jackman a.k.a. Jeyll / Hyde. Through no larger costume change than a little hair gel he does a stunning job of creating two completely different characters sharing the same body. Watching his switch from repressed researcher into a gleeful explosion of no-holds barred psychotic Id is one of the most compelling parts of the shaow and I dare say that it's his personality and skill that drives the whole show.

As an aside, it's interesting to note that Michelle Ryan, who plays Jackman's therapist oddly working for both of his halves, will be appearing on American television next year as The Bionic Woman, and considering she comes off as a far sexier Jennifer Garner in Jekyll, I predict she's going to do pretty well in her Stateside debut.

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