“Jekyll and Hyde” Season 1 Episode 1 “The Harbinger” aired last Sunday, October 26, 2015 at 6:30 PM on ITV. In this episode, Dr. Robert Jekyll (Tom Bateman), a man born with a condition that turns him into a monster when stressed, found himself in the middle of a rivalry between two government agencies while trying to find answers about his past in London. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode began in 1885 London, where Edward Hyde was on a rampage, and ended up killing a politician named Sir Danvers Carew before he was spotted by Dr. Henry Jekyll’s lawyer, Gabriel Utterson.
Fast forward to fifty years later in Ceylon, a young man named Dr. Robert Jekyll (Tom Bateman), aided his father, Dr. Najaran (Ace Bhatti) in administering vaccines at a local community center, which later got struck by a malfunctioning truck, which pinned down one of their patients underneath of it.
Triggered by this, Jekyll mustered up the strength to lift up the truck in an attempt to save the girl’s life. However, as he did so, he suddenly became animalistic, and almost squashed the little girl to death with his heel. Thankfully, his father called out to him, which brought him to his senses, and gave him several pills in order to alleviate his chronic condition.
However, Jekyll’s feat made the headlines of their local newspaper, which caused Max Utterson, the son of Gabriel Utterson, to reach out to him, as he was the heir to the estate of Dr. Henry Jekyll.
Meanwhile, a harbinger, a dog-like creature with the face of a man, informed several agents of a government agency called MI0, a department that handles the supernatural, that something powerful was coming, which their head, Mr. Bulstrade, took to mean as Jekyll.
The next day, before leaving for London, Jekyll got into an argument with his foster parents after learning that they had lied to him about knowing his father.
However, on the way to London, he regretted fighting with them, and sent them postcards along the way. However, these postcards were used against them after Captain Dance (Enzo Cilento), of the Tenebrae, another government organization, questioned Dr. Najaran and his wife about Jekyll’s weherabouts. After realizing that he was headed to London, he shot Jekyll’s foster brother, and set the house on fire.
In London, while waiting for his ride at the port, Jekyll bumped into Lily Clarke (Stephanie Hyam), whom he saved from several men who tried to mug her.
At Utterson’s office, he was informed that he was the son of a certain Captain Louis Hyde, the illegitmate son of Dr. Henry Jekyll, who, before committing suicide, had had Utterson’s father change his will so that everything would go to a scoundrel named Edward Hyde. Utterson had come across the file as his father had been trying to destroy it before he died.
The next day, Jekyll visited Lily, as he had to return the purse she had left behind in the alleyway where he had saved her, and accidentally kissed her.
Her presence made him stressed, which caused him to take some of his pills, and the two kissed before she was called up by her mother.
Sensing that his condition was going to take control of him again, he rushed back to the hotel room, only to discover a telegram waiting for him that said that his family in Ceylon died due to a fire.
However, as he couldn’t find his pills, as they were all taken by MI0, who had managed to sneak into his room while he was away, he transformed into a more monstrous version of himself, and went on a night on the town, causing havoc in a particular tavern.
There, he angered the taverns customers, whom he fought, which caused him to get stabbed in the back.
In order to get it out, the bartender dragged him out, provoked him in order to stay angry, and told one of his girls to kiss him while he removed the knife from his back. This caused Jekyll to get even more angrier than before.
This different take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story, according to the Telegraph, is a little bit more “Harry Potter”-esque than one might expect it to be, and also presents itself in a comic book fashion.
The Telegraph’s review on the pilot episode also praised Tom Bateman’s performance, and praised the transformation sequence in which he transformed into his more Hyde-like alter ego.
The Guardian also praised the efforts of ITV and the writer of the episode, Charlie Higson, and deemed it as “ambitious” and “imaginative.”
What did you think of this fresh new take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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