The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is perhaps one of the most subtle and truest investigations into human nature and the soul of man to be penned. (Incidentally, a book study for it is available under the book study tab in the collection ‘Monsters and Men’.) It is a little book, but it brings to life what is perhaps the most soul-shivering monster ever: the inner man. (Something I talked about when writing about Agnes Mallory.) The inner man is Jekyll, stripped of all self control, and filled with every unbridled passion.
However, I actually wish to talk more about the TV series, Jekyll. The series comes from a man I am almost convinced is a true master. He has made the show Sherlock as well. I saw that first. While Sherlock is a complete (and very successful) transplanting of Conan Doyle’s work to modern London, Jekyll is subtler.
I don’t want to give away even the slightest about the show, although the basic conflict is exactly what you think: Jekyll vs. Hyde. The interesting thing I wanted to leave this post with, (other than a recommendation for the stout- hearted to watch the show) is the three instances when someone in the show gives their opinion of what Jekyll is, and the final instance when (not Jekyll but.. you know, Jekyll…) gives his.
Hyde is first said to be ‘a child’ in a super-powered body. And this is part of the truth, he is the un-trained, un-restrained, selfish passions of an occasionally spiteful, cruel, child. He is also then said to be evil… which is also partly true, it is undeniably true. Then again, he is described as love.; and this is the most shocking, and yet, the series makes its case. Love, corrupted human love, does frightening things.
However, the real truth shines when Jekyll/Hyde (they coexist in consciousness at one point) is talking to one of the villains who calls Hyde a psychopath. And at this moment, Jekyll/Hyde makes a comment that could easily be overlooked, but I think was the key to the whole show. He basically says ‘isn’t everyone?’
Hyde is unrestrained, undisguised, human nature, and, though there was not even a hint of God or Christianity in the series, Hyde is fallen man. (Jekyll is also sinful, but Hyde has all the love, passion, pleasure, hate, spite, cruelty that live in the soul of man.) And as such, Hyde too, can be saved.
Also, the first time we meet Hyde, it is superbly done, and terrifying. Be warned, but remember, fallen man is terrifying.