"Jekyll" on BBC America 8/4/07 (spoilers)

Anyone watch?

Described by creators as a “sequel” to the original novella rather than an adaptation. Starring James Nesbitt as Doctor Tom Jackman, a modern-day descendant of the original Dr Jekyll, who’s recently started turning into Hyde. Throw in what appears to be a government conspiracy, mysterious figures from Jackman’s past and a kooky couple of lesbian private eyes and overall quite a good show. Nesbitt is amazingly creepy in the dual role. There isn’t a strong physical transformation between Jackman and Hyde; looks to be limited to a wig and dark contacts for the most part. Last night got a little wearing about 90 minutes in but I think it was because they showed the first two episodes back to back.

Is it possible that they are still filming (for the next season, perhaps)? I have been seeing signs up all around Montreal that said “Jekyll”. They’re the type that guide the PAs, extras and other crew to the set.

I’m not reading the whole Wikipedia article to avoid spoilage but the “production” section indicates the first season was filmed in England. Nothing in that section about a second season or any location filming.

Hmm, then I wonder what it was for… the signs often use working titles, and I couldn’t find anything listed as “in production” on IMDB under that title.

Serious, I really mean it, **BIG ** spoiler warning, since this is from having watched all six episodes: They didn’t really leave an opening for a sequel / second season. The mystery is pretty much wrapped up and the story ends. I hope they leave it like that, because going on would be very contrived

The above spoiler doesn’t contain anything plot specific, only information about a possibility for a sequel.

Re: what Charlie Tan said - my spoiler contains plot elements so read at your own peril:

I thought I read somewhere that the BBC were open to the possibility of a second series. While not likely, they might have left a tiny opening with the Jackman twins. However, Stephen Moffat said in an interview he wouldn’t want to write one series forever (as he was the sole writer for Jekyll), and I think he didn’t really want a second series.

Independent of plot elements which may or may not lead to a continuation: Apparently, the ratings in the UK haven’t been too good (a shame, really), so unless the US market jumps on the series, the chances for a second series are slim to nonexistant anyhow.

But it was on quite late on Saturday nights, not the best place to find a big audence.

I don’t get the impression that BBC-A ratings factor into any decisions that anyone across the way makes about programming. Aren’t we for the most part a distant secondary market, with delays of a year or more routine?

True dat. Maybe not the best programming decision? I think they were going for a “spooky Saturday” theme or something. However, the ratings kept falling from episode to episode, too.

Otto, no, I don’t think BBC America usually is highly influential on BBC programming decisions. I’m just saying that with the apparent British lack of enthusiasm for Jekyll, there would have been a substantial influx of enthusiasm from somewhere (could also be DVD sales or some such) to make them consider a second series.

I’ve been watching a lot of British productions lately, and I discovered I actually enjoy it if a series lasts only one or two seasons, rather than watching your favorite characters being assassinated just to flog them again in season XIV.

“Supernatural Saturday.” Which up until last week included the show “Hex” which, sorry Hex fans, I did not get the appeal of. Based on ads (or should I say adverts) I think they’re going to show Doctor Who season 2 and Torchwood on Saturday nights which will be wonderful if Torchwood is anything close to what I’m hoping it will be.

Which brings to mind a thread I started quite a long time ago. I have often wondered from whence the mindset difference between American TV producers, who focus almost entirely on the conflicting goals of syndication packaging and high ratings, and British TV producers, who seem to create shows with the express purpose of having them run a certain number of episodes and no more. No one really offered up a satisfactory response when I asked. I find I rather prefer the notion that the series will run a set number of episodes and no more. The disappointment i feel over knowing that there will be no more of a particular show is generally offset by the fact that with the producers knowing they have a story to tell and they have a certain number of episodes to tell it, the episodes tend to be better focused on story with a minimum of extransous stuff i don’t care about.

As far as production quality, I had this not unpleasant feeling of Lovejoy deja vu watching “Jekyl”. I dig the story and the menacing vagueness of it all is quite creepy. I am having a hard time with James Nesbitt as Jekyll/Hyde. Bit over the top, He’s a good Jekyll but his Hyde is lacking.

Well, it contains huge extra servings of Cap’n Jack, arguably the most handsome face on television. The flow of the series is a bit uneven and the lack of really likeable characters makes itharder to get into, but I thought it was well worth the time I spent watching it and I’m looking forward to S.2.

I was thinking his Hyde was rather good for the most part but it just began wearign on me about 90 minutes in. Had the two episodes been split up I think I would’ve been fine with it.

I think you get more used to Hyde as the series goes on - and probably Hyde gets more used to being Hyde as the series goes on.

Re: Torchwood - meh, however: Capt’n Jack! (“will they be able to show THAT on American television???”) If he’s not moping on a roof. Which he does very decoratively, but still, I prefer the happy-go-lucky Jack.
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Spoiler re: Jack

And I am in denial about Doctor Who canon. WHAT did he just say? I didn’t heeeear him lalalala he was joking lalala

My personal theory is that it’s because many (and probably most) American TV producers are short-sighted, selfish, artistically inept hacks. In my ever-so-humble opinion, a series should start out with a definite story planned and a fixed length projected. Two seasons, five seasons, more–it doesn’t matter how long, really, so long as the story gets told. Then the show ends.

Unfortunately, that would require the producers to look for more work. To have fresh ideas. To think. They’d rather keep cranking out the same bits of plot over and over, until the plug is forcibly pulled. And people keep watching the crap, long after they stop actually enjoying it. Sheer habit keeps them tuning in, rewarding the wrong behavior. Thus, we keep seeing the mouldering remnants of once-fun shows twitching on their strings, while interesting new shows die for lack of support. If I wanted to watch dead things shamble across my screen, I’d watch a zombie flick.

I’ll be tuning in for Jekyll, I think. It sounds like the sort of show that would suit me.

Saw the first two episodes on BBC-America. Interesting take on the story. I’m curious – are the “fucks” not bleeped out when it shows in the UK? (Even though the word is spoken about ten billion times a day in the U.S., we believe it will kill us to hear it on broadcast tv or basic cable.)

I’ll keep watching just to find out what the heck is up with the disappearing old lady.

Nope. It’s on after the watershed.

It’s not the producers who are at fault, it’s the Execs one step above. They’re the ones who won’t greenlight a show until a certain number of episodes are made, they will enforce additional episodes into a season if it is looking to be successful, and who push a series long past its use-by date.

Most showrunners / directors / creators would gladly work within a set number of episodes and seasons to create fixed story arcs, but they aren’t given much opportunity. The non-creatives hold the purse strings, they make the rules.

I loved Jekyll. The right levels of spooky, funny, Fantasy, drama, mystery, and adventure. Well done, team!

Point taken. I’m not as familiar with the precise roles in production as I could be. It’s the purse-string holders I intended to lambaste–I thought executive producers and/or producers fell into that category.

I watched the first episode on BBC-America On Demand last night.

Holy smokes that was good. Unfortunately, the end where Jackman is going up the stairs had me so wound up, I couldn’t get to sleep for a couple of hours.

Damn you, Stephen Moffat. Between this and The Empty Child, you’ve cost me more sleep than any other TV writer.