Fast Show’s Charlie Higson to write a Jekyll and Hyde drama

The 1930s-set drama has been inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian classic about kindly Dr Jekyll who habitually turns into the evil Mr Hyde

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Fast Show alumnus Charlie Higson is to reimagine Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of Jekyll and Hyde in a new 10-part series for ITV.

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Set in 1930s London, the drama will pay homage to Stevenson’s 1886 novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and My Hyde by having as its hero Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor. 

The as-yet-uncast drama focuses on Jekyll junior’s quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’, which sees him transforming into the wicked Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress or when human life is threatened.

Higson – also known for writing the young James Bond books and his current series for teenagers, The Enemy – said of the new project: “It’s an exciting challenge to take Stevenson’s work and use it as the basis for a new Jekyll & Hyde.

“So many superheroes with secret dual personalities have been brought to life thanks to Jekyll & Hyde.  He’s one of literatures most important and influential characters and it’s a privilege to be rediscovering him.”   

The last time Stevenson’s story inspired a TV drama was in 2007: BBC1’s Jekyll saw James Nesbitt play Tom Jackman, a modern-day descendant of Stevenson’s hero.

Filming of the new drama is expected to take place next year for broadcast in 2016.

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Before then Higson fans will be able to enjoy his comedy-drama based on Norman Hunter’s classic Professor Branestawm children’s books. The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm stars Harry Hill and David Mitchell and will be one of the centrepieces of BBC1’s Christmas schedule.