December 15, 2013

Do No Harm: How Jekyll and Hyde Endures

Do No Harm NBC
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It’s with guilty pleasure that I admit that I’m interested in how this show will fare. I’ve always been a sucker for Victorian era literature and philosophically curious about the various dualities of man. Quite fittingly, the story of Jekyll and Hyde happens to reside exactly in that sweet spot. I think it’s fair to say that most people share in at least the intellectual curiosity. Indeed, one of the most basic struggles of life could be described as the ongoing attempt to reconcile competing identities and the masks we wear in doing so. And so, it’s no surprise that the idea of being literally and physically at odds with oneself has always been a popular story to explore.

There have been many onscreen adaptations of this dynamic in television alone – NBC‘s My Own Worst Enemy and Awake, with special mention of the BBC‘s Jekyll, are just to name a few. In fact, there are at least two others currently in various stages of development within the major networks. NBC’s Do No Harm happens to be the latest attempt to give this story new life. Not too much is known about this show other than its basic premise of “a brilliant neurosurgeon who has to battle his own alter-ego so that he can live a normal life.” It looks to have the requisite action and drama needed for this kind of show, but time will tell if it can offer anything more to have any real staying power. More importantly, I’m interested to see if it can capture the essence of what made Robert Louis Stevenson‘s original novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde so thought provoking in the first place. No one yet has gotten it quite right.

Do No Harm will premiere on NBC on January 31, 2013.

By David C. Sales

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