Dr Jekyll meets Ms Hyde this week in a tantalising run-up to next weekend’s double-bill finale.
After a run of more original monsters-of-the-week drawn from mostly British legend (e.g. the Black Shuck and Spring-Heeled Jack), I was a bit dismayed, upon seeing the tease at the end of last week’s episode, that the series was already about to fall back on such a common monster as the vampire.
However, in the event, this instalment turned out to be one of the most surprising and subversive episodes of the series.
Cleverly, ‘Moroii’ quickly dispenses with any mystery about the vampire and we soon learn that it is actually Robert’s long-lost sister, Olalla, who has a bloodthirsty Hyde of her own. Olalla immediately makes for a great foil to Robert, with Wallis Day’s performance being a nice counterpart to Tom Batman’s. She’s clearly been watching him for inspiration – both of their Hydes are all wide-eyed grins and husky Received Pronunciation accents.
In other matters, sadly one of the weaker ongoing elements of the show so far has been the romance between Robert and Lily which has struck me as being tepid and run-of-the-mill. It made for a fantastic twist this week then when it was revealed that Lily – who Robert had just proposed to – has actually been an MIO spy all the time! Up to then, the episode had set us up for thinking Olalla was the double agent so the apparent future Mrs Jekyll was the last person we expected to step through Bulstrode’s door.
However, as they were fighting for time against these two other plot threads, the other elements on show this week were a little on the underdeveloped side. The real monster – the serpentine Moroii – didn’t get much to do and Natasha O’Keeffe (who will soon scare us all over again on New Year’s Day as the titular ‘Abominable Bride’ in the upcoming Sherlock special) and Mark Bonnar are still underused as Fedora and Prothero. Hopefully this is something that will be rectified in the following episodes.
Overall, this was a highly enjoyable lead-in to the double-decker finale airing next week. The first part of which looks to be an intriguing one, with lots of returning characters and Robert apparently in a dream world. Written by Doctor Who scribe Gareth Roberts, it might well be one of the best of the series.
Roll on next Sunday!
Aired at 8pm on Wednesday 23 December 2015 on ITV.
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