Jekyll and Hyde Slammed for being…Scary?

Jekyll and Hyde  had its debut on television on the 25th of October 2015 via United Kingdom cable network, ITV.  Since the broadcast premier of the horror series, “Jekyll and Hyde” over five-hundreds complaints were filed with media watchdog Ofcom.  ITV is facing criticism from viewers partly for the graphic violence and disturbing imagery depicted in the horror drama, but concerns mainly center on its early broadcast slot.

To get a better assessment on the concerns expressed by viewers one must first understand the United Kingdom’s television broadcast model.  In the United Kingdom television broadcasts are divided by a specific time slot dividing family-oriented programming with adult related content, the term for this criteria is called Watershed. “Jekyll and Hyde” airs at 6:30pm, two and a half hours before the 9:00pm watershed time frame.

“Jekyll and Hyde” Viewers protest Violence on Time Slot

A character bludgeoned to death, someone being set on fire, and titular character Dr Jekyll, pressing his foot against a child’s throat are some of the specific violent scenes documented by viewers in the report against horror drama, “Jekyll and Hyde”.  As a result of  possible violations, ITV is facing an investigation by media watchdog Ofcom.

A spokes person from media watchdog Ofcom had this to say on the “Jekyll and Hyde” controversy:

“Ofcom has carefully assessed a number of complaints about Jekyll and Hyde on ITV. We are opening an investigation into whether the programme complied with our rules on appropriate scheduling and violent content before the watershed.”

Although, ITV had confirmed a planned shift for the horror drama, “Jekyll and Hyde” on the 1st of November 2015 to a 7PM time slot the shift doesn’t quell the problem since the series will continue to linger in a family-oriented program schedule.  As of yet ITV haven’t announced plans to vacate the time slot for the remainder of the ten episode of “Jekyll and Hyde” to a later televised schedule.

An anonymous source close to the “Jekyll and Hyde” production replied to viewer’s reaction with the following:

“The sad thing is, it got really, really good reviews…When you are making a show you just want people to love it. Lots of people have said they loved it including those with children. You don’t make shows to upset people.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Higson series writer for “Jekyll and Hyde” defended the show with a series of Twitter messages, retaliating against critics remarks with the following:

“Seems to be a veritable twitter-storm of tweets in support of #JekyllandHyde telling scaredy cats to grow up and get with the modern world..Let’s ban everything that might give children nightmares. Clowns, Santa Claus, big dogs, that dressing gown on the back of the bedroom door..We can’t protect our children from being scared but we can prepare them for it by exposing them to harmless scares so they learn how to cope”.

The official Synopsis of “Jekyll and Hyde” reads as follows:

10-part drama set in 1930s London focusing on Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor. The show will follow Robert Jekyll’s quest to discover his real identity and the true nature of his family’s cursed history.

What is your opinion on the “Jekyll and Hyde” horror series controversy? Provide your comments using the fields below.

Source: The Guardian


  1. Not sure what to think about this. It’s suppose to be scary…right?

    Maybe fans thought it would resemble the old versions of Stevenson’s story. But everyone’s updating old classics to stay up with modern horror. Again…not sure what to think…

    • The problem is not about the gore and violence but rather the time slot its presented. Its really not that violent as people proclaim it to be anyways.


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