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Radio / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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It took the genius of Robert Louis Stevenson to fashion this tale of the dual forces which are forever at war in every human breast—the powers of good and evil that lie dormant in us all. And he has given us a tale so weird, so strange and yet so filled with the eternal conflict of man's immortal soul, that we who hear it stand petrified, because in the tormented character of this strange fantasy... we see ourselves.

A 1932 52-part radio adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring George Edwards. Focusing on Dr. Henry Jekyll's life from childhood until death, it expands upon the novella considerably while adding common tropes found in adaptations, such as Jekyll being a younger man and having a love interest or two. Jekyll also struggles with Hyde's evil his entire life, occasionally acting monstrous with little or no provocation.

The entire series can be listened to for free on the Internet Archive.

This radio drama contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Played for drama, as Jekyll's attempts to fix his life and repair the damage Hyde has done go out the window when Hyde returns.
  • The Ace: At college Jekyll is seen as this by his peers, who are envious of his achievements and perceived goodness.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Jekyll's childhood, glossed over in his confession in the novel, is expanded upon. His and Hyde's vices are also shown in detail.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Lanyon's first name went from Hastie to Hugh, and Utterson's name went from Gabriel John to Alfred.
  • Adapted Out: Sir Danvers Carew, Hyde's murder victim in the book, isn't mentioned or seen. Utterson gets his death instead.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Hyde catches Utterson and Hettie discussing Jekyll, then orders Hettie out while he talks with Utterson. He gleefully tells him about Jekyll's indiscretions, then murders him and drives Hettie to suicide.
  • Badass Boast: Utterson and Hyde both get one just before they fight.
    Utterson: I am not a young man, but I can still fight! If you won't let me out of this room of your own accord, then by heaven I'll lay you out and get the key that way!
    Hyde: Ah, that's better! That's better; now we've got something on both sides!
    Utterson: I should say there was! From the moment I first saw you I had the overwhelming desire to strangle you. You're the foulest, vilest, most repulsive creature I've ever set my eyes on. The world would be a better place to be rid of you, and God willing, I shall do it!
    Hyde: Hahahaha! You will!?
    Utterson: Yes! With my bare hands!
    Hyde: Wrap your hands 'round my throat, will you!?
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Jekyll loves the proper Margaret while Hyde lusts for the earthy Hettie. It's even worse because he's the direct cause of Hettie being forced into poverty. Jekyll eventually decides on a third option, his nurse Helen.
    • Margaret has to choose between Jekyll, whose kind exterior hides his evil, or the down-to-earth John. She ends up choosing John.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In episode 4 Jekyll leaps into the ocean to save stranded fishermen during a storm.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Jekyll breaks up with Margaret for her own good and for her safety, as he doesn't want Hyde to hurt her and feels unworthy of her.
  • Break the Cutie: Hettie breaks after Jekyll's betrayal forces her to live in poverty. It gets worse when she moves in with Hyde, hating both of them and growing very bitter.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • The fortuneteller insists that Margaret will have sorrow pierce her heart, and inside Jekyll's saintly exterior is a monster. The others shrug this off.
    • Helen witnesses the truth about Jekyll and Hyde and tries desperately to get people to believe what she saw, but they don't.
  • Cats Are Mean: Hyde draws frequent comparisons to cats in his mannerisms, having a predatory walk and glowing eyes in the dark.
  • Composite Character:
    • Mr. Utterson combines traits of himself from the book and Sir Danvers Carew.
    • Helen takes Lanyon's role as the one who fetches the chemicals and sees Hyde transform back.
  • Creepy Child: Mr. Jekyll and Utterson are terrified at the expression of wrath in the young Henry's face, noting that the first time it happened was when he was two years old.
  • Death by Adaptation: Hyde kills Poole's wife as one of his final acts of evil.
  • Death by Despair: Jekyll's mother is so worried and scared at Margaret's shock at meeting Hyde that she takes ill and dies.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Jekyll's father shrugs off his fugue and deep thoughts on human nature as matters too heavy for someone his age.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Everyone can instinctively sense that Hyde is someone to beware. Jekyll also causes wariness as if people can sense Hyde's evil within him.
  • Disease Bleach: Prolonged use of the potion, as well as the guilt from murdering Utterson, made Jekyll sickly and old before he was thirty and turned his hair white.
  • Disney Villain Death: David Markham is so terrified at Jekyll's evil side he backs out of a tower window and dies.
  • Dramatic Irony: The headmaster at Jekyll's college doesn't know about his evil side and asks him to root out a bad influence among the students.
  • Driven to Suicide: Faced with being found by the police after Utterson's murder, Hettie commits suicide.
  • Enfant Terrible: Hyde's evil emerged in Jekyll at a very young age, terrifying his parents and peers.
  • Evil Feels Good: Hyde muses that while he's done many depraved things, he's never yet murdered and wonders how it feels.
  • Evil is Petty: One of Hyde's pettier acts of villainy was to pay to eat a pasty Sam's sweetheart, Herza, had made for her love. He then ate it in front of him and gloated about it.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Jekyll has this when indulging in evil before he starts taking the potion.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: A horrifying example when Utterson tells Hyde that Margaret will only marry Jekyll over his dead body. Hyde replies that that's exactly what will happen, locks the door, and murders him.
  • For the Evulz: Hyde wrecks Sam and Herza's lives just because he was there and it sounded fun.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When confessing to his father about his evil deeds, Jekyll thinks that if he can do such evil at 19, what might he be capable of later in life?
    • A fortuneteller reads Jekyll's hands and warns him not to joke about the hangman, as the only other person she saw with such marks died on the gallows.
  • Gaslighting: Jekyll uses Helen's account of Hyde turning into him as proof she's suffering delusions. By the time he admits she's right she's begun to believe him.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Hyde says that Jekyll lost any chance at peace and happiness when he first drank the drug and brought him out, taking over his body to prove it.
  • Hearing Voices: In episode 5 Hyde emerges when Margaret is sleeping, hears Jekyll's voice in his mind, and fights with him over whether to assault the sleeping Margaret. It's reversed in episode 42 as Hyde returns to argue with Jekyll, taking control of their body without the potion.
  • Hysterical Woman: Helen is completely hysterical after seeing Hyde transform back into Jekyll and has to be sedated repeatedly.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: While Jekyll is mostly good with some bad in him, Hyde is pure evil. It's different from the norm in that Hyde emerges in Jekyll even as a child, continuing into adulthood without the need for drugs; the only real difference after he takes the potion is in their appearances, voices, and how long Hyde is in control.
  • Karma Houdini: Jekyll gets Markham to take the fall for both of them having affairs with girls. When he threatens to rat him out, Hyde scares him into falling out the window, then tricks Hettie into heading to London with the promise he'll send her money. He doesn't, and gets away with the crime completely.
  • Kneel Before Zod: When Herza tries to knife him, Hyde shows he's in control by disarming her, forcing her to kneel before him, and apologize.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Jekyll's go-to method for deflecting suspicion and avoiding bad memories is to ask his companions to never mention things again.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: George Edwards voiced almost all of the male characters himself.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The drama opens when Jekyll is 12.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, Hyde killing Mr. Utterson is treated as the point of no return for him, horrifying Jekyll to the point of sickness.
  • Morality Chain: Margaret is this for Jekyll. Hyde notes that if her father hadn't kept her away from him Hyde would have ceased to exist long ago.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jekyll is horrified at Markham's death and his role in it, but takes steps to protect himself nonetheless. He also blames himself/Hyde for his parents' deaths.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Jekyll's father is given the name Edward, while in the book he was unnamed.
  • Old Money: Jekyll inherited a fortune from his father, who made most of it on the stock exchange.
  • Proper Lady: Margaret Utterson is one even at 10 years old.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Jekyll gets his palms read by a fortuneteller, who says that one hand's the good in him and one's the bad.
  • Split Personality: Hyde is Jekyll's depravity given being and name. Like the book, they share the same mind, and he says that murdering Utterson was something Jekyll thought about for years.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: The more Jekyll takes the potion, the stronger Hyde's influence becomes, and it gets to the point where if he dozes off or even blinks Hyde can take over.
  • Spoiler Title: Most of the episode titles are very spoilery on major events.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: Despite Hyde running into the little girl at around midnight, a sizable crowd gathers around them. Several mob members have to be held back from attempting to murder Hyde.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Jekyll's chemistry professor is the first to create and test the potion, but it kills him. Jekyll vows to succeed where he failed, and does so.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Jekyll eventually tries to marry his nurse, Helen, though he still pines for Margaret.