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Dr Jekyll & Mr Crun

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Episode 16 of the fourth series tells the story of ‘Dr Jekyll & Mr Crun’ – a delightful concept, and a shame no recording exists.

It was broadcast at the slightly later time of 9:45pm on 15 January 1954 and is listed on page 42 of the Radio Times.

The original story – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886.

I’ve not read the original book, but I’ve seen several film depictions of the characters – not to mention several Marvel films featuring The Hulk, who is essentially the same.

It’s probably due to these influences that I’ve always assumed the evil Mr Hyde to be bigger and stronger than Dr Jekyll, but apparently Hyde was smaller in the original story. Productions more true to the original tend to portray Hyde as a true alter-ego, changing wardrobe and character only and not size.

There have been more than 50 adaptations of the story for TV and film, plus a few more versions that played about with the split personality and good versus evil tropes. There was a Hammer Horror production called Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, as well as a number of stage plays and musical versions. For fans of truly terrible films, the 1995 production Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde looks utterly atrocious.

As an antidote to that horror show, I recommend a dose of Tom & Jerry. The episode ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Mouse’, first screened in June 1947, featured Tom trying to keep Jerry out of his milk by poisoning it, but instead Jerry becomes a muscle-mouse and chases Tom. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject in the same year.

[Orchestra: Bloodnok theme] [FX: Bubbling cauldron, explosions] Bloodnok: Gad, There must be a cure for this I tell you. I can’t go in the street...

(from 'The Spon Plague', Series 8 Episode 23, broadcast 3 March 1958)

Image of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde sourced from the Library of Congress.

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