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Jekyll and Hyde

Cover art from the graphic novel, showing a nicely canonical Mr Hyde.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886.

The plot revolves around the lawyer Gabriel John Utterson, who investigates the strange behaviour of his friend Doctor Jekyll and the connection to the misanthrope Mister Hyde. It turns out that Dr Jekyll, attempting to create a potion which will separate his good and evil sides, instead creates a potion which just allows his evil side—Mr Hyde—to manifest. Since Mr Hyde looks different from Dr Jekyll, he can commit acts that Jekyll would never be suspected of. The problem? Mr Hyde commits murder. And then Jekyll discovers he's transforming without the help of the potion.

Although associated with mental illness and split personality disorder, the story of Jekyll and Hyde actually may be considered some of the first science fiction, along with The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells and Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelly. It is considered a classic and is read in English-speaking classrooms worldwide.

Adaptations and Badfic Edit

JekyllandHydeCD

CD cover for the musical soundtrack.

The novel and its characters have been re-imagined in many adaptations throughout the years, including a highly popular stage musical, several films of varying quality, and a video game that is considered by some to be the worst on the NES. Because it is not likely that a fan of the original text will be interested in writing badfic, it can usually be assumed the badficcer is visualizing one of these later adaptations much in the way that any token LotR movieverse fangirl visualizes Orlando Bloom when talking about Legolas.

One of the biggest differences between book and stage versions and the various films is that the most recent film portrayals have Hyde as a hulking, muscle-bound giant, completely unlike his canonically small, mean form.

Fans of the stage musical may be drawn to the sympathetic light Dr. Jekyll is put in and woobify him, or feature his double Mr Hyde as an almost Phantom of the Opera–like misunderstood lust object. This is squicky—Mr Hyde is always portrayed as monstrous, unkempt, or hideous in addition to completely depraved.

There are also a number of stories that aren't direct adaptations, but are based on the basic premise of a person with a secret alternate persona. For example, the film The Nutty Professor (both versions) is one of those closer to the original story. These should be considered their own continua, even more so than the adaptations.

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