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HIDE: David Tennant trades Doctor Who for Jekyll & Hyde in Peacock’s new thriller

By Benjamin Bullard
David georgia Tennant

David Tennant is putting a familiar face on the classic Jekyll and Hyde tale, headlining an in-development Peacock series aimed at “reimagining it for the 21st Century.” That’s just how the Doctor Who alum is teasing HIDE, a new drama thriller that's set to feature a fascinating on-screen pairing: the Tenth Doctor actor alongside his real-life wife, Georgia Tennant (Doctor Who, Merlin).

Peacock sent out the news today that HIDE is entering development as an upcoming hour-long series that updates author Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 double-identity tale, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. With the two Tennants in the lead, though, HIDE will unfold its split-personality story with a modern-day twist.

“A Jekyll & Hyde tale by way of a conspiracy thriller, a disgraced journalist [David Tennant] stumbles upon a story that could resurrect his career,” the network teases. “But he quickly learns he’s seen something he shouldn’t have, and is now the target of unknown adversaries who will do anything to silence him. On the run as people around him go missing or die, a serious accident has an extraordinary side effect, and he realizes there are monsters in the world — and he may be one of them.”

In addition to starring in HIDE, the Tennants are also on board as executive producers, alongside Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (Agent Carter), both of whom will also write the series and (via Deadline) serve as showrunners. Also executive producing is Julie Anne Robinson (Castle Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), who will direct.

In Peacock’s big reveal, David Tennant said he’s always been drawn to the Jekyll and Hyde mythos, and that seizing the chance to play a present-day version of Stevenson’s anguished character was pretty much a no-brainer.

“One of my earliest jobs was playing ‘first policeman’ in a BBC radio adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” he explained. “I read the book many years ago and I’ve been fascinated with this character for as long as I can remember. This story has followed me around for years, tapping on my shoulder slightly impatiently. When Julie Anne approached me to talk about reimagining it for the 21st century, alongside her, the magnificent Fazekas and Butters, and with the ever-brilliant Georgia Tennant, I didn’t let her finish the sentence. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be playing this character, telling this story, and working with these people.” 

Long a source of inspiration for generations of science fiction creators, Stevenson’s original tale narrated the dark, double-edged tragedy that unfolds as the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll tries to find a guilt-free way to tap into his bad side. Thinking he’s solved the problem with science, the good doctor concocts a potion meant to remove his sense of hesitation and remorse for evil deeds under his “Mr. Hyde” persona.

There’s no early word on when HIDE might debut, and we don’t yet know all the ways the new series could play with the original story. But in Stevenson’s tale…well, let’s just say things don’t end well. Here’s to keeping our dark sides fully in check as we await more HIDE development news ahead of a hopeful series premiere at Peacock.

Peacock and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.