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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Describe Jackman's personality in the Jekyll pilot series.

Quick answer:

Dr. Tom Jackman is a promising scientist and devoted family man, but he suffers from a dark alter ego known as Mr. Hyde who preys on the innocent. To protect his wife and children from this monster within, Jackman disappears from their lives only to resurface years later as he continues his search for answers about his mother's past. Jackman's personality is best described as kind, intelligent, and self-sacrificing. He seeks truth in all things and uses his knowledge to help others even though it may come at great personal expense, such as when he leaves his family to protect them from the evil that dwells inside of him.

Expert Answers

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In Jekyll, a modern adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Tom Jackman turns out to be a descendent of the original Mr. Hyde. For a long time, however, he does not realize it. He marries and has a family, a wife and two children, whom he sincerely loves, and he pursues his career as a man of science and appears to try to be guided by reason rather than emotion or passion. Jackman's wife, Claire, even calls him repressed at one point, suggesting that he holds his feelings within and tries to conquer his passions, perhaps even to an unhealthy extent.

When Jackman begins to transform into his altar ego, the violent Mr. Hyde, he knows what he needs to do. To keep his family safe, he leaves them. He gives no explanations. He merely moves out, appearing to suddenly abandon his wife and sons. Yet he does this only to protect them. Hyde is vicious, and Jackman fears what he will do to Claire and the boys. He will sacrifice himself and his reputation. He will be miserable. He will even let his family hate him just as long as they are safe.

Yet Jackman cannot stay completely away from his family, and this, too, tells us something about his personality. He visits Claire. His love wins out over his fear. And at the end of the series, Jackman is still seeking truth as he tracks down Sophia, his mother, and learns her horrifying secret. He might have done better to leave that alone.

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