Thursday, February 6, 2014

Picture of the Week: Taping Dr. Jekyll

This week, it's a rare colour shot of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis and director Charles Jarrott on the set of Curtis' 1967 adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde. After Dark Shadows was commissioned in 1966, the show's producer wasted no time in getting more gothic-themed projects off the ground, and this lavish Canadian co-production was the result.

When the two-part TV special was first announced in October 1966, The Pittsburgh Press reported on plans to tape in London from a script by Twilight Zone supremo Rod Serling, and Jason Robards playing the title roles. By the time Dr. Jekyll finally stepped in front of the cameras in Spring 1967, Serling had moved on and taping had relocated to Canada via New York, with Jack Palance taking the lead role.

The finished production slouched in ABC's ratings but received critical acclaim, netting four Emmy nominations, including one for Dick Smith's special make-up. Dan Curtis used Smith again to create Jonathan Frid's memorable old-age make-up for Dark Shadows. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is available on DVD and can be purchased by clicking here

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Sharon Lynn H. said...

Beautiful on set Studio shot. Yes, I certainly do remember this creepy Mystery-Thriller of Actor Jack Palance playing Dr. Jerkyll/Mr. Hyde. The movie sends a deep chill through your bones. Very scary.

D.S. Fan said...

I'm not sure how reliable television ratings were in those days. Neilson families had a box in their homes and I thought they were also required to keep certain cumbersome records. They were just a fraction of audience who supposedly represented the public. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a major television event. My parents stayed home from church that Sunday night in January 1968 to watch this blockbuster. I am not sure if our TV station aired the whole thing on one night (some of the stations aired things at different times) or if this was part 2 only, but I'd overheard my dad telling someone about it at church earlier that day. So I thought he had seen part of it already or commercials. My parents wouldn't let us watch it because (1) it was violent and (2) we were noisy kids, but I saw a few seconds and thought the music sounded exactly like Dark Shadows (which we kids watched and our parents didn't). I see many newspaper articles from 1968 about the movie in online repositories, but they don't mention the ratings.

Daniel Ziegler said...

When it was first on in the winter of 1968, the Robert Cobert music written for it had not yet been heard on the series which was showing 1795 at the time. The J&H music began showing up on DS in April 1968 right after 1795 was over. When J&H reran in the fall of 1968, we were familiar with the new music by then and fans began to recognize it.

Sharon Lynn H. said...

Actor Christopher Pennock played a very creepy and dangerous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde himself: on DARK SHADOWS. My heart went out to his Cyrus Longworth (very shy/withdrawn) and Yaeger he was devious-insane. Quite frightening the dual Role he played, did an incredible job with all his characters (JEB & Gabriel are my fave of all his Roles) on the much beloved Classic DS'S.