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 Introduction

There are basic components in a screenplay; not the least important is preparation!
Also, a whole lot of research went into this project. What follows is a thorough look at the historical context for the story.

Special attention is paid to the historical setting: Jekyll's Daughter takes place in a very specific time period, namely, Edwardian Times, circa 1911. Context is essential.
What follows here is some rather detailed historical background and specific visual aids:

For example, it is one year before the Titanic sets sail on her Maiden Voyage,
though she was actually launched from Belfast in May 1911.

 

 

Cars are appearing everywhere, and electrification is progressing; there are approximately 122,000 telephones throughout Great Britain.

   

 

 

The London Tube is operational and expanding.

 

 

 

 

Aviation is highly primitive. Flights of over 100 miles were extremely rare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

King George V is coronated in June 1911, succeeding Edward VII,
technically bringing the Edwardian Period to a close.


 

 

Long before television and even radio broadcasting, films are continuing to develop: titles replace commentators, newsreels appear, DW Griffith is on the scene and the first "film star" Mary Pickford is popular. London has 400 cinemas by 1912.

 

 

 

Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and Monet, among others have changed the face of art.

Mahler (d. 1911), Strauss, Stravinsky, Irving Berlin and early Jazz reflect current and now diverse tastes in music.

 

   
The suffragette movement is in full swing but it is still some years before women can
actually cast ballots. Women in Britain (over age 30) do not get to vote until 1918.

 

 


Freud's seminal work, "The Interpretation of Dreams" is already a decade old.


Albert Einstein has introduced The Special Theory of Relativity. (1908)


Winston Churchill has just been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. (1911)

The outbreak of World War I is still some three years distant.

 

 

Slice of Life...
Some period photos to keep the story in context:

  A wedding and a graduation photo

 
An outdoor picnic and a crowded London Street

 

 


A magazine cartoon from 1902, probably a Gibson Girl.

 


A family group from 1910

 

Tea time in the summer of 1909


 Locations & Settings

The next big component is the setting; the actual locations described in the story; London and Scotland and how they appeared at the time. There is a distinction between actual locations, i.e. specific scenes in the story, and general period settings. A lot of research has already been done. I prefer finding actual photos of the locations in question, both exterior shots and interiors. It greatly helps to have a visual reference point.

Some Choice London Settings to set the mood:

 
 

 

The following are illustrative of Edinburgh in Edwardian times:

 
Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street, circa 1910

 
Waverly Station and Drummond Street

 

The Jekyll House on the Square is perhaps the hardest location to pin down.
It is essentially two houses: the respectable front and the dark, mysterious back door.
Here are a few attempts:

    

   

 

 

The cottage in Scotland's wild north, where Henri spent the summer in battle:

 

 

 

 

 

Portobello, just outside Edinburgh where Isabelle held a huge Summer Gala:

 

 

 

 

 

Interior shots are more difficult to find:

   

 

 

Henri's lab, found abandoned and then well-equipped

 

 

The law offices of Mr. Nicholas Archer where his clerks labored ceaselessly

 


A period library

 


An Edwardian Theater Lobby, a favorite haunt of Jonathan, Isabelle and Enfield

 


A Theatre of another kind; the Surgical Theatre downstairs from Henri's laboratory

 


A corner of Henrietta's laboratory

 

 

I'll post more as they become available...

 

 Fashions

Edwardian fashion is perhaps not the most exciting topic. Again the fashions reflect the transitional nature of the times. Tightly laced corsets are becoming a thing of the past. The Gibson Girl's (the pin-up of her day) popularity is beginning to wane. Women are wearing less restrictive clothes, though still very modest. The brassiere has yet to be invented (some sources say 1913) or at least popularized. While Coco Chanel was famous in Paris for her hats at the time, it was two years before she introduced a line of "Women's Sportswear." And yes... Hats are ever-popular!

I have already gathered a considerable stock of fashion plates:

 
 

And I'll be posting more as they become available.

 

 

Along with fashion comes various artifacts to consider, some general,
some specific to the story:

   
Gas in the Fireplace, Chemical Supplies and a Period Telephone

 

   
A Period Microscope, A Cheval Mirror (three-way) and An Edwardian Letter Box

 

 

And last but not least, an assortment of conveyances:

   
Bicycles were an ever popular mode of transportation for men and women...

 

 

 

 
It was the era of the "Brass" Automobile.
Pictured here, a camper from 1911 and a 1912 Maxwell

 

 

 

 
Not much traffic at this London tunnel, nor many passengers for this train!

 

 Casting Characters

Of course it is not my task to actually cast the characters, though I have provided specific details on how they may look. This is far different from the novel, where the characters are only sketched in the broadest terms, allowing the reader to picture them in their own mind. The character biographies also go some way in visualizing them. I understand there is never complete agreement between what one imagines and an actual photograph.

Another aspect of the characters specific to Jekyll's Daughter will be a reliance on special effects, namely the transformation between Henri and the Widow. For example, an actor playing Henri will probably need special make-up effects to make her less attractive and more attractive. I suppose CGI is not out of the question.

In future I plan post some more animated "morphs" to better make these crucial transitions visually understood.

 

 Write-up

Overall, I am a diehard fan of the old "Hammer Films" (usually starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing). No doubt this will greatly influence my approach to bringing Jekyll's Daughter to the big screen!

I also have the idea to employ one very specific device: the mirror. Since the story is told in such a way as to make the reader wonder if Henri's transformation is "real" ...or only in her mind— the mirror serves to visually enhance this paradox. On screen, when Henri looks into a mirror, she sees what she believes. But, when the camera looks into the mirror, it sees what is true.

Finally comes the write-up, the format of which is very specific and proscribed: from exterior shots to fully described interiors, characters and dialogue. The challenge lies in telling the story almost exclusively through conversation— a task I'm greatly looking forward to! It may seem a bit daunting at first... I will however rely on some of the work already begun in the Graphic Novel adaptation.

The latter is after all a kind of a story board and I fully expect many of the scenes to be similar, if not identical.

In future, look for scenes to be posted as completed... as drafts and revises become available.

 Introduction

An incredible picture! A lucky find! (artist unknown)

I am currently seeking illustrators for this rather large project.

As Jekyll's Daughter is clearly a period piece, some modern illustration styles may not lend themselves to this narrative. Nonetheless, if you're are interested in collaborating, please send me an email with a few samples of your work to art@jekyllsdaughter.com.

I'll post them up here for general feedback.

The overarching goal is to portray the story accurately, if not in a somewhat compressed manner, and in a dark and moody style.

 

 Blocking-out Pages

I'll be the first to admit that I am a terrible illustrator, but I've attempted to block the beginning scenes with some of the materials at hand and first draft text.

Future pages will probably rely on more very rough sketches, as well as materials at hand... at least until an real illustrator is on board!

Content will be posted as completed: both drafts and more finished pages. The first edition will be made available to premium members.

 

 Settings

A variety of locations and specific settings, rendered in a graphic style:

 
Edinburgh in 1911 and a corner of Henrietta's laboratory

 

 
A London Townhouse and the cottage by the North Sea

 

 
A view from Henri's window and the lab found abandoned



 Characters

Sometimes, backgrounds and characters may be created by different individual artists. Their respective style will, of course, need to blend seamlessly.

Here a few samples of characters only:

   
Henrietta, Malcolm and Granny

 

 

    Isabelle, Jonathan and The Widow

 

 


Henri in a 3-panel transformation

 

More will be posted as they are created!

 

 Introduction

  Long before the first draft of Jekyll's Daughter was penned a sequel was already scratching at the door. Ideas, notions and musings found their way on to various notebooks. Henri and her counterpart, Mrs. Hyde are just too interesting to leave alone.

  A large part of my thinking leans towards the "Lost Journal." It has become one of my favorite aspects of this site. I hope to tell the second story of Henri Jekyll and Alice Hyde by employing journal entries throughout the narrative. This is somewhat in keeping with the original story by Robert Louis Stevenson in which Dr. Jekyll told his story to JG Utterson in a long letter—very much like a journal. It also affords the opportunity to write in the first person.

The most difficult initial decision is how far towards the present do I bring Mrs. Hyde's story, and yet this prospect opens many doors. I will be happy to be freed from the schackles of 1911, in both narrative style and dialogue. Also, it will be possible to scientifically ground the workings of the formula in the emerging discipline of stem cell research.

  Currently, things have been a bit hectic: getting this book published and its site up and running; and I'm afraid that progress on the sequel has suffered. Once things settle down, it will move back to the top of my list and things will get rolling again!

 

 

 Ideas  and Themes

A few ideas and themes I've been mulling over...

Henri Vanishes—
In the beginning, Henri has submerged and the Widow finds herself alone; discovering herself, the world, and enjoying life to the fullest! Of course that cannot last...

The Widow Travels—
Perhaps dogged by Inspector Jinx and/or the events unfolding on the Continent (i.e. WWI is looming), the Widow decides to travel abroad. Traveling frees her from prying eyes and the few people remaining, who know her true identity. She should probably not board a certain vessel heading for New York City!

Henrietta's Revenge—
Oh yes, Henrietta can never disappear entirely! She will be back in any future narrative and she will be seeking revenge. The longer she is held back, the more her fury builds. The Widow is also dependent on Henri in many respects... She needs a continual supply of formula, and its improvements over time, especially as science advances through the century.

Mrs. Hyde Today—
I am sorely tempted to bring Mrs. Hyde into the present day. The narrative might follow her through the history of the last century... her struggles to survive and indeed flourish. In this regard she is "ageless—" at least when she is in her best form. When Henrietta re-emerges however, her true age may be revealed with horrific consequence.

Dorian Gray—
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde (1890-91) is also one of my favorite classic stories of the time period, and some of the thematic elements in that story have already been hinted at in Jekyll's Daughter. I would love to explore this further. And it is certainly in keeping with the above plot of bringing Alice Hyde into the present day.

Becoming One—
An important theme in Jekyll's Daughter, introduced but not explored fully is how Henrietta and Mrs. Hyde might learn to cohabit the same person. It explores with the integration of one's personality... how the divergent parts of any person must live side by side in order to function as a "sane" person.

Further Splits—
The flip side of personality integration is of course complete madness! While the split between "Good and Evil" is a thematic element in both RLS's original classic story and Jekyll's Daughter, the dawning of "Age of Relativism" casts doubt on such absolute judgments. There may be room to explore the divisions between Henri and Alice of varying degree... indeed, even the emergence of a "new personality."

More Daughters—
This is, I suppose, somewhat of a misnomer! The idea is more of a plot device. The appearance of more daughters is, in actuality, the various incarnations of Alice Hyde in the present day. The effects of the transformative draught may ebb and flow, presenting Mrs. Hyde in at least three guises... an older woman, a middle-aged woman, and, a young woman... The idea of her introducing her "daughters" to the world at large is merely a means of self defence and protection. They are all "her" but to the people she interacts with, they are three separate, related people.

 

 Excerpt

I wrote this scene some time ago.
As a quick set-up: We find the Widow in modern times, living a seemingly normal life...

In the course of researching the history of my great grandfather, Lloyd Wallace, a pioneer photographer from the turn of the last century, I came upon the name of Alice Hyde. She was a renowned model, at least renowned in her day, and apparently, my great grandfather’s favorite subject behind the lens. I often wondered if their relationship went any further. In my possession were a few faded and torn photographs and part of his old journal, none of which suggested anything more than a professional arrangement.

I was on my way to meet a different Mrs. Hyde, the grand daughter of his prized model, though coincidently, they shared the same first name. We had spoken over the phone on several occasions and I imagined her to be a frail old woman in her late sixties.

After several hours of driving I finally pulled into the driveway of a rambling country house and found Mrs. Hyde living quite comfortably in a remote suburb outside of Boston. This morning she was in the garden, on her hands and knees apparently burying something, when I approached that late May afternoon.

 

‘‘Mrs. Hyde,” I said rather loudly and from some distance, hoping to allow a frail old women the time to compose herself and rise to meet me. But she waited for me to come closer, then took my hand and gently pulled herself up. She didn’t need it though—I was surprised by how spry she was. She smiled, adjusted her sun hat and shook my hand.

“Very nice to meet you Mr. Wallace.”

My expectations were instantly dashed when I faced the woman. She was not old or bent or feeble as I imagined her. Here was a fairly robust, handsome woman in her sixties with a lot of class. She stooped just a little and had kept some of her figure. She presented it well in a neatly tailored one piece khaki dress cut to the knee, all under a loose, half-buttoned cardigan.

Her face, framed by an ultra-wide brimmed straw hat, kept her features in a slight shadow which no doubt made her look younger than her years. She was not a craggy, wrinkled old hag; her skin was surprisingly smooth and firm.

“Shall we go to the terrace for some iced tea?” she offered and led me towards a patio set up with chairs, a table and umbrella.

“Lovely place you have here,” I said idly as we walked to the terrace.

She smiled a thank you and showed me to a comfortable seat, then poured two large glasses of iced tea. Curiously, she took a long drink from one of the glasses before handing me my own. “Excuse me if I start without you,” she said. “I’m very thirsty from working in the garden.”

She walked back to the serving table swaying slightly and refilled her glass. She stood for a moment braced against the table and I thought she was seized by an illness. I watched her shut her eyes tightly and pucker her lips. She squared her shoulders and straightened herself to her full height, removing any sign of stoop from her posture. Her figure filled her dress well, what could be seen of it under the cardigan. She walked slowly to a swinging loveseat positioned under the umbrella just opposite me.

She sat primly on the edge of the seat, fiddled with her lapel and sipped her drink. “As we talked about: my very own grandmother,” she began, “back in 1912, was your great grandfather’s very favorite model. In Paris, I believe. Those were simpler days,” she said almost wistfully. “And of course I have some photographs as you requested.” She laughed a little and took a sip from her iced tea as if to mask her expression. She put her glass down and slowly took off her sun hat.

Her face, in the shadow of the umbrella, looked much younger than I had first noticed. Her eyes still had a spark to them. Her hair was shockingly white and very full. She edged back more fully in the chair. For an old woman, she still had quite a figure, which showed when she pushed back in the chair. She pulled her cardigan closer.

I wondered if it was a miracle of lingerie or plastic surgery. “I’m excited to see them,” I said. “And the journals?” I asked.

“Oh, the journals. Yes, I think I’ve located most of them. You’ll have to come inside and help me.” She took a long drink and set down the glass.

I wasn’t sure if she meant to go inside immediately.

She shifted her weight, arranged a pillow behind her and sat in the loveseat with one leg up and one dangling on the ground. Her rather full chest poked out from the cardigan as she arched her back. The maneuver also hiked up her skirt a little, and surprisingly, her legs were quite shapely and smooth. I tried not to stare. She took another sip of iced tea, as did I.

“Normally, my daughter or my granddaughter would have retrieved them from the attic, but neither of them are here today,” she said and pushed the loveseat into a slight rock.

I wondered if they were as pretty as Mrs. Hyde was when she was younger. I looked at her closely and tried to determine her age more accurately. She must have had extensive plastic surgery. My reckoning put her close to seventy and yet as I looked at her in the loveseat, she seemed much younger. Her face had signs of age, but she had smooth, firm skin and excellent bone structure. She had no sagging jowls or bags under her eyes, her lips were quite full and even her neck was smooth.

She pushed again with her leg and set the seat rocking. She seemed quite supple and vigorous. She unbuttoned her cardigan and wriggled out while giving me furtive glances, and I stared at her body, which filled out her dress very well.

She rose slowly and walked back to the serving table for another glass of iced tea. I now noticed that her dress seemed to be well above her knees, as if she had grown an inch or two, and it looked a bit tighter. “I do have a powerful thirst today,” she said as she poured. “Would you like some more Mr. Wallace?”

I had much more than half a glass remaining and I shook my head no as I took another sip. I eyed her through the rim of my glass as she stood by the table. Her figure was actually quite voluptuous and I was peeved at myself for finding such an old woman so attractive, though there was no denying how well she filled up the back side of that form fitted dress. It was a miracle of girdles I decided. I watched her take another long sip.

She turned slightly to the side and raised one foot up against the bottom of the table. Her legs were nearly perfect and sculpted, and her dress, I could swear, was now at lower thigh height. From profile, her breasts were also quite miraculous, much firmer than I had first noticed; her waist was quite narrow and I decided that plastic surgery and a strict exercise regime had taken a good twenty years off her appearance. She drained her glass and poured another, then turned to face me. My jaw must have dropped and I stared at the woman before me.

She stood straight and tall in the full sun. Her figure filled her dress more than perfectly, that is to say the dress was at least one size too small. Her face was smooth and the bright sun seemed to wash away all signs of age. She seemed for a moment like a well-kept woman in her mid-forties. She put her glass down on the table and said, “Shall we go inside Mr. Wallace?”

She turned and I followed her from a few feet behind, watching her walk with a sensual confidence, her hips swaying. It was my imagination, I’m sure, but it seemed as if her dress was even a bit shorter and almost too tight now. At the door she waited for me. I fumbled with handle and opened it. She moved very close to me and I noticed her marvelous scent. I looked into her pretty eyes and then down at her dress when she arched her back. It seemed to make her breasts swell. There was some cleavage visible though her neckline. She leaned hard against me as she entered the narrow doorway. I felt her breasts push firmly against me; hard nipples brushed against my chest and I felt my heart race.

The house was very dark, especially in contrast to the bright May morning. I followed her up several flights of stairs, watching her backside and marveling. Her dress seemed a bit shorter with every few steps, and scandalously tight. Once she mis-stepped and fell gently into my arms. I felt no girdle, just smooth tight muscle and flesh. I felt her in my arms and wanted her.

She smiled and laughed coyly, then took my hand and put it against her breast. I could feel it expanding, I thought, growing larger and firmer in my hand. She pulled away and scurried up the remaining steps. At the top of the stairs on a long landing she stopped and stood leaning against the wall. She was breathing very hard and fast. I came closer.

“Are you all right?” I asked and looked into her face. This was not the same woman I had met outside. She was at least thirty or forty years younger now.

She nodded yes and put her full weight against the wall. She closed her eyes and puckered her lips. She reached up and loosened her hair, letting it fall with a toss of her head; it fell thick and soft around her shoulders, and was not only white, but streaked with blonde.

I was not at all sure what I was seeing and yet, in front of my eyes she began to transform. Her breasts swelled up against the fabric of her dress, firm and upright, pushing against the seams. Cleavage pushed out from the front of her too-tight dress. She was breathing rhythmically and seemed to be growing taller.

Her face was changing too, the few remaining wrinkles were disappearing quickly, filling in from underneath. Her cheekbones rose and protruded elegantly. Her jaw and chin grew more defined. Her eyes got wider, larger, and the top corners slanted up and back. Her eyelashes were certainly thicker and longer. Her nose got slightly smaller and her nostrils flared wide. Her lips began to swell, red, swollen, moist and pouty, they grew to nearly twice their previous size.

She was breathing hard. Her hips widened severely pushing against the dress, straining the seams, and she was growing taller still, some four or five inches from when we first met. Her legs grew longer, her buttocks firmer, rounder and higher. Her dress was now up around her upper thighs.

She opened her mouth in a kind of a silent gasp and began to caress her own transforming body, pushing between her legs and up across her waist and hips, and hard against her breasts. Up to her shoulders and long smooth neck and across her transformed face. She hiked up her dress and was on me, straddling me, her arms around my neck. Her heaving breasts pushing hard against my chest. I entered her, hot and moist. My lips met hers, swollen red and wet. She pulled me down to the floor. She arched her back and neck and then pulled me into her. She was a fantasy, a goddess come to life.

 

She was a seventy year old woman, a voice screamed inside of me.