Imagine if the same man created "Friends," then popped in once a year to write that season's best episode of "The X-Files," and on the side dabbled in updating 19th century English literature for a contemporary TV audience.
There may be American TV writers talented enough to pull off that kind of hat trick, but the business rarely encourages that kind of genre-hopping. The British TV system isn't so quick to pigeonhole, which is how a man like Steven Moffat gets to show off his amazing versatility.
He created "Coupling" -- the original BBC version, not the loathed NBC remake, which we'll get back to -- a hilarious comedy of sexual manners about six intertwined pals. Each season, he's writ ten an episode of the new "Doctor Who" series that's held up as that year's highlight.
(In season one, it was the Lon don Blitz two-parter. For season two, he gave us "The Girl in the Fireplace," with the Doctor and Madame De Pompadour having a love affair that spanned either a few hours or a lifetime, depending on which one you asked. In early September, Sci Fi Channel will present "Blink," a paradox-filled treat that the British fans adored even though it barely featured the Doctor at all.)
And on Saturday night, BBC America presents "Jekyll," Moffat's riveting six-hour (though aired here in four installments, the first and last double-length) sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
To read the full thing, click here. (If you'd prefer to go straight to the printer-friendly one-page version, click here, then close your printer pop-up window.) I'll be blogging about all four installments of "Jekyll," which is terrific. (Though I feel I should add the usual BBC America caveat that I have no idea how badly it'll be cut up when it airs.)