Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (July 6, 2007)


BBC America‘s upcoming series
Jekyll, a modern reinvention of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, features
a lesbian couple: a private detective named Miranda, played by Meera
, and her partner, Min, played by Fenella Woolgar.
Here’s Meera:

And here’s Fenella:

The good news? I just saw the first episode, and the show is absolutely riveting — and Miranda is a P.I. with some real real backbone.The bad news? Min is pregnant. Cue the collective groan.

Apparently actress Fenella Woolgar is pregnant in real life, but you can’t tell in the first episode, and I’m not convinced it was necessary to make the lesbian couple expecting a baby. Now it just makes me expect that there will be some danger to the unborn baby in a future episode. Yawn.

Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the actresses behind these new lesbian characters.

Meera Syal is familiar to British viewers for her role as Sushil “Ummi” Kumar in the BBC2 series The Kumars at No. 42, and she also played the role of Miss Chauhan in the 1996 film Beautiful Thing. In 1997, she was made a Member of the British Empire, the most junior class (of five) in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. That means that Meera’s only got four more classes to ascend before she can be called a Dame.

Fenella Woolgar, who plays Min, is best known for her role as Agatha Runcible in Bright Young Things (2003), a gay-friendly (or gay-winking) adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies.

In Jekyll, Syal’s character, Miranda, is initially hired by Dr. Tom Jackman’s (aka Dr. Jekyll) wife to investigate him, because she suspects he’s having an affair. Miranda soon discovers that Dr. Jackman’s issues are much bigger than cheating, and despite the danger (Mr. Hyde is, well, psychotic), she is intrigued by him and continues to seek out the truth about his existence.

“A lot of detective roles you read are a load of cliches,” Syal has said about the role. “Miranda was such a different character and I really enjoyed her relationship with Min, not just because she’s a lesbian but because the kind of banter they have is funny and fresh and rather Noel Cowardy. And they’re also actually probably one of the happiest couples in the whole series! Miranda and Min’s relationship is one of the spines running through the drama.”

The woman who plays Tom Jackman’s assistant, psychiatric nurse Katherine Reimer, is Michelle Ryan, who will play the title role in NBC’s new incarnation of Bionic Woman, which premieres this fall.

Jekyll premieres on BBC America on Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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