The BBC has almost cornered the market in family-friendly fantasy in the UK, although ITV had some success with Primeval. But that wormhole/monster silliness couldn't hold a candle to Doctor Who or Merlin. The BBC's telefantasy has stumbled with Atlantis (although some people enjoy it), but they still reign supreme when you remember another of ITV counter-attacks was Demons. Remember that sub-Buffycalamity?
Not it seems ITV are rolling up their sleeves and having another go. They've just commissioned two 13-episode fantasy drama series, to provide tougher competition to the world-conquering Doctor Who. They are: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde (written by Charlie Higson) and Beowulf (from Walking With Dinosaurs producer Tim Haines).
Kevin Lygo, head of ITV Studios, is currently looking for a co-production partner to help the shows secure international distribution.
Little is know about either show, other than what's obvious from the fact they're adaptations of well-known stories. Will Higson's take on Jekyll & Hyde be a period piece, or a modern update? Will Beowulf require extensive CGI monsters, which ex-Primeval producer Haines is well placed to provide through his connections with Impossible Pictures and visual effects company Framestore? Yeah, definitely.
But I guess we'll find out for sure in due course... but what do you think? Are these projects you have an interest in, or would you prefer something completely original?