Geek Dave goes all bah humbug and takes a look at 7 different sci-fi / fantasy shows that presented their own version of Charles Dickens classic tale A Christmas Carol.
For me there in no better Christmas story than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Depending on your religious beliefs I guess you may disagree with that statement, but one thing we should all be able to agree upon is that it's the perfect Christmas tale for sci-f-/fantasy shows to adapt, as it already kind of includes time travel. And adapt it they have, time and time again. Here are some of the best...
The X-Files - Christmas Carol
The Christmas episode from 1997 sees The X-Files put their own unique spin on the Charles Dickens tale. Instead of Scrooge being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future it is Scully who is "visited" by her deceased sister Melissa, and several earlier versions of herself.
Quantum Leap - A Little Miracle
Quantum Leap's Christmas 1990 episode saw Sam leap into Reginald Pearson, personal valet to Michael Blake, a greedy industrialist who will tear down a Salvation Army mission at Christmastime if Sam can't get him to change his ways. After an off-handed comment from Al, Sam decides what they need to give Blake the Scrooge treatment, with Sam as The Ghost of Christmas Past and Present, and Al as Christmas Future.
A Jetsons Christmas Carol
An animated special from 1985 with George Jetsons boss Mr. Spacely receiving the Scrooge treatment. It is Christmas Eve in Orbit City, and the Jetsons are planning to celebrate it the only way they can - as a family. However, George and the other employees of Spacely Space Sprockets are hounded by the intergalactic Scrooge of the company, Mr. Spacely, who detests the holiday season so much that he forces George to work overtime and head home late that night. Astro the dog is the 'Tiny Tim' of the story, and there's even a small cameo for the Flintstones.
The Six Million Dollar Man - A Bionic Christmas Carol
Originally aired on December 12, 1976. Horton Budge has little Christmas spirit, and none for his nephew Bob Crandall and his family. Bob at one time embezzled money from his uncle and must now work it off - he's basically now a slave to his tyrannical uncle. Steve Austin dresses as Santa Claus and uses bionic trickery to show Budge the error of his ways. It seems Bob only embezzled the money after he had asked his uncle for a loan to pay the medical bills to save the life of his desperately ill wife, but had been turned down. To the surprise of no one, Budge learns his lesson and begins to spend Christmas with his estranged family.
Doctor Who - A Christmas Carol
Steven Moffat delivers a typically timey-wimey take on the traditional Christmas favourite. Featuring Michael Gambon as the Scrooge-like Kazran Sardick. Our own Tony Fyler covered this for the site and does it far better justice than I can here, so check it out.
Back To The Future: The Animated Series - Dickens Of A Christmas
A strange take on A Christmas Carol from the 1991 Back To The Future cartoon. Doc takes his family and Marty back to London on Christmas Eve 1845. Eventually they run into Ebiffnezer Tannen, who throws a
shopkeeper, his family, and Doc's wife Clara into a debtor's prison. Doc and Marty
decide to teach Ebiffnezer a lesson on humanity by
having Marty dress up as the ghost of Christmas (with flying effects
created by the hoverboard). Ebiffnezer has a change of heart and
releases everyone. There are also some elements from another Dickens' tale Oliver Twist woven into the story.
Xena: Warrior Princess - A Solstice Carol
From the second season and broadcast December 1996 this episode sees Xena and Gabrielle arrive in a kingdom where celebrating the Solstice is forbidden. Xena devises a plan to stop King Silvus from closing an orphanage. He is then visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his wicked ways.
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This article was originally published December 19th 2014