My father is a mega-fan of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Consequently, I grew up watching multiple adaptations of it every year at Christmastime. This tradition has held for me even as I’ve moved out of my parents’ home and into my adult life. I watch at least two depictions of it every year, but usually more. I love the story. It always has a new lesson for me to learn. It never ceases to be relevant, no matter where I find myself in life. Thanks to the BBC, I’ll have a totally new version to watch this year.
I’ve seen many an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, but none quite like this. The scenes are dimly lit and very grey. The music is ominous, as is the voice-over. The make-up for a few characters make them look like Doctor Who villains. It’s all rather spooky which I suppose is fitting for a ghost story. Maybe this will live up to the idea of “scary ghost stories of Christmases long, long ago.”
We also see what appears to be a large group of people killed in a collapsed structure, with the implication that this was an evil wrought by Scrooge himself. This is compelling to me. I would like to see more of the real consequences of Scrooge’s actions. If we see just how much damage he caused in the lives of others, his ultimate redemption will only be more meaningful.
It’s hard to know what they hope to accomplish with this take on the tale. They clearly want Scrooge to be (oddly) young and very sexy. But no Scrooge will ever be sexier than Sir Patrick Stewart was in his adaptation. And as far as the apparent horror aspect goes, nothing in any depiction of the classic will be more frightening than Ignorance and Want in the George C. Scott version. I still shudder when I think about it. But perhaps they’ll prove me wrong. Either way, I’ll be sure to avoid any under-done turnips before watching.
A Christmas Carol will release exclusively on the BBC this December.