Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"A Christmas... Carol..."

A Christmas Carol has not just been adapted, its story has also served as the template for other stories. Here's a couple examples that are very clear where they got their inspiration from.

Brer Rabbit's Christmas Carol takes us to a community based on the tales of Uncle Remus. Brer Rabbit is hosting a play of A Christmas Carol to raise funds for Timmy Rabbit's medicine. However, Brer Fox seems to be messing up everything with his greed. So Brer Rabbit decides to give Brer Fox a surprise with a late night performance of A Christmas Carol with Brer Fox as Scrooge! But Brer Bear catches a glimpse and thinks real ghosts are tormenting Brer Fox, so he turns to social outcast Brer Gator for help. Will Brer Fox learn his lesson? Will Brer Bear ruin everything?

It's a fun little cartoon. It falls far from the impact of Dickens' story, but it's fun nonetheless.

The 2010 Christmas episode of Doctor Who decided to do a sci-fi re-imagining of Dickens story. The title? A Christmas Carol.

On a planet supposedly in the future, fish swim in the air and the weather is controlled by a machine run by Kazran Sardick (Michael Gambon). The problem? In the storm clouds currently above the planet is a floundering cruise vessel containing many passengers, including the Doctor's friends Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill). The storm needs to subside so they can land safely.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) finds Kazran obstinate to do anything about it, so taking a cue from Dickens' story, he visits Kazran, and then proceeds to go back in time with the TARDIS to Kazran's past, taking the boy on adventures, and introducing him to the captive (and captivating) Abigail (Katherine Jenkins). Throughout Kazran's life, he goes on many merry Christmas Eve outings with the Doctor and Abigail, until he decides to call it off.

A holographic transmission of Amy shows present day Kazran the people that will die, and he reveals that the reason why he is now obstinate to do anything: the Doctor made him care about Abigail, who he had frozen in a box as security on a debt her family owed. She is terminally ill and had only a small number of days left to live, and in her trips with the Doctor and Kazran, she has used all but one. Kazran values that one last day with her highly.

The Doctor returns and Kazran asks if he's going to be shown the future. The Doctor replies he is showing it to Kazran right now, revealing Kazran as a boy with him. The ripple effect makes Kazran realize what he needs to do, and with some help from Abigail, the storm clouds subside and the cruise ship is able to make a safe landing. Kazran and Abigail go to enjoy their final day together.

Writer Steven Moffat cleverly reworks Dickens' tale with sci fi and time travel twists. A very fun and heartwarming episode.

No comments: