Sunday, December 1, 2013

Year Two. Day One: "Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol" (2010)

T'is the season, yet again, for my Christmas Carol challenge, and I have returned with 24 more versions of the classic Christmas tale.

I shall warn you, that as most of the well loved and notable versions were covered last year, this time around, things are going to get rather peculiar around here, with some very bizarre adaptations!

For my first day of the challenge, I watched this absolutely splendid version, which is hard to describe as an adaptation, more as a new story inspired by Dickens' tale.

Michael Gambon is the Scrooge-like antagonist of this version, Kazran Sardick; a seemingly heartless miser who harvests the frozen bodies of those who are indebted to him as "collateral," in a huge underground crypt. As one of many nods to the original, he describes these people in stasis as "the excess population."

Meanwhile, a huge spaceship with over 4,000 people aboard, is hurtling towards earth, with only the sympathy of Sardick to save them - that is, if he can ever find his heart.

The Doctor is on hand to lead Sardick back to his childhood, through labyrinths of memories of his cruel father, a vicious flying shark and a beautiful woman who has been frozen for years in an underground capsule.

Amy Pond, appears as a hologram to serve as the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present and she, along with the Doctor, gradually find ways to thaw this unkind man's heart.

To say anymore would be to ruin a genuine Christmas treasure. This story plays homage to its source but is not bound by it (there are no flying sharks in the original, more's the pity!)

With a truly moving ending, that is completely in the spirit of Dickens' book: that anyone, regardless of how wicked they may seem, is capable of redemption and deserving of a second chance. It may not be one of the most faithful adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but it is a haunting, beautiful tale of long lost love and that most overlooked of traits: simple human kindness - and that there is no such thing as an "uninteresting person."

As festive as snow falling on Gallifrey.

"Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol." 5/5

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