Mascot new lookTime for another post in Balladeer’s Blog’s TENTH annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain  unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years. 

“Blame Canada” for today’s version of A Christmas Carol. In 1978 Theatre Three in Edmonton, Alberta filmed their stage adaptation of the Carol and broadcast it in the USA as well as their own country. It’s been popping up on PBS and various cable outlets ever since. “Minimalist” would be the watchword for this version, from the nearly bare stage to the slimmed- down cast.

Marley’s Ghost not only chews Scrooge out in the usual way, but serves as Ebenezer’s ghostly guide through Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come.

Scrooge’s nephew Fred and his wife, as well as the two charity solicitors have likewise been compressed into this Carol’s new characters, Mr and Mrs Monty (Insert your own Full Monty joke here) . Warren Graves, who  scripted this adaptation, stars as Scrooge and his son Colin plays a Tiny Tim who has a churlish streak of Artful Dodger in him which makes him a nice change of pace from the usually angelic Tims.

The down side of this Carol is the fact that it’s one of those versions that pointlessly tries to psycho- analyze Ebenezer Scrooge. I think it’s a waste of time when people try to create all kinds of involved reasons for Scrooge’s stinginess. Dickens, the man who actually created the character, told us all we need to know. Belaboring his relationship with his father serves no purpose and actually undermines the story. After all, plenty of people who don’t have Ebenezer’s sad past often end up as Scrooges, too.

But, at any rate, if you’d like to see this World-Class story presented on a shoestring budget, this 1978 production is much more entertaining than it has any right to be, especially if you’re looking for something a little bit different in a Carol adaptation.




4 responses to “CANADIAN TELEVISION’S SCROOGE (1978)

  1. Garrett Kieran

    Sigh. One of the four carols I’ve been burning with curiosity about for the past six and a half years but still haven’t seen. I do have the script to this version, but it’s just not the same thing. There’s just got to be a way to see it.

  2. Marjorie

    I love this way that this one sounds!

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