Sunday, December 20, 2015

At Flashbak: Sci-Fi Scrooges!

This week at Flashbak I also looked back at the various sci-fi TV adaptations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, was first published in 1843. Readers immediately took to the redemptive story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounter with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.  The spirit of Christmas saved his life; or at least his soul.

Still, neither audiences of the day nor Dickens himself likely could have imagined a future in the 20th and 21st century wherein Scrooge’s story has been regularly adapted to science fiction TV programming. 

Outside sci-fi, A Christmas Carol has been replayed on comedy series such as Sanford and Son (1972-1977) and Family Ties (1982-1989), but within the genre it has seen even more popularity.

Here are five memorable sci-fi adaptations of Dickens’ timeless tale:

“A Bionic Christmas Carol.” First aired on December 12, 1976, this episode of The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978) guest stars Ray Walston as a miser named Budge whose Scrooge-like ways are jeopardizing a NASA mission. 

Colonel Austin (Lee Majors) is assigned by the OSI to investigate Budge, and the world’s first bionic man masquerades as Santa Claus to teach the miser the true meaning of Christmas.  In particular, Steve Austin must show Budge how his nephew, Bob Crandall, is living in near poverty because of Budge’s behavior. 

Intriguingly, much of this Christmas episode is set at the Psycho House, on the Universal Lot!

“X-Mas Marks the Spot.” The Real Ghostbusters (1986 – 1991) broadcast this episode by J. 

Michael Straczynski on December 13, 1986.  Here, the Ghostbusters travel back in time to 1837 and inadvertently change history. They zap the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and now must make certain that Scrooge still learns his lesson in humanity…from them…."

Continue reading at Flashbak!

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