Advent Calendar 2017! - Day 5


Version: A Christmas Carol (1977, dir. Moira Armstrong)

We're jumping now to a more recent version of the scene from the late 70s. The main thing to note about this one is that it was made by the BBC, which of course means the set is a lot smaller and cheaper looking and Mark Gatiss is probably in it somewhere if you look hard enough. The angle at which we're looking up at Scrooge is much more narrow, which turns him into a much more imposing and threatening figure. Michael Hordern gives a nice warm performance though, and the date revelation is played very well.

The urchin in this version is an odd one. On the one hand, the urchin voice is almost perfect. It needed to be a touch more ridiculous for it to be the perfect Dickensian street urchin voice but the actor is certainly on the right track. On the other though, he completely lacks a fun urchin cap. I mean, can he even really be called a street urchin if he doesn't have a cap? Interestingly, perhaps because this is a BBC production, his cap is replaced by a Tom Baker scarf. It's an interesting new take on the iconic Street Urchin From The End of A Christmas Carol costume design, but this is A Christmas Carol, not Doctor Who. The cap is a vital part of the urchin's iconography and without it he doesn't leave that much of an impact. I do however like the initial shot that introduces us to the urchin. Unlike other urchin introduction shots, he is introduced from ground level before later moving to the more common Miser Gaze shot from Scrooge's window.

So it's really a mixed bag here. All-in-all, this is a good scene. It just needed the perfect urchin cap to be a great scene.

Framing 8 out of 10.
Scrooge's Reaction To The Date 8 out of 10.
Urchin Accent 9 out of 10.
Window Height 7 out of 10.
Scrooge Nightgown Quality 6 out of 10.
Urchin Cap Quality 1 out of 10.
Final Score 6.5 out of 10. Technically the Urchin Cap Quality should be 0 as the urchin lacks a cap entirely, but he does have a replacement in the form of the Tom Baker scarf, so that's worth at least an acknowledgement.