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CHURCH BELL TOLLS
Hush, confounded chimes!
Wherever I go, all I see is this clock, staring back at me.
No good in funerals.
Marley wouldn't have approved, himself.
Waste of money!
Waste of time!
-All right, everyone out.
-Who are you?
Head of the BBC.
-That was a Twix.
All right. Plan B it is.
-What are you doing?
-You said I'd be taking over as Scrooge.
No, I'm playing Scrooge, that's why I've got the notes.
You're playing the Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come.
He doesn't have any lines.
The cast said they'd walk if you played Scrooge!
What, the whole cast?! I'm the leading actor!
No, you're the worst actor in the company.
Auntie Diana, you promised.
Just hurry up.
Well, you'll have to do it over the phone, then.
-I can't remember any of my lines.
It's the nerves.
Come with me.
-What if you become ill?
What if you get injured?
I would have to be completely incapacitated to pull out now.
Give it here. Just stop, stop!
Good evening, BBC viewers. Unfortunately,
the cast of A Christmas Carol have all been taken ill.
But don't worry, the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society
happened to be passing by, and will be filling in,
with special guest narrator, Sandra's aunt, Dame Diana Rigg.
Please enjoy A Christmas Carol.
CHURCH BELL TOLLS
MUFFLED CLOCK CHIMES
Hush, confounded chimes!
Everywhere I go, all I see is that damn clock.
Everywhere I go...
..all I see...
..is that damn clock...
..staring back at me!
No good in funerals, anyhow.
Marley wouldn't approve, himself.
Waste of money. Waste of time.
Marley was dead to begin with.
There was no doubt whatever about that.
The register of his burial was signed by the solemn undertaker,
and of course, the only mourner, his partner, Mr Scrooge.
Auntie Diana, you're on. Go!
On Christmas Eve, Scrooge walked into his counting house.
He was a tight-fisted hand on the grindstone,
a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping covetous old sinner,
who was as hard as flint.
The weather was biting,
but cold and heat had little influence on Scrooge.
No warmth could warm him.
No wintry weather could chill him.
No wind that blew was bitterer than he.
Stop it! Stop it! Stop!
There was not a man, woman, or child in London
who chose to walk close to Scrooge in the street.
But as long as he was able to go about his business with thrift,
and count his coins, what did Scrooge care?
Merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge.
Merry Christmas, Uncle. God save you.
Christmas, a humbug?
Uncle, och, you don't mean that, I'm sure.
I do, Frances. What's Christmas but another time
to find yourself a year older, and not an hour richer?
Every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips
should be boiled in his own pudding,
-and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.
Wipe that stupid smile from your face.
I have every reason to smile, Uncle, and make merry at this time of year.
What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.
What reason have you to be dismal? You're rich enough.
What else can I be while I live in such a world of fools as this?
Why is one a fool for wishing her uncle a Merry Christmas?
-Because it does you no good.
-Does me no good?
It is the one time in the long calendar of the year
when men and women can open their shut-up hearts freely,
and hold out their hands to those below them as their true companions.
Fine speech, Frances.
You belong in Parliament.
though it has never put a scrap of gold in my pocket, has done me good,
and will do me good, and I say God bless it.
What a pleasure it is to see you.
Well, Merry Christmas, Bob Cratchit.
A Merry Christmas to you, too!
We hear a knock at the door.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Oh, a knock at the door!
Oh, that must be the lovely couple raising money for the orphanage.
What merry, bold and charitable souls they are.
Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr Scrooge or Mr Marley?
Mr Marley died seven years ago this very day.
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
We're raising money for the orphanage
to care for the sickly and make provision for the poor,
like young Jane, here.
-On the shelf, Bugsworth.
-Yes, Mr Scrooge.
Ah! Merry Christmas, Miss Frances.
And to you.
Ah, let me help you, Mr Scrooge.
He's completely incapacitated. Don't worry, I'll step in.
Get out, Bugsworth!
What shall I put you down for, Mr Scrooge?
-You wish to be anonymous?
I wish to be left alone and keep my money.
What would you want for the needy?
That they should die and decrease the surplus population!
I have not much in my coin-purse.
Fear not, Mr Cratchit.
You are poorer than most.
But what little I have...you are welcome to.
I'm afraid there is only a single penny I have saved.
You would part with your only coin?
Do you not need it for your family?
Thank you, Mr Cratchit.
You'd give all you have to charity.
You don't want to give to charity?
Are you sure?
You have to make a choice.
Make a choice. Will you give them the coin?
This bag was made in China.
God bless you, Jane.
May the generosity of goodly people of London Town
keep you merry this Christmas.
Merry Christmas, Miss Frances.
Merry Christmas, Mr Cratchit.
And to you!
Don't be cross, Uncle.
Say you'll come and dine with us tomorrow.
No, Frances. I shall spend Christmas alone.
Kindly keep Christmas in your own way,
-and let me keep it in mine.
-Keep it? But you don't keep it!
Let me leave it alone, then.
Very well, Uncle. If you change your mind,
you have our address.
Sorry... Can we just...? Look...
And the coat. And the coat.
Don't look, Bob, don't look! OK.
Just get my coat...
Right. Open the door, open the door.
Open the door.
And a merry Christmas to you, Bob Cratchit!
You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose?
If it's quite convenient, sir.
It's not convenient, Bob Cratchit!
Christmas comes but once a year.
Look outside at the people going about their business with glee.
This is not a time for money but for family,
and mine would appreciate me home, sir.
Spare me your foolish humbug, Cratchit.
I am not a rich man!
If I can spend Christmas with my family,
I would be content to...
..upon a bone, or sleep on a bed of...warts.
Fine, Cratchit, take the whole day.
But be here all the earlier the next morning!
Scrooge, shaken by the vision,
went to search the rooms of his house for signs of an intruder.
Finding nothing untoward, he returned to his bedroom,
secure in the knowledge the house was completely empty
other than Scrooge.
I'll get it!
What trickery is this? Who are you?
In life, I was your partner, Jacob Marley.
You don't believe in me?
I do not!
Why do you doubt your senses?
Because a little thing affects them.
You may be an undigested bit of beef.
A blot of mustard.
There's more of gravy than a grave about you.
That's it, you dreadful apparition. Why do you trouble me?
If a spirit goes not forth in life,
it is condemned to do so after death.
I am doomed to wander through the world
and witness what I cannot share.
I wear the chain I forged in life.
I made it link by link
and yard by yard.
You must listen! My time is nearly gone!
Oh, how I wish I could cast off these cursed chains!
I am made captive by my deeds but, like me, Scrooge,
you have girded yourself a great chain
which in time shall hang heavy around you.
Stay away, vile spirit!
I wish to see no more of you!
-Unlock the door!
Undo the bottom one.
You will be haunted by three spirits.
Without their visits,
you cannot hope to shun the path I tread.
Expect the first when the bell tolls one.
Scrooge was left alone again.
He looked out through his window, which was locked shut,
undisturbed, just as it was before the ghost arrived.
Resolved to forget what he had experienced,
Scrooge went to bed
and blew out the light.
Are you the spirit whose coming was foretold to me?
Who and what are you?
Come close and I shall tell you.
I am the ghost of Christmas Past.
I shine with the light of a thousand Christmases gone.
I have never seen your like before.
May I look closer?
No, no, no! Oh! Oh!
By my light you shall see the truth of your past.
Take me in your hand, Scrooge.
Your past is hidden beyond these walls.
Step through with me.
I am mortal, Spirit. I cannot.
By my light, you shall.
This way, Mr Scrooge.
And with that, Scrooge and the spirit
disappeared from his bedroom.
Tip me through.
Tip me. Tip me. Tip me!
You're not moving.
-Have we disappeared?
And Scrooge found himself soaring over open fields and woodland.
Oh, I'm not sure, Spirit. May we not fall?
We shall not, Mr Scrooge.
Where are you taking me?
My light shall show you the man you once were.
Welcome to Greenscreen 1-2-3,
where, with just one click,
you can be on a beach...
..or at the Eiffel Tower.
Overlay your own exciting footage.
-I think Robert would make a great leading actor.
-Oh, come on!
It's Ebenezer Scrooge, not Ebenezer Huge!
Agh! Stop it!
Stop it! Ow! Stop it!
-Oh, now he's completely incapacitated.
I want to be in a grown-up relationship.
I don't want to be dating Max any more.
When are you going to do it?
-After we finish Christmas Carol?
I know this place.
I grew up here.
This is where Belle and I would court.
And there we are.
I'm sorry, Ebenezer. We cannot be together any longer.
Why, my love?
Another idol has displaced me that you love more.
Who is this idol you speak of? There is no-one else.
The pursuit of wealth and gain engrosses you.
I don't understand.
You have grown hard and unfeeling, like your partner Mr Marley.
Please don't leave me.
Our contract is an old one,
made when we were both poor.
I can change.
You are changed.
When it was made, you were a different man.
I release you with a heart full of love for the man you once were.
Goodbye, my dearest.
Goodbye, my dearest!
Oh, Spirit, why do you delight in torturing me?
Dry your tears, Ebenezer.
You must to bed before the other spirits arrive.
Oh! Sorry, mate.
And just as Jacob Marley said,
upon the stroke of two...
..Scrooge heard the merry sound of laughter.
-Who are you, Spirit?
I am the ghost of Christmas Present.
I am cheer, I am joy, I...am Christmas.
Come, and know me better, man.
I have seen enough for one night.
I cannot bear another heartbreak.
I beg you, leave me be.
Haunt me no longer.
Haunt me no longer.
Worry not, Scrooge.
Your journey with me shall not be one of heartbreak
but of mirth. Now, come.
You look hungry.
What is all this?
Why, it is the bounty of Christmas.
I don't believe...
..you have merely come to feed me.
Tell me, Spirit, the purpose of your visit.
Each year, you have shunned the present,
but this year you will mark the lessons it holds.
CLATTER AND GROANING
Conduct me where you will.
If you have aught to teach me,
I shall listen and profit by it.
Then follow me to the street, Scrooge.
Show me something I may smile upon.
Oh, come now, he's completely incapacit...
Oh, for God's sake!
Right, come on, Jacobi.
Come down to the street, Scrooge,
and see how the goodly people celebrate Christmas,
a day where all mankind can forget their position
and go about with glee and good tidings,
masters and servants, judges and scoundrels,
landlords and lodgers can all make merry together
and wish each other well.
Do you recognise this house, Scrooge?
Why, 'tis Bob Cratchit's house, for sure.
Here comes his youngest, Tiny Tim,
Ah, Tiny Tim, the sweetest, dearest boy that there ever was.
Come, Scrooge, look through the window and observe
how these humble folk live.
I've had the children clean up before we eat.
What will we be having for Christmas dinner, Bob?
Oh, Bob, you saved up for it! How wonderful.
Anything for you, my sweet?
A drop to drink?
Oh, why, thank you. How was Tiny Tim at church?
As good as gold and better.
He told me coming home
he hoped people saw him because he was a cripple
and it might be pleasant for them to remember upon Christmas Day
who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.
Enough wine for you, my dear?
I pray for him every day.
Here he comes now.
Tim! Come here, my little boy.
Lift me in your arms, Papa.
Oh, Tim, you do look frail of late.
I am frail.
Frail and ill.
Sit up to the table, my little Tim.
..Mr Scrooge, the...founder...of...the...
The founder of the feast indeed.
That hard, unfeeling scoundrel is the cause of our suffering!
Mr Scrooge has not the kind family I have.
-I pity him.
Alone on Christmas Day.
We maybe poor but we are rich in company, eh, Father?
There is the wealth Mr Scrooge may never know.
To Mr Scrooge.
BOTH: The founder of the feast.
God bless us...
Good bless us every one.
A remarkable boy.
Tell me, Spirit, if Tiny Tim will live.
I see a vacant seat and a crutch without an owner.
Do I really pay Bob so poorly?
They have such a meagre feast...
..but what a fine family they are.
Tiny Tim is such a brave boy.
Mrs Cratchit such a loyal and devoted woman.
But they should get on with dying and decrease the surplus population,
should they not?
What more can you afford to pay?
I don't only care about myself, do I?
Come, there is more to see.
Do you recognise this house, Scrooge?
It belongs to my niece, Frances.
There she is now.
It looks like they've got the decorators in.
I'm sure they'll be done any moment now...
..and there we are, they're done!
THEY ALL LAUGH
Is it a vegetable?
-Not a vegetable, no.
Not a mineral, which leaves you with...?
-More or less.
Oh, my dear Frances.
Why must you always be so cryptic?
Is this animal disagreeable or friendly?
Oh, disagreeable, for sure.
-Does it growl?
-Is it found in England?
-It's found in London, Topper.
No, but it says "nay" more than a horse does!
-Is it a pig?
-Is it a fox?
Is this animal domesticated?
Frances, I know what it is.
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
A disagreeable creature but none of these - it is your uncle,
-It is! It is! Oh, bravo, Topper!
A disagreeable creature.
Is that what they think?
And a growling one.
But what does Scrooge care what these fools believe?
I don't care.
More or less dead, hardly domesticated.
What childish blabber.
I care perhaps a little.
The time has come for me to away and let in another spirit
before Christmas Day...
-It's all right.
-It's all right.
-Sorry. Sorry, mate.
Sorry, mate. Sorry.
Are you a ghost...
..of Christmas Yet-To-Come?
I've got good news. That agent just called.
He's going to take me on.
He said the exposure from Christmas Carol
will easily get me that advert.
We'll never have to work with this bunch of freaks again.
I don't suppose anyone will attend the old goat's funeral.
He never gave a penny to charity. He stole from the poor.
Spirit, show me some tenderness connected with a death,
or this dark conversation will be forever present to me.
Oh, my poor Tim.
Be at peace, my dear, sweet boy.
Why did you put him in the coffin?
How else am I supposed to keep him contained?
Oh, come on!
Yes, he died a week ago, I heard.
Good Lord, I thought he'd never die!
-Well, I certainly shan't miss him.
-Nor I. He was very unpopular.
..are these the shadows of things that will be?
Or are they the shadows of things that may only be?
..a man may change the course of his life!
Spirit, I'm sorry.
I have been greedy and selfish.
I've served myself before others...
..and shut out the gift of their kindnesses.
I'm sorry to everyone.
All of you.
I've taken you all for granted.
I thought I wanted to go it alone, but...
..I'd be lost without you.
..I'm not feeling at all well.
..I may be...
I'm completely incapacitated.
Chris, I don't know what to say.
-You have to.
We're all counting on our lead actor.
Chris, it's your part and you should finish it.
I'm not going to take your role.
Well, why don't we do it together?
No, I'll do it.
Quickly, we'll finish the thing.
Here we are. Come on, quickly.
Hurry up, this way. Up to the bedroom. Come on, quickly.
Hurry up, there's still time. We can still make it work. Quickly!
Scrooge fell before the spirit and woke to find himself in bed.
I shall live in the past, present and the future,
the spirits of all three shall strive within me.
You there, child. What day is it?
-It's Christmas Day!
-Christmas Day? Oh, Jacob Marley be praised!
Wait there, for I must speak with you a moment.
I shall have that girl run to the poulterer's
and fetch the plumpest bird she can find in the shop.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Merry Christmas! A merry Christmas to you, sir.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
Excuse me, are you playing Scrooge?
No. Chris is playing Scrooge.
I am not playing Scrooge. You took over as Scrooge.
I only took over as Scrooge because you forced me
to take over as Scrooge.
I did not force you to take over as Scrooge.
If anything, you forced me to play Scrooge by being such a bad actor!
Nobody forced either of you to play Scrooge.
You came here and took Scrooge from me. By force!
Stop fighting. Look, it doesn't matter who's playing Scrooge.
-That's what we've learned tonight.
-It's not what I've learned tonight.
I've learned that it absolutely matters! I am Scrooge!
Get them out!
Come on, it's over.
They're using force! They're using force!
THEY ALL SHOUT
Quick! The cameras.
Get off him!
We may as well finish the show outside. Everyone, outs...
We're still filming, so, action!
Here's a better idea.
Why don't we all go to the poulterer's and fetch a goose?
We shall take it to Bob Cratchit's house.
# Ding-dong merrily on high
# In heaven the bells are ringing
# Ding dong merrily the sky... #
THEY STUMBLE OVER LYRICS
# Hosanna in excelsis! #
Now, everyone, we must search for the plumpest goose we can find.
# Jingle bells
# Jingle bells, jingle all the way
# Oh, what fun it is to ride
# In a one-horse open sleigh... #
Ah, no goose, then,
but fare well, Bob Cratchit,
if this is what you desire most then it is what you shall have.
# For everyone at Christmas loves goujons! #
# Jingle bells
# Jingle bells Jingle all the way... #
Sorry, would you mind if we went ahead?
Yes, I would mind.
# Dashing through the snow
# On a one-horse open sleigh... #
Greetings, good fellow.
-I would like to purchase these fine goujons, please.
That's 3.99, please.
Does anyone have any money? Do you have any money?
I appear to have left my coin-purse in my other britches.
If you don't have any money, you'll have to leave.
Might you be able to open your heart to those in need at Christmas?
-I'm sorry, mate.
-Please, it's for the Cratchits.
Please, we need them.
I... Just take whatever you want. Just take the money.
-Really? The goujons?
-Take them, just don't hurt anyone.
Yeah. Yeah, bag it up, yeah.
# Jingle bells, jingle bells... #
Give us a Snickers.
-Take one yourself.
-Take one yourself!
And this lady's shopping's free.
-Whatever you say.
Oh, everyone, we shall return to Bob Cratchit's house
and present him with the finest Christmas feast
he's had in all his life.
# Fah-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la... #
THEY HUM THE TUNE
We are travelling the town to wish everyone a merry Christmas.
ALL: Merry Christmas!
Oh, that's nice.
Might we enter and spread our joy to the fine townsfolk within?
Not without a pass.
That is a shame.
We had hoped we'd might be able to get back in the studio, but...
FIRE ALARM RINGS
Oh, that's the fire alarm.
If you could all just make your way out of the building
and across the courtyard. Thank you. All of you.
Shh! Shh! Shh!
Bob Cratchit, are you in there?
No, I'm here.
Merry Christmas, Bob!
A merrier Christmas than I have given you in many a year.
May I come in?
Thank you, Bob.
I have come here to tell you that I intend to double your salary,
and shall endeavour to...
Assist your struggling family.
..to assist your struggling family.
BOTH: Tiny Tim shall walk again,
and I shall keep Christmas in my heart.
First, though, let us all have a Christmas dinner.
What do you say, Bob?
Pay attention, everyone.
Sorry, before we finish...
..there's something I'd like to say to Max.
You're going to break up with me on air. What's wrong with you?
Break up with you?
Yeah. I saw the video. You said you didn't want to be dating any more.
I don't want to be dating any more. I want to be married.
I had a whole plan. I was going to propose.
-But I saw you kissing Chris.
-I thought we were friends.
-Look, I found something.
Look at this.
Oh, same dress!
-All right, Chris?
That's my sister.
You were going to propose?
Right, that's it!
I've had it!
You've ruined Christmas again, all of you!
It wasn't enough to ruin the production last year.
Now you've sabotaged mine!
Go on, get out of here.
We are going to perform OUR version from the top now!
-But it's a proposal!
-I don't care! I'm going to give my performance.
The only chance you have of continuing
is if I am completely incapacitated.
CAR TYRES SCREECH
Oh, come on, Derek. This is not about you.
Oh, forget it.
Thank you, Auntie Diana.
And so, as Tiny Tim observed...
Please, God bless us ev...
God bless us every one!