Episode #457: Tranquility Base Gets Scrooged: Part #3 - Past Participle

[Episode 457]
Episode #457: Tranquility Base Gets Scrooged: Part #3 - Past Participle
Volume V / Saturday, 14 December 2013

Episode Notes

Part #3 of "Tranquility Base Gets Scrooged!" (Part #1 here) and the spirits holograms of Christmas start to appear.

Christmas Past was a tricky one to represent, as they are described as:

"[B]eing now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away."

A Christmas Carol, Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits, by Charles Dickens

Um, yeah. Fortunately they have some more concrete attributes, although I left out some of those too. In the end I went with a genderfluid/non-binary (although they present somewhat feminine here) being of indeterminate age, wearing a white robe, a blazing light on their head (the digitally added candle flame) and carrying a metal cap/candle extinguisher (the gold object) in their hand.

Changes I made to the story so far, besides the sci-fi twists, are that his ex-fiance is a modern woman and not some girl with no dowry. She has her own career (but still not much money) and doesn't "release him" from the marriage, she outright rejects him for his attitude. I softened Scrooge's opinions on charity up a little here -- in the novel he would have all the destitute put in prison. I think that would make him an irredeemable jerk in our modern era, let alone in some far flung future! I also left out Scrooge's childhood backstory from this updated version. Let's just say, it wasn't a terribly happy one.

P.S. there is a subtle reference to another Dickens novel in this episode. Congratulate yourself if you spot it.


Panel 1: A being dressed in a white robe appears, with a blazing light on their head and carrying a candle extinguisher.
Let me guess, you're the hologram of Christmas Past?
Christmas Past:
Correct, dear, now come, let's take a look at your past and see when it all went wrong
Panel 2: The scene shifts to a different location, it's a corridor and in front of them two people (an older man and a younger man) in uniform are talking. Scrooge and the Hologram of Christmas Past can not been seen by anybody in the scene.
Woah, where are we?
Did we use a transmat?
Christmas Past:
It's your old Starship, Curiosity, on a very important day for you.
Panel 3: Close-up on the two people talking. The older man is Admiral Fezziwig, while the younger man looks like Scrooge.
Admiral Fezziwig:
Ensign Scrooge, I'm happy to inform you that I've agreed your transfer to the Tranquility Base Financial Department.
Young Scrooge:
Thank you, Admiral Fezziwig.
Old Scrooge (offscreen):
This was a good day, you said something about things going wrong
Panel 4: The scene shifts again, this time it's an apartment and Young Scrooge is talking to a woman.
Christmas Past:
What about this memory?
Old Scrooge:
Oh no, not this…
Eben, I can not marry you
Young Scrooge:
But… Belle?
You've changed, you're obsessed with work and money
Panel 5: Close-up on Belle and Young Scrooge
Young Scrooge:
At least I'm earning; you work all hours for pittance
It's called charity work, Eben, and I earn enough to live on.
It's important work, many of the outer planets are struggling.
Panel 6: Old Scrooge and Young Scrooge are superimposed side-by-side as they speak their words together; one living the moment, the other remembering it.
Old Scrooge/Young Scrooge (simultaneously):
A load of humbug, all they need to do is pull their socks up and budget properly.
Belle (offscreen):
Goodbye, Eben, I do hope you find happiness one day.
Panel 7: Close-up on Old Scrooge
Old Scrooge:
You know, I had a point back then…
What happened to Belle?
I never found out after she…
Panel 8: The scene shifts as Scrooge reminisces and he is revealed to be back in his present-day office, alone.
…oh, you've gone.