Ghost of Christmas Past -
Ghost of Christmas Present -
Ghost of Christmas Future -
Roger Lloyd Pack
OTHER GHOST STORIES
Nan's Christmas Carol - first transmitted December 25th 2009
Nan hates Christmas, but then Nan hates pretty much everything. She hates northerners, despite having invited the Cratchits down to stay with her, she hates her neighbours and steals their lottery money rather than buying the tickets, she hates carol singers and she hates the german girlfriend of her grandson. When she refuses to put up the Cratchits as she promised, exiling them to spend Christmas in a coach depot, she is visited by three ghosts who show her the past, present and future of her life in the hope of changing her ways.
Catherine Tate is a comedienne who splits opinion fairly straight down the middle, so how you react to this retelling of Dickens' classic morality tale will pretty much depend on how you react to her and her brand of comedy. It's fairly broad and relies on the use of bad language, puns and current references as it does on good jokes and situations. The references especially will date the show badly as by next Christmas nobody will remember who Jedward were (for the record they were unsuccessful entrants on a reality TV pop contest show).
This mini-series attempts, and fails, to bring that epic scale to the television screen, but it's not for want of a cast. Julianna Margulies is the focus of the story as Morgaine, but she does not appear until late in the episode. Hers is the voiceover that tries to bring some insight into the personal impacts of the grand events, but it is so often not required, merely explaining what we can already see. It is certainly no substitute for the dense detailing of character and motivation in the novel.
Nan is, by any standards however, a monstrous comic creation. There isn't a single redeeming feature about her other than her acerbic wit. She is equally at home with theft, cruelty and insulting behaviour. Even her laugh is loathesome.
Tate, though, has the clout to gather together a hell of a supporting cast for the hour. David (DR WHO) Tennant returns the favour for the time that she spent with him in the Tardis, but there is also Ben (PRIMEVAL) Miller, the band Madness and GAVIN AND STACEY's Matthew Horne. Everyone seems to be having a thoroughly good time and if you like Catherine Tate then you will too. If you're not a fan then this won't make you a convert.Top
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