A Christmas Carol (2019) s01e02 Episode Script

Chapter two: The Human Heart

1 You skinflint old bastard.
Oh, can they not read? The inscription clearly states "rest in peace".
Why am I not allowed any peace? Well, if I don't see you before Christmas, do have a very merry one.
And you, too.
Oh, we may call after dinner.
Oh, please do.
Bring everyone.
You know you're more than welcome.
- Merry Christmas.
- Mr.
Cratchit? Mr.
Bob? Will you come tomorrow? I'm afraid I can't tomorrow work.
Work, my love? - Tomorrow? - Dad.
- You forgot this.
- I'm not a "this," silly.
No, I didn't forget old Timmy.
I saw he was offering an extra prayer and I let him be.
For our poor cat that died.
Rest in peace.
Rest in peace, my eye.
He's chasing mice around St.
Peter's feet.
Tomorrow's Christmas Eve.
You promised this year you'd stand up to him.
Come on, Cratchit, it'll be a fine do tomorrow.
Children in charge blind man's buff and all that.
Bring the whole tribe.
- I'm sorry.
I'm afraid - I'm afraid my husband works for a man with an ice pick for a heart.
Ah, of course, you toil for Old Scratch, don't you? Huh.
My condolences.
Oh, well.
So be it.
Merry Christmas, Cratchit tribe.
- Excuse me.
- So be it.
Year after year.
Belinda? Come on, you'll get wet and catch your death.
It's nearly Christmas, Mama.
Rag! Rag bone! Any old iron or rag! Rag bone! Any old iron and rag! Late.
Beyond reasonable.
The smudge is from the fourth lump.
I have no doubt.
The smudge is from kindness.
Morning, Mr.
And Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr.
I have left an important document to be copied three times before day's end.
One for London, one for Birmingham, one for Manchester.
Three, not four, sir? What? Today appears to be a day for four, not three.
Ah, you mean the extra lump of coal I gave you.
Well, curse the fourth.
Curse gestures.
Just make three copies of the ledger.
And should there be no blots, no smudges, no stains, you may go home.
At 4:00.
Scrooge, I-I thought we had agreed that today, on account of the day it is, I could go home at 3:00.
I give you an extra lump of coal then straightaway you want to snip an extra hour off the day three becomes four, four becomes three.
I don't care for your revolutionary mathematics.
This is not Paris.
It's frozen, sir.
What is? My ink.
I'll have to thaw it on the fire.
No, that will waste time.
You can use mine.
Ah, lovely.
A sort of Christmas present, is it, sir? Oh, please.
If it were a Christmas present I would have wrapped it in ribbons and bows to artificially increase your anticipation.
And you would tear it open and gasp and say, "Oh, my lord, a bottle of ink.
This is exactly what I've always wanted.
" And I would shrug and smile and tell you that of all the ink bottles in all the world, this is the one ink bottle I wanted you to have on this most holy and sacred of days.
One day of the year.
They all grin and greet each other when every other day they walk by with their faces in their collars.
You know, it makes me very sad to see all the lies that come as surely as the snow at this time of year.
How many Merry Christmases are meant and how many are lies? To pretend on one day of the year that the human beast is not the human beast.
That it is possible we can all be transformed.
But if it were so if it were possible for so many mortals to look at the calendar and transform from wolf to lamb then why not every day? Instead of one day good, the rest bad, why not have everyone grinning at each other all year and have one day in the year when we're all beasts and we pass each other by? Why not turn it around? Yes, sir.
Yes, you could call that day of beastliness Scrooge Day.
In honor of its inventor.
Why not? It would be the one day where everyone is free to tell all those around them exactly what they really think of them.
Well, I think every clerk in England would report for work on that day, sir.
In order that they could tell their employer the awful truth of what is in their hearts.
- Yes.
- Ah.
The truth without ribbons and bows.
What do you say? I say, sir, in all my ten years of working here you've never bothered to explain your philosophy before.
I'm quite flattered, sir, that today of all days you should share the machinery of your great logic with a mere clerk.
It isn't logic, Cratchit.
Well, then, sir, what is it? Mind out for the word "litigation.
" You have a habit of spelling it wrongly.
I spelt it wrongly once.
Five years ago.
Any old iron and rag! Rag bone! Any old iron and rag! Rag bone! Rag bone! Any old iron and rag! - Every third day.
- Rag bone! Punctual at ten minutes past 7:00 for the past 199 days, with a seven-day hiatus July 4 to 11, when, no doubt, he and his horse were in Margate - or somewhere atrocious.
- Rag bone! - Any old iron and rag! - Two Oh, no ink.
- Any old iron or rag! - Three calls, 15 steps of the horse, five turns of the wheel.
I need a pencil.
Chestnuts! Roasted chestnuts! Oh, what? A new voice? Any old iron and rag! Four calls, 21 steps of the hoof, - nine turns of the wheels.
- Chestnuts! Hot off the coals! Two from the chestnut woman.
Oh, damn it.
Any old iron and rag! Five calls.
- Chestnuts! - 27 steps of the horse, 11 turns of the wheel.
Fresh, new, fresh from Regents Park! - Any old iron or rag! - Three from chestnut woman.
Five and 27 eleven rag and bone.
Now please pass by.
Both of you, please pass by.
Chestnuts! Warm chestnuts! Yes.
Ah, that's an eight.
Joy to the world The Lord is come How am I supposed to work - with all this fucking noise? - Let earth receive Her King - Yes, I hear you.
- Let every heart - Four.
- Prepare Him room And heaven and nature sing Five.
Yes? Rag and bone man's passing.
He wants to know if we have any rags or bone or iron.
He is just begging a Christmas box.
- Six.
- Sir.
Are you all right? You don't seem yourself today.
Well, I am myself, always.
Please get on with your work.
Repeat the sounding joy Repeat, repeat The sounding joy Far as the curse is found Far as the curse is found Far as, far as The curse is found He rules the world With truth and grace And makes the nations Last night I had a dream of chains and furnaces and And wonders of His love and I realized, when I am alone and I talk out loud it is still you I am talking to.
As if you are not completely gone.
But I was at your burial.
And I am rational.
I placed the coins on your eyes.
I I saw your coffin lowered.
So I have no explanation why I speak out loud to you.
Any old iron and rag! You miserable bastard.
Six rag and bone.
Oh, Jacob.
Imagine, at least where you are, it's quiet.
Oh, fate.
Oh, spirits of life and death.
Whoever is in charge in this ill-begotten universe, I'm begging you to free me from this consciousness.
Let me rest.
Give me darkness.
I know my sins were many, but I have repented and repented and repented.
Tell me what I must do to make amends and I will do it.
Aah! Oh, Lord.
Please tell me this is not hell.
Not quite, pilgrim.
I have money.
Two pennies.
They're yours.
Please, let me go.
I I know you.
You do.
I died like a horse of exhaustion in one of your workshops.
So many men, women, and children died at your penny-pinching hands, and each one I've forged into a link in the chain.
The chain you must now wear, Mr.
What reason? I've been dead a year.
Why now? You rang the bell.
You offered penance.
And since your call was answered I'd wager the spirits have a little job for you.
Done, Mr.
You already proofed the first two, sir.
Just checking again, Cratchit.
The light grows dim.
I sense you are angry with me.
Why do you say that? Because everything on this page is perfect, precise immaculate, you might say.
You got it all right to spite me, to to show me.
No, sir.
To, uh, to afford you the possibility that-that since all the work is done correctly and early I might leave early and spend the rest of the day with my family.
Your anger made you work quickly but perfectly.
You didn't stop to think that working quickly and perfectly also suits me the object of your hatred down to the ground.
I don't hate you, sir.
I'm not accustomed to talking about these matters with you.
I ask you again: is everything all right with you? Christmas, it seems, inspires such emotion.
Good and, evidently, bad.
I feel your eyes burning into me.
Imagine you were a violent man.
Imagine your pen were a dagger.
Imagine I were found dead on Christmas morning.
The murder could be laid, too, at the door of the spirit of Christmas, yes? Mr.
Scrooge, it's now eight minutes past 3:00.
My work is complete.
If we're back to logic, then logic suggests that my sitting in there idle for no reason that's the anomaly.
Here it is! Where's the great A letter of complaint to the Lord Mayor regarding persistent noise caused by costermongers, Gypsies, street musicians, rag and bone men, various other gutter runners.
I want this letter written out in duplicate and put in with the last post today.
It contains very precise mathematics pertaining to the quantity and frequency of the intrusions.
Please be sure to get the numbers correct.
I took great pains over them.
Great pain.
Yes, I can see that.
It is not I in curious mood today, Cratchit, it is you.
As if you're suddenly careless - of your situation.
- No, sir.
No, I'm not careless of my situation, sir.
I know my situation.
I have two children and a wife to take care of at a time of high unemployment.
One of my children is very sick, sir, and his treatment costs money.
I know, sir, I know the narrowness of my situation.
And so do you.
- So do you.
- Two copies of that letter should take you nicely up to 4:00.
We'll see.
Hello? Hello? Why am I here? I was told the spirits have a job for me.
What spirits? What job? Ah.
Warmth, at least.
And explanation.
And perhaps salvation.
Oh, God.
Hello, old friend.
Six times we won the Epsom Derby together.
- Marley.
- Marley.
Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello! Hello? Yeah, I saw someone tending this fire.
Where are you? Hello? I'm Aah! I have no idea who you are, but why on earth did you just burn my rocking horse? Because you're next.
On the fires I burn memories and old affections.
I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Here to smoke out redemption.
You have lingered in purgatory for your many sins.
If it turns out you can be redeemed, I will rake you out of the flames and blow you cool and deliver you to everlasting and eternal peace.
Peace is indeed what I seek.
If you want peace there is a price.
And the price is repentance.
Uh, if this is about repentance, then I've already repented.
I rang the bell.
Rang as a consequence of my declared repentance, and the blacksmith I don't care.
You are not here for your sins alone.
Your fate is bound to the soul of Ebenezer Scrooge.
It is with him that you profaned the spirit of humanity.
Together, you will repay.
And together and only together can you repent.
So you're saying that I should forever be held in purgatory un until my friend has also repented? Then, if you would, throw another year on the fire.
Bring me a blanket and a pillow if such things are allowed, because I am without doubt stuck here for fucking ever.
Because that man, that object in the shape of a man, that-that thing with black ink in his veins is 94% gravel and rubble, and the rest is his stupid hair.
And I know for certain that he will never repent.
Before this Christmas is ash, I must search the heart of Ebenezer Scrooge and see if there is a tender place there.
Your fate depends upon it.
Uncle Ebenezer.
I ran in case you might be closing early.
Still many things to do.
You seem out of breath.
That's 'cause I ran to catch you.
And to invite you to dinner tomorrow.
What's tomorrow? It's a birthday tomorrow.
It's, uh our Lord Jesus Christ's birthday.
Now, I know you don't believe in Christmas.
But you believe in him, don't you? No.
Nor do I believe in Ali Baba or the magic genie of the lamp.
Besides, which liar told you that tomorrow was his birthday? It's in the Bible.
Another deceit.
There is no mention of a date in that book or in any other.
And as for those images I see on church walls of three wise men on camels walking in the snow, there's no record of it being winter, and no record of there ever being snow in Palestine.
Indeed, riding camels in the snow is the very embodiment of the absurdity and the lies which have continued to beget more lies down the centuries, during the days now marked 24 and 25.
You believe in fig pudding.
And there will be fig pudding.
And there will be fig pudding, too, in January.
Would you come in January? No.
Uncle, before she died, my mother said to me, "Fred " you must forgive my brother Ebenezer.
"He's just in pain.
A very old pain.
" Very well.
I'll get to my point.
Every year, I come here, and I invite you to dine with myself and my wife and my children whom you've never even set eyes upon.
This is the last time I'll make such an invitation.
Upon my wife's insistence, I will do this no more.
Save you getting all out of breath.
Yeah, I will say it because I know it hurts you.
Merry Christmas, Uncle Ebenezer.
I doubt I'll ever see you again on this earth.
1831 and 1837.
The exact same dates as the coins I put on your eyes when you lay in your coffin.
I always look at the dates.
They interest me.
How come these same coins are here? Why now? When they are both full-grown Of all trees that are in the wood The holly bears the crown Oh, the rising of the sun And the running of the deer The playing of Do you want me to add them to your list of intrusive voices, sir? The holly bears a blossom As white as lily flower Do it, Mr.
Give them the coins.
To be our dear Savior.
Merry Christmas, sir.
Go away.
Done, sir.
40 minutes left.
I assume you have something else for me to fill the time.
Go home.
- Home? - Home.
Rag and bone.
All it is and can be.
I know it's 20 past 3:00, but please strike 4:00.
How? I don't know.
I will not leave my office early and bow down to this absurd season.
But please say it's 4:00 and set me free.
Lie to me, and I'll believe you.
Hands two! - Dad? - Mm-hmm? Do I have to do my exercise today? I-It's Christmas Eve.
No days off, Tim.
You're worse than old Scrooge.
If it's exercise you want me to do, why not let me go skating on the pond beyond the yard? - I can borrow Belinda's skates.
- Ah.
So you skate before you can walk before you can run.
Besides, Belinda's skates are broken.
Hi, darling.
- What did you get? - We got a big fat goose.
Wait, wait, wait.
Two more minutes.
Grumpy Daddy.
When did you get home? Bugger let me go about 40 minutes early.
- Very strange mood.
- It's Christmas.
Let's not talk about him.
Not even once.
You seem to despise him even more than I do.
Also, while you were while you were gone, Tim wrote his Christmas letter to your cousin Jack.
Here's what he wrote.
"Dear Mr.
Levitt, I hope you're well and that there's lots of snow there in America " Darling, after seven years there's no need for Tim to keep on writing letters of thanks to America every single Christmas for eternity.
And why? He did save Tim's life.
Um Very well.
I'll go and post it.
I'll catch the last post.
We'll, um We'll all come with you.
Uh, the air will do us all some good.
Very well.
We'll all go.
Yes! Belinda.
Ah, Mr.
Sir, do you have any spare change for an excellent cause? And what cause might that be? Oh, it's for the welfare of the poor and destitute who suffer greatly at this time of year.
Hundreds of thousands in this city are in want of common comforts.
Are there no prisons? - Oh, plenty of prisons.
- And the Union workhouses are they still in operation? I wish I could say they were not.
The treadmill and the poor law.
Uncommonly busy since the financial collapse.
But some would rather die than go there.
Then let them die.
All we're asking for, sir, are a couple of penny coins.
Do you not have two penny coins in your pocket? Bah.
Thank you.
- Whoa! - Belinda! Now, I'm not sure if we've spelt your cousin's name correctly.
Mary, is it is it Levitt with two Ts or one? It it's spelt with two Ts.
- You all right? - Mm-hmm.
- There's Belinda.
- Oh.
You needs skates, eh? I swear last year you said it was spelt with one "T.
" My cousin is now an American.
They don't care for Ts.
They drink coffee.
Merry Christmas.
- Oh, Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
This cousin whose name changes every year, you never mentioned before Tim became sick.
The children are happy here.
Stay with them.
I'll post the letter and I'll come back.
- You all right, mister? - Yeah.
Who left you here? Marley? Apologies, old friend.
I'm not quite sure how these things work.
I first formed as your door knocker, and you knocked off my chin.
Seems fine now.
I understand this must come as a shock.
No, because this-this is not real.
This is not real.
There's much I have to tell you about what is real and what is not real.
Reality's a decision.
I've learned that.
I've been sent by a spirit.
A spirit who doesn't care, and I imagine would relish our failure, but is obliged to seem to try to help.
I didn't eat today.
This is the result of light-headedness caused by hunger.
I am asleep in this armchair.
Have you forgotten, Ebenezer? I'm already dead.
You can't kill me.
And if you were to hit me with that thing then I'll just be very messy for the rest of our conversation.
And we have much to discuss.
Now, I don't understand it all, but you threw a blanket over a pair of cold, black horses I believe that means there is hope.
Hope of what? No need for me to explain.
You'll meet them soon enough.
Meet who? The spirits.
I've met one, but I'm told there are three.
I have no plans to meet anyone.
I'm I-I want to be alone.
And yet it is Christmas, Ebenezer.
Very well.
Go out there.
They've laid on a little show for you.
It was you.
Gas was reported.
To save money, you refused to dig out the pipes.
You did this.
You cut us to the bone.
Remember Morris and Thompson? Our factory in Birmingham which we purchased for pennies, and we cut their cloth according to our meanness.
The consequences of one's actions always ends up on one's own doorstep.
How righteous and scolding we were at the inquest.
Remember? Idleness, drunkenness, a lack of common sense on the part of the workforce we blamed them all and got the all clear from a judge whose palm I crossed with silver.
Look at these chains, Ebenezer.
This isn't a fucking game.
Each link is a man or woman or child who died in our workshops in London, Birmingham, Manchester, - Bombay, Batavia - Wait.
- They were subcontracts.
- Mauritius, - Bay of Honduras - Enough.
No, it was never enough.
Not for you or for me.
And for what? What was the purpose of our gross accumulation? For this we vandalized the world.
Whatever you are, I should like you to leave my home, now.
Oh, when your time comes, there'll be chains for you, too.
And your fate will be to wander the earth with the great weight of your past on your shoulders.
Unless I repent, yes? "Humbug," I will say.
"Repent what?," I will say.
The spirit I met has no concern for your soul.
Or mine.
I want salvation.
But in truth, it is up to you.
Ebenezer Scrooge, the first of three spirits will come tonight when the clock strikes midnight.
The next will come the next night at the same hour.
And the third will come the following night.
Also at midnight.
Prepare ye.
A reality so readily banished is not much of a reality.
A piece of undigested beef.
A lump of uncooked potato.
Humbug! Two.
One hour to go.
Then it will begin.
Reason against fancy.
We will know the winner by morning.
Well? Well, I did as you asked.
I called on Ebenezer and I I told him he'd be visited by three spirits.
I urged him no, I pleaded with him to hear what the spirits had to say.
And he replied but one word.
I'll spell it for you.
- Oh - And he settled into his chair, and then Oh, f What's the point? The only way anyone could ever soften Scrooge's heart would be with a mincing knife and a cup of warm gravy to make some kind of unpleasant pudding.
Let's face it, I'm stuck here forever.
And what do you care, anyway, eh? To you, we're just numbers on a list in your celestial inventory.
Nevertheless, having observed this Ebenezer Scrooge, I relish a challenge.
I'll show him his most treasured memories and tortured nightmares.
And like the many thousand souls before him, he will beg forgiveness.
In Dublin's fair city Where the girls Are so pretty I once set my eyes On sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow In the streets broad and narrow.
Why are you awake, my love? I'm excited.
It will soon be Christmas.
Is there something you want to tell me? Hey.
If the money you received was not sent by some mysterious cousin in America who did send it? Why? Let Christmas be, Bob, please.
Just let Christmas be.
It's almost here.
And when Christmas is done you'll tell me who.
Come, Spirit, change me.
Is that you, Spirit? Do ghosts have bells attached to them? Erasmus? Erasmus, is th Is that you? It is you.
The best Christmas present I ever had.
Oh oh.
Still with the the ribbon and bell my sister put around your neck.
So you are the spirit I was promised.
And the lesson I am meant to learn by your miraculous appearance is that even a small rodent reviled, trapped, poisoned every other day of the year can, on Christmas day with the addition of a bit of silk and gold leaf become a precious gift for a small child, as you were for me.
Well, little spirit, if you think my heart would melt on the warmth of your memory, you have no idea what you are up against.
Oh! So the grand visitation is over.
Time for a celebration.
A rat wrapped in a ribbon is no match for reason.
In Dublin's fair city Where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes - On sweet Molly Malone - No.
Please, not you.
She wheeled a wheelbarrow Through the streets Broad and narrow - Crying cockles - You are dead.
- And mussels - We buried you.
Alive Alive, oh - No, not alive.
- Alive - Please, not this.
- Alive, oh Alive Alive, oh Alive.
Alive, oh.
Ebenezer? Aye, awake, are ye? Ebenezer.
Ebenezer?! Your little prayers on my behalf were no use.
They did me this afternoon.
Over tea and biscuits.
Did me up proper.
They took the lot, every fucking thing! They covered my ass with tallow, and set it alight, like a cat.
Spirit, if this is your doing, please make him go away.
What did ye say? Please don't make it that he can see me.
Oh, I can see ye.
I can see ye.
I see ye, boy.
- What did ye say?! - Please not this night.
What night? The the night you were declared bankrupt.
What, you're sorry for me, are ye? He's fucking sorry.
Yeah, well, you know this, you know that everyone out there every man, every woman they're all beasts who care only, only for themselves.
Because that is what a human is.
It's an inward-looking thing only.
This whole world is cock fighting cock, bear fighting dog, hands in your pockets, fingers up your ass.
They're trying to take your very kidneys from ye.
- You learn that from this night.
- I know that, Father.
That I know.
There is no virtue.
Look upon me.
Everything took.
No mercy shown.
I only just made it across the Thames without giving myself up to it.
But I continued because I have you and your useless fucking frozen-up mother to keep.
And your sister to keep, too, and a scrubber maid and a sweep.
And now, by the devilment of fucking Christmas, the latest addition to my list of dependents, a little white mouse.
Whose reason for existence under my roof is yet to be explained to me.
I can explain the mouse, Father.
It was a Christmas gift from Lottie.
There are no gifts! A gift is just a debt, unwritten but implied.
And this gift has a golden bell around his neck.
Now, you tell me, what good is gold to a mouse? The bell wasn't real gold.
Lottie took it from a toy.
It-it was gilt and worth only pennies.
Yet, still that mouse, with his bell, is richer than I.
You could have taken that bell.
Just cut the ribbon.
You could have you could have done it without causing any harm to him.
Harm to vermin? Learn this lesson! Feed only that which might someday feed you! Where is this mouse and its bell? Not this.
Not this.
Not a repeat of this.
Why not this, Ebenezer Scrooge, when you've relived it a thousand times? Learn this lesson! To warn me against unprofitable affections.
A lesson you learned well.
And I am here to make you unlearn it.
You are the spirit Marley told me about, the one who doesn't even care.
Ah, I am the canvas.
It is you who paints the pictures.
I don't care for riddles.
I am done.
Your point is made.
If it makes any difference, your visit has opened an old wound barely ever healed.
Now, if you don't mind, I should like to sleep.
You will not get down on your knees and beg me for absolution? No.
I am quite careless of myself.
I count myself to sleep each night the same.
One day, the count will end.
So I have had men claw at my robes.
Women soak my sleeves with their tears.
Well, perhaps you should claim a new robe against tax as a legitimate expense.
Tonight, you will not sleep, Ebenezer Scrooge.
I will not allow it.
This is not a game of reason against fancy, Ebenezer.
I will put hot tweezers to your soul and remove the splinters.
I am going to take you on a long journey measured not in yards and miles but in days and years.
Surely, I am forgiven.
I don't want to go anywhere.
You have no choice but to come with me, Ebenezer.
Come with a Ghost of Christmas Past who feels your heart beating.
I have formulated a rational explanation for this.
The sherry I drank in front of the fire from the decanter which has been half-full these six months.
The maid who I dismissed for idleness must have slipped laudanum into it.
I haven't touched a drop of the sherry since she left until now.
That is what all of this is.
Laudanum slipped into my wine by a vengeful maid.
You-you are an opiate.
- Now, come on.
- William.
- Time to go.
- Come on.
I know those boys.
Time to go, children.
And-and Wellington.
And poor Horace, who who died of consumption.
Poor Horace.
Walk on.
We are now in a time before poor Horace was struck down.
Your memory shapes me according to what time we're in.
Same spirit.
Different Christmas.
At this time in your life, I was your only friend.
I swear, there was never a time in my life when I had a friend who looked even remotely like you.
Look again.
My God.
- You are Ali Baba.
- Yes! How many nights you spend reading my stories under cover by candlelight, over and over, to escape from the pain of these years? The shame.
You are an illustration.
That is to say, in truth, you, too, are also opium.
Have you ever ridden a camel before? No.
No, I've never ridden a camel before.
Nor have I ever had a conversation with a picture from a picture book.
Well, today you are doing both.
Come where? I know this place.
Indeed you do.
The Black Bridge Boarding School.
I do not wish to come.
Why? I vowed I would never set foot inside Black Bridge School ever again.
And yet you step back inside it every night.
In your dreams.
Your nightmares.
You know so much.
Spirits can know everything except the outcome.
Come with me.
Actually, his name is Valentine, but you know that.
As an 11-year-old child, you escaped from hell on his back many, many times.
What good will it do for me to go back? If you come back with me now, you may never have to go back into your nightmare ever again.
And if the camel and I are merely poppy fumes, what harm can it do? Come.
The day is drawing to a close.
You are in the dormitory reading your book, lost in The Arabian Nights.
You are 11 years old.
You are alone.
Come and see.
Why do we not leave footprints? We are not here.
What you see happened a long time ago.
- On a particular day.
- What particular day? Come, you will see.
Who will be there on this day? You and one other.
Be brave, Ebenezer.
You have Ali Baba and Valentine at your side.
The other children have gone home for Christmas, yes? Yes.
You saw them leave.
I was the only child who had to board here over the Christmas holidays, - because my father said - What did he say? One year, he said there was pestilence in our street.
Another, the house was flooded.
Another, there was no room in the new house.
Always, I had to stay here.
I know that man.
Ebenezer, you cannot hurt him.
He's in the past.
- But I see him.
- Always you see him.
Ever since those days, you see him when you close your eyes.
The great Ali Baba seeks to enter your past.
Enter the den of the 40 thieves.
Can you remember the magical password from the book? Of course I remember the magic password.
"Open sesame.
" I warned you, Ebenezer Scrooge, this is not a game.
Into the truth.
Open sesame.
Ebenezer, look upon yourself.
What would you say to him if you could? Spirit, I should like to go home now.
That is exactly what he would say to me.
"I should like to go home now.
" That was all I wanted then, to be with my mother and sister.
It is I.
Good Lord.
He can see you.
Just for a moment.
Sometimes children they can see spirits.
Children that need to see.
I remember this.
I remember this very moment.
In the stories, Ali Baba always could do anything.
I was praying to him to save me and come and take me from this place.
And I swear, just for one moment, I looked up and I saw him, just where you're standing.
I I thought he could save anyone.
So it's just you and I here for Christmas again, Scrooge.
Hmm? Well, don't worry.
Course I won't expect you to sleep in here on your own.
You'll be with me.
Just like last year.
Hmm? Come on, get your things.
Come on.
I should like to go home now.
Not yet.
Come on, boy.
Chop chop.
Because this is the happy year.
Yes, I know.
Uh who is it? It's my sister, Lottie.
What the hell does she want? I show you this not to torture you but to enlighten you.
- Lottie! - She cannot hear you, Ebenezer.
You are here only to watch and learn.
Ebby tells me you are his sister.
What do you want? I've come to take my brother home.
What are you talking about? Ebenezer spends Christmas with me.
Not anymore.
Things have changed.
Uh, your father and I have a long-standing arrangement to keep Ebenezer here.
Ebby, go and wait outside.
- There's a carriage.
- No.
Ebby, our father has left us.
At last.
Mother said you are to go home.
Go on.
Run ahead.
Now for the part you do not know.
Scrooge, stop.
I order you to come back.
Stop! Your help is not needed.
Our father made my brother stay here at Christmas in return for you waiving school fees.
But I and my mother have finally managed to be rid of him.
And your little arrangement regarding my brother is over.
My brother will never return to this school ever again.
And if you try to follow I will shoot you.
And, in my defense, have my brother tell the parish everything.
Lottie, like a highwayman.
She pulled a fucking gun.
It's She rescued me.
A Christmas miracle.
An act of love without the need for thanks.
A gift which was not given as a debt implied.
Mother's bought a goose for us to pluck.
But you never saw her bravery.
Never felt the warmth of her selfless compassion.
Go on, then.
Get up.
She always told me I had to leave the school because we couldn't afford the fees.
You never told a living soul about what happened at this school.
But your sister knew.
She could not bear the thought of you spending another Christmas in hell.
Forget ribbons and bells.
That is the spirit of Christmas.
But you were numb to her, lost to all affection.
You went home and had no more need for Ali Baba and Valentine.
I never went home.
The boy who left never returned.
I counted myself the most hard-done-by creature on Earth.
Just yesterday Lottie's son came to invite me to dinner.
And even he told me Lottie had always warned him to be patient with me because of a a very old pain.
But S-Spirit, consider this.
This is proof.
Proof? Of what? What happened to me here at this school this-this excuses me.
This explains me.
And because it's all in the past, nothing can be done to remedy it.
So, we require more than a mincing knife and warm gravy to soften your heart.
You only see what your father did to you, not what your sister did for you.
Let us go deeper.
The Scrooge and Marley anthracite coal mine in the country of Wales.
One of your later commercial ventures, after you and Mr.
Marley met at the corn exchange.
Both buying up bankrupt businesses from men like your father.
And this was one of your most profitable ventures.
Poor thing.
"He is pure air and fire.
" Evidently, when William Shakespeare wrote that about a horse, he'd never seen one put down a coal pit.
Not much is pure down here.
I remember when we bought the mine, I tried not to think about the horses.
You made this place profitable by cutting down on the excessive use of oak timbers.
Before you and Marley bought the mine, they had used timber quite extravagantly to support the roof.
Collapse! Get up, lad! Quick! No harm can come to us because we're not here.
But they are not so lucky.
This was midnight on Christmas Eve.
And this the Christmas gift for 27 men and women and boys and multiple ponies.
You tried not to think about the horses, but did you ever think about the human souls? Pull us up! In the name of God! Pull us up! In the name of God, the timbers won't hold! Save us! Save us! Pull us up! - Save us! - The only thing you didn't count - were the victims.
- Save us! Pull us up! Save us! They were lost in your darkness.
Spirit, where where are we? Is this hell? No.
We are now back in your 30th year, Ebenezer Scrooge.
And business is booming.
Come quick, or we'll miss it.
I-I would just like to explain the Christmas mine collapse and its causes, which aren't at all how you characterized them.
There is no time for explanations.
Yes, yes, it's Christmas Eve again.
And yet they will all be working until long after dark.
But come, Ebenezer.
I fear something awful awaits.
Something magical.
Something wonderful.
Profit, Ebenezer.
Pure profit.
Look, Scrooge, there you are.
You and Marley in your prime.
This was the moment when it all really began.
My father's barely cold in his grave and already you're here with business? Well, your father looks down from heaven and urges you to listen to us.
Your father was fond of gambling on horses.
Fond of it, but poor at it.
And we can't all choose the winner at the Epsom Derby.
We didn't know how much he'd lost until his last breath.
Look, grief blinds you, slows you.
And we're here to help you.
We're familiar with some of the people of his secret acquaintance and we're in a position to purchase your father's gambling debts.
Owed to a turf accountant in Halifax, name of Dagger.
Why would you do that? I'm afraid the price of slow horses are the least of his legacy.
Put that back.
Accounts not worth the paper they're written on.
Money due to the government revenue spent instead on some nag with the same name as his mistress.
How dare you? Secrets, debts, mistresses revenue men who bring pistols and chains.
They can't chain a ghost, young man.
It will be you they throw into the lockup.
You wish to buy one loom? No.
The whole mill.
Well, I think you missed off a zero.
Zero means nothing, so we missed off nothing.
Sit down.
Now, we'll deal with Dagger.
We also have friends at the revenue who will overlook your inherited liability, in return for a healthy bribe, of course.
The mill itself is worth ten times that.
The mill is healthy, but you have no liquidity.
You need money now.
Without us, it will be a race between Dagger's cutthroats and the revenue's militiamen.
And please know that your father's reputation as a pious, Christian family man will be safe in our hands.
We'll even put up a plaque.
Above your head.
So your father can rest in peace.
Now do we have a deal? You bought this cotton mill in Dewsbury for £800, then promptly sold it four days later for £8,000 to be demolished and broken up for parts.
You had discovered that tragedy for the many is opportunity for the few.
500 jobs lost and a profit of £7,200 in just four days, for doing precisely nothing.
You and Marley would become celebrated for deals like the splendid bit of opportunism you just witnessed.
It was business.
I cannot be blamed for doing business.
You cannot be blamed for building your beautiful temple to profit because profit means more and more and wonderful more.
And you were very considerate.
You didn't tell the workers they had all lost their jobs until Boxing Day.
Why do you mock me with false glory in your voice? I am a spirit.
I am what you make me, and your glory was real.
Real cash, hard currency.
Was it so wrong to make a profit? To use that profit to make more profit? No, nothing wrong at all.
And every penny you made is still there inside your head.
Each loom shows another profitable year for the unstoppable Messrs.
Scrooge and Marley.
That is your fourth year of trading.
What was your net income that year? Year four? Net income: £665, seven shillings and sixpence.
This is year eight! Total expenditure? Expenditure, year eight: £4,871 and 19 shillings, mostly the acquisition of Denmon & Sons and a wire factory of Birmingham.
This year.
Your tenth year.
An excellent year.
A move into spice and indigo in the Moluccas.
Income: £9,970 and sevenpence.
- Expenditure - All in your head.
What a mind you have.
You counted yourself the most hard-done-by boy in the world, and you counted and counted.
Wherever you looked, you didn't see people, you saw pounds and pennies.
The weakness of others spun into wealth.
Your accounts were your new Ali Baba, profit your new Valentine.
Ah, I forgot.
You are mocking me.
I have done no more and no less in my life than many an illustrious businessman.
Your life? Did you say your life? Come and see your life.
Your life beyond the counting machines.
The days she waited and waited.
I was kept late at the exchange.
Who are they? They are the children you would have had with Elizabeth.
And there you are, the father you never were, being a merry-go-round for the children you never had.
A Christmas past that never was and never will be.
"How many Merry Christmases are meant "and how many are lies? "To pretend on one day each year "that the human beast is not a human beast.
" Do you see any beasts up there, Ebenezer? I would have called the children Jacob.
And neither would have been sent away to school.
They would have come home safe every night.
Children who were never born bring emotion you never had.
Not even for the children of people you knew intimately.
I told you my business is the intimate inspection of your heart and of your soul.
So, come now, and we will witness how your blindness finally gave rise to the abominable.
To something you did seven Christmases ago.
Seven? Come, Ebenezer, and look upon the evil that you did.
An evil that was not even for profit.
Dear God.
No man should be here.
We are not men, and we are not here.
And yet we witness where this awful thing began.
Your baby is born! Is it a boy or is it a girl? - Boy.
- Oh.
Does he breathe? He breathes.
Is he whole? Martha.
Martha, is he whole? Martha, is he whole?! And in this, this moment, do you remember what you did? No.
You looked upon the suffering, not of faceless strangers, but of people you've known for years.
And in their anguish, you would see only one thing: opportunity.
Come with me to Christmas Eve seven Christmases ago.
When the clock is striking one, two three Four, five, six.
6:00 in the morning, and all is snowbound and iced.
Cratchit an hour early? Mrs.
May I come in? May I speak with you in confidence, Mr.
Scrooge? Yes, I always have time for early risers.
Is your husband ill? Are you here to make excuses? No.
My husband will be reporting for work in one hour, as usual.
Though to work on Christmas Eve is not so usual.
Oh, at Scrooge and Marley, it is usual.
What do you want at this hour? As I think you know two years ago, I gave birth to a boy, Tim.
And as I also think you know, he was born with imperfections.
Perhaps too much rich food in your diet, Mrs.
This cold and the smoke in this city it does not suit a boy so tender.
He has fluid on his lungs.
A surgeon has told us that he requires an operation, thoracic draining or he will die.
Now, the-the cost of the operation i-is far beyond our means.
It's very complex, in three stages.
How much? T-Ten, ten and ten.
You can't sell your house? The house is rented.
You have no rich relative? Mr.
Scrooge, my husband is too proud to ask you himself.
But I weigh my pride against my baby's life, and the scales break with the imbalance.
You are a poet.
I am a mother in desperate need.
And I came here without my husband's permission or knowledge to ask you, Mr.
Scrooge, for a loan.
Where does your husband think you are? What lie did you tell? Well, uh I told him that I would queue for the best goose.
You can afford a goose, but you still want a loan.
You could deduct a certain amount from my husband's wages each week.
I th-I think we could survive on two shillings less.
- And over - Shh.
Let me see two shillings per week.
Two by 52, that's 104 shillings per year.
That is five pounds, four shillings.
Five pounds, four shillings per year times six is £31, four shillings.
So, if your husband were to continue to work for me, he would pay his debt in six years and provide an interest dividend of one pound, four shillings.
- Mr.
Scrooge - That's an interest rate of four percent.
Which, on a six-year investment, is uncompetitive.
Especially since it depends on a guarantee of six years of service when, as we know, life is filled with uh, misfortune and unexpected hazards which may render him unable to fulfill his obligation.
Scrooge, I th-I think we might be able to survive on less per week.
If you were to sacrifice absurd things like goose at Christmas, yes, perhaps.
Scrooge there is no one else.
Cratchit, in my safe, at present, I have £537 and 15 shillings.
Pure profit.
Just behind that iron door.
Which opens with the turn of this key.
And the words "open sesame.
" What would you do, Mrs.
Cratchit, to have me open that door and hand you £30? Not as a loan, but as a gift.
I know, Mrs.
Cratchit, you are a faithful, virtuous and honest woman.
But I am curious as to the extent of that honesty and faithfulness.
The price of it, I mean.
I do not understand what you mean, Mr.
Ten, ten and ten.
I am a man of reason.
A scientist.
I I like to conduct experiments regarding the human condition.
Regarding virtue and vice.
Experiments to determine if every aspect of the human soul can be converted into currency, and if so, what is the exchange rate.
For love, for example, or compassion.
Cratchit, please, take ten now, then think up another lie to tell your husband, and come to my apartment on Christmas Day at 4:00 p.
When you are at my apartment, if you do exactly what I tell you to do everything I tell you to do I'll give you the rest.
As a gift.
Christmas Christmas Day itself would be difficult.
Christmas Day is a day like any other.
Meet me at my apartment at 4:00 p.
Do we have a deal? Yes.
This is not a game, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Spare a penny for the poor, madam, on this fine Christmas Day.
And so it came to pass that on this Christmas Day seven years ago Why do I feel the cold? Why do I feel the cold if I am only here in spirit and not here in body? The cold that you are feeling comes from within, from inside your soul.
Before this moment, you couldn't feel it, but now you can.
Then if I am to become a compassionate and tender person, I will need thicker socks.
When real feeling returns, pins and needles will begin.
Needles in your heart.
Pins to hold up pictures from your past.
Follow poor Mary to her destiny and witness what you did.
And remember, this is not about you, Ebenezer Scrooge, it is about her.
Merry Christmas to you, madam.
Dear God, forgive me.
Dear, dear Bob, forgive me.
Children, forgive me.
Jesus, turn your head.
Come in.
I do not need to witness this.
I do not need to be here.
- Drink? - No.
Please let's get this thing done.
I said I'd be back for For what? For the pouring of the brandy on the pudding.
A perfect Christmas tradition.
Pour perfectly good brandy onto an already-cooked pudding and set fire to it.
Thus burning the pudding and wasting the brandy.
To the moment.
And what is the moment? I need to be clear.
Our arrangement.
I need to be clear.
You will give me money if I allow you to do what you want.
And what do I want? I need to be clear.
I have to say it out loud? Yes.
I imagine intercourse.
To be clear you are willing to have intercourse with me in return for the £20 cash I have put on the fireplace, along with the ten I put down as a deposit on your virtue.
In the name of God.
You would do it in the name of God? For my son.
- As you know - Yes.
Yes, I know.
My family are all waiting.
I do this only for the life of my child.
In truth, your reason for needing the money is not part of my experiment, and therefore not of interest to me.
Everyone has their own reasons for wanting and needing money.
That is not the issue.
My experiment is about currency.
It is about finding out the extent of the things a good person will do in return for money and how much each bad thing would cost.
Thereby establishing a kind of exchange rate, a human exchange rate.
Similar to the exchange rate on the commodity market.
Except now it is your virtue.
Your virtue up for auction.
And with it, any doubt in my mind about human nature.
Going going gone.
I have no interest in you, Mary Cratchit.
Nor in anyone in this way anymore.
The intercourse I sought was purely of the intellectual kind.
You are a devoted wife, a loving mother, and yet, on Christmas Day, you are prepared to run across town in the snow and break every solemn vow and commandment in return for money.
Take it.
You've already given me what I want.
Merry Christmas.
Never speak of this.
I will never tell your husband.
But if he should ever tell you he is thinking of leaving my employment, the truth might slip.
So I will count on you to urge caution to him as he considers his future career.
I value your husband very highly.
Now go and burn your figgy pudding.
I will.
And I will say a prayer.
That someday some power of justice will grab you by the throat and drag you to a true, bright mirror that you might see the truth in your reflection.
And that the truth will be known to the world.
I am a woman, and I have the power to summon such spirits.
And I fucking will.
Is it true? Was it Mary Cratchit who summoned you to take me by the throat? Behold.
Even yet.
No pins, mm? No needles.
Oh, fuck.
What care I about another? Just-just remember, the-the money I gave to Mary Cratchit was used to save her son's life, and-and Tim lives still, so if you view virtue purely through the consequence of action rather than the motivation for the said action, we have just witnessed my former self doing a good thing.
You are a rock.
A pile of rubble.
A heart lost, never to be found.
The sun measures my allocation.
My time with you is done.
- So-so I am forgiven? - How many times must you be told?! It's not about your forgiveness! Well, what is it, then? How am I supposed to find what I'm meant to find, or feel what you want me to feel if-if I don't know what it is? It is now midday.
The second spirit will come when the clock strikes midnight.
The second spirit will search the blizzard for your heart.
And if it only finds rocks and ice, - Ebenezer Scrooge be damned! - Wait.
Wait, tell me what to expect.
No, tell me what is expected of me.
My-my thoughts are my own, but my soul is beyond my control.
Spirit, tell me how to change it! Spirit.
Is there hope? Has he changed? Spirit, speak.
Oh, please tell me the work you've done has managed to change him.
I can't stay here for eternity.
They're sending you.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas, one and all.
Many benefits.
I mean you prosper, not me.
Seasons tidings, et cetera, et cet Merry Christmas, one and all.
And on and on it goes.
Empty, false and forced.
Year upon year, endlessly.
Spirit? Spirit? Ebby, go wait outside.
Our father has left us.
At last.
You paid for my funeral, yet here I am.
The Ghost of Christmas Present.
A present unknown to you.
Unknown to almost everyone till they're made to look.
Come on.
Lottie, i-if I'd known what you did for me all those years ago, I would've shown more understanding.
I will show and you will learn.
And hopefully you will soon begin to feel.
So you need to wrap up.
You may recall that when I was alive, I was quite the scientist.
Well, I still am.
What I will show you is in the name of science.
You like experiments, don't you? Any scientific study of human society will illustrate the success of that society is dependent upon the function of the collective.
And the function of the collective is dependent on various discrete factors.
You know, Lottie, I once remarked that you were the brightest person I knew.
Later, I remarked that you were also a bit of a show-off about it.
Now just pay attention.
Our first case study.
It is Christmas morning.
Not past, not future, but here and now.
Not an easy time for Bob and Mary.
Not much surplus for gifts for the children.
Bob has taken Belinda's old ice skates and he's mending them so that she can skate on the pond on Christmas Day, as she loves to do.
Mary's writing out a story that she was told as a child.
From memory.
She has an excellent memory.
The story of Icarus.
She's illustrating it for Tim so that she can give it to him.
And they have no money for books.
- Almost time.
- Tim will value this book - more than any bought in a shop.
- Almost done.
And if you're worried about the ink, Bob offered to steal her some from your supply but she refused.
She didn't want anything in the house that had even been touched by Ebenezer Scrooge.
It's Christmas! Ho-ho, Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- Merry Christmas.
- Hey, mister.
You sleep all right? - Oh - Merry Christmas.
- Happy Christmas.
Is this an experiment to see if you can - wring blood from my heart? - Presents.
No, I show you this scene to comfort you.
- Did you sleep? - Yeah.
Did you? No? They have no money.
But listen.
- That's for you, Belinda.
- Thank you.
This is for you.
Yeah, oh, that one's for you too, Tim.
What they lack in money they make up for with love.
Fruit and nuts.
Yes! To share, Belinda.
Don't you see the science of it? Biscuits.
Thank you.
Love makes them mend and draw and write, make do.
- My ice skates.
Good as new.
- Without love, they would demand more money for new skates and real books.
Every Bob Cratchit in England survives half on money - and half on love.
- You gonna go out on them today? - Yes.
- Yes? This book is beautiful.
Be careful it might still be a bit wet.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- Thank you so much for these.
- You are welcome.
It is I.
Your dad was up all night.
So it is love.
Love that saves the system from revolution.
A scientific and economic reason for you to embrace it, Ebenezer.
See the value of it.
- You're mocking me.
- You mock yourself, putting a value to things that have no price.
How many candles are there under the tree? And bells.
How many bells? And presents for the children how many were there? - You didn't count.
- O, come all ye faithful - Joyful - You stared for a long time, - but you didn't count.
- And triumphant - Before, you always counted everything.
- O, come ye - This time, you looked.
- Oh, come ye to Bethlehem - Is that a good thing? - Come and - Is that progress? - Behold Him - You tell me.
- Born the King of Angels I thought you were supposed - to know it all.
- Oh, come, let us - Oh, do you smell that, Ebby? - Adore Him The day passes quickly.
Already it's dinnertime.
It's a pleasure to have you here.
Mm, and there's goose.
As a lonely widow, I had a dozen invitations to dinner, and I'm mightily glad that I chose to accept yours.
Never a finer goose was seen.
And so cheap.
It had a broken leg or a leg shorter than the other - or something.
- Tim Bob, you carve.
After dinner, I'm going skating.
I want to come.
You can't hardly walk.
How will you skate? - Belinda, please.
- I will skate someday.
You will.
But if you read my book, you will learn how to fly.
Will we have figgy pudding this year? Eat your dinner first, Belinda.
Of course we'll have figgy pudding.
It's already in the copper.
And will we pour brandy on it and set light to it? Yes, but you'll have the bit without the brandy.
Wasn't there a year where Mum had to go out and missed the brandy being poured? When was that? Really? That's a shame.
Come on, Dad, I'm starving.
Yeah, me, too.
- Tim.
- Thank you.
Mm, would you look at that.
- Did you help Belinda, Tim? - I plucked the goose.
The absence of money a family can survive.
The absence of truthfulness they cannot.
- Mary.
- I'm fine.
Please go and carve.
We said we'd discuss the source - of the money after - How? How? It's as though the whole issue is somehow with us in this house.
I need to tell you, Bob.
- I want to tell you the truth.
- Please, not now - No, I can't stand - Mum, Martha's trying to carve and she's making Go, Belinda.
Hurry up.
Come on, Dad.
Come on, Mom.
I want to tell you where I got the money for Tim's operation.
It's as if she can see me.
Sometimes, in high emotions, they can see spirits.
Mary, if you want to tell me the truth here and now, please, go ahead and do it.
And before the goose goes cold.
The truth is there is no rich cousin in America.
I made him up.
That Christmas Day, I I I went to Margaret Henderson.
Lady Henderson.
You remember her.
The one who lost her mind.
I remembered when I worked for her, she had so many diamonds that she never wore.
I asked if I could have a pair of her earrings.
- Why is she lying? - To spare the day.
- What? - To spare her loving husband.
She was old and she was confused, and for all she knew, I might as well have been asking for a ginger biscuit.
She said, "Yes, take them.
" I took the diamonds from her jewelry box and I sold them.
So, there.
Here I stand before you, your wife the jewelry thief.
That is how I got the money.
Sweetheart, this moment of truth is the best Christmas present I've ever had.
I have something to tell you.
All of you.
Everyone, I have some news.
Uh Cratchit tribe, one and all, your father has something to tell you.
Bob, let's eat first.
No, this news will help with our digestions.
- What news? - Can we eat while we listen? Hush, Belinda.
I, uh I wish to announce I've made a decision.
About my career.
I've decided that, uh, Monday morning, December 26 that's tomorrow I'm gonna go into the office, I'm gonna hand in my resignation notice to that old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge.
Yes! Mary, don't be alarmed.
I've received an alternative offer, you see, by Mr.
Thwaites, of Thwaites and Langley.
He was quite disgusted by some of the things Scrooge said to him on the street.
He sent me an offer.
And, uh, the best part is, uh, my, uh, my Christmas gift to the whole family.
In my new position, I will be receiving two extra shillings every week.
- Two shillings? - So, next year there will be brand-new ice skates for you, Belinda, and there will be real wings for you, Tim.
Dad, thank you! - Thank you, Dad.
- You're welcome.
Bob, congratulations.
Well done.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
All right.
- Well done.
You of all people hate Scrooge.
And when I leave we'll be free of him.
We will never be free of him.
- What do you mean? - Enough.
We will get Christmas done, Bob.
- Then we must speak again.
- Mary We will get Christmas done! There.
A happy family silenced by your experiment.
I want her to know that if Bob Cratchit resigns, I will say nothing about what happened.
I-I want to tell her that right now.
She already feels your presence.
We need to leave.
Get out of my house.
Get out of my house.
Get out of my house! And behold, Ebenezer, the bruised and broken body of Christmas Day.
Seen with your own eyes.
Now listen.
This very Christmas morning in a valley far away they are singing.
Where are we? A Christmas Day memorial service for those who lost their lives in your great Trechloddfa pit disaster.
What do you see? What am I meant to see? No tears.
Nor self-pity.
You see men and women and children united.
They harbor no hatred? There's some hatred.
That boy.
He takes a train to London every Christmas Eve to pay his respects at Jacob Marley's grave.
He lost his father and two brothers to your economies.
My goodness.
The feelings you instill are terribly strong.
Given my time again, I would not reduce expenditure on timber.
Given the time again, I would not be myself.
The first pin.
The first needle.
"Erected in memory of the 17 brave ponies "who perished in the earth one Christmas Day in the morning.
" Do you remember Flash? The black horse I rode to school before I was sent away.
And then when I went away, Father sold him.
Just as when I was a boy he sold me.
Ebenezer, my time with you is almost done.
Please speak of it.
I just I am feeling regret.
It comes to me like a like a like a lump in my throat.
A lump of rock in my throat.
That is a start, isn't it? I should have thanked you for taking me out of that school, where I now know I was part of a bargain done between a schoolmaster and our father.
My father.
My own father.
Said out loud.
If saying it conquered it, I would shout it.
It doesn't.
Lottie, I sh I should have loved you.
But I want you, in all the world, to understand it was too late.
You came with your carriage and your gun too late.
That is what I will say as my defense.
Ebenezer when the next spirit comes please don't offer him excuses.
He is the terrible one.
The unknown one.
And the one who decides.
He has no interest in the past.
- Lottie - Only what lies ahead.
Go back inside.
He'll be waiting.
Lottie Goodbye, dear brother.
I couldn't love you.
So this is the future.
Spirit? When the bell tolls, the spirit comes.
Yes, I understand.
And I am ready.
I understand you are the Spirit of Christmas Future, and because we can never know the future, you are not allowed to speak.
I do have a heart.
I am ready for whatever you wish to show me.
My office.
Goodness, look at all the coal.
I must be out of town.
Still looks looks the same.
It's not too far in the future.
What year is this? "Dear Mr.
Scrooge, this letter is to inform you that I am as of this day offering my resignation.
" S-So he's doing it, he's resigning.
"Before I leave, "I wanted you to know that you are the most unpleasant, devious, inhuman " Dad.
It's Tim.
- There's been an accident.
- When? How? He went-he went to the pond.
He borrowed my ice skates, but he didn't tell anyone.
Nobody was with him.
All right, come on.
Come on.
My sister said it is you who decides.
Are you deciding now? Is it in your power to change things? Because if it is Me? I can change things? How? You mean if I had my time again.
We-Well, then, give it to me.
I know I don't deserve a second chance, but I understand now what it is I must Tim, you'll catch your death.
Or is it death that has caught you? Is he dead? Between life and death.
Tim! If you can hear me, you must live! You must stay away, Tim, for your mother! We're here, little man.
Stay with us.
I don't care about the rules.
We're here, little man.
No, no, no, no.
No, no, no, don't don't leave us, Tim.
Tim, no My self.
What year is this? What year do I die? But it is Christmas.
No mourners, just worldly goods.
Well, actually, Spirit, I don't care.
I don't care what will become of me.
I only care about one thing.
I know my fate.
And you know my question.
What happened to Tim Cratchit? No matter what, nothing sinks them.
Not even death.
Nothing makes them question because they have Spirit, I need to know why.
What was the reason for all of this? Why did you spirits come to me? Why did you show me all of this? What purpose? I'm not sure what the reason is, Ebenezer, but I know the purpose.
It's all to do with redemption and our joint liability.
All three spirits have done their work.
I asked them to let me have a final try.
We were so, so wrong.
Admit that, at least.
No, I refuse.
I refuse to change.
All their efforts were for nothing, because I refuse redemption.
What in God's name, Ebenezer, why? This fate this piss-covered, second-class grave is exactly what I deserve.
And if redemption were to result in some kind of forgiveness, I do not want it.
Because I would find a way to justify everything I have done according to the consequence.
'Cause that's who I am.
The only thing The only thing I want the spirits to do, the only change I want them to make is to spare the life of him.
Oh, you poor man.
You all right? I am more than all right.
I can feel.
And I can feel that I can feel.
Feel what? At the moment, a pain in my ass.
Oh, ouch.
I was meaning to sprinkle this on the ice earlier.
What with it being Christmas, I forgot.
Everything in life is a lesson if you care to learn.
The sprinkling of gravel on ice is an action taken by a person for the benefit of others without expectation of any reward of any kind.
A whole new philosophy on human nature encapsulated in a handful of gravel.
Did you hit your head? Forgive me.
- Merry Christmas, sir.
- It is.
- It is, yes.
- Merry Christmas, sir.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
This I will do.
This I will gladly do.
No one will skate here this Christmas! Mary.
As a lonely widow, I had a dozen invitations to dinner and I'm mighty glad that I chose to accept yours.
Never a finer goose was seen.
And so cheap.
It had a broken leg or a leg shorter than the other or something.
Bob, you carve.
I'm going skating.
I want to come.
You can't hardly walk.
- How will you skate? - Belinda, please.
I want to skate someday.
Expecting company, Martha? I wouldn't presume.
Good God.
Yes, I know, unwanted presumption, - but on this day - What are you doing here? But this day, this I must do.
- I have three things I need to say.
- Get out of my house.
- One, two, three, and-and then I will go.
- Leave.
- I said leave.
- Item number one Item number one is I know you're planning to hand in your resignation tomorrow.
Bob, what's he talking about? I want you to know that you leave with my blessing.
Yes, blessing.
How'd you know I'm planning on handing in my resignation? I-I just know.
And you are retiring at a very appropriate time because, tomorrow morning, I am closing the company down.
- You need to leave my house.
- Scrooge and Marley will trade no more in this world, and as a gesture of good will, my final item of company business is to You need to leave my house.
is to draw up a check for £500, made payable to you, by way of thanks for your service.
So, new ice skates for you, Belinda, and-and more books for you, Tim.
Mum, how's he know - about my ice skates? - I know these things because I've been shown them by spirits.
This is item number two, by the way.
I have been visited by spirits who were summoned by someone to grab me by the throat and drag me to a bright mirror so that I might see the truth.
Scrooge, have you been drinking? Not yet, but later I will.
I-I will drink a toast.
To fathers and mothers and-and children and-and whoever you are.
At home, together for Christmas.
Item number three, regarding children.
Item three.
Belinda, the pond where you love to go skating is no longer in use.
It has been rendered unusable.
Tim, you will not go skating.
You will stay at home, you will read your book, and you will learn to fly instead.
Is this what happens when someone drinks laudanum? No.
No, this is what happens when someone finally understands is made to understand what it is to be human.
That is all.
Thank you.
The-the check will be delivered by hand.
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
I'll show you out.
- Mary.
- It's fine.
I do not know what's happened to you, and I don't care.
Your £500 will be welcome, but it will not buy forgiveness.
Nor shall forgiveness ever be earned or expected or wanted.
My business now is the future.
I will just be the best I can be.
For the spirits and the bright light and the mirror, I thank you.
Sleep well, Jacob.
What I don't understand is why there would be camels in the snow.
- Merry Christmas! - Merry Christmas! Teach us to do that.
Past, present and future.
There is still much to do.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode