One of my favorite things to watch during Christmas is, A Christmas Carol. I’ve always loved how the three ghosts, Christmas Past, Present, and Future visit Scrooge and completely change his view of the holiday and life. I thought to myself, “J.C., wouldn’t it be great to see who the ghosts would be if the story was based in Twin Peaks?” Well some of the other editors thought that would be fun as well. So here is our take on whom we would choose as the ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas that is yet to come. I hope you enjoy!
Lindsay: “Now this is an interesting question. If Twin Peaks were to be mashed up with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, who would be the three Christmas ghosts? I think Margaret Lanterman could easily portray the Ghost of Christmas Past. Not only is she a veritable well-spring of information about the history of the area, having lived through most of it, she is gentle and harmless, in spite of being someone whose own life has been changed and set down its path by circumstances often outside of Margaret’s control. Who better to show someone how their past affects their present and their future?
For the Ghost of Christmas Present, I think there is only one person who could play this role: Deputy Andy. In Dickens’ novel, this ghost shows Ebenezer Scrooge that there is happiness in this world, even where it seems there couldn’t possibly be any, and later inspires Scrooge to live a life more in keeping with his neighbours rather than to continue on his miserly way. Andy is perfect for this role. He is unflappable in his optimism, always ready with a simple smile. Full of joy and life and bravery, Andy represents the very best human qualities. No one is more qualified to show someone how to embrace their present.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come is the most terrifying of all. Even though our futures are not written in stone, this ghost reminds us that the choices we make today have very real consequences later on, and while we have time to mend our ways, whether we actually do so or not is left up to us in this moment to decide. That’s a lot of pressure and can be quite daunting, to a frightening degree. I think this role could only be played by BOB, the scariest character in Twin Peaks. Not only have I made this choice because this ghost is often associated with the Grim Reaper, but because BOB very broadly represents the evil that men do (or are). That evil is unrelenting, and can only be undone if one faces his or her choices and accepts responsibility for their consequences. Only then can you ascend to peace. What else is scarier than BOB? Well, arguably, the immense weight of your future, at least if you’re a Dickensian banker…”
Laura: In Dickens’ original Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Past was an angelic spirit, portrayed as a white robed figure of indeterminate age and androgynous with a burning flame on its head and complete with metal candle extinguisher, yet morphing into various shapes, with and without limbs or a head, until it dissolved completely. So for me there really could be no-one better than the Long Lost Phillip Jeffries to play this role. Not only has he got that ‘steam’ effect down to a tee he also has the ability to turn back the clock to show people the error of their ways and give them a chance to make things right. Or completely mess things up if you don’t quite end up back in present day after your dalliance with him.
My choice of Christmas Present would have to be none other than the wonderful Candie. I am most definitely borrowing heavily from the Scrooged version of events here. Candie, like the fairy portrayed in the movie is all sweetness and light but has an excellent right hand, she could strike sense into any old Ebeneezer that needs it. Her glorious joy at the simple things in life, her empathetic heart and sadness at the thought of hurting anyone, especially someone that took care of her, make her a brilliant role model for how people should treat each other, right now, in these dark times. She’s infectious and the world would be a better place with more Candie. It is a shame then that she will only last one night before ‘poof’!’ She’s gone!
For Christmas Yet to Come, a spirit so spine chilling with its silence. Blackened from head to toe and with eyes white that look into the depths of your soul. A harbinger of death, its spectral hand pointing only at the horror of what is to come if you don’t change your ways. Yes this is the ‘Prison Cell Woodsman’. Its mere presence is enough to make you rethink every mistake you’ve made, to beg for forgiveness, to dream of better times scuba diving in turquoise oceans. It could crush your skull with one hand most probably, but chooses not to, instead just floating off into the night, leaving you alone to dwell on the error of your ways and wake up a better man, determined to do the right thing.
Eileen: Ironically enough I was just writing a story where Dale is in the “Scrooge” position of being visited by Ghosts! While I was choosing who they should be, I was thinking very concretely in terms of Dale’s perspective, and I chose to keep these decisions for this post. For the Ghost of Christmas Past, I chose Caroline Earle. Dead, first of all, and highly representative of Dale’s past. I think she’s the perfect candidate because she was someone Dale loved, and so he can be comfortable with her, but also something Dale lost, which makes the interactions a little more frightening.
For the Ghost of Christmas Present, I chose Diane. This being, of course, 1989 Diane. It is to her that Dale narrates his life. She’s his secretary – she organizes his every moment while at the office and takes care of everything behind the scenes. What more constant person would there be in his life than Diane to fulfill this roll? She’s intimately familiar with his goings-on and sardonic enough to give a certain, if peculiar, sense of humour to the Ghost of Christmas Present, who was a jolly enough figure.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come was an interesting one to contemplate, and I have some alternate choices still in my head, but, in the end, I went with Margaret Lanterman. Cryptic enough to stump Dale and frightening in her own right, it’s always been the Log Lady who pointed the characters of Twin Peaks towards their future, for good or for ill. My Ghost of the Future is not totally silent, but still a harbinger of potential doom, or potential happiness. The Future is, after all, what you make it.
John: I looked at this question from the perspective of the town itself, leaving out Dale and all the supernatural entities, just to give myself some parameters to work within. The Ghost of Christmas Past would be Norma, a signifier of love and warmth and nostalgia, because what brings back memories of more peaceful times than the smell of apple pie? Norma was a Miss Twin Peaks as well, a central figure in the town’s symbolism. She’s a perfect symbol for the traditional take on how it used to be in the good old days.
The Ghost of Christmas Present will be Laura Palmer, because in a literal Lynch sense she is a constant, is everpresent. She signifies the now in Twin Peaks in a functional way better than anyone. I think in Twin Peaks, she also represents the precipice better than anyone.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come is a warning beacon. If this were not the case, I’d pick Nadine because of her fearless optimism and the fact she knows how to shovel herelf out of the shit. But because it’s a role of caution, no one is more suited than Margaret. Our Log Lady warns of paths of fire better than anyone, and she lets our path be our own choice every time, even when she knows where the answers will take us.
J.C.: I thought about who would be the Scrooge to my Ghosts. Benjamin Horne definitely stood out, but after thinking about S3 and it being fresh in my mind I decided Special Agent Dale Cooper to be my Scrooge. I also chose him because of the many lessons he still needed to learn after finding himself back where we last saw him 25 years ago, the Black Lodge.
The Ghost of Christmas Past would be Laura Palmer. For many reasons, but one being this is who Dale has been with for the past 25 years. Laura would have the message that no matter what you do to change the past some will enviably remain the same. You cannot go back and change Caroline’s, Annie’s or even her fate. Even though we all have the knowledge that Cooper may have changed it in a way, maybe if he’s still in the Lodge (where I personally still think he is) he has not changed the future or the past.
The Ghost of Christmas Present would be the pure hearted, coffee making, chair choosing Lucy. She embodies the role the Ghost of Christmas Present is supposed to play. She’d bring Dale coffee, donuts, and cherry pie. She shows him how things are going in Twin Peaks, much to his chagrin. Lucy would show him that she was able to stop Bad Cooper because of her goodness and integrity, things Dale has always held with such high esteem. She would also show him the dark side, how Twin Peaks has changed and how he has much to do with that.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is a little more complicated, because I think the most haunting and confusing choice would be Carrie Page. Is she really Laura? Is she someone completely new and foreign? Did Dale really go back and stop Laura’s death and Carrie is there to show “Richard” the other side of his decisions? I feel that Carrie/Laura are the same person and she would show him that his fate is he’s never left the Lodge. That his lesson to learn is still to come, and that if he wants to move forward into the future, he has to stop replaying what he has done in the past. My story ends exactly the way S3’s story ended, back in the Lodge with Laura whispering into Cooper’s ear. What is it she tells him? Well that is still yet to come.