Credited with restoring the merriness of Christmas in both England and America, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has become an integral part of the holiday season and it seems as though every person has a favorite adaptation of the classic novel. We have compiled a short list of our personal favorites. But before we begin, first we’d like to share these words left by Dickens in the preface of the first edition of A Christmas Carol:
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
Doctor Who, “A Christmas Carol”
This is not your granddad’s Christmas Carol…or maybe it is if he grew up watching Doctor Who. This 2010 Christmas special has no visiting ghosts but it is packed with a crashing spaceship, Marilyn Monroe, a girl frozen in ice, true love, and (of course) one crotchety Scrooge, played by Michael Gambon, who needs the Doctor to fix his Christmas spirit.
A Klingon Christmas Carol
Yes, that’s right, A Klingon Christmas Carol—it actually exists. Created by Commedia Beauregard Theatre Company, it is the first play to be performed in Klingon, the fictional language from Star Trek. Narrated by a Vulcan, it tells the story of the Klingon moneylender, SQuja who lacks the courage and honor that is most valued by the Klingon race. He is then visited by three spirits of Kathless and taught the importance of being a proper Klingon. This adaptation is super clever (and yes, there are English subtitles).
The Muppet Christmas Carol
If Michael Caine’s transformation from the heartless to hopeful Scrooge doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit nothing else will. From the whimsical songs to the familiar faces of your favorite Muppets, this is the Christmas special on our list that is sure to connect you most with your inner child. As Dickens wrote, “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas.”
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
In this twist on the classic tale, Ebenezer Blackadder is an extremely nice and generous man but he is often taken advantage of. When the Spirit of Christmas comes to commend him on his ways, Blackadder convinces him to show him what the future would be if he modified his behavior. What Blackadder finds is that he’d be much better off if he were to act selfish and cruel. This hilarious adaptation is fun to watch—whether you are a Blackadder fan or not!
Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost
If you’re looking for a true classic, this is where you’d find it. The 1901 film is the oldest known adaptation of Dickens’ Christmas tale and even presents the story in an alternative way. The filmmakers decided to do without the multiple ghosts and instead have Jacob Marley guide his former business partner Ebenezer Scrooge through the past, present, and future. The bonus of this silent film is that you can keep your yule log crackling in the background while you watch, drink cocoa, and let the Christmas spirit consume you.
A Christmas Carol gets modernized (well, back when 1988 meant modern) in the film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray. Frank Cross is a cold-hearted TV producer who only cares for himself and his job. This adaptation has all the staples of the classic tale but with ‘modern’ technology that makes it a humorous and refreshing take on an old-time story.
This article originally appeared on Zola Books.