Xmas Marks The Spot


Episode: Xmas Marks The Spot

Written By: J. Michael Straczynski

Originally Aired: December 13, 1986

Reviewed On: December 25, 2013

Watch it: Volume 1, Disc 2

Synopsis: The Real Ghostbusters accidentally get sent back to Victorian times where somehow the novel, A Christmas Carol is real! While there The Real Ghostbusters bust the Christmas spirits, not realizing who they are or what they have done. When they return to the future, Christmas no longer exists! The only way to correct the time line is to go back in time, bringing the Christmas ghosts with them? Can The Real Ghostbusters save Christmas before the time slips closes forever? Or will they and everyone else in the future have a “bah, humbug!”

Location: Upstate NY

1 minute, 16 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies Winston.” – Ray

Ray seems to be quoting the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Don’t Ask Me No Questions from their 1974 album, Second Helping.

1 minute, 22 seconds

It just popped in there:

I can imagine from this point on Janine telling clients to keep all pets (its possible she was already mentioning valuables) away from property where The Real Ghostbusters may have to use their proton packs.

2 minutes, 21 seconds

It just popped in there:

Makes you wonder if The Real Ghostbusters had GPS in 1986 like we do today, if they would have even been anywhere near what was about to happen to them.

2 minutes, 31 seconds

It just popped in there:

Even though they didn’t have cell phones (because its 1986 and who wants to carry around a brick?) The Real Ghostbusters do have communications equipment in the car. When Ecto-1 isn’t running properly and stops, why don’t they at least try to call someone instead of walking through the snow to find a pay phone?

2 minutes, 35 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

We find out Peter doesn’t like Christmas because his father wasn’t around much during the holidays when he was growing up.

3 minutes, 2 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Although The Real Ghostbusters are trudging through a blizzard in upstate NY, how do they miss the swirling vortex which seems to alter the gravity around them and moments later pulls them inside?

Location: An English Village

3 minutes, 45 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Something is familiar about this Bob Cratchit fellow and that tiny boy.

Of course Bob Cratchit and tiny Tim are characters from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

4 minutes, 11 seconds

It just popped in there:

Okay, even though Mr. Cratchit can’t afford a big enough duck to feed his family well, there are obvious fowl hanging in that butcher’s shop. The owner couldn’t take a little bit of a loss at Christmas?

4 minutes, 39 seconds

It just popped in there/You’ll need a reference:

When The Real Ghostbusters use a PKE Meter, then see that same ghost leave a house with chains on it, they don’t think of the definite Christmas novel? Only fictional ghost I’ve known with chains. The ghostly character of Jacob Marley was once Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner. He warns Scrooge to change his ways and that he’ll be visited by three ghosts.

5 minutes, 13 seconds

It just popped in there/Sorry, I missed it:

Why are the “Christmas Spirits” in the room of Ebenezer Scrooge together? They appear at different times before Christmas morning. Perhaps The Real Ghostbusters had begun to alter the time line when they became accidental time travelers.

5 minutes, 33 seconds

It just popped in there:

I wouldn’t quite have thought of this in 1986, as The Christmas Spirits are being captured by The Real Ghostbusters, do you think they already saw what would become of future Christmases?

6 minutes, 23 seconds

It just popped in there:

I love as Scrooge is ranting about being charged for The Real Ghostbusters services, Peter and Ray are looking off like they get this a lot. They know better and use the possible “we’ll let them go” if they aren’t paid. A similar threat was made in Ghostbusters after Slimer was caught and hotel management didn’t want to pay.

7 minutes, 19 seconds

It just popped in there:

So, how much is a mint Schilling from 1837 worth in 1986?

7 minutes, 45 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Scrooge’s “war on Christmas” is a result of The Christmas Spirits being defeated by their meeting with The Real Ghostbusters.

Location: Upstate NY

8 minutes, 26 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Egon begins to realize something is familiar about what has happened.

Location: Fire House

8 minutes, 37 seconds

It’s Technical/Sorry, I missed it:

The Real Ghostbusters, except for Egon have taken off their proton packs. No explanation is given to why Egon is still wearing his.

8 minutes, 51 seconds

It just popped in there:

Slimer echoes Janine’s sentiment about not liking Christmas. Its unclear if he just agrees to agree or this is based on personal experience from a time when he was alive.

8 minutes, 55 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Egon’s suspicions continue when Janine doesn’t like Christmas trees.

Location: Fifth Ave.

You’ll need a reference:

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (the main branch) of the New York Public Library is located on Fifth Ave. at 42nd St. In Ghostbusters, its where Ray and Egon had been studying what later became known as the “library ghost.” On the very same day Peter was coheres by Ray to go to the library, their university let them go. This was just the opportunity they needed to go into business for themselves.

9 minutes, 16 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Instead of the usual festive decorations, NYC has put up decorations with Ebenezer Scrooge’s portrait.

9 minutes, 27 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

A Christmas Humbug by Ebenezer Scrooge

Sorry, I missed it:

Ebenezer is misspelled on the book cover, at least according to my spell check.

9 minutes, 29 seconds

It just popped in there:

Why are copies of the book sitting outside? It doesn’t seem like anyone from a store is watching them. Sure, its Christmas. It doesn’t mean crimes aren’t committed.

9 minutes, 38 seconds

It’s Technical:

Ray finally makes the realization they couldn’t have helped Scrooge unless they time travelled through a time slip.

9 minutes, 57 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Some random New Yorker provides the exposition (and perhaps unnecessary explanation) about Scrooge and Christmas in 1986. On par with his character, Scrooge doesn’t include (probably for the best) The Real Ghostbusters.

10 minutes, 8 seconds

It just popped in there:

So, was the lady still there when Ray just blurts out they time traveled and changed the destiny of Christmas?

Location: Fire House. Room: Study

10 minutes, 42 seconds

It’s Technical:

The Real Ghostbusters are able to monitor the ghosts inside the Containment Unit from a safe distance. In Ghostbusters their originally was going to be a scene where Peter could see inside The Protection Grid. It was cut for emotional (to the audience) and budgetary reasons.

12 minutes, 5 seconds

It just popped in there:

You have to wonder if Egon has known how to safely remove ghosts from The Containment Unit since they rebuilt it (Citizen Ghost) and if he has been wanting to try it ever since.

13 minutes

It just popped in there:

With Peter, Ray, and Winston on their way back to the time slip, how is Egon suppose to get a trap full of Christmas spirits back to upstate NY or 19th Century England?

13 minutes, 8 seconds

It just popped in there:

Too bad Valentine’s Day couldn’t have been altered. :p Janine still has a major crush on Egon, which is the only reason she’ll help release the Christmas Spirits.

15 minutes, 22 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Peter has a type of View-Master. The red “3-D” View-Master most of us are familiar with has been around since the 1960s. The technology and product have been around going back to at least the 1930s. Thanks to color processed film from Kodak. During the 1980s Tyco made The Real Ghostbusters reels for the View-Master.

This Is Your Life was a documentary show that ran from 1952 to 1961. It was hosted by Ralph Edwards. The show would return during the early 1970s and 1980s.

15 minutes, 35 seconds

It’s Technical:

Something tells me Egon didn’t just jury rig equipment for the Containment Unit or build that “space” suit.

It just popped in there:

Kenner’s Super Fright Features version of Egon always reminds me of Xmas Marks The Spot with Egon wearing the containment unit suit.

15 minutes, 43 seconds

It’s Technical:

Even if Egon were to be trapped after an hour, I’m sure Ray would figure something out.

16 minutes, 4 seconds

It’s Technical:

First time we’ve seen the “laser” grid that normally sends a trap cartridge, releasing a ghost or ghosts inside the Containment Unit.

16 minutes, 30 seconds

It just popped in there:

It’s plausible that Janine (and Egon didn’t have time to worry about it) wouldn’t realize the portal of the Containment Unit would be strong enough to pull more then a person inside. Slimer didn’t have to be there, and now may get trapped too!

16 minutes, 50 seconds

It’s Technical:

When Janine is monitoring Egon inside the Containment Unit, it looks like a mix of the Disney movie Tron and Atari 2600.

17 minutes, 22 seconds

It just popped in there:

You could ask, if A Christmas Carol had never been written, why is their a view master reel for Peter (pretending to be The Ghost of Christmas Past) to show Scrooge? Since history’s been altered, its possible Scrooge’s “famous” known book created related merchandise. Or their was a market for reels of the period.

19 minutes, 8 seconds

It’s Technical/You’ll need a reference:

While Egon is floating inside the Containment Unit, he sees Samhain. (When Halloween Was Forever) In fact other ghosts from previous episodes are also shown.

19 minutes, 10 seconds

It’s Technical:

Somehow Slimer who is still in danger of becoming trapped is wasting a fire extinguisher on the modified Containment Unit equipment. What if he damages it, this could completely ruin what The Real Ghostbusters want to accomplish.

20 minutes, 35 seconds

It’s Technical:

I’m sure the Containment Unit equipment blew up in part because of Slimer. Fortunately Egon and The Christmas ghosts are able to return before the other ghosts can get to the portal.

21 minutes, 3 seconds

It just popped in there/It’s Technical:

How did Egon get to the time slip? He is still wearing that “space” suit. Did he fly like Iron Man?

22 minutes, 3 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Thanks to The Christmas Spirits we learn to appreciate Christmas. Hopefully in part to Peter that means returning that minty 1837 Schilling.

22 minutes, 18 seconds

It’s Technical:

The ghost of Christmas Present has the ability to time travel (which makes more sense in adulthood) and sends The Real Ghostbusters back to the future. 8)

22 minutes, 47 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

Winston shares his thoughts that “all that” was only a story. Of course he is referring to Charles Dickson’s A Christmas Carol. Which was written in 1843. The people may have been fictitious, Charles Dickson did write about the “social injustices” of his time.

22 minutes, 55 seconds-23 minutes 10 seconds

You’ll need a reference:

While Winston ponders what else may be real, The Real Ghostbusters hear, but do not see Santa, laughing then talking from his sleigh as he takes off with the familiar reindeer.

Santa may actually be based on a real life person, St. Nicholas who lived during the 4th Century. The image we generally have of Santa today comes from Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas” which was written in 1823, Coca~Cola, and 20th Century artist Norman Rockwell.

“Merry Christmas To All!”


One thought on “Xmas Marks The Spot

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