Wicked Wednesday: The Scooby-Doo Show S3E3 “A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright”

By golly, it’s December already. Time for cozy scarves, hot chocolate and warm fires… Wait. What’s that? It’s still in the upper 40s in London? I’m still sweating in my light autumn jacket? Well. It might not be winter in weather, but it can winter in spirit, right?

Even at the best of times, I struggle with Christmases and ‘winter’ in Britain. Living the first decades of my life in Wisconsin prepared me for brutal months of endless, horrible weather. So in a place where the weather never seems to change, my body is constantly confused.

This year I’m trying desperately to get into the mood for Christmas. It seems more important than ever to care about this month. So despite the incredibly mild weather: a very snowy episode of Scooby-Doo was needed.

Now. I adore Scooby-Doo, but one thing I’ve noticed the more I’ve watched these older episodes, the more I realise that this show was definitely, 100% created for kids in mind. Each episode follows the same exact formula to a T – “A Scary Night With a Snow Beast Fright” is absolutely no exception.

The gang are called by Professor Kruger to go to the North Pole. But when they arrive, they discover that the village the professor was staying in was destroyed by something. Something big.

During their initial sweep of the place, the gang meets the chief of the village’s tribe. He tells them that a snow beast has been terrorising the village. It supposedly came to life when the tribe built on sacred land, according to their legends.

The chief then points them into the direction of the professor’s hut, where they meet the prof’s disgruntled assistant. This guy is clearly the culprit because he’s the only crabby person in the episode. But you know, just pretend to be amazed later on. (This is what I deserve for watching shows for small children.)

While searching the professor’s hut, they discover drawings of the totem poles they had seen earlier. They go to check out the totem poles where they are attacked by the titular ‘snow beast’. They track it to an ice cave where they discover submarines and a couple of dudes locked in a room.

It’s no surprise when the assistant is revealed to be the mastermind behind the ‘snow beast’. The very-advanced engineer had built himself a robotic beast suit to wear. And something something oil.

The episode is pretty cute. Certainly not iconic by any means. For one, it’s a bit racist. The chief has that accent and the episode uses the term Eskimo. So. There’s that trash.

But Scoob is cute. His crush on the sled dog is adorable (she melts the ice around him with a kiss). I certainly don’t think anything here is revolutionary, perhaps that’s why this episode’s original season was cancelled halfway through. But there was snow, and that ticked my only box. Perhaps next year I need to try one of the more modern movies, as there seems to be a cult following for the early ones (I spy Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!).

Believe it or not, it’s time to begin watching Christmas movies starting next week. I applaud anyone who has already started.

‘Walk out to Winter’ or ‘three cheers for British winters’

Roddy Frame/Aztec Camera

This is the time for the Christmas song. There are many diehards that have had their fingers just itching to press the play button of the Christmas radio station even weeks before Thanksgiving. Makes enough sense, but the endless barrage of the holiday tune is a bit much to take at times (how much can you listen to that Mariah one – really).

While the Christmas spirit is very lovely, it is a total loss to ignore anything else that is equally as beautiful at this time of the month – the winter song.

Winters in Britain are completely unlike the ones I survived as a kid in Wisconsin. There’s certainly a lot less snow for one thing, and it’s quite a lot warmer in England. But there’s something in the air here that doesn’t exist in a tumultuous Midwestern winter – the damp. Despite being moderate pretty much all winter there’s this terrible dampness that I believe has lead me to procure some of the worst colds of my life. Even our food gets damp.

Somehow, this is charming. Everything can be charming when you’re an expat!

There is one song, though, that captures the mood of both winters to me: one scene filled with several feet of snow that shines endlessly in the sun and the other a dark and damp cozy place with simmering rain. That song is Aztec Camera’s jangle pop track ‘Walk Out to Winter’ from his 1983 debut album High Land, Hard Rain.

The sound is something truly great in this song – so light and shiny that is feels of winter. The lightness of the chords just gleam off the guitar (in a figurative way, I think). Johnny Marr has been quote admitting that after hearing ‘Walk Out to Winter’ he was jealous of Roddy Frame’s jangle pop guitar, so he wrote ‘This Charming Man’ – which is arguably one of the Smith’s best tracks ever written.

The video, of course, is impossibly twee like much of what came out of Scotland at the time. Where Scottish Roddy Frame runs amok on a beach and fun fair while being pursued by a rather elusive older woman. Personally, I believe that the album version is superior to the single but there is plenty of charm in each.

Long live the Winter song! There’s plenty of room for both, especially if anyone is feeling a bit fatigued in even the most cheeriest of times.