In the Nick of Time
In In the Nick of Time, Santa Claus (embodied with exceptionally good twinkly eyes by Lloyd Bridges) is only the latest in a long line of Santas — it’s an honorary job lasting 300 years a term — and this one’s turn is up. So on Christmas Eve, Santa travels down from the North Pole to find a new Santa — and decides he should probably be a depressed, burned-out Manhattan newspaper columnist played by L.A. Law‘s Michael Tucker. This happily sappy “Disney Night at the Movies” production spends most of its two hours with gently comic scenes in which Santa tries to convince Tucker’s character that he’s the man for the job.
Maryedith Burrell, who used to clown on Fridays and who has since written for Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre, has come up with a lovely notion in her script — everyone who comes into contact with Santa becomes, at least momentarily, kind, generous, and thoughtful. It’s fun to see Bridges stroll through New York City and watch legions of rude people on every level of society become sweetly smiling softies. B+