At Christmas time, Nancy Drew tries to prove the innocence of a derelict who could not have committed a series of Christmas robberies which involves a man dressed in a Santa suit and is robbing houses and tries to capture him.
This is true and there are some other interesting elements to look at such as how this man that is Santa is first discovered in a barn by two young kids and is later taken in by the Drews as he has nowhere and at the same time as this is happening someone in a Santa costume has committing robberies. The Santa costume of the burglar is actually creepy.
. (This was Springfield’s first and last appearance on the show).
So what else could be going on with Santa? Mr. Griffin as he goes by here. Apparently, he saw a drug deal take place and some bad men want him out of the picture. All while Mr. Griffin takes on the role of department store Santa and that is where the Miracle on 34th Street comparison comes in as Mr. Griffin really loves kids and they all fly to him because they know he’s the real Santa. This is also where we get another fun element when Mr. Griffin takes part in a parade on Christmas even night after Nancy is attacked by the Santa robber unmasked and it is actually a man named Cortez. There is a good amount of suspense in this moment as it takes place in a barn. It’s actually intense and makes you feel for Nancy in this moment. Granted things get a little weird.
When the parade stops for a second, Griffin sees the men through the wall with his powers/X-ray eyes (Hey, he’s Santa Claus! He has special powers unknown to man). Griffin disappears. When they discover he’s `missing,` Carson says they’ll just have to go on without him. The shooters can’t see Griffin now, and figure their sites are blocked. The “bad guy” says he’ll just get `Drew and her old man first.’ He starts shooting. They manage to dodge the bullets. The cops, Nancy, Carson and Ned run around the side of the building and find two men konked out and handcuffed together. It’s the shooters. Ned says, “what happened up here!?” The cop says it must’ve been one of his men who caught them.
The episode ends with the Drews, Ned, and her friend George celebrating Christmas and Mr. Griffin working his Christmas magic as he presents a porcelain doll that Nancy had told her father that she wanted as a child and she finds it under the tree.
Honestly, the best part of this episode is how much Nancy believes Mr. Griffin and is willing to go to bat for him and prove his innocence. The mystery is a little interesting but I believe this is a case where the spirit of Christmas overrides the mystery a tad.
Nancy Drew played by Pamela Sue Martin
The best part of this episode was how much Nancy believed in Mr. Griffin and didn’t give up on him when everyone else was willing to. She stuck to her guns and was willing to prove his innocence when no one else believed him.
Mr. Griffin played by Dan O’Herlihy
I’ll admit, this isn’t my favorite take on Santa but it does work to sell the idea of Santa and people that never stop believing in him. This is seen both with the young kids that find him and Nancy after some convincing. And she doesn’t give up on that.
Ned Nickerson played by Rick Springfield
Rick Springfield may be a good singer but he was not good as Ned here. He just felt so stuff and you never once bought into the relationship that was blossoming between him and Nancy. It honestly felt a bit contrived. And maybe that’s why he never showed up again.
My Final Thoughts
In all, this is a good episode that I’d readily suggest if you wish to check out some old-school Nancy Drew material. It has a lot of heart and warmth for the holiday season. Join me next as we go from Nancy Drew celebrating Christmas in 1977 to Nancy celebrating Christmas in 2018 as I take a look at the book…
A Nancy Drew Christmas