The Librarians and Santa’s Midnight Run

IMDB : aired December 21, 2014 : previous episode 
John Rogers (executive producer) answers questions about this episode
index and explanation of these posts

Plot:

The spirit of Santa is kidnapped by the Serpent Brotherhood, and the Librarians need to rescue him.

Commentary:

I am loving the variety of phones (have you noticed they’re not actually connected to anything?)  Also, the scene after they realise that Santa’s been grabbed, it has interesting relevance for later in the series.

“Architecture is just art we live in.” This hit me harder on the rewatch, and got me started thinking about how we label things and section them off (and how that’s sometimes necessary, but not always a good thing, too?)

I would like the library space the Serpent Brotherhood has.

All right. Search strategy discussion time. Googling “how to lower landing gear” gets not that useful results (my first page, c.f. the filter bubble issues, gets a bunch of news stories and a few simulator game questions.)

My actual suggested technique would be plane model (the C-XM45 of the plane that you see earlier is a rather lovely Easter Egg and not real) plus “landing gear” in quotes to make sure it got the phrase. Specificity is helpful.

Also with the mythos – the ‘we’re – he’s much tougher than that’ at the end.

This week’s searches involved a lot of image searching (to track down the pictures of Santa) which I did rather scattershot, by taking my best guess about era based on details of the image. (I have just enough art history training and history of the book and so on to be dangerous, I guess. This is why being a generalist is handy sometimes.)

Footnotes:

Cockney rhyming slang (Robin = Robin Hood = good, most likely. Tea-leaf = thief = stealing. Patrick Swayze = crazy)

We’re going to have a lot of references to various Santa traditions this episode. Kris Kringle is a variant name for both Santa Claus and the Christkind tradition in various parts of Europe.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that lives on a wide variety of host trees.

We’re back to immortal beings (it’s sort of a theme). Santa Claus, not on that list. Discussion of what an avatar is in the Hindu context (which is pretty close to the use here.)

The illustrations Jenkins hands out are from an 1881 engraving, a 13th century icon in the Lipnya Church of St. Nicholas in Novgorod, Russia, and an 1864 illustration of the poemA Visit from Saint Nicholas“, better known as “The Night Before Christmas”. (The illustrator is not named there. Authorship of the poem is generally attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, but there is some debate.)

There is no consensus on the first name for Mrs. Claus, but Gretchen is the first name used in the 1996 movie “The Story of Santa Claus

Urdu. Bat and ball = Someone tall. Loaf = loaf of bread = head.

Mistletoe, poinsettia, and holly are all closely linked with this time of year. (More mistletoe information. More about holly. This site is run by a retired botanist who is collecting plant lore.)

Mass surveillance in the UK. Bernoilli’s principle. Igor Sikorsky designed the first viable American helicopter.  I believe this is the correct Charles Bevins (PDF)

Art: Bust of Nefertiti. That Aset statue from last episode. Qiao Bin was an artist c 1400-1500. Kublai Khan. Kubera.

(As a note, I thought the painting in the back left here was Watson and the Shark, which is the first painting I ever remember knowing – one of the versions in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and I was terrified of it as a small child. But it’s not. It’s still a historically fascinating painting so you get a footnote.)

Faces of Santa: Nikolas the Wondermaker (the saint). Odin.

The tune for Deck the Halls dates from the 16th century, and the lyrics in English from 1862. Northern lights. Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan).

Morgan le Fay is another bit of the Arthur mythos.

Trans-Alaska pipeline.

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2 comments to The Librarians and Santa’s Midnight Run

Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Research Librarian at the Perkins School for the Blind

More about my job and a day in the life

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