Post Mortems

Santa Clauses EPs Reveal Two-Pronged Reason Behind Charlie's Choice in Ep. 2

The Santa Clause franchise brings back Eric Lloyd as Scott’s son Charlie (aka Sport) in Episode 2 of the Disney+ sequel series — a return that ultimately proves short-lived. But Charlie’s cameo is not-at-all insignificant. In fact, it’s a conversation shared between father and son that leads Scott to make a pretty drastic change.

When Scott arrives in Florida to visit with Charlie, he is already considering hanging up his red suspenders. The time has come to find a successor, and Scott believes that Charlie is the heir apparent.

Charlie, now married with two sons of his own, is taken aback when Scott suggests that he follow in his footsteps. He tells Dad that he will always cherish the time they had in the sleigh together, but he doesn’t want the gig. “The North Pole is not the right place to raise kids,” he declares. “The job is not conducive to being an engaged parent.”

His rejection may come as a surprise to longtime fans, many of whom probably assumed that Scott and Laura’s son would take up the mantle of Santa Claus. According to series creator Jack Burditt, it was, in fact, one of several outcomes that they considered for The Santa Clauses.

The Santa Clauses Episode 2 - Charlie and his wife Marie“We certainly talked a lot about whether it should be Charlie who is the successor,” he says. But when it came time to make a decision, “Charlie just seemed like too good of an answer, and it’s too easy of a transition.” And as fellow EP Jason Winer notes, “on a practical level, Eric Lloyd has retired as an actor. He has a whole other career and a whole other life, so we reached out to him and kind of convinced him to rejoin us and to make an appearance for this crucial, pivotal moment in the story.”

And it is a pivotal moment. Charlie’s sentiment about raising kids at the North Pole gives Scott pause. Their heart-to-heart leads Scott to reflect on his commitment to his wife Carol (played again by Elizabeth Mitchell, a real hoot as Mrs. Claus finds herself in the throes of an identity crisis), and his relationship with their two children, teenagers Cal (Austin Kane) and Sandra (played by Allen’s real-life daughter Elizabeth Allen-Dick). If he wants his kids to experience a more expansive life, the Calvins will have to make a big move.

The Santa Clauses“I want them to be in the real world a little bit,” Tim Allen tells TVLine. The transition, however, will be difficult. When Scott and his brood venture outside of Santa’s Workshop, they will find that “there are advantages… and there are disadvantages.”

One such challenge for Scott will involve curbing those Santa-sized cravings. “Obviously, being Santa has created a real sweet tooth for Scott,” Winer says with a laugh. “That doesn’t go away when he becomes a real man in the real world. The movies — the first one, in particular — was about what happens when a real guy becomes Santa Claus. This [show], in some ways, could be described as ‘What happens when Santa Claus becomes a regular guy?'”