Five must-watch TV shows for the festive season

22 Dec

After overindulging on homemade Christmas pudding, turkey and mince pies, there is no better way to get your family in the festive spirit, than snuggling down on the sofa to watch TV  to the glow of your Christmas tree lights. To make life easier and help you choose what to pick, we have compiled a list of the top five TV shows to watch this Christmas season…

– Downton Abbey Christmas Special (25 December, 20:45,  ITV1)

ITV 1 ©

ITV 1 ©

ITV’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama returns with a special episode in which the Crawleys are off to the Scottish Highlands for their annual summer holiday. With the family away, Carson will try to retain some form of order ensuring that the servants behave as one would expect…

To watch the trailer for this year’s Christmas special, click here.

Downtown Abbey will return to ITV1 in autumn 2013 for a fourth season of eight new episodes  of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama. Click here for more Downton news.

– Doctor Who Christmas Special: “The Snowmen” (25 December, 17:15,  BBC One / 26 December, 20:00 BBC Three)



This year’s festive Who will bring fun, frights and adventure to the TV. After the highly-emotional departure of Amy and Rory in Manhattan, this festive episode will take a step away from the previous light-hearted ones to show the Doctor’s poor state of mind.  Being determined to give up on his adventures, he doesn’t hesitate to change his mind after meeting his new companion: Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Will this chapter bring any light to the Clara/Oswin mystery?

The Snowmen is on BBC One this Christmas but if you can’t wait for it,  you can see a prequel for the episode and watch an exclusive trailer now!

– A Christmas Carol (24 December, 18:45, BBC One / 26 December, 21:00, BBC Three)

Rating: PG / 96 min / 2009 / Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy.

Disney ©

Disney ©

An animated adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ story of the same name. The film tells the story of a bitter and greedy man who receives the visit of three ghosts on Christmas Eve. They confront him with the potential consequences of his bad actions to convince him to change his life. The film stars Jim Carrey in a variety of roles, including Ebenezer Scrooge across all his age-ranges and the three ghosts who haunt him.

To watch the trailer, click here.

– Call the Midwife: Christmas Special (25 December, 19.30pm, BBC One)



Created and written by Heidi Thomas and based on the best-selling memoirs of the Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife returns for a one-off Christmas Special in December 2012 leading up to a second season starting early next year.

It is Christmas 1957, the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House are busier than ever and an abandoned baby is found on the steps of the convent. Everyone rallies round to tray and trace his mother while still dealing with the show’s usual plots.

After being one of the most watched dramas BBC One has ever produced, the second series –leaded off by this festive episode– promises to be a cracker!

Heidi Thomas states: “When asked to bring the curtain up on a new series with a Christmas special, we jumped at the chance.” and adds: “At its’ heart, Christmas has always been about love, hope, and generosity of spirit – all qualities we celebrate in Call the Midwife.”

For more information, click here.


– The Girl (26 December, 21:00, BBC Two)

TV Movie / 91 min / 2012 / Drama.



There has been plenty of hype over this BBC-HBO drama since it started being promoted in BBC Two adverts in September 2012. Having been finally set to be broadcasted over the festive period, this choice is the perfect one for you if you are looking for non-Christmas themed TV content with added doses of drama.

The Girl tells the full tragic story of Alfred Hitchcock’s obsessive relationship with Tippi Hedren, the fashion model he chose to star in his most ambitious film, The Birds. Starring Toby Jones and Sienna Miller as main characters, the film shows how Hitchcock and Hedren’s careers were ruined by his failure to get love from her.

Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes had the privilege to interview Tippi Hedren and surviving members of Hitchcock’s crew in order to bring light to the most tragic story ever told about the life of Britain’s most successful and visionary filmmaker. When asked about Tippi Hedren, Gwyneth Hughes states: “At the time, in the early 1960s, the American star suffered in silence. But now, at the age of 81, her wisdom and insights have helped me to put her real life ordeal on to the screen.”

For more information, click here.

First published on 16th December 2012 (The Edinburgh Reporter). Link

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