Best TV of December 2017: hmv.com previews the top 10...
hmv.com previews 10 of the most exciting TV shows that will be coming to your screens this December…
(Christmas Day, BBC One)
There’s a lot to talk about for this year’s festive meet-up with the Time Lord.
We’re saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and hello to Jodie Whittaker, who will make her debut in the role at some point in the episode.
Not only that, but in this year’s festive special, which is titled Twice Upon A Time, we’ll get to see Game Of Thrones star David Bradley playing the original incarnation of Doctor, and Mark Gatiss, a long-time writer on the show, who stars in a key role. Joining them will be Bella Mackie and quite possibly Jenna Coleman, though that's yet to be confirmed.
As well as Capaldi’s final bow, this is also the last hurrah for showrunner Steven Moffat so expect him to want to go out with a serious bang...
The Tunnel: Vengeance
(Sky Atlantic, December 14th)
Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy return as detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann reunite for a final time to investigate one more cross-channel case.
This time the story follows a French Eurotunnel worker who is attacked by a plague of rats in Calais, and three British children vanish from their home in Kent. It’s up to Karl and Elise to dig into the link between the crimes...
(Sky One, Air Date TBC)
Dawn French, Emilia Fox, Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock return for the second season of Sky’s saucy comedy-drama.
Now a successful partnership at the Penrose Hotel, French’s Gina and Fox’s Sam are served up a whole new kind of trouble when Gina’s estranged father rocks up and a new
chef causes a stir.
(Sky One, Air Date TBC)
David Walliams’ bestselling adventure gets a lavish adaptation with Sheridan Smith, Talia Bennett, Sophie Thompson and Walliams himself in the cast.
In this story, we follow Zoe, whose daily life isn’t going too well. She’s got a lazy stepmother and her Dad is never around, so when a dancing rat shows up in her bedroom, she quickly makes him her friend.
This rat is in fact so good at dancing that Zoe wants to enter him in the school talent contest. But shifty burger van man Burt has other ideas and most of them involve a mincer…
Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story gets a new re-telling this Christmas with a new three-part BBC adaptation.
Newly adapted by Call The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas, Alcott’s story is set in the midst of the American Civil War and follows sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March on their journey from childhood to adulthood. With the help of their mother Marmee, while their father is away at war the girls navigate what it means to be a young woman - from gender roles to sibling rivalry, first love, loss and marriage.
The cast is largely focused on newcomers, with Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, who is probably best known for Scream: The TV Series, Annes Elwy, a breakout star of Channel 4’s recent run through of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and Big Little Lies’ Kathryn Newton all starring. There are also key roles for Emily Watson, Michael Gambon and Angela Lansbury.
The League Of Gentlemen
It’s been 15 years since the League were last on TV and 20 years since the show made its debut on radio, but they return this year for three specials.
Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith are all back with David Morrissey confirmed to guest star.
Jenna Coleman’s Victoria has only just wrapped its second full season, but it returns for a Christmas special.
The two-hour special will tell the story of Nigerian girl called Sarah Forbes Bonetta who is brought to the palace after being rescued by a British Naval captain involved in an anti-slavery ring.
Writer Daisy Goodwin has also promised that this episode will be “the most Christmassy Christmas episode ever, ever made”. There’s definitely going to be snow...
(ITV1, December 11th)
The story behind the most-talked-about robbery of recent years has already been a film once and another is in production, but now, the tale of how four elderly career criminals stole over £200 million pounds' worth of cash and jewellery, gets its run on the small screen.
Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham and Brían F. O’Byrne lead the way, with David Hayman, Alex Norton, Ian Puleston-Davies, Geoff Bell and Nasser Memarzia in supporting roles.
The four-parter, which has been written by Philomena co-writer Jeff Pope, will chart the planning, execution and consequences of the audacious heist.
Feud: Bette and Joan
Glee/American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy chronicles the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford during and after the production of their 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in this explosive new series.
AHS regular Jessica Lange plays Crawford with Susan Sarandon starring as Davis. They are supported by a cast that includes Judy Davis, Jackie Hoffman, Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci and Alison Wright.
Set over eight parts, the series has run to great acclaim in the US and will return in 2018. Feuding this time? Charles and Diana...
Eric, Ernie & Me
Stephen Tompkinson, best known for his role as DCI Banks, takes the role of scriptwriter Eddie Braben, the writer behind Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, in this tender new biopic.
Catastrophe and Apple Tree Yard star Mark Bonnar plays Eric Morecambe with Humans’ Neil Maskell taking on the part of Ernie Wise. The drama focuses on Braben’s attempt to refocus the pair into a double act and the creative tension at the heart of their relationship.