Words: Saam Das
For all you lucky, lucky people who are lounging around at home, your Christmas tv highlights may have already begun. Alas, I am not so fortunate. But soon I too will be joining you (well, perhaps not in person) on the sofa to soak in the annual Christmas television extravaganza. Here's six highlights to tide you over till the end of Boxing Day, including 'Doctor Who' and 'How To Train Your Dragon'.
'The Snowman And The Snowdog'
(Dec 24th, 20.00, Channel 4)
Raymond Briggs's classic festive animation 'The Snowman' is as magical as it is tear-inducing. The story of friendship and loss, I worry that this sequel will be similar affecting - or rather, harrowing. Yet thirty years on, it is a return to the original magical animated style that is willing me back.
'Gone With The Wind'
(Dec 25th, 9:00, Channel 5)
If you're extra organised then the morning of Christmas Day might be a good time to finally see this epic American Civil War drama. Almost four hours long, 'Gone With The Wind' is a timeless classic, much like the recently re-released 'Lawrence Of Arabia'.
'Doctor Who' Christmas special
(Dec 25th, 17:15, BBC1)
After a somewhat disappointing series, The Doctor (Matt Smith) returns for this year's Christmas special - set in Victorian England, with guest stars Richard E Grant and Ian McKellen. Of most interest though is how new companion Jenna Louise Coleman is (re-)introduced....
'Downton Abbey' Christmas special
(Dec 25th, 20:45, ITV1)
We recently covered 'Downton Abbey' quite extensively so it feels appropriate to mention their Christmas special. Even though it's actually about the Crawleys heading off on their summer holidays. I suspect that will hardly be off-putting for the hordes of fans, already eagerly awaiting a new series.
'How To Train Your Dragon'
(Dec 26th, 17.00, BBC1)
One of the greatest animations of recent years, the soaring 'How To Train Your Dragon' is one of the few feature films to not only match Pixar's finest but perhaps even exceed some of those classic animations. A Viking tale of family and friendship that encompasses laugh out loud comedy and incredible visuals.
(Dec 26th, 21.00, BBC2)
Alfred Hitchcock is rightly considered one of the greatest directors in history yet his indiscretions are often overlooked. 'The Girl' examines his disturbing and obsessive relations with Tippi Hedren (played here by Sienna Miller). Toby Jones, fresh from winning a BIFA award for his role in 'Berberian Sound Studio', takes on Hitchcock.
Check radiotimes.com for a complete, up-to-date schedule.