Nothing says Christmas as much as the Telly reminding us it’s that time of year again. Some folks are depirved of seeing the Regent Street lights and all the hoopla of a London Christmas, but it really starts getting hammered into your head once the Christmas Adverts start appearing and they roll out the Christmas specials.
They are a tradition as Melissa Thompson points out in her Daily Mirror article (16/12/2011) titled The changing face of the BBC’s Christmas TV schedule, which is a rather interesting survey of the tradition of broadcast Christmas specials.
While I still have some old favs (e.g., The Truth About Christmas Carols and Rick Stein’s Cornish Christmas), but this sounds like an interesting year for specials.
Channel Four has the 1999 Time Team Christmas Special up with an extravagant Medieval Christmas celebration at York’s Barley Hall.
While we are ignoring the Beeb and at Channel 4, they are putting on Felix and Murdo which the Radio Times describes as:
Imagine an Armstrong and Miller sketch about sexist Edwardian toffs, just extended superbly into a very funny sitcom by Simon Nye.
and Channel Four describes as:
In this sitcom set in Edwardian London, Ben Miller and Alexander Armstrong play a pair of ‘modern’ men who indulge in a drink and drugs spree while simultaneously competing in the 1908 Olympics… with no training whatsoever
I would watch Armstrong and Miller where ever they turn up!
BBC is serving up Lost Christmas, which is described as an “Urban fairytale set in Manchester. A series of tragic events that blight a young boy’s life are reversed one Christmas Eve, giving him and those around him the happy ending that they were destined to have.” This features a cast that includes Eddie Izzard,Jason Flemyng, Geoffrey Palmer, Christine Bottomley, Steven Mackintosh, and others.
For some reason, Doctor Who has become a Christmas Tradition now that it is a Terry Nation tribute show from BBC Wales. This special called The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe features Alexander Armstrong, Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir. I understand that Amy Pond will be leaving as companion. This one sounds interesting.
TV: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, 8:30pm, BBC2/BBC HD
Utterly silly TV version of the utterly silly BBC Radio 4 hit, Bleak Expectations. With Robert Webb, Stephen Fry and Katherine Parkinson. The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff is a four-part comedy adventure set in the Dickensian world of Jedrington Secret-Past, the up-standing family man and owner of The Old Shop of Stuff, Victorian London’s most successful purveyor of miscellaneous odd things.
Septics who missed this and want to see it will find there are download links up already! Get with it BBC DVD creating staff!
TV: The Borrowers, 7:30pm, BBC1/BBC1 HD Mary Norton’s classic children’s books is brought into the 21st century in a brand-new action-packed adventure film has a stellar cast, including Christopher Eccleston and Stephen Fry.
Not really Christmassy, but they sound interesting:
The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen, 9:00pm, BBC2/BBC HD–
“Amanda Vickery on the enduring popularity of Jane Austen. It might be something to do with how great her books are.”
Great Expectations, 9:00pm, BBC1 (10:00pm, BBC HD)
Smashing three-part dramatisation of the Dickens classic, with Douglas Booth as Pip and a luminous Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham.
And here is the Truth About Christmas Carols!