Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Here is a non-exhaustive list of what I'll watch on Brit telly during this period. [Update - December 27, 2015] You'll find my very humble opinion about some (including Doctor Who!) here: http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2015/12/watched-this-week.html

- From Andy Pandy To Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children’s TV (BBC Four, Monday 21 Dec 2015). A documentary narrated by Nigel Planner

- Stick Man (BBC One, Friday 25 Dec 2015). Adapted from the children's book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Produced by Magic Light Pictures, the company who did the wonderful adaptations of The Gruffalo (2009), The Gruffalo's Child (2011) and Room on the Broom (2012). With the voices of Martin Freeman, Hugh Bonneville, Russell Tovey, Rob Brydon and Sally Hawkins. Jennifer Saunders narrates.

- Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas (BBC One, Saturday 26 Dec 2015). The first ever half-hour special for Aardman's beloved Shaun the Sheep.

- Dickensian (BBC One, Saturday 26 Dec 2015). This 20 x 30-minute drama (?!) brings together some of Charles Dickens's most iconic characters in 19th century London. Huge cast: Peter Firth, Pauline Collins, Stephen Rea, Caroline Quentin, Omid Djalili, Anton Lesser... We'll see if this production from Tony Jordan's Red Planet Pictures is as enjoyable as Lost in Austen (or not).

- And Then There Were None (BBC One, Saturday 26 Dec 2015). In 2014 the BBC announced it would be the new TV home of Agatha Christie in the UK for the 125th anniversary of her birth, thanks to a major deal with her estate. Their first commissions were the excellent Partners in Crime (starring David Walliams and Jessica Raine) and this adaptation of Christie's classic. The three-part serial, co-produced by Mammoth Screen, Agatha Christie Productions and A+E, is written by Sarah Phelps (Great Expectations) and directed by Craig Viveiros.

An ensemble cast includes Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Burn Gorman, Anna Maxwell Martin, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Aidan Turner, etc. Unfortunately, the Beeb axed Partners in Crime (1) so And Then There Were None should better be good. 

- Harry Price: Ghost Hunter (ITV, Sunday 27 Dec 2015). A TV movie about real-life "ghost hunter" and skeptic Harry Price, who investigated tales of the paranormal and supernatural. Adapted from Neil Spring's novel The Ghost Hunters by Jack Lothian (Doc Martin) for Bentley Productions, the prodco behind Midsomer Murders. Midsomer regular helmer Alex Pillai directs. Rafe Spall plays the title role.

- Stephen Fry: A Life on Screen (BBC Two, Tuesday 29 Dec 2015). A one-hour documentary celebrating the career of actor, comedian, author and broadcaster Stephen Fry.

- Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC One, Friday 1 Jan 2016). It's no mystery that I'm not a fan of Sherlock but I rather liked His Last Vow (though the ending was self-indulgent) and this special looks interesting. [Update - January 1, 2016] Interesting indeed, if not fascinating. They couldn't help to drown an almost perfect hour in 30 minutes of nonsensical self-satisfaction.

- War and Peace (BBC One, Sunday 3 Jan 2016). Lavish six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's book by Andrew Davies.  Made by BBC Cymru Wales, in association with The Weinstein Company, Lookout Point and BBC Worldwide. Starring Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton, Gillian Anderson... Directed by Tom Harper. Really looking forward to it.

- Midsomer Murders (ITV, Wednesday 6 Jan 2016). The venerable detective drama returns with its 18th series (6 episodes). The previous series was both tired and tiresome except for A Vintage Murder, written by the talented Lisa Holdsworth. It was simply the best episode since Series 15.

- Death in Paradise (BBC One, Thursday 7 Jan 2016). The highly anticipated fifth series of the globally popular feel-good crime drama.

(1) http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-09-29/no-second-series-for-david-walliams-and-jessica-raine-agatha-christie-drama-partners-in-crime

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