Ten TV shows to watch in December
From the return of Doctor Who to a True Detective-style thriller from France and several animations for the Christmas season, make time for these programmes, writes Ben Dowell.
To Walk Invisible
The story of the Brontës and their creative endeavours in their gloomy parsonage on the Yorkshire Moors has fascinated many over the years. And the BBC is bringing the story to life in this new two-hour film written and directed by scribe-of the moment Sally Wainwright (of Happy Valley fame).
To Walk Invisible
Jonathan Pryce (Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones) plays paterfamilias Patrick with Wuthering Heights author Emily played by Chloe Pirrie, Charlotte by Finn Atkins, and Charlie Murphy portraying the slightly more level-headed younger sister Anne. Alcoholic brother Branwell, whose destructive behaviour threatened to destroy his family, will be played by Adam Nagaitis. Premieres 29 December on BBC1. (Credit: BBC)
The Witness for the Prosecution
This is based on an Agatha Christie short story (just 23 pages) that was written in 1925. It has already been turned into a successful stage play and a much-loved film directed by Billy Wilder, but there is still much excitement for this new production not least because of the stellar cast. Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall plays the part of the murder victim – glamorous and rich Emily French – in the 1920s courtroom-set drama. The story focuses on Leonard Vole – a chancer who has inherited the victim’s fortune – and his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine (played by Andrea Riseborough, the British star of dramas such as the Oscar-winning film Birdman and Netflix’s Bloodline). Tasked with representing Leonard in court is his solicitor John Mayhew (Toby Jones) and King’s Counsel, Sir Charles Carter KC (David Haig). Word is that this is even better than the Beeb’s brilliant Agatha Christie drama from Christmas last year, And Then There Were None. Both have been scripted by the writer Sarah Phelps. Premieres 26 December on BBC1. (Credit: BBC)
An intriguing relationship drama with a twist, the focus is on Celebrity chef Leo (Games of Thrones star Ian Glen) who has a beautiful wife Sam (Emilia Fox) and a thriving hotel business where he indulges his passion for cooking. But he’s having an affair with his first wife Gina (Dawn French), an inspired cook herself who taught him his best recipes. Set in Cornwall, the home of smash hit BBC1 drama Poldark, this is tautly written – and looks ravishing. Premieres 30 December on Sky 1. (Credit: Sky TV)