David Tennant’s final Doctor Who, all new Victoria Wood and John Hurt’s return as Quentin Crisp are some of the welcome treats on hand to break up soapland’s endless Christmas diet of betrayal, violence, murder and cuckoldry.
Doctor Who (BBC One, Christmas Day)
David Tennant finally departs the show in this two-part adventure which sees the return of old friends and one of the Doctor’s oldest foes in the shape of John Simm’s reborn Master. With both Timelords determined to cheat death the scene is set for one of the most climatic exits for any Doctor.
I’ve done my best to avoid all spoilers (hard when you edit an entertainment news site!) but it’s sensible to expect a few surprises and plenty of thrills as Russell T Davies brings a close to his and Tennant’s era on the show.
Probably be a good idea to have the hankies ready…
Victoria Wood’s Mid-Life Christmas (BBC One, Christmas Day)
Britain’s funniest woman returns with her first Christmas special in almost a decade, promising sketches, personal injury commercials and unlikely sporting events.
Long-time comedy partner Julie Walters is on hand to help serve up the laughs and there’s also a return for Acorn Antiques star Bo Beaumont (Walters).
Note: Two companion shows air on 21st and 30th December.
An Englishman in New York (ITV, 28th December 2009)
For once ITV is serving up a real cracker with John Hurt reprising his role as Quentin Crisp in this follow-up to 1975’s The Naked Civil Servant.
Having been treated to a preview I can tell you this is genuine ‘must see’ TV. Hilarious in all the right places, well directed and boasting a clever, nuanced script by Brian Fillis, An Englishman in New York is a radical departure from much of ITV’s recent drama output in being nothing short of excellent and Hurt’s portrayal proves that some parts simply can’t be recast.
Production company Leopardrama deserve to be lauded for this and if the whole team aren’t scooping up awards next year something’s very wrong with the world.