Festive TV Treats

3 January 2016

The one good thing about being really ill over the Christmas holiday, probably the only good thing apart from the enforced rest, was the fact that it enabled me to watch  A LOT of Christmas television. Like all right-thinking people, I pored over the Christmas Radio Times when it hit the shops and made a mental list of all the things I wanted to watch...expecting that I would have to catch up with some of them in the new year. This Christmas though, I spent a lot of time curled up on the sofa cosily watching all the programmes I marked out, feeling sorry for myself and eating heaps of chocolate, which helped with the blues, watched over by our little Christmas tree twinkling cheerfully beside our window.

Aside from the usual classics (Carols from Kings, White Christmas, The Sound of Music), these were my particular favourites over the festive season, which I wholeheartedly advise you to catch up on while they're still available on IPlayer (noticing that they're all BBC offerings - well played, BBC).

(Also Grey's Anatomy, which I've been marathoning all Christmas because apparently it's 2005. Ahem.)

The Great History Quiz: The Tudors

Ooh this was a real treat! An hour of Tudor history presided over by team captains Lucy Worsley and Dan Snow. It included rounds on food (I think the chap from Hampton Court who concocted the different dishes should have his own show) and identifying artefacts from the Mary Rose. If you loved reading Horrible Histories when you were younger, which I did, you'll find this fascinating (eye-wateringly so in places). I have a couple of books on the go at the moment but i'm planning to pick up some Tudor history after i've finished those...


If you haven't heard of/watched any of this, it's a new drama set within the world of Charles Dickens, but various familiar plots and characters intertwine. It's like a Dickensian soap opera and there are a number of episodes still to go so it's worth catching up from the beginning.

I've seen a fair amount of criticism of this pop up on my Twitter feed, which I don't agree with. I don't see this as a variety of well-known actors simply playing dress-up. Although I don't believe that this will be as good as Dickens' original stories, I'm really enjoying seeing how this new story develops and how some of the back stories that are simply hinted at in Dickens' works are played out on screen. Some of the characters I know and am familiar with but others are not and I'm planning to read some of the stories over the course of this year (perhaps when i'm looking for a break from Tudor history!), and if this series encourages more people to pick up some Dickens, I think that's definitely a good thing.

And Then There Were None

Set in 1939, a group of 10 strangers gather at a beautiful house on a small island at the invitation of their hosts, the unseen Mr and Mrs Owen. There's delicious food, music and wine, but one by one the guests are killed off...

I adore Agatha Christie so I was always going to be keen to watch this thrilling 'locked room' drama and with the array of talented famous faces involved (Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Burn Gorman), it looked like an instant classic. But my gosh, it was SUPERB. Chilling, beautifully shot, I was hooked from start to finish.

Found via Google Image search - not sure where!
Also, I didn't want to lead with this but, Aidan Turner. My goodness. (And no, i'm not going to be obvious and post THAT image. If you don't know what i'm talking about, it's time to watch the show!)


No spoilers here for anyone who hasn't watched this but I adored this lavish Victorian Sherlock. It was full of twists, turns and puzzles, definitely television that you had to put your phone down for and pay full attention to - it made me think and when it all fell satisfyingly into place at the end, I almost felt nerdily proud of myself for keeping up and grasping it.

Can't WAIT for the next series...although I think it'll be a long wait - i've heard whispers of 2017?

Dickensian is of course continuing into 2016...and I'm also looking forward to War and Peace, which starts tonight. Have you picked up on the fact that I'm a huge fan of a BBC costume drama? :) I'd love to know if there's anything you watched that I might have missed over the Christmas hols...

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