Christmas TV often gets a bad rap; there’s too many repeats, not enough decent films on, and the comedy specials are cringeworthy. So, what is there going to be on the gogglebox this festive season that’s actually worth watching?

Watership Down looks set to be the big event on BBC One this Christmas. A co-production with Netflix, this new animated two-parter has a star-studded cast with the likes of James McAvoy, John Boyega, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, and Gemma Arterton, to name a few, as well as an original theme song by Sam Smith. The drama is based on the bestselling children’s novel of the same name by Richard Adams, about a band of rabbits seeking a new home after foreseeing the destruction of their warren by humans. If you remember the book or the film adaptation, you’ll remember that Watership Down is not short of upsetting and emotional scenes; you have been warned.

If you have previously enjoyed other Agatha Christie adaptations, such as And Then There Were None and Ordeal By Innocence, then you’re in luck. The ABC Murders is the latest Christie novel to get adapted by the BBC. With John Malkovich stepping into the role of Hercule Poirot and Rupert Grint playing Inspector Crome, this three-part adaptation promises to be another dark and intriguing murder mystery.

Lastly, to round off a selection of dark and emotional dramas, another must-see adaptation is War of the Worlds (also on the BBC this Yuletide) with Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall starring as the drama’s protagonists. Whereas Speilberg’s film version of H.G. Wells’ infamous sci-fi was updated with a change of period and setting, this three-part series will be more faithful to the show’s original source, keeping the Victorian London setting.

From hunted rabbits to serial killer murder mysteries and dystopic alien invasions, there’s plenty to keep us glued to our screens this festive season.


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