Coming Up On Christmas & New Year TV 2009/10!!!


Distinguished Member
Aug 28, 2000
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Hi Everyone,

And welcome to my annual guide to What’s Coming Up on TV over Christmas/New Year! :) For those who are new to the Forums, I used to produce a regular guide, but unfortunately, my work-life meant that I had to cease these. The guides were intended to highlight shows and/or films that may normally have gone unnoticed, usually because they were “hidden” amongst the schedules, either late at night, or on obscure or less well-known channels. You won’t find mainstream programming here, unless it’s particularly pertinent to AV Forums members. So no soaps, no reality TV programming, and no dross (for the most part).

Although I stopped producing the monthly guides, I do produce one every Christmas, as a kind of “thanks” to the Forum members, for all of the help they have given me over the past year. As is customary, all details are correct at the time of writing, but some programming may change at late notice. As such, please bear this in mind. Also, I am unable to include every single repeat showing, and HD information. For this, I apolgise if such information is missing. Please double-check all information shown here, with your usual listings guide. All shows are listed by date and time order, with each day running from 6am until 5:59am the following morning.

Saturday 19th December 2009
10:00-10:45am – Dr Who: The Infinite Quest

Repeat showing of the latest animated adventure mini-movie. (BBC2)

NEW: 5:10-6:45pm – Knight Rider (2008)
First terrestrial showing of the short-lived reimagining of the cult 1980’s action show, about a car with incredible abilities, and its owner, Michael Knight. As a Pilot Episode, this isn’t too bad, but the next episode (showing from Monday 28th December at 5:35pm), appears to jump into a whole new scenario, with new characters, and little explanation. Reasonably entertaining, but disappointing overall. (Five)

NEW: 7:00-7:30pm - The Big-Bang Theory
All-new Seaosn 3, and the geeky gang are back from their trip to the Antarctic. Sheldon is forced to head back home to Texas, in disgrace, after his research trip ends with less than helpful results, whilst Penny and Leonard attempt to decide whether to continue to try and date one another. New to E4, but also showing on Channel 4 to terrestrial viewers, from Tuesday 22nd December, at 11:30pm. (E4)

8:40-9:40pm – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Repeat of one of the best ever episodes. “Unfriendly Skies” takes place early-on in Season 1, and is a single self-contained story, about the death of a male passenger on an aircraft heading back to Los Angeles. Although the death took place mid-flight, and there were numerous witnesses, no one is willing to talk or discuss what actually happened. Only Grissom and Co can answer the question that everyone else is wanting to forget – just what did happen on-board, and why? The ending, is a brilliant and poignant moment, that will make you question your own reaction to this hypothetical “what if” scenario. Highly Recommended! (Five)

9:00-10:55pm – FILM: Blade Runner: The Final Cut (15)
First-ever terrestrial TV showing of Ridley Scott’s acclaimed and controversial sci-fi epic. (BBC2)

NEW: 11:00pm-1:00am – Breaking Bad
First-ever UK showing of Season 2 of the masterpiece comedy/drama show, about a teacher who turns to the drug trade in order to keep himself and his family afloat, after he is diagnosed with cancer. Shocking, but hilarious events unfold as Walt and Jesse workout how they are going to end their “relationship” with Tuco, whilst also trying to repair the damage caused between Skylar and Marie. Contains scenes of drug-usage and some strong language. Airing tonight are the first two episodes. The show continues every night, at roughly the same time! No repeats scheduled! Highly Recommended. (FiveUSA)

1:00-2:10am – Masters Of Horror (18)
Season 2 repeats, of the enjoyably disturbing horror anthology series. Most episodes contain graphoic violence, gore and strong language, and are hence not suitable for under-18’s! (Bravo)

Sunday 20th
6:35am-3:30am – Sherlock Holmes Day

A selection of classic Holmes episodes from the ITV TV show and movies, showing throughout the day. (ITV3)

NEW: 11:50am-1:40pm – Crusoe
All-new US drama mini-series, based on the famous story “Robinson Crusoe”. This 13-part show follows and expands upon the original Defoe novel. Sam Neil and Sean Bean star. Showing most days at lunchtimes/early afternoons. Recommended. (Five)

10:00pm-12:20am – FILM: Barton Fink (15)
Early Coen Brothers film noir, starring John Goodman and John Turturro. Some violence, and strong language. (Dave)

10:55pm-1:15am – FILM: Black Snake Moan (15)
Offbeat, controversial period-drama starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Riccia. An embittered Blues musician goes to extraordinary and brutal lengths to set a young woman on the straight-and-narrow, who has previously left a very wayward life. At times, truly uncompromising, and frequently unsettling, this is an intelligent if highly shocking movie that went unnoticed on its original 2007 cinema release. Contains scenes of a strong sexual and violent nature, as well as frequent strong language, and material that some audiences may find disturbing. (FilmFour)

12:35-3:00am – Cecil B DeMille: An American Epic
Lenghty two-part documentary – here showing together - about the legendary Hollywood director, from the early years of cinema, as it investigates his legacy. Worth watching if you enjoy film history. (Channel 4)

1:10-2:00am – Great Writers: Roald Dahl
Short documentary about the beloved British childrens author, who is still as well-loved today, as when his books were originally published. (Sky Arts 1)

3:30-4:35am – FILM: To Let (15)
First in a series of short Spanish horror films, made for Spanish TV. Focusing more on gothic horror and the supernatural, that outright blood-and-guts, these are surprisingly eerie and discomforting. Recommended, if you want to give yourself some seasonal shocks. Continue irregularly, over the Christmas/New Year fortnight, in roughly the same time-slots. Not suitable for under 15’s. In Spanish with English Subtitles. (BBC2)

Monday 21st
12:05-4:10pm – FILM: The 10 Commandmants (U)

Acclaimed, multi-award-winning biblical drama, starring Charlton Heston as Moses, bringing the fabled Ten Commandmants down from Mount Sinai, dictating the Lord’s ideal ways of living. Worth sticking with, even if the film does drag on at times, for the famous “Parting Of The Seas” sequence. Contains some mild biblical violence. (Channel 4)

6:00-8:00pm – The Jewel In The Crown
Rare showing of the acclaimed 1984 television drama based on Paul Scott’s “Raj Quartet” book series. This is the first two episodes of the 14-part epic, starring Charles Dance, Geraldine James, Tim Piggott-Smith, Art Malik and many more. Showing for the first in a remastered print. Episodes continue nightly, at about the same time. Each episode also repeated later on in the evening, around Midnight, and the next weekday morning, around 11am. (Sky Arts 2)

NEW: 7:00-8:00pm – The Royal Institute Christmas Lectures
Moving to yet another channel, the annual lectures focussing on one theme or topic, takes on the contentious topic of the environment and climate change. First of five lectures, showing over consecutive nights. Tonight looks at the beginning of mankind and his relation to the world he found himself in, at the dawn of time. (More4)

9:00-10:00pm – FlashForward
Another chance to catch-up with the latest hit US drama. Joseph Fiennes is the FBI detective who is forced into a corner when the entire human race suffers from a two-minute and 17-second blackout, and he leads the task-force trying to work out what happened and who caused it. This is the first of the ten episodes shown so-far, airing nightly over the next fortnight. Alternatively all ten episodes can be seen in one giant, all-day showing on New Year’s Day, between Noon-10:00pm. However, some episodes may be edited to remove disturbing imagery and minor bad language, to make them suitable for daytime transmission. The series will return towards the end of January. (Fiver)

9:00-11:00pm – FILM: No Way Out (15)
Superb thriller starring Gene Hackman, Kevin Costner, George Dzundza and Sean Young. A young naval officer is forced to fight for his life, when he uncovers a governmental conspiracy, regarding his boss and his boss’s mistress. When the Pentagon officials produce an annual gift list, detailing gifts of value given to the Chief Officer (for tax purposes), one item is discovered that proves the man is cheating on his long-serving wife, with an unknown woman. But when the woman is accidentally killed in an argument, the Chief sets the young naval officer up, to take a big, big fall, only to find that he has chosen the wrong man to play games with. Amazingly dramatic movie, that cranks up the tension, and turns into a nail-biting race against time. Some strong language and a brief sexual scene. Highly Recommended! (Virgin 1)

NEW: 10:00-10:10pm – Ten-Minute Tales
A new series of specially-commissioned silent, film shorts, starring famous faces from the world of TV and film. Showing across Sky 1 and 2, as well as Sky Arts 1 and 2, this series should make for interesting and unusual viewing. May contain some adult material or mature subject matter. (Sky 1)

10:00-11:00pm – Timeshift: How To Win At Chess
Showing as part of BBC4’s “Games” season, this one-off documentary looks at the game of chess, and explores different methods of playing and winning the game. Repeated later at 3:30am, and late-night on Wed 23rd, at 2:10am. (BBC4)

11:00pm-3:00am – FILM: The Boys Of Saint Vincents (18)
Uncut transmission of the two-part real-life drama about child abuse in the Catholic Church. Not easy viewing, but certainly an incredibly raw and moving story for mature audiences. Contains scenes that will offend viewers, including male nudity and scenes depicting child sexual abuse. (True Movies)

Tuesday 22nd
9:00am-6:00am – Road Wars Day

Gouge out your eyes, and leave your brain in bed, because it’s a 21 hour chav-fest, as we watch the boys and girls in blue, battle the boys and ... well, more boys, in Burberry, as they perform devilishly stupid scenes of carnage across Britain’s many roads and moterways. :rotfl: Catch the likes of Darren from Cheltenham, in his Ford Capri with go-faster stripes, terrorising the neighbours, at 3am, as he drives back bladdered-to-the-hilt on White Lightening. See Michael from Harlow, and his mate Stix, try to get out of a speeding ticket, and laugh at some of the most pathetic wastes-of-space of human life, as they outwit (!) the police! Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!!!! (Sky 2)

11:55am-1:55pm – FILM: Dick Tracy (PG)
Warren Beatty’s jaw-dropping live-action adventure remake of the 1930’s cartoon strip action hero. Made by Disney, this film came under fire for being a little too outrageous for its intended child audience, mainly due to Madonna’s role as Breathless Mahoney, performing the popular (but now forgotten) hit song “Hanky Panky”. Recommended, but not really aimed-at or intended for under-10’s. May be edited for violence and innuendo. (Channel 4)

8:00-9:00pm – Oliver Postgate: A Life In Small Films
Growing-up in the 1970’s and 80’s, meant a brilliant mix of teatime animated tales, along the lines of “The Clangers” and “Bagpuss. Here is a documentary about the man who brought them all to life, before his recent death. Also showing at 2:35am tonight, with in-vision Sign Language. (BBC4)

NEW: 9:00-9:40pm – Mock The Week: Christmas Special 2009
Extended edition including classic and never-before-seen clips from the past year, from the comedy quiz panel show. Contains adult humour and some strong language. (BBC2)

NEW: 10:30-11:10pm – Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe 2009
The acerbic author, journalist and comedian rates and berates the shows that aired over the past 12 months. Expect dark humour and some strong language... and some information on a little show called “The Wire”? :D Repeated later on at 12:25am, and on 23rd at 10pm. (BBC4)

10:35-11;35pm – Imagine: Scrabble - A Night On The Tiles
The famous board-game that was previously seen as old-fashioned and for senior citizens, has become a cult sensation in the past year or two, after a Scrabble-inspired application, Scrabulous, appeared on Facebook. Now coming back into fashion with both young and old alike, the programme examines our love-hate relationship with this classic past-time. (BBC1)

NEW: 11:30pm-12:35am – The Big-Bang Theory
Season 3 starts here. See Saturday 19th December for details. (Channel 4)

12:40-3:10am – FILM: The Matrix (15)
The un-original sci-fi classic, that gave-us “Bullet-time”, brought Laurence Fishburne into the mainstream, and every film-reviewer raved about. An average sci-fi flick, at best. It looks impressive, but if you are one of the many, many people who couldn’t work out that the character Neo is an anagram of The “One”, then this may be too intelligent for you! Ripped-off from many other superior films including: “Metropolis”, “Blade Runner”, “Ghost In The Shell”, “Akira”, “Hard-Boiled” and William Gibson’s Cyberpunk novels, it’s a real shame that this is heralded as a masterpiece of science-fiction, because it really isn’t. Followed by two even-more excessive and flamboyantly overrated sequels, showing over the next two nights. Contains violence and some strong language. (ITV2)

NEW: 1:00-3:00am – Heroes
Season 3 gets its first satellite airing, after debuting back at the start of the year on BBC2, now each night in double-bills, courtesy of the Sci-Fi Channel. Tonight, the first two chapters of Volume 3. (Sci-Fi Channel)

Wednesday 22nd
10:20-11:15am – Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes

Documentary about the British movie director’s collection of materials relating to all of his multi award-winning movies, from his first to the last, that he stored in cardboard boxes and kept in a secret set of garages. With commentary from people who worked with him, as well as his wife and daughter, Kubrick’s world is brought to life, showing audiences just what was entailed in the making of a Kubrick film. Contains some bad language. Also repeated at 2pm and 5:05pm. (Sky Arts 1)

NEW: 7:30-9:00pm – TOTP2
The Top Of The Pops spin-off show, narrated by Steve Wright, returns to BBC2, with the first of several specials. Tonight looks at the best and worst of Christmas music, from the delightful classics to the modern ballads, that hit the charts each December.

NEW: 10:00-11:10pm – Russell Howard Live
The young comedian from “Mock The Week” performs his own live stage routine, from his 2007 tour of Britain. Contains adult humour and some strong language. (BBC2)

NEW: 10:45-11:15pm – Not Going Out
The previously dropped final-ever episode of Series 3, of the British comedy, gets an airing, unannounced and unpromoted! Lee’s estranged father makes an unexpected arrival on Christmas Eve, and asks for forgiveness. (BBC1 and BBC-HD)

NEW: 11:10-11:55pm – QI: XL
Special seasonal-extended version of the recent episode shown last Thursday night, with Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand, Rob Brydon and Alan Davies getting their tongues and brains in a twist, about everything geographic. Contains adult humour and some strong language. (BBC2)

NEW: 4:00-4:50am – Cathouse
Brand-new to the UK. A six-part documentary series from HBO, about life inside one of Nevada’s only legal brothels. Contains adult material of a sexual nature, plus strong and explicit sexual language. Episodes can be seen spread over the next fortnight, at around the same time. (Five)

Christmas Eve
9:50-11:30am – FILM: Pinocchio (PG)

Not the famous Disney film, but Roberto Benigni’s 2002 live-action dramatisation of the classic tale about Gipetto who longs for a son of his own, and creates a puppet who comes to life. In Italian with English Subtitles. Much darker and more serious in tone, staying truer to the original tale. May be too intense for the very youngest of children. (BBC2)

1:05-3:15pm – FILM: Kiki’s Delivery Service (U)
Charming, feel-good, Japanese anime about a ten-year-old girl, Kiki, who heads off from her small town to learn how to become a good witch. On her journey, alongside her smart-mouthed feline companion, she meets a series of incredible characters, young and old, who help and hinder her progress in equal amounts. Part fantasy adventure, part rites-of-passage drama, this evocative animation is ideal entertainment for families. Showing here, in an efficient (if not wholly accurate) English-language dubbed version. Highly Recommended. (FilmFour)

1:35-2:10pm – The Snowman
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without this beautifully animated and much-loved tale of a young boy who builds a snowman, that whisks him away on an adventure one night. Still as charming today, as it was back in 1982! (Channel 4)

NEW: 8:00-10:55pm – The First Emperor
Premiere of music composer Tan Dun’s (who composed the score for the hit film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) all-new opera, with Paul Groves and Zhang Yimou (of “Hero” and “Curse Of The Golden Flower” fame). Based on the famous Bernardo Bertolucci film of the same name. Showing with English subtitles. (Sky Arts 2)

CHRISTMAS DAY – Merry Christmas Everyone! :clap:
11:00am-3:00pm – Battlestar Galactica: The Mini-Series

Complete showing of the acclaimed two-part Pilot Movie, that kick-started the incredible re-imagining of the classic 1970’s sci-fi series. Contains some violence, brief nudity, and extensive use of the “f” word! ;) Not suitable for under 12’s, due to the mature content and subject matter the movie covers. Repeated at 9pm tonight. Highly Recommended! (Sci-Fi Channel)

NEW: 2:00-3:00pm – Top Of The Pops Christmas Special
The famous music TV show returns for a review of the past 12 months, looking at the highs and lows of the Top 40. (BBC1)

NEW: 3:00-3:10pm – The Alternative Christmas Message
After the controversy of last year, who are Channel 4 going to be getting, to offer their own twist on this special day of the year? Also repeated at 8:50pm. (Channel 4)

5:30-6:00pm – The Simpsons: Pilot Episode
The very first episode of the acclaimed animated sitcom, is also one of the best ever episodes. “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” has Homer fearing the worst, when he realises he’ll be penniless at Christmas. Destined to give his family a truly memorable Christmas Day, he resolves to do everything he can to give them the gifts they deserve. But when he resolves to rectify the situation by placing his final few dollars on a greyhound meet, things don’t turn out quite how he expects. Very funny, with an enjoyably acerbic plot, and some great one-liners. (Sky 1)

NEW: 6:00-7:00pm – Dr Who: The End Of Time (Part 1/2)
It’s the end of David Tennant’s career as the inimitable time-traveller, and he’s up against his presumed-dead foe, The Master, for the first in an extended two-part special. Also showing on BBC-HD, and repeated later in the week on both BBC3 and BBC1. Part 2 airs on New Year’s Day – see the relevant entry. (BBC1)

NEW: 7:00-8:00pm – Dr Who Confidential
David Tennant discusses the making of his final ever story. (BBC3)

7:00-9:00pm – FILM: Citizen Kane (U)
Orson Welles, wrote and directed this morality tale about the rise and fall of a newspaper magnate. Acclaimed as the best film ever, I vehemently dispute this. Don’t get me wrong: the film is good. It’s very good bearing in mind when it was – back in 1941 - and it’s worth a watch at least once, but by no means is it the best film ever made. Not by a long shot! See for yourself. (BBC4)

11:00pm-12:50am – FILM: ABBA The Movie (PG)
Fun concert movie, starring the world-famous pop band, as they tour Australia. More enjoyable than you may think, and you’ll undoubtedly by singing along to at least one of their hits. Watch out for “Neighbours” actor Tom Oliver (The “Coffee Shop” manager Lou), as the group’s manager and bodyguard. Some mild swearing. (Five)

11:15pm-2:05am – FILM: Gladiator (15)
Superb modern-day saga of the Sword-n-Sandal epics of the 1950’s and 60’s, with Russell Crowe as the hero, Maximus, who after discovering his wife and child have been brutally slain, is entered as a gladiator at the behest of Commodus, and vows vengeance at any cost. Fantastic and jaw-dropping battle sequences throughout, complement the incredible personal drama between the main protagonists. It’s violent and brutal, but never less than utterly compelling. Sadly, it may be edited for violent content. :mad: Highly Recommended. (ITV1)

12:35-1:00am – FILM: Night Mail (U)
Rare TV showing of the old British short, about the delivery of mail, via the British rail network, circa 1936. (Sky Arts 2)

NEW: 1:10-3:00am – A Bear’s Christmas Top Twenty
Bear from “Bo Selecta” is back, offering his weird and off-beat selection of festive tracks. Contains strong language and adult humour throughout. Recommended, if you’re still up at this time. ;) (Channel 4)

2:05-3:50am – FILM: One Million Years BC (PG)
Fantasy adventure flick from the Hammer Horror studios, with Raquel Welch, set in prehistoric times. (ITV1)

Boxing Day
10:50-11:50am – Living Famously

One-off documentary about the life and times of famous comedians Laurel and Hardy. (BBC2)

NEW: 3:00-4:20pm – FILM: Flushed Away (PG)
Uncut US version of the intriguing CGI-animation from Aardman Animation, about two rodents who are forced to work together, to escape the underground abuse of a toad, intent on killng them. Not as inventive as their “Wallace & Gromit” shows, but enjoyable nonetheless. Contains some toilet humour – in more ways than one. (BBC1)

4:40-6:00pm – FILM: Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (PG)
Utterly ingenious plasticene animation movie, with the loveable British heroes, as they investigate a spate of vegetable attacks from an unseen enemy. Plenty of subtle adult humour. Lots of hidden jokes in the background, and tons of film and TV references to be sought out by the film fanatic of the family. This movie is a gem! Highly Recommended! (BBC1 and BBC-HD)

NEW: 5:05-8:10pm – Hamlet
Filmed version of David Tennant and Patrick Stewart’s recent Royal Shakespeare Company version of the hit Shakespeare story about the Danish monarch. Powerful, haunting, with an interesting twist on the familiar text. BBC-HD fans can see this in Hi-Def tomorrow afternoon at 4:45pm. (BBC2)

9:00-10:40pm – FILM: Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus (15)
Bewilderingly bad (in a good way) moster movie, with ex-pop artist Debbie Gibson, when a glacier begins to melt, a shark and octopus come to fight, in this hilariously awful comedy flick, in the vein of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”! Recommended if you’re a fan of “bad” films. Everyone else, avoid it! Contains some strong language. (Sci-Fi Channel)

10:05-11:05pm – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
The intense and provocative second season episode “Slaves Of Las Vegas” in which Grissom and the gang are introduced to S&M fetishist Lady Heather. When a woman’s mutilated body is discovered, the investigation leads the CSI’s into a famous underground fetish club, run by the infamous Lady Heather. As the case proceeds, the woman is found to have been a working lady at the club, who had gotten involved with one of her clients. But it isn’t the murder that interests Grissom the most. And Lady Heather isn’t particularly interested in it either! Contains some adult material that may distress. One of my personal favourite episodes, and certainly one of the best episodes ever created! Highly Recommended! (Five)

Sunday 27th
9:00am-10:00pm – Lie To Me (Complete Season 1 Re-run)
Missed this excellent US mystery drama series? Here’s a chance to catch all 13 of Season 1. Please note: some episodes have been edited for content, due to the time of transmission. (Sky 2)

NEW: 10:30-11:55am – The Pixar Story
Intelligent and detailed documentary about the animation studio behind “Toy Story”, “A Bug’s Life”, “Cars”, “Up!”, and “Monster’s Inc, narrated by actor Stacy Keach. Three of Pixar’s best short films are airing on New Year’s Eve. See that day’s entry for more information. Highly Recommended! (BBC2)

5:00-5:35pm – FILM: Le Ballon Rouge (U)
Albert Lamourisse’s acclaimed short film about a young boy and his magical red balloon. Charming,near-silent adventure, that has become a classic of world cinema. In French with some English subtitles. Highly Recommended! (Sky Arts 2)

NEW: 9:00-11:50pm – Thirteen: Conspiracy!
US mini-series movie gets its UK premiere. Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff star, in a story that focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of the US’s first female president. A young man suffering from Amnesia discovers the assassin’s indentity, but with only a Roman numeral tattooed on him, and a band of Special-Ops agents on his tail, he struggles to piece the puzzle together, and bring justice to the real killer. Has he become the pawn in a life or death game, that is intended to overthrow the entire US government? Contains some violence and some bad language. (Five)

NEW: 10:30-11:10pm – Outnumbered! Christmas Special
The Brockman family are on red alert, as their festive holiday comes to an abrupt halt, after a visit from a jolly fat man in a red suit, and a couple of burglars. Very funny British comedy, which refuses to pander to idiocy in its humour. :clap: Highly Recommended! (BBC1)

12:45-3:00am – FILM: Audition (18)
Extremely shocking and gruesome horror movie from Japan, by horror auteur Takashi Miike, as a man (working in the media) whose wife dies suddenly, finds himself alone in the world, with his teenage son. Unable to meet a new partner, a friend of his comes up with a wild plan. Under the guise of auditions for a new daytime TV show, he and the newly single man interview several girls, until they arrive at the “one” who will be told why she has been chosen! Although the girls don’t know the men’s plan, the winning interviewee has her own sordid plans for the widow. The first half is slow, and leisurely paced, without an ounce of anything remoterly adult to cause any problems. Yet, the second hour jolts you out of your seat, and takes you into a very distubing area, that many viewers will find utterly horrific and brutal. Incredible one-of-a-kind horror film, that will leave you speechless. This is a film that is strictly for adults only! It contains explicit scenes of torture and sadistic violence in the second hour, and it will almost certainly offend many. :eek: For those who stick with it though, the film makes its point about “sexism” absolutely clear! A lesson for all men! In Japanese with English Subtitles! Highly Recommended if you have a strong stomach! (Zone Horror)

Bank Holiday Monday, 28th
NEW: 8:00-8:25am – According To Jim

First shown on LivingTV, here is the UK terrestrial premiere of James Belushi’s new sitcom. Continues tomorrow morning at 8:30am, and then weekday mornings at approximately the same time. (Channel 4)

NEW: 9:00-10:30pm – The Day Of The Triffids (Part 1/2)
First half of an all-new UK adaptation of the John Wyndham classic sci-fi drama, about a freak weather incident that ravages Earth, leaving many of the human population blinded! As a few survivors begin to try and make sense of what happens, they soon learn that they are no longer quite as alone as they had thought, and a terrifying new-species has arrived. The conclusion airs tomorrow night at the same time. Contains some adult material and mature themes. (BBC1 and BBC-HD)

NEW: 9:00-10:30pm – Not Again! Not The Nine O’Clock News
Documentary looking at one of the first alternative comedy sketch shows. Back in 1971, “Not Teh Nine O’Clock News” was meant to be a comedic attack on the genuine nightly news. However, it soon became famous for not only its sly attacks on famous government ministers and celebrities of the time, but on its clever humour, giving birth to a whole style of comedy that was to launch the show’s participants careers! A classic episode follows at 10:30pm. Contains some strong language. (BBC2)

11:45pm-2:20am – FILM: The Pianist (15)
Heart-wrenching war-dram about real-life Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpillman, who fought to save his family from the Nazi uprising in Germany, and incessant Jewish persecution at the tail-end of World War II. Contains many disturbing and harrowing scenes, but it’s a beautiful and emotive film. Highly Recommended. (ITV1)

Tuesday 29th
8:00am-6:00am – 24: Day 7 Complete Series Rerun

If you want to catch-up with Jack Bauer’s most recent adventures, here’s the chance to do so, with edited repeats of all of Season 7 (excluding “24: Redemption” which sets-up Season 7’s themes). Contains violence. (Sky 2)

2:00-5:35pm – Jason And The Argonauts (12)
Two-part TV mini-series, showing here as one epic movie, starring Jason London as the titular hero, who heads out on an adventure of a lifetime, in order to locate the famous Goldon Fleece from the Greek Gods. Contains some mature themes, and some dark elements that make it unsuitable for younger children. (Five)

12:40-1:00am – Masters Of Russian Animation: Film, Film, Film
Superb animated short about how a film gets created, or not, from master Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk's. The film utilises scenes from famous Russian movies. Recommended. (Sky Arts 2)

Wednesday 30th
9:10am-6:00am – Lost: Complete Season 5 Rerun

Spend the entire day with the island survivors, in preparation for their final “year” that will start airing in mid-January 2010. Episodes will be edited for content, for daytime suitability. (Sky 2)

1:00-3:00pm – FILM: D.A.R.Y.L (PG)
Eighties futuristic classic, about a boy who becomes a robot, but wants to be loved, and heads off in search of his family. Dated but enjoyable fantasy/comedy, with some very moving scenes later on. (Watch)

7:00-7:15pm – Pixar Picks
Three of Pixar Studios short films, get their first TV airing. “Jack Jack-Attack”, “One Man Band”” and “Lifted” are the selection. (BBC3 and BBC-HD)

9:00-10:35pm – Tsunami: Caught On Camera
On Boxing Day 2004, a terrifying and devastating tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean, and into Phuket, Thailand and the surrounding areas. Over 250,000 people died over the next few days, many swept away and their bodies never recovered. Five years on, holiday-makers from around the world allow their own deeply personal home-video footage to be aired, showing before, during and after that horrific moment in time, and gives viewers a first-hand account of the true power of nature at its most devestating. Contains harrowing material and some strong language. Highly Recommended. (Channel 4)

9:05-10:30pm – Micro Men
Stellar one-off dramatisation about the life-long antagonism between Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry, the men behind the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore home computers of the early 1980’s. Brilliant performances from Martin Freeman as Curry, and Alexander Armstrong as Sinclair, and the ending will bring a tear to the eyes of any computer-loving fan who grew up during this turbulent business and historical period. Contains some strong language. Repeated later tonight at 3:20am. Highly Recommended. (BBC4)

11:00pm-12:45am – FILM: Festen (15)
Controversial Danish drama about a family who meet-up for a leisurely meal, only to find very dark secrets come to light, that have remained buried for many years past. Slow, and occasionally disturbing drama looks at the way families deal with matters of the heart and personal traumas. In Danish, with English Subtitles. Contains strong language and adult themes. Recommended. (Sky Arts 1)

NEW: 1:55-2:25am – Lost: The Answers Are Here
Stupidly scheduled, but of interest to fans of the show. A panel of famous “Lost” fans get to quiz show creator J.J. Abrams and his fellow writers and producers, about the show, its mythology, and what may or may not happen in Season 6. (Sky 2)

New Year’s Eve
8:00am-4:00pm – Eastwick: Season 1 Rerun
The first eight episodes of the now-cancelled US fantasy drama, based on the 1987 film “The Witches of Eastwick”, with Rebecca Romijin and Paul Gross. Also repeated from 4:00pm-Midnight today. (Hallmark)

NEW: 7:00-7:30pm – Politician’s Out-takes
The best and worst of political gaffes, bloopers and all-round screw-ups from the past year. Repeated at 3:55am tonight. (BBC3)

9:30pm-12:20am – FILM: Cinema Paradiso: Director’s Cut (15)
Probably the finest piece of cinema ever made. This 1988 Italian comedy/drama from director Guiseppe Tornatore, is a hymn to the romance of film. Phillipe Noiret stars as an elderly projectionist, who is befriended by a young boy, Toto. Their turbulent friendship, endures for many years, until one day, the projectionist is blinded. What is revealed will touch even the hardest of hearts. A magnificent piece of movie-making. If you only see one film this holiday, make it this one! Contains one scene of sexual material. In Italian and French, with English Subtitles. Highly Recommended! (Sky Arts 2)

12:05-2:25am – FILM: Midnight Run (18)
Unrelentingly foul-mouthed, but incredibly funny action/comedy with a star performance from Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin and John Ashton, as two bounty-hunters trying to keep one step ahead of the other, as they fight over a wanted embezzeler, who can lead them to a rather large fortune and the prosecution of a major criminal. From the opening scenes, to the final few seconds, this film never stops, from one riotious moment to the next. A truly genius film that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible, and shows that DeNiro really can do real comedy, when he has a good script to utilise. Very strong language throughout, and some brief scenes of drug usage. Highly Recommended! (ITV1)

NEW: 4:00-4:50am – The Silence Of The Lambs: The True Story
Documentary examining the real-life story that became the basis for the Oscar-winning serial-killer thriller, based on Thomas Harris’s infamous crime-novel. Contains disturbing material and themes. (Five)

New Years Day – 1st January 2010 – Happy New Year, Everybody! :clap:
11:00am-9:00pm – V (1984)

Watch the original sci-fi masterpiece’s two mini-series (“V: The Mini-Series” Parts 1 and 2, and “V: The Final Battle” Parts 1-3) back-to-back, as five two-hour movies. Still enjoyable, and still worth watching even now, some 25 years later, and a great way to introduce yourself to the show’s premise and themes, ready for all-new “V”, coming to the UK later in January. :) Each film is being shown fully-uncut, and in the original 4:3 format too! Contains occasional upetting/distressing scenes, that may not be suitable for younger audiences. (Movies 24)

Noon-10:00pm – FlashForward Day
Watch the first ten episodes, back-to-back. (Fiver)

NEW: 6:40-7:55pm – Dr Who: The End Of Time (Part 2/2)
The final, extended episode, will see viewers bid goodbye to David Tennant, and hello to the new Doctor. Can the Timelord defeat the Master once and for all, or will this be the end of everything? (BBC1 and BBC-HD)

9:00-10:40pm – FILM: This Is Spinal Tap! (15)
Mockumentary classic, about fictional band (now, very much real) Spinal Tap as they tour America, and get into all sorts of stupid situations. A classic comedy, with some memorable music too. Contains strong language, and some scenes of sex and drug usage. (Dave)

And there you have it – 14 days of good, bad and so-so shows for you all to at least dip into at some point over the festive holiday. I do hope that there is something for the majority of you, as it’s been a pretty barren TV fortnight this Christmas, with even more repeats and crappy “specials” than is normal. :( Still, maybe 2010 will bring us some new shows worth watching. For now, though, goodbye, and enjoy the time with your family and friends.


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