The darkness is closing in outside – settle down with your tipple of choice and fire up one of these films to see in Christmas evening.
Doctor Who (BBC One, 5.15pm)
Yes, we know: Doctor Who is not exactly the most “alternative” of suggestions. It’s one of the Beeb’s crown jewels, so to speak – but that doesn’t mean we can’t suggest you watch it, because (a) just because a lot of people like it doesn’t mean it’s bad and (b) we can put whatever the heck we like in this list, because it’s ours.
Peter Capaldi’s second Christmas special as the Doctor, this episode is called “The Husbands of River Song” and features the return of former companion Alex Kingston, as well as Matt Lucas and Greg Davies in other roles. Look, it’s bloody Doctor Who – if you like it, you probably like it a lot, and if you think it’s all a bunch of cheap-looking nonsense for kids, feel free to skip this suggestion.
With the special Christmas episode coming on New Year's Day, now is the perfect time to remind yourself of this Sherlock's previous escapades.
Benedict Cumberbatch shot to fame on the strength of the title role, but Martin Freeman's performance as the down-to-earth John Watson is just as important to the show's success, with a thousand Tumblrs now dedicated to capturing their interplay in GIF form.
Netflix has the first two series available to view and Amazon has all three (but you'll have to pay for two of them) – they may be short at just three episodes each, but those episodes are just as long (and packed with twisty-turny plotting) as any movie.
A Very Murray Christmas
This. Is. Weird.
It’s basically a spoof of those old Christmas variety shows but is also itself an old school Christmas variety show. Some actors play themselves (Bill Murray, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus), while others play characters (Jason Schwartzman, Amy Poehler, the band Phoenix), all of them sing at least one Christmas song.
Some of it falls flat, some of it’s hilarious, and all of it is pretty mad. But one thing’s for sure: George Clooney sticking his head out from behind a Christmas tree and singing “Santa Claus wants some lovin’” is a Christmas gift for us all.
Everyone thinks they’re being clever, edgy and original when they say that Die Hard is their favourite Christmas movie, but they’re not. Everyone knows it’s set at Christmas, guys. Just because you picked a movie that has lots of shooting, swearing, broken glass and bloody death in it instead of Jimmy Stewart finding out that the world is a pretty great place after all, really, doesn’t make you some kind of cultural genius.
That being said, Die Hard is a really great film that has lots of shooting, swearing, broken glass and bloody death in it. Plus Christmas decorations. So watch it as you polish off the last of the day’s mince pies.
Fireplace for Your Home
Netflix has once again brought this cinematic classic back for Christmas. The imagery is compelling, even if the plot is somewhat lacking. Leave it on in the background while you play Scrabble or read a book.