What To Watch – Week Beginning December 23rd

Homeland, Channel 4 – Sunday, 9pm

The second series of Homeland comes to an end in an explosive 90 minute finale that will change everything for the show’s main characters.  With Abu Nazir dead, will Brody become the next target for the CIA, or will he and Carrie start a new chapter in their lives?

This series has been a bit of an up and down ride, with some events stretching its grip on reality, so can the writers reach a satisfying conclusion that will either continue Brody’s story, or give Carrie and the CIA a new threat to face?

Doctor Who, BBC1 – Christmas Day, 5:15pm

Matt Smith returns as the Doctor for a Christmas special called ‘The Snowmen’.  The episode is written by Stephen Moffat, the man so instrumental in the resurgence of Doctor Who in the last decade.

The episode takes place in Victorian times, with the voices of Richard E. Grant and Ian McKellen as the villains.  There will be a redesign of the TARDIS, and the theme tune and title sequence.

Last year’s Christmas special drew almost 11 million viewers and was the third-highest watched show of the day.

The Girl, BBC2 – Boxing Day, 9pm

Shortly before Anthony Hopkins appears in cinemas as Alfred Hitchcock, Toby Jones comes to the BBC as the iconic director.  While the Hopkins-starring Hitchcock takes place around the filming of Psycho, The Girl is set a few years later, as Hitchcock prepares to direct The Birds.

He casts the then unknown Tippie Hedren (Sienna Miller) in a key role, but their relationship quickly soured as she rejected his advances.  They managed to make The Birds and another film, Marnie, together, but their relationship collapsed completely with Hitchcock threatening to destroy Hedren’s career.

Jones is always a watchable screen presence, and this should make for interesting viewing.

Hemingway and Gellhorn, Sky Atlantic – Boxing Day, 10pm

Directed by Phillip Kaufman and starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn tells the story of the relationship between Earnest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn inSpainduring the 1930s.

Kidman in particular has been praised for her performance, earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and the show was produced by HBO, who of course have an excellent reputation for producing top quality drama.

Stephen King’s Bag Of Bones, Channel 5 – Saturday, 9:15pm

As you might be able to guess from the title, Bag of Bones is an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, originally produced for the A&E Channel in theUS.

The mini-series now comes to Channel 5, and features a strong case with former Bond Pierce Brosnan as Mike Noonan, a novelist trying to piece his life back together after the violent death of his wife.  He also suffers from writer’s block and is often delusional as he moves to a lake house.

It sounds like a classic King tale, and although Brosnan has been known to stray into hammy territory, it could be a good watch.