Nothing beats curling up in front of the TV and watching holiday classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas or A Christmas Story for the umpteenth time. But if you’re in the mood for something a little different this season, look no further than the other side of the pond for these great British TV Christmas specials. BYO cuppa and biscuits.
Sherlock – The Abominable Bride
Jan. 1 UK (BBC 1) and U.S. (PBS, plus select U.S. theaters Jan 5-6)
The one-off Christmas special sends Sherlock and Watson back to the Victorian era, where they’re investigating the case of a bride whose ghost seems to be terrorizing the streets a few hours after she took her own life. Baker Street is filled with top hats and handlebar mustaches, and the game is afoot.
Downton Abbey Christmas Special
Dec. 25 at 8.45 p.m. UK (ITV), Mar. 6 U.S. (PBS)
The final episode takes place on New Year’s Eve 1925 with the new year ushering in new beginnings for both the upstairs and downstairs. We’ve celebrated six seasons of love and loss with the Crawleys, and it’s time to raise one last glass to send Downton off with good cheer.
Black Mirror: White Christmas
Dec. 25 (Netflix)
Enjoy a little Christmas (Jon) Hamm with the holiday episode of this dark television anthology. Don’t expect anything to be merry and bright in this white Christmas, where three interconnected vignettes explore the dark side of our dependence on the Internet and digital devices.
Doctor Who – The Husbands of River Song
Dec. 25 at 5:15 p.m. UK (BBC1), Dec. 28 and 29 U.S. (In theaters)
It’s Christmas 5343. Time-traveler River Song is back and enlists the Doctor’s help, not recognizing this incarnation of her husband. The two embark on an intergalactic adventure with River’s new husband, nine-foot cyborg King Hydroflax, in hot pursuit. Yes, you read that correctly.
Call the Midwife
Dec. 25 (PBS)
Even during the holidays, midwives never rest. This year, Christmas tidings bring to Poplar a missing nun, a carol concert, and naturally, new babies.