Christmas. A time for box sets, binge-watching by the fire and catching up on the year’s best shows. Sky isn’t waiting until Christmas Day to deliver the goods, stuffing December full off box sets galore, from Big Little Lies to True Detective, Elementary and Crashing. And that’s before it serves up its traditional Christmas family special, which this year is David Walliams’ Ratburger.
Don’t have Sky? You can stream all of the above live and on-demand through NOW TV, Sky’s contract-free VOD service, which costs £7.99 a month. For more information, click here.
Sky Cinema, meanwhile, doesn’t need snow to give you chills, with the premiere of sci-fi horror Life, while cosy family viewing is more than taken care of by The LEGO Batman Movie, Beauty and the Beast, Hidden Figures, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Boss Baby.
Again, if you don’t have Sky, you can stream all of Sky Cinema live and on-demand through NOW TV, for £11.99 a month. For more information on that, click here.
Here’s your guide to what’s coming soon in December 2017:
Ratburger (Sky One, 6pm) – 24th December
Here’s one for all the family. David Walliams and Sheridan Smith star in Sky One’s adaptation of Walliams’ children’s book. Life isn’t great for Zoe (Talia Barnett). Her stepmother (Smith) hates her and her dad (Mark Benton) is never around. So when a dancing rat shows up in her bedroom, she quickly makes him her friend. This rat can cut some serious shapes and Zoe wants to enter him in the school talent contest. But shifty burger van man Burt (Walliams) has other ideas…
MacGyver: Season 1 (Box Set) – 11th December
This contemporary reboot of the classic action-adventure series stars Lucas Till as Angus MacGyver, an elite operative of a secret US government crime-busting organisation. Often armed to the teeth with little more than bubble gum and a paper clip, he uses his vast scientific knowledge and extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving to save countless innocent lives on a series of high-risk missions around the globe.
The Tunnel: Vengeance (9pm, Sky Atlantic) – 14th December
Don’t expect any light at the end. The third and concluding chapter of the Sky Original Production starring Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy comes to Sky Atlantic this December, as detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann reunite to investigate one more cross-channel case. When a French Eurotunnel worker is attacked by a plague of rats in Calais, and three British children vanish from their home in Kent, Karl and Elise dig into the link between the crimes. Someone is questioning the value society places on children and the importance of one life over another, and it’s not long before the pair are forced to make yet another personal sacrifice. But how far will they go for those they care about the most?
A League of Their Own Christmas Special (Sky One, 9pm) – 21st December
James, Jack, Jamie and Freddie get together for another seasonal edition of the sports quiz.
Delicious: Season 2 (Sky One, 9pm) – 29th December
Liked the first series? Then you’re in for a treat because there’s a second helping of the Sky Original Production on the menu this Christmas. Sky One’s highest-rating drama series since 2011 picks up a year after Leo’s death. Business is booming at the Penrose Hotel but life isn’t set to run smoothly for Gina (Dawn French) and Sam (Emilia Fox). Gina’s estranged father rocks up and a new chef causes a stir. As Sam turns 40, she decides it’s time for a shake-up. Iain Glen and Sheila Hancock also star.
Trollied Christmas Special (Sky One, 9.30pm) – 24th December
It’s Christmas Eve at Valco and after a hectic day on the shop floor it’s party time for the staff. But as the festivities kick off, all is not well. A hapless team of criminals led by Tim (John Thomson) have got into the store and are about to steal the takings. They round staff up as they try to break into the cash room. However, unknown to them, Gavin (Jason Watkins) is still on the loose, and it falls to him to save the day.
Jamestown: Series 1 (Box Set) – 2nd December
Drama awaits three of the first women to arrive in the English colony of Jamestown in this eight-part Sky Original Production from the makers of Downton Abbey. Duty bound to marry the three men who have paid for their passage to the New World, Alice (Sophie Rundle), Verity (Niamh Walsh) and Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick) arrive in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 with little idea of what the future holds or the disruption their arrival is about to bring to the colony.
True Detective: Season 1 (Box Set) – 4th December
New Orleans native and novelist Nic Pizzolatto’s Emmy® award-winning crime drama focuses on Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and brooding, Texas-born Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), a pair of homicide detectives in Louisiana who are forced to relive a macabre 1995 murder case 17 years later when new information comes to light.
Vinyl: Season 1 (Box Set) – 19th December
See every episode of the Emmy®-nominated drama created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen and Terence Winter with Sky Box Sets and NOW TV. Set in 1970s New York, Vinyl takes viewers on a hedonistic ride through the sex and drug-addled music business at the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop, as seen through the eyes of charismatic record label president Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale).
Big Little Lies (Box Set) – Boxing Day
Based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, this darkly comedic multi-Emmy® Award-winning drama weaves a tale of murder and mischief as it explores society’s myth of perfection and the contradictions that exist beneath our idealised façade of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship. Set in the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, nothing is quite as it seems as conflicts, secrets and betrayals begin to compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbours.
Elementary: Seasons 1 to 5 (Box Set) – 27th December
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu star as iconic sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson in a clever modern-day twist on the character. The eccentric Holmes has escaped to Manhattan after a fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab but he soon teams up with former surgeon Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) to assist in cracking the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Having won numerous awards over its five seasons, Elementary is a dynamic and stylish take on the Baker Street sleuth, packed with quick-witted dialogue and dry humour.
False Flag (Box Set) – 28th December
This superb Israeli drama revolves around five ordinary Israeli citizens who discover one morning via the media that they are the principal suspects of the high-profile kidnapping of the Iranian minister of defence during his visit to Moscow. The unceasing news coverage turns their lives upside down and their attempts to deny their involvement are in vain. The Mossad and the Israeli government leave them to deal with it on their own instead of providing protection and it’s not long before even their closest friends begin to distrust them.
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (Box Set) – 29th December
Starring Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), this eight-part true-crime series is a gripping dramatisation of the notorious murder case that shocked America. When brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez were tried on US TV for the 1989 murders of their parents at their Beverly Hills mansion, their story became a national obsession. The series delves into the crime, the trial and the media circus, unveiling the shocking truth of what really happened when the cameras stopped rolling.
Bounty Hunters: Season 1 (Box Set) – 30th December
After his antiques dealer dad (Robert Lindsay) winds up in hospital following a mysterious accident, book-smart Barnaby Walker (Jack Whitehall) takes it upon himself to save the family’s cash-strapped business. But when a dodgy money-making deal goes wrong, Barnaby’s quiet life soon spirals out of control and, alongside his newfound partner in crime Nina Morales (Oscar® nominee Rosie Perez), he finds himself facing the wrath of Met detectives, Cockney gangsters, Islamic terrorists and a Mexican crime cartel.
Crashing: Season 1 (Box Set) – New Year’s Eve
Produced by Judd Apatow (Anchorman, Bridesmaids), this comedy series from HBO stars Pete Holmes as a stand-up comedian who re-evaluates his life and enters the New York comedy scene after discovering his wife’s infidelity. Playing loose versions of themselves, stand-ups including Artie Lange, TJ Miller and Sarah Silverman show the naive Holmes the ropes, as the timid god-fearing comic attempts to find his feet in this unfamiliar and unforgiving world of comedy.
Black-ish: Seasons 1-2 (Box Set) – Date TBC
This Golden Globe® Award-winning comedy stars Anthony Anderson (The Departed) as Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson, a successful family man who worries that his four children are losing touch with their heritage because of their upbringing. As a result, Dre and his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) try to teach their children about various aspects of black culture, but in trying to balance individuality and cultural identity they encounter a number of bumps in the road. Co-stars Lawrence Fishburne as Earl ‘Pops’ Johnson, Dre’s father.
Life – 8th December
An international team of space station astronauts, including Jake Gyllenhaal’s doctor, Ryan Reynolds’ engineer and Rebecca Ferguson’s Brit microbiologist, discover there is life on Mars. However, once on board, the anemone-like single-celled cutesy quickly outgrows its petri dish and reveals its true colours as a muscular parasite with an insatiable appetite. Director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) crafts a gruesomely efficient sci-fi thriller with a nasty sting in the tail.
John Wick: Chapter 2 – 22nd December
Keanu Reeves makes a blistering return as everyone’s favourite hitman, who is dragged back into the shadows by a blood oath to an Italian crime lord (Riccardo Scamarcio). Naturally, things don’t go according to plan…
Hidden Figures – 23rd December
The hugely inspiring true story of three mathematically gifted African-American women who overcame racial prejudice to play a crucial role in the US space race is recounted in this uplifting yarn. Taraji P Henson, Janelle Monae and the Oscar-nominated Octavia Spencer play the trio who indomitably face down the double whammy of institutional prejudice at NASA as well common or garden sexism in their daily lives in the early 1960s age of segregation. Feel-good stuff for the whole family to watch.
The LEGO Batman Movie – Christmas Eve
Everything is super-awesome as the LEGO version of DC Comics’ greatest hero (in his opinion) swings into action to save Gotham City from The Joker (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) and his latest army of mega-villains. Again. Reprising his role from The LEGO Movie, Will Arnett cements his status as the best on-screen Batman of all time.
Beauty and the Beast – Christmas Day
In Disney’s live-action makeover of their own animated musical take on the fairy tale, Dan Stevens plays the arrogant prince who is cursed to live as a terrifying beast until he finds true love. Enter Emma Watson as Belle…
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Boxing Day
Director James Gunn gets the band back together for more swaggering superhero fun, and this time everything is turned up to eleven. Our ragtag intergalactic heroes – Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) – are on the run from a grudge-holding race known as the Sovereign when Quill’s long-lost, god-like dad Ego (Kurt Russell) enters the picture. He seems like a decent enough chap, but nominative determinism most definitely applies.
The Boss Baby – 30th December
Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) is a onesie-suited, corporate tot with a bad attitude and a briefcase. Not one for small talk, he’s on a mission to ensure that the world’s parents don’t switch their affections from kids to cute puppies. With mums and dads increasingly directing their affections towards adorable mutts, Boss Baby arrives undercover at the home of spoilt, seven-year-old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi) whose folks work for a baby-hating toy manufacturer (Steve Buscemi). His brief: to stop the launch of the “Forever Puppy”, the cuddly plaything that could be the end of toddlerkind…
Other movies coming soon to Sky Cinema and NOW TV in December 2017:
Louis & Luca and the Snow Machine
Red Dog: The Early Years
The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Don’t Think Twice
From a House on Willow Street
Battle for Moscow
Come and Find Me
The Ottoman Lieutenant
The Hunter’s Prayer
New Year’s Eve
The Zookeeper’s Wife