It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Sky in December, with the chilly return of the frosty Fortitude for its final four-part season. There’s also a fresh helping of Delicious, but the main TV event for the holidays is The Queen and I, Sky’s festive family offering, starring Samantha Bond and David Walliams. Sky’s also unwrapping a host of box sets, from Big Little Lies and The Sopranos to A Discovery of Witches and – thanks to Sky’s deal with Channel 4, a chance to catch up in full with The Bisexual and The Great British Bake Off.
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 an Entertainment Pass. For more information, click here.
Sky Cinema, meanwhile, has its best month of the year, with Avengers: Infinity War leading a barn-storming month for blockbusters, which includes A Wrinkle in Time, Rampage Ready Player One, but there’s also the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, the surprising indie thriller Thoroughbreds and – wait for it – The Greatest Showman.
Again, if you don’t have Sky, you can stream all of Sky Cinema live and on-demand through NOW TV, for £9.99 a month. For more information on that, click here. For F1 and other sports, you can also sign up to NOW TV’s Sky Sports Pass on a contract-free basis. For more information, click here.
Here’s your guide to what’s coming soon in December 2018:
Fortitude: Season 3 (9pm, Sky Atlantic) – 6th December
Make a final visit to Fortitude, where hell has frozen over. The concluding chapter to the Sky original production arrives in a four-part special event, as the remaining inhabitants find their fates thrown to the freezing winds. As Oslo despatches two new officers to attempt to make some sense of the anarchy in Fortitude, Dan Anderssen (Richard Dormer) continues his descent into madness, putting him head to head with the grief-stricken Michael Lennox (Dennis Quaid). All episodes arrive on-demand following its broadcast.
Madam Secretary: Season 5 (9pm, Sky Witness) – 13th December
Tea Leoni returns as everyone’s favourite Secretary of State, real or fictional.
Romesh’s Look Back to the Future (9pm, Sky One) – 17th December
Danny Dyer, Katherine Ryan and Richard Osman join A League of Their Own funnyman Romesh Ranganathan to find out whether their soothsaying skills saw all. Twelve months ago, they looked into their crystal balls and made some big predictions about 2018. But did their prophecies come true? In this laugh-out-loud panel show, they compete to see who was the cleverest clairvoyant of them all.
The Undiscovered… (10pm, Sky Arts) – 18th December
Three revealing new films delve into the lives and careers of Peter Sellers, Kenneth Williams and Tony Hancock. Produced by critic and filmmaker Victor Lewis-Smith, these shows feature interviews with friends and family members and previously unseen diary entries, letters and photographs which shed new light on the celebrated work and sometimes controversial lives of these comedy greats.
Micky Flanagan’s Christmas (9pm, Sky One) – 19th December
After a season of Micky Flanagan decluttering his mind of the big questions that keep us all up at night, he returns for a Christmas special in which he unloads everything he loves and loathes about Christmas.
A League of Their Own: Christmas Special (9pm, Sky One – 20th December)
Christmas means cricket for James and the boys as they hit the stumps for a fun-packed festive fixture for charity. Their all-star team, including Ben Foden, Amy Williams, Danny Jones, Helen Skelton and AP McCoy, face a Shenley side featuring Jimmy Anderson, Steve Harmison and David Seaman. Expect a fierce battle between Freddie and Jimmy and a shock performance from Rob Beckett. Plus, Kriss Akabusi rocks up with a surprise and there’s a good old-fashioned Christmas sing-song.
Trollied: The Wedding – Date TBC
The bells are ringing out for Gavin and Cheryl’s big day in the last-ever episode of the supermarket sitcom. Plans have been under way for ages and it’s finally time for them to tie the knot. But having the stag do the night before turns out to be a big mistake. A quiet few drinks in the local turns messy and the next morning Gavin is nowhere to be seen. Can the Valco team get him to the wedding on time?
Delicious: Season 3 – Date TBC
Enjoyed the twists and turns of Season 2? Well you’re in for a treat because there’s a third helping of the Sky original production on this year’s Christmas menu. Gina (Dawn French) and Sam (Emilia Fox) seemed to finally have found a way to work together. But the arrival of a rich and handsome restaurateur (Vincent Regan) is really about to cook their goose. Meanwhile, Teresa (Tanya Reynolds) arrives back from travelling with a big secret and Mimi (Sheila Hancock) is keeping something from the family, too…
The Queen and I – Date TBC
Turfed out of Buckingham Palace, the Queen (Samantha Bond) and her family wind up living in a run-down cul-de-sac when sneaky prime minister Jack Barker (David Walliams) abolishes the monarchy. Without money, heating or the reverence they’re used to, they must quickly adapt to their new lives. But are they really that different from everyone else? Amanda Abbington, Johnny Vegas, Julia McKenzie, Frances Barber and Oliver Chris star in this brilliantly funny Sky original production, an adaptation of Sue Townsend’s novel.
Big Little Lies: Season 1 – Date TBC
It racked up Golden Globes and Emmys, and with a second season on the way there’s no better time to catch up on the first season of this smash-hit drama. In the affluent California beachfront community of Monterey, a fundraiser for the local elementary school has gone horribly wrong – someone is dead, and tightly wound school mum Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), her seemingly flawless best friend Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman), and newly arrived single mother Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) are somehow involved. Success, affluence and privilege are slowly but surely undone by secrets, rivalries, deception and murder.
Modern Family: Seasons 1 to 9 – Date TV
From dorky Phil Dunphy (“I’m the cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face”) to his father-in-law’s
glamorous Latina wife Gloria (“In my country, we have a saying that means ‘love is just around the corner’. I come from a neighbourhood with a lot of prostitutes”), through the first nine seasons Modern Family takes a perceptive and hilarious look at all the eccentricities and grievances of domestic life.
The Sopranos: Seasons 1 to 6 – Date TBC
Every episode of the multi-award-winning mob drama, named the best-written TV show in history by the Writers Guild of America, returns to Sky Box Sets. Over six seasons, James Gandolfini and a superb ensemble cast, including Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli, deal with myriad personal and professional problems, from power struggles and affairs, to violence and the threat of exposure and betrayal.
A Discovery of Witches: Season 1 – 3rd December
A bold and modern tale of forbidden love, this spellbinding Sky original production is based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy. When reluctant witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) stumbles upon a long-lost magical manuscript she is thrown back into the world of the paranormal and into the path of Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode), a centuries-old vampire who’s been searching for the book for years. Ultimately, the fragile peace that has long existed between witches, vampires and daemons begins to crumble.
The Great British Bake Off 2018 – 3rd December
Sky’s deal with Channel 4 continues to pay off with the whole of this year’s baking contest available to devour as many times as you like.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: Season 1 – 7th December
Patrick Dempsey returns to TV in an adaptation of Joël Dicker’s bestselling novel. In his first appearance in a TV drama since his heartbreaking departure from Grey’s Anatomy, Dempsey stars as former literary icon Harry Quebert, whose life is upended when he is accused of murdering a girl who disappeared years earlier. When a former protégée, Marcus Goldman, visits Harry’s residence in beautiful coastal Maine in the hope of curing his own writer’s block, he unfurls the truth behind his mentor’s involvement in the tragic case.
The Bisexual – 17th December
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behaviour) co-writes (with long-term collaborator Cecilia Frugiuele), directs and stars in The Bisexual, a comedy drama that offers a raw, funny and unapologetic take on the “last taboo” – bisexuality – and the prejudices, shame and comic misconceptions that surround it. With Desiree’s trademark dry wit, the series takes a candid look at people’s approach to love and sex, and what the love and sex they’re drawn to reveals about them.
Other series coming to Sky Box Sets and NOW TV in December 2018:
Drunk History: Seasons 1 to 3
Ex On The Beach: Seasons 1 to 9
Grouchy Young Men: Season 1 and 2
A League of Their Own Season 13
My Favourite Sketch Season 1
MacGyver Seasons 1-2
Back Season 1
Kiri Season 1
Lip Sync Battle Season 3
Siren Season 1
Celebs Go Dating Season 5
Old People’s Home For Four-Year-Olds Seasons 1-2
How I Caught the Killer: Season 1
Blindspot Seasons 1-3
Modern Family Seasons 1-10
Russell Howard and Mum: USA Road Trip Season 1
Naked Attraction Season 3
The Orville Season 1
The Greatest Showman – 1st December
Hugh Jackman trades razor sharp claws and fuzzy mutton chops for a top hat and tap shoes in this smash-hit, Golden Globe-winning musical, based on the life of businessman PT Barnum. After his employer’s bankruptcy puts his young family’s already humble lifestyle in jeopardy, the ambitious Barnum (Jackman) decides to risk everything to make it big. With the help of playwright Zac Efron and acrobat Zendaya, he assembles a cast of misfits to put on an unforgettable show.
Western – 5th December
Taciturn German Afghan war veteran Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann) antagonises countrymen and locals alike when he takes a job with a team of construction men sent to remote rural Bulgaria to build a modern water power plant. On the German side, there’s a boorish foreman (Reindhardt Wetrek) while the Bulgarians still simmer after Germany’s brutal occupation of their country during WWII.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure – 7th December
The smash-hit teen dystopian series based on the trio of bestselling books by James Dashner concludes. American Assassin’s Dylan O’Brien returns as the leader of a renegade group immune to the devastating Flare virus. Their mission? To battle through the zombie infested wilderness and save their friends and fellow rebels from a city stronghold controlled by the sinister and all-powerful WCKD organisation. The impressive ensemble cast includes rising stars Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter, plus Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito and the always excellent Walton Goggins.
The Shape of Water – 14th December
An old-school creature feature, Cold War thriller and timeless love story all rolled masterfully into one, Guillermo del Toro’s stunning fantasy drama was the big winner
at this year’s Oscars. Sally Hawkins (astonishing) is Elisa, a mute orphan whose humdrum life working nights as a cleaner is forever changed when she meets a tall, dark stranger. This being del Toro, said stranger is a half-man, half-fish hybrid pulled from the rivers of South America and held in a top-secret government lab by dark-hearted brute Michael Shannon.
Ready Player One – 21st December
Steven Spielberg’s dazzling sci-fi romp. Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, a lonely slum-dwelling teen who takes the fight to the money-hungry suits out to turn the Oasis – an immersive VR fantasyland created by oddball genius James Halliday (Mark Rylance) – into a soulless advertising tool. Together Wade and a group of likeminded underdogs, including Olivia Cooke’s Samantha, must use their in-game avatars to complete three challenges before chief wrong’un Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) beats them to it.
Blockers – 22nd December
30 Rock and Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon makes her behind-thecamera debut with this prom-night crowd-pleaser. Combining solid, cine-literate gags with gross-out set-pieces that actually deliver, it follows three trigger-happy parents – clingy single mum Lisa (Leslie Mann), sports-loving beefcake Mitchell (John Cena) and philandering man-child
Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) – as they waste zero time launching into a woefully misguided and increasingly calamitous quest to stop their BFF high-school daughters from making good on a sex pact. Precisely how isn’t something they pause to consider.
Avengers: Infinity War – Christmas Day
The Russo brothers take the reins for a breakneck superhero blockbuster that requires the
Avengers, new and old, to assemble once more. The resulting supergroup – now bolstered by the likes of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) – are up against Thanos (Josh Brolin), a giant, ogre-like brute who hopes to bejewel his custom-built gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones. Should he succeed, it’s pretty much curtains – particularly for Vision (Paul Bettany). The poor chap’s got one of the things in his head…
Rampage – Boxing Day
This ludicrous sci-fi action romp sees Dwayne Johnson reprise his unflappable day-saving routine as Davis Okoye, a hunky primatologist called into action when his beloved albino gorilla, George, is infected by a serum developed by a shady gene manipulation company. Before you know it, George and two fellow infectees (a crocodile and a wolf) are monstrously oversized and threatening to level Chicago.
A Wrinkle in Time – 28th December
Ava DuVernay’s sparkly, cosmosspanning adventure stars Storm Reid as troubled youngster Meg Murry. She’s retreated into herself since the mysterious disappearance of her scientist dad (Chris Pine), but a visit from the even more mysterious Mrs Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) provides renewed hope. Apparently pops is stranded somewhere across the universe, and with some additional assistance from Mrs Which (Oprah Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Mindy Kaling), Meg, little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) are hopping across galaxies in hot pursuit.
Ferdinand – 29th December
Oscar-nominated family animation based on 1930s children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. WWE man mountain John Cena lends his voice to the titular toro, a bighearted, flower-sniffing fella mistaken for a dangerous beast after accidentally causing a big old ruckus downtown (yes, a china shop is involved). Carted back to the bull-fighting ranch he ran away from years before he must plot his escape with the “help” of neurotic goat Lupe (Kate McKinnon) and mischievous hedgehogs Uno, Dos and Cuatro (they do not speak of Tres)
Pacific Rim: Uprising – Date TBC
Guillermo del Toro’s blockbuster sci-fi action romp gets a blockbuster sci-fi action sequel, so buckle up for another round of giant battle robots versus giant, building-destroying alien lizards. Our hero is Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), the initially wayward son of previous day-saver Stacker – played by a memorably shouty Idris Elba. To begin with, Jake’s earning his keep by shopping stolen tech on the black market, but before long he’s back in the military fold and training the next generation of recruits to face a new threat.
Other films coming to Sky Cinema and NOW TV in December 2018:
A Gift for Christmas
A Yeti Adventure
Katie Says Goodbye
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The Blind Spot
The Christmas Contract
The Time Team
How To Get Girls
Christmas on Holly Lane
Beauty and the Beast
Coming Home For Christmas