From A Christmas Carol to The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and The Confession Killer, Eddie Mullan picks the programmes worth seeing this month.
A Christmas CarolDoes today’s modern world need yet another adaptation of Dickens’ iconic ghost story? Perhaps more than ever. This gritty new take, airing as a three-part series on the BBC and as a movie on FX, is written by Peaky Blinders and Taboo creator Steven Knight and should scare the humbug out of viewers. We follow miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Guy Pearce) as ghosts from past, present and future drop in for a chat on a freezing Christmas Eve. As he is forced to face up to how his penny-pinching has impacted those around him, is it too late for him to save the spirit of Christmas?
The Marvellous Mrs MaiselEmmy and Golden Globe winner Rachel Brosnahan returns for a third series as comic Midge Maisel, a New York City housewife who originally discovered her knack for stand-up after an impromptu drunken rant on stage at a comedy club. At the end of the last series, Midge accepted an offer to support singer Shy Baldwin, which means the bags are packed to hit the road with jaded agent Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein). The duo will discover that life on tour can be glamorous but humbling, and learn a lesson about show business they’ll never forget
WistingBased on the books of crime writer Jørn Lier Horst, the Norwegian drama stars Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) alongside Sven Nordin (Valkyrien). Detective William Wisting (Nordin) wrestles with the most shocking case of his career, while FBI agent Maggie Griffin (Moss) and special agent John Bantham (Richie Campbell) are brought in to help apprehend an infamous killer that’s eluded capture for years. Unhelpfully, Wisting’s daughter is chasing headlines with her journalism, leading her straight into the killer’s path.
The WitcherBased on the fantasy novel series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher follows a solitary monster hunter Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), struggling to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him towards a powerful sorceress (Anya Chalotra), and a young princess (Freya Allan) with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile continent together.
The GiftThis new Turkish Netflix Original centres on Atiye, a young painter who has an idyllic life in Istanbul with her loving family, and is set to open her first solo exhibition – until her world is turned upside down with a discovery made in the most ancient temple on Earth, Gobeklitepe. Can’t a girl catch a break? An archeologist named Erhan, discovers a mysterious symbol in the ruins that connects Atiye to Gobeklitepe. And now, Atiye must travel there to discover the secrets of her past, hidden within those ancient ruins.
Truth Be ToldAfter new evidence comes to light, podcaster Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation, bringing her face-to-face with Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Based on the novel by Kathleen Barber, the series will examine the current obsession with true crime podcasts – and the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.
VikingsThe sixth and final season of this Viking saga picks up after the battle between brothers which left Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig) a victorious hero and leader to the people, while tyrannical ruler Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen), was forced to flee. For the past five seasons the Vikings have explored and conquered the known world, and now the epic saga sails to monumental lengths in its final 20 episodes.
The Confession KillerThe five-part true-crime documentary series explores a flawed justice system through the story of the man once called America’s most prolific serial killer. Henry Lee Lucas confessed to hundreds of murders in the 1980s, bringing closure to grieving families with unsolved cases - and while there was no direct evidence linking him to the crime scenes, Lucas stunned authorities with an ability to sketch victims' portraits. Yet journalists and attorneys found impossibilities in the timelines, and DNA testing started to contradict his claims.
The Trial of Christine KeelerTaking us behind the headlines of one of Britain’s most notorious sex scandals, this drama from writer Amanda Coe focuses on Christine Keeler - a 19-year-old model who the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules. Keller became famous for her part in the Profumo Affair, which shook Harold Macmillan's government at the height of the Cold War, when the teenager claimed she had had an affair with Conservative cabinet minister John Profumo, while also in a relationship with Russian diplomat Eugene Ivanov at the same time. In doing so, she set off a chain of events that impacted on the politics of 1960s Britain irrevocably.
The Valhalla MurdersCrime drama fans missing The Bridge and Trapped might find this latest Nordic noir ticks the right boxes for addictive viewing this winter. Icelandic police suspect they might be dealing with a serial killer when a second victim within a week is found in Reykjavik, killed in the same gruesome manner as the first. Detective Arnar gets called in from his adopted home in Stockholm to help investigate, and is paired up with senior inspector Kata, despite protests that she can handle it herself. As we journey deeper into the muddy waters of hidden Iceland, we delve further into the pair’s troubling pasts. Can they solve the case, and mend each other?