Christmas 2012 specials

[Spoilers!] The First Trailer for the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is Here

SPOILER WARNING: While this trailer does not directly reveal any spoilers for things that happen during Downton Abbey Series 3, eagle eyed viewers will certainly be able to draw their own conclusions about a couple of key plot twists, just based on some of the things featured in this trailer. If you’re attempting to stay completely spoiler-free until the third series gets under way on January 6, I would strongly advise you to skip this post!

There, with that messy bit out of warning out of the way – let’s talk about the Downton Abbey Christmas special a bit! The special holiday installment is set to screen on December 25 in the UK – though apparently not against the BBC’s Call the Midwife, as many TV talking heads had initially theorized. Here in America, this episode will air as our Series 3 finale (on February 17 if my math is correct), so we’ll still be able to see everything that there is to see by way of new Downton episodes, we’re just going to take a little bit longer to get there. Read on for further details (which are going to live under this handy cut, for safety’s sake.)

New Preview for the Doctor Who 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen!

We’re just 12 days out from Christmas but, definitely probably possibly just as importantly, this means that we’re also just 12 days away from the premiere of the Doctor Who Christmas special, The Snowmen!

We got our first sneak peek at the Who holiday installment during the BBC’s annual Children in Need charity telethon, but now the “official” trailer has arrived, which features some new footage and a longer look at our titular Snowmen villains.

The Snowmen will also be our first “official” introduction to new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman who will be attempting to fill the shoes of previous TARDIS residents Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. If her surprise appearance in Series 7’s Asylum of the Daleks was any indication, she’s going to do better than fine here in her new gig. (I’m still rabidly curious to find out how this new girl Clara Oswin is connected to the Oswin Oswald we met on the Dalek ship, but it’s probably best not to get our hopes up that that is going to be addressed in any meaningful way in the holiday episode.)

All that said – if you ask me just from the roughly two minutes of footage between these two trailers, The Snowmen already looks miles better than The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe from last year. Richard E. Grant looks appropriately evil and villainous – and he’s not even the episode’s biggest guest star. That’s because the Snowmen are being voiced by none other than Sir Ian McKellen! It’s really like Santa is bringing me an episode featuring pretty much every one of my favorite flavors of geek in one big, fabulously nerdy ball. Best present ever! (Well, almost. Throw Benedict Cumberbatch in there, Santa, and I’ll be happy forever. Just so you know!)

Call the Midwife Set to Return to America for Christmas, Series 2 Premieres in the Spring

Santa is bringing a present a bit early to everyone that loves hit series Call the Midwife! It’s official: the period drama will be back on American televisions much sooner than almost anyone could have imagined, with a special Christmas installment premiering at the end of December and the highly anticipated second series set to bow in the Spring.

The 75-minute Call the Midwife holiday episode is scheduled to air on Christmas Day in the UK and will premiere here in America on Sunday, December 30. This is extremely exciting news, as this means we’ll all only have to avoid reviews and spoilers (and Twitter and Facebook and the internet generally) for a few days before we can see it for ourselves. Huzzah!

In the Christmas special, newly married Chummy (Miranda Hart) and Nurse Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) are hard at work during their first Christmas in Nonnatus House. As nurses and nuns minister to an abandoned newborn and search for the mother, Jenny tries to find the children of an elderly vagrant and Chummy plans an ambitious nativity play. It looks like another wonderful installment of a series that somehow manages to to exude genuine charm and heart rather than gross sentimentalism (not always a given when dealing with this sort of subject matter).

Furthermore, viewers can look forward to seeing even more of the women of Nonnatus House this Spring, as Series 2 of Call the Midwife will bow at 8pm on Sunday, March 31, just before the Masterpiece premiere of Mr. Selfridge starring Entourage’s Jeremy Piven. (So, there’s yet another bit of quality drama to look forward to in the coming months!) The second series will feature eight episodes (up from Series 1’s six) and the lag time between UK and US transmission is much, much shorter this time around. A positive trend? Let us hope so! More information about Series 2 should start surfacing over the next few weeks as UK promotion gets under way. Check out the first PBS promo for the holiday special below and let us know what you think!

 

Get Your First Look at Call the Midwife’s Christmas Special

Hit drama Call the Midwife will return with a special holiday episode on Christmas Day in the UK.

The 1950s period drama’s Christmas special will feature a storyline about an abandoned baby left on the steps of the convent and the midwives’ desperate search for the child’s mother. Among other things, obviously – though I must confess I’m most interested in seeing how married life is treating Chummy, simply because she’s my favorite. The trailer looks very sweet and just generally seems perfectly Christmassy (though the BBC appears to be touting the drama as a “grittier” alternative to fluffier holiday fare like Downton Abbey).

No, there’s no hint yet as to when we might see the Christmas installment here in America, though it seems safe to assume that it will probably be packaged in somehow with the import of the drama’s Series 2 run, which starts early next year in the UK. (Though again, that's just a best guess. Keep an eye out for future updates.) Take a look at the trailer for yourselves below.