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doctor who xmas special

New series meet classic films in possibly the best week of TV all year.

Mozart in the Jungle, Tuesday 23, Amazon Prime Instant Video mozart in the jungle

Drugs, sex, wild parties... it's all in a day's work for a classical musician, apparently. This is adapted from Blair Tindall's 2005 memoir of the same name. Like the book, it charts the adventures of a young oboist in a world filled with the titanic egos of an orchestra. Lola Kirke ('Gone Girl') takes the lead role. It's an Amazon production, so you won't see it anywhere else, and all 10 episodes are available at once, so you can binge yourself silly before Christmas Day. Bravo.

The Lego Movie, Wednesday 24, Sky Movies lego movie

This anarchic animated film is so much more than a 100-minute advert for everyone's favourite building blocks. Chris Pratt voices Emmet, a lowly builder who finds himself the unwitting hero as he's chosen to lead the rebellion against President Business (Will Ferrell). There are in-jokes aplenty, so it bears repeated viewing. Which is handy, as if you have younger relatives round for Christmas, they'll want to watch it again and again and again. For our money, Will Arnett as Batman steals the show.

It's a Wonderful Life, Wednesday 24, 4:15pm, More4 it's a wonderful life

Is this the ultimate Christmas film? It could well be. Frank Capra's meditation on community spirit still packs plenty of punch, with James Stewart on superb form as George Bailey, a small-town businessman who's contemplating suicide. He meets his guardian angel, who shows him what life in his hometown would have been like had he never lived. If you need a lift this Christmas, look no further.

Skyfall, Wednesday 24, 8pm, ITV skyfall

The twenty-third Bond film – and also the highest-grossing – sees 007 investigating an attack on MI6. It's also something of a rebirth for the series, after the mess that was 'Quantum of Solace'. There's plenty of action, a few laughs – sorely lacking from the previous outing – and Javier Bardem is deliciously creepy as jilted ex-MI6 employee Raoul Silva. Good to you have back, Mr Bond.

Payback, Wednesday 24, 11:45pm, ITV4 payback

How better to see in Christmas Day than with an ultra-violent noir based on a pulp paperback? Mel Gibson stars as Porter, a criminal who was double crossed by his former partner and girlfriend, and now wants his money back. It's comic book stuff, full of larger-than-life characters, and very stylised with a retro feel. A must for action fans.

Frozen, Thursday 25, Sky Movies frozen

The smash is finally available to watch at home. Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) has lost her magical powers, plunging the city of Arendelle into an eternal winter. Her younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell) has to bring her back into the fold and usher in the spring. It's the most successful animated film of all time, beating even Toy Story. Trust us, you'll be humming the songs for months, whether you want to or not.

Scrooged, Thursday 25, 2:05pm, Channel 4 scrooged

A retelling of 'A Christmas Carol' set in 80's New York, with Bill Murray in full Bill Murray mode as ruthless TV executive Frank Cross. On Christmas Eve, he's visited by three ghosts who aim to change the error of his ways by showing the effect he has on others, and with glimpses of his younger self. A brilliant black comedy, and rather heart-warming to boot. It wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Doctor Who, Thursday 25, 6:15pm, BBC One doctor who christmas special

The annual biggie sees Nick Frost playing a man who claims to be Santa, while the Doctor and Clara are stranded on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures. It's written by showrunner Steven Moffat, and also stars Natalie Gumede ('Coronation Street'), Nathan McMullen ('Misfits'), Michael Troughton ('Enigma') and Faye Marsay ('Pride'). Get ready to hide behind the sofa...

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Friday 26, Sky Movies captain america the winter soldier

The Cap is back for another adventure, this one taking place two years after the events of Avengers Assemble. When old foes from Steve Rogers' – aka Captain America's – past show up, he has a fight on his hands that will test his mettle. Also stars Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson.

Twenty Feet From Stardom, Saturday 27, Netflix twenty feet from stardom

Fascinating documentary focussing on the backing singers who make a hit a hit, but are rarely even seen. Its cast is a who's who of pop history, with contributions from Lou Adler, Sting, Mick Jagger, Patti Austin and Sheryl Crow among others, and archive footage of David Bowie, Ray Charles and Todd Boyd. It picked up the Best Documentary Feature Oscar this year.

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