Hacking your home gadgets, spy movies, Charlie Brooker on the year just gone and David Attenborough on creatures that fly.
RI Lectures: Sparks Will Fly: How to Hack Your Home, Monday 29, 8pm, BBC Four
The 2014 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture includes fascinating tips on how to hack almost every gadget in your home to give them fresh new skills. Want to send wireless messages using a barbecue? Control a firework display with a laptop? Browse the internet using a torch? Let electrical engineer Professor Danielle George of the University of Manchester be your guide. It could provide some interesting new uses for any unwanted Christmas presents.
Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies, Monday 29, 9pm, BBC Four
Pub landlord Al Murray is in slightly more serious form for this roundtable discussion about spy movies. He’s joined by Dame Stella Rimington – former director of MI5, aka 'the real M' – political comedian Matt Forde and film expert Matthew Sweet to analyse the films and see how our views of espionage – and the wider world – have changed over the years. It promises to be just as insightful as his previous look at Great British War Movies.
Django Unchained, Tuesday 30, Amazon Prime Instant Video
Tarantino's latest sees him tackling the thorny issue of slavery with his trademark blend of black humour and snappy dialogue. Samuel L Jackson is excellent in an unexpectedly subservient role, while Jamie Foxx plays the eponymous Django. It's a bit long, and Tarantino could really do with being reeled in at times, but it's worth a watch. The sillier cousin to the rather forbearing '12 Years a Slave'.
Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe, Tuesday 30, 10pm, BBC Two
The festive season is never short of yearly round-ups, but Brooker's is always head and shoulders above the others. It'll be interesting to see if fatherhood has blunted his edge any, but we're guessing not. Expect the ice bucket challenge, the conscious uncoupling, and the installation of poppies at the Tower of London all to get both barrels of Brooker bile.
Sherlock Holmes, Wednesday 31, Amazon Prime Instant Video
Arthur Conan Doyle's classic sleuth as reimagined by Guy Ritchie. Robert Downey Junior takes the role of Holmes, while Jude Law steps into the tailcoat of his sidekick Dr John Watson. The duo have to thwart a nemesis who threatens the whole of England with his dastardly ways. It also stars Mark Strong ('Before I Go To Sleep', 'The Imitation Game') and Rachel McAdams ('True Detective', 'A Most Wanted Man').
Where The Wild Things Are, Wednesday 31, Amazon Prime Instant Video
A film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story. Max, a disobedient boy, has been sent to bed without any supper. But ever the free spirit, he creates his own world of make believe, a forest inhabited by wild creatures who crown him as their ruler. It's directed by Spike Jonze, with a screenplay by 'The Circle' author Dave Eggers, so it's wildly imaginative. It also stars the voices of the late James Gandolfini, and Catherine O'Hara.
Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, Thursday 1, 6:30pm, BBC One
A retelling of the classic Dahl story starring Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench. Mr Hoppy (Hoffman) is a retiree who tends to his balcony garden and generally potters about. He's hopelessly in love with Mrs Silver (Dench), but is too reserved to say anything. But when he finds out her beloved tortoise Alfie isn't growing, he concocts a plan to help him, and in the process win his way into Mrs Silver's heart. If you need to cleanse your palette after 'Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe', this is for you.
David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies, Thursday 1, 7pm, Sky1
The tireless and irrepressible naturalist points his magnifying glass skyward for this new series, globetrotting to chart the evolution of animals capable of flight. It includes insects like the Atlas beetle, which only flies when it needs a mate or more food, butterflies, and the blow fly, which is known as the jet fighter of insects. Attenborough has constantly excelled himself in his previous work for Sky and the Beeb, so this should be no different.
The Musketeers, Friday 2, 9pm, BBC One
Now this is what festive telly should be about: swashbuckling adventures. The Musketeers are sent to find the Comte de Rochefort after he's escaped from a Spanish prison. They must then join forces with him to rescue the captured General De Foix, the big cheese in charge of France's military strategy. But who can they trust? Luke Pasqualino ('Skins') stars as d'Artagnan, with Tom Burke ('Only God Forgives') as Athos.
Drugs Inc, Friday 2, 10pm, National Geographic
A new series looking at drugs and the people involved in the narcotics industry. The first episode focusses on New Year's Eve in New York, and how criminal gangs try to exploit the increased demand for illegal substances on one of the biggest party nights of the year. Sobering stuff.