Public Service Announcement 38 of 2016: Sherlock, The Witness for the Prosecution, To Walk Invisible

It’s our last PSA and last post of the year, so time for a quick look at some top-tier BBC drama of the kind that only ever appears over the holidays.

First up, two-part Agatha Christie adaptation The Witness For the Prosecution (which was on tv on 26th and 27th December) is currently available on iPlayer, should you wish to catch up. After the success of last year’s And Then There Were None, another Christie adaptation must have seemed like a great idea at the time but, despite an impressive cast headed by the always terrific Toby Jones, I’m not sure they picked the right one. Where Mammoth Screen’s take on ATTWN was thrilling and scary, their version of Witness is more depressing and gloomy, as well as – as we’re always saying about British tv – very, very slow. I sat through it more in determination than entertainment, but if you want a slice of miserabilia with your hot cocoa, carry on.

Also falling under the heading of “maybe not the cheeriest” is Sally Wainwright’s one-off feature-length drama about the Bronte family, To Walk Invisible. Anyone even remotely acquainted with the Bronte history knows it was hardly all jam and biscuits so, despite being Unpopcult’s Head of Dept for This Type of Thing, I’ve not exactly been in a hurry to watch it myself. 2016 has depressed me enough. The Guardian called it “bleak and brilliant” though, and who knows, it might well turn out to be empowering and inspiring, so if you’re up for it, iPlayer is the place to go once again.

Finally, though, something new to kick off 2017: a year after the last one-off special, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s Sherlock returns tomorrow (New Year’s Day!) at 8.30 pm on BBC1 for a new three-part run. My feelings on the show are well-documented: as I’ve said before, at its best, I think it’s one of the finest things on tv, and even at its worst, I think its ambition and intelligence are still evident. So while lots of people have fallen very vocally out of love with it in the years since the first episode, I’m still on board and I’ll be watching and reviewing each ep as soon as I can.

And that’s it for this year, folks. I’ll be back tomorrow with our Poll results so I’ll save my happy new years till then, but meantime, have a safe and happy Hogmanay and a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne on us. Health and happiness to you all!

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