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Sky and NOW are offering a jam-packed slate of movies and TV in December, with a trio of original festive movies coming to the service between now and Christmas Day. Perhaps the most exciting is Last Train to Christmas, in which Michael Sheen finds himself in the midst of a time travel tale on a train home for the holidays. Cue the wigs!
On the telly front, there are festive specials for a handful of popular comedy series, including sport panel show A League of Their Own and challenge series Rob VS Romesh. There's also plenty of decidedly non-festive material too, with the arrival of the new Chucky TV series and unusual crime drama Landscapers, starring the exceptional Olivia Colman and David Thewlis.
Of course, NOW offers the chance to purchase one of its bespoke memberships, reflecting the sort of stuff you want to watch. For movie lovers, there's the NOW Cinema Membership, while telly junkies can buy the NOW Entertainment Membership and sports fans have the NOW Sports Membership available.
Here's all of the new stuff coming to Sky Cinema and NOW in December...
New movies on Sky Cinema and NOW in December 2021
8-Bit Christmas (4 December)
This nostalgic drama takes its audience back to the 1980s, when the Nintendo Entertainment System was the peak of technical achievement in video gaming. Terrifically named young performer Winslow Fegley — last seen as the title character in Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made on Disney+ — plays nine-year-old Jake Doyle, who wants nothing more than to get hold of that console. Neil Patrick Harris portrays him as an adult.
A Christmas Number One (10 December)
This Christmas musical gets an extra layer of excitement as a result of the presence of ultra-successful songwriter Guy Chambers. He has written hit tracks for stars as bright as Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue. Here, he provides original music for this story of thrash metal rocker Blake Cutter (Iwan Rheon), who puts his usual genre aside to pen the ultimate Christmas track, which catches the eye of music manager Meg Rai (Freida Pinto).
Last Train to Christmas (18 December)
Writer-director Julian Kemp is the brains behind this tale, in which Michael Sheen travels in time through the medium of a train to Nottingham. It's not quite a TARDIS, but it does provide an intriguing central concept for this Christmas comedy, as well as an opportunity for Sheen to wear plenty of wigs and prosthetics.
Sheen plays brash nightclub impresario Tony Towers, who is flying high on the verge of opening new clubs with his girlfriend Sue (Nathalie Emmanuel). But as he moves from carriage to carriage, he learns how choices he makes in the present affect the future, and how dangerous it can be to go backwards to change fundamental building blocks of his life.
New TV on Sky and NOW in December 2021
Positive (1 December)
This three-part documentary miniseries will debut on World AIDS Day and traces the history of the battle against HIV in the UK. It includes testimony from some of the country's earliest HIV patients and confronts the homophobia and intolerance which initially characterised the disease as something uniquely affecting gay people.
The Very Small Creatures (1 December)
This offering from Sky Kids comes from the always exciting world of Aardman Animation and serves as a spin-off from its beloved animated series Morph. It features, as the title suggests, a selection of tiny clay critters who behave like toddlers.
Chucky (weekly from 3 December)
Despite the recent movie reboot in which Mark Hamill voiced the terrifying doll, the world of Chucky has continued elsewhere through the eyes of the character's original creator Don Mancini. Brad Dourif again voices the murderous puppet in this TV series, which follows the turbulent events set into motion when a 14-year-old buys Chucky at a yard sale, obviously unaware he's possessed by a serial killer.
Dettori (4 December)
Frankie Dettori is one of the most decorated jockeys in history and also serves as one of the most recognisable celebrities of the horse racing world. This documentary explores every facet of his rise to fame, as well as the adversity he has faced.
A Very Merry Kidz Bop Christmas (5 December)
The super-successful family music brand — your kids almost certainly love watching them on YouTube — delivers a special Christmas showcase. Expect family-friendly versions of the latest pop hits.
Christmas Crackers/Christmas Favourites (6 December)
These festive compilations pull together some of Sky's best offerings for kids, in an attempt to give parents a Christmas break. The Crackers selection is aimed at older kids, while Favourites is targeted towards the under-fives.
Landscapers (7 December)
This black comedy is inspired by true events and stars Olivia Colman and David Thewlis as a married couple who committed a terrible crime a decade ago, which has gone undiscovered. It's an unusual and darkly funny exploration of love and a couple losing their grip on reality, directed by Will Sharpe, who will soon be at the helm of Benedict Cumberbatch drama The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
Wordsworth and Coleridge's Romantic Road Trip with Frank Skinner and Denise Mina (7 December)
Fans of the Romantic poets will enjoy this road trip documentary, in which comedian Frank Skinner and best-selling novelist Denise Mina embark on a journey to retrace the steps of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge to learn more about their lives and works.
And Just Like That… (9 December)
Three of the four stars of Sex and the City are stepping back into their famous roles for this reunion series, which sees Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) navigating life as women in their fifties. Anybody who was a fan of the original series is likely to find plenty to enjoy in this long-awaited reunion.
A League of Their Own Christmas Party (13 December)
This year's festive edition of the sporting panel game sees host Romesh Ranganathan whisk Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp away for a Christmas break at Center Parcs in Wiltshire. They take part in numerous physical challenges and Ranganathan joins forces with his mum to cook a traditional Sri Lankan meal.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks Christmas Special (15 December)
After its successful return to the airwaves earlier this year, the beloved music-based comedy quiz delivers a festive edition. Host Greg Davies and regular panellists Noel Fielding, Daisy May Cooper and Jamali Maddix are joined by Frankie Goes to Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson, broadcaster Lauren Laverne and star of People Just Do Nothing — and its recent film sequel — Asim Chaudhry.
There's Something About Christmas Movies (16 December)
The popular movie-based panel show is back, with host Alan Carr in the chair once again. Regulars Michael Sheen, Jennifer Saunders and Tom Allen are joined by James Acaster, Love Actually star Thomas Brodie Sangster and Susan Wokoma for an evening packed with trivia about the best Christmas films.
The Russell Howard Hour Christmas Special (16 December)
Comedian Russell Howard takes a look back at another turbulent year as he casts his comic eye back on the news events and assorted craziness of 2021.
Gomorrah S5 (18 December)
The Italian crime drama presents its dramatic conclusion as it heads back to our telly screens for its fifth and final season. Naples is a mess in the wake of the continuing gang warfare in the city's criminal underworld. Salvatore Esposito's Genny is forced to return to the fray and head off into hiding, where he makes a sensational discovery about the supposedly dead crime boss Ciro Di Marzio.
Osprey (19 December)
In this hour-long nature documentary, cameras follow the journeys and struggles of a life-long osprey couple, including their migration, construction of a nest and the hatching of their chicks.
Rob & Romesh VS Christmas Special (19 December)
Romesh Ranganathan again appears over the festive period in a new special episode of his challenge show with Rob Beckett. Their latest challenge was set by Beckett's social media followers and has the duo joining the circus to learn an array of Big Top skills, inspired by The Greatest Showman.
Play in a Day (20-22 December)
COVID-19 decimated the theatre world in the UK, closing the curtains on dozens of productions and robbing many young performers of the chance to tread the boards on the big stages of the West End for the first time. This series aims to give those people a chance in the spotlight, tasking three teams of creatives with putting together a 15-minute play on a given theme in just 24 hours.
Agatha Raisin: Kissing Christmas Goodbye (21 December)
Ashley Jensen returns to star as the titular amateur detective in this Christmas edition of the comedy-mystery series. She's trying to plan the perfect festive celebration for her friends, but is distracted by a poisoning in the village, which she of course has to solve.
Dating No Filter: Under The Mistletoe (21 December)
This popular reality series delivers its first ever Christmas special, with comedians providing play-by-play commentary on real members of the public on blind dates — with a festive twist, of course.
Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After (23 December)
David Walliams has written another edition of his After Ever After series of family-friendly Christmas fairy tales, this time picking up the story of Hansel and Gretel after the witch has been roasted by the eponymous kids. They find that their village is being terrorised by a mysterious stranger armed with tempting, sweet treats.
Rumpelstilzchen (23 December)
With the help of BalletBoyz, this original special tells the classic fairy tale story of Rumpelstiltskin with Jane Horrocks in the title role. The cast also includes John Marquez and Tanya Reynolds — the latter of whom is brilliant as the alien-obsessed Lily in Sex Education.
The Amazing Mr Blunden (24 December)
1970s ghost story The Amazing Mr Blunden has been revamped for a new generation by horror obsessive Mark Gatiss, who has written and directed this new version. Simon Callow plays the titular character — a mysterious man who offers a woman the chance to be caretaker of a country house, bringing her two kids along for the ride. The kids meet two other children, who have travelled in time from 1821 and believe they are going to be murdered by an evil couple — portrayed by Gatiss and Tamsin Greig.
Gangs of Baboon Falls (27 December)
The magnificent backdrop of Victoria Falls in Africa provides the focal point for this nature series, which tells the story of a power struggle between multiple troops of Chacma Baboons, fighting for food and territorial dominance.
JFK: Destiny Betrayed (28 December)
Oliver Stone returns to the subject of the Kennedy assassination 30 years after he delivered the three-hour conspiracy thriller film JFK. This new miniseries delves into recently declassified documents, with the help of narrators Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Sutherland.
Harry Potter Specials (29 December/1 January)
All eight of the Harry Potter films are being added to Sky Cinema just in time for Christmas, but there will also be a handful of special TV events for fans of the magical series to enjoy. The highlight comes on New Year's Day, when dozens of the most prominent cast members will come together for a 20th anniversary celebration of the first film in Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
Before that, though, Helen Mirren fronts the four-part series Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, in which fans of the Wizarding World franchise will put their knowledge to the test against each other in the hope of being awarded the House Cup.
The Sleepwalker (29 December)
This true crime tale explores the genre in a slightly different way, in order to try to illuminate the mystery of whether Randy Herman Jr. really did commit a murder in his sleep.
Other movies and TV on Sky Cinema and NOW in December 2021
Nowhere Special (2020)
Sound of Violence (2021)
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Watch: Trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong
Miss Marx (2020)
Notorious Nick (2021)
The Last Bus (2021)
Playing God (2021)
The Unholy (2021)
Another Round (2020)
Watch: Trailer for Oscar-winning drama Another Round
Christmas at Cattle Hill (2020)
No Man of God (2021)
The Champion of Auschwitz aka The Champion (2020)
The Stand In (2020)
In the Heights (2021)
Watch: Trailer for musical In the Heights
Hide and Seek (2021)
Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011)
The Obscure Life of the Grand Old Duke of Corsica (2021)
Pups Alone (2021)
Think Like a Dog (2020)
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)
Watch: Trailer for family sequel Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
The Suicide Squad (2021)
Daisy Quokka: World's Scariest Animal (2020)
Plan A (2021)
Young Hearts (2020)
The Colony aka Tides (2021)
Watch: Trailer for DC superhero reboot The Suicide Squad