Just after you’ve digested all your turkey, sprouts and trifle, it’s time to get back into the swing of things when one of the biggies in the crime drama genre returns for an all-new sixth series. Yes, Spiral’s back next weekend! Also on offer this week – aside from a mountain of quality repeats – is the new BBC two-parter, The Miniaturist, a brand-new adaptation of Jessie Burton’s slightly crimey/slightly supernatural drama. Enjoy!
1 Spiral *NEW UK PREMIERE SERIES*
Laure returns early from maternity leave to help the team put a name to an anonymous murder victim identifiable only by use of his dismembered torso. Meanwhile, a high-profile criminal trial tempts a jaded Joséphine, and magistrate Roban grows distracted.
Saturday 30th December, 9pm, BBC Four
2 The Tunnel: Vengeance *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
The investigation steps up when Winnie is sent a live rat in a box, with a set of coordinates leading to the Pied Piper’s latest victim. Meanwhile, Karl’s disapproval turns to concern when he learns the extent of Elise’s distress over the Moreau case.
Thursday 28th December, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
3 The Miniaturist *NEW UK PREMIERE TWO-PARTER*
Set in 1686, following 18-year-old Nella Oortman as she begins a new life in Amsterdam as the wife of wealthy merchant, Johannes Brandt. As a wedding gift, Nella is presented with a doll’s house replica of their home, but soon realises that an elusive miniaturists tiny creations are seemingly predicting the future with unsettling accuracy.
Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th December, 9pm, BBC One
In the summer of 1967, Morse and Thursday are both devastated by Joan’s abrupt departure from Oxford. The young detective responds to his loss by throwing himself into his work, investigating the suspicious drowning of a scientist who was part of a research team working on an early computer. At first it appears to be a simple suicide – until two more bodies are found in the river.
Tuesday 26th December, 8pm, ITV3
5 Chicago PD *NEW UK PREMIERE EPISODE*
A woman discovers the body of a newborn child in a duffel bag in the park, leading the team to investigate a cold-hearted babies-for-sale business.
Thursday 28th December, 9pm, 5USA
6 Maigret’s Dead Man
The detective is distracted from a string of attacks on three wealthy farms by a series of anonymous phone calls from a man who claims a gang is trying to kill him. He and his trusty associates LaPointe and Janvier go in search of the caller, which leads them to the discovery of a body that has been dumped out of a car. Maigret is convinced the corpse is the man who phoned him – but his face has been mutilated, making it impossible to confirm his identity.
Saturday 30th December, 9pm, ITV Encore
7 Inspector George Gently
The inspector and his ambitious sergeant John Bacchus investigate the murder of Dolores Kenny, a black woman. She is a regular attender of a local club’s soul all-nighters, events popular with factory workers from across the racial divide. Gently begins to uncover evidence of prejudice within the local community and his own police force as he seeks to identify the victim’s killer.
Saturday 30th December, 8pm, Drama
8 Major Crime *NEW UK PREMIERE*
With the pool of suspects now narrowed to three, Sharon makes good use of a highly unreliable witness, and Mark Hickman finally confronts the truth about his past.
Sunday 31st December, 8pm, Universal
9 Agatha Christie’s Poirot
The dapper detective accepts an invitation to spend yuletide at the house of an elderly millionaire who seems intent on provoking his money-grubbing sons into murdering him. At first he tries hard to ignore the strained atmosphere and relax – but soon finds himself with a gruesome mystery on his hands.
Monday 25th December, 8pm, ITV Encore
A body is found buried on the Northumberland moors which could be a missing teenager from the nearby rural community of Brindale. The girl had disappeared six weeks previously, and Vera has to break the news to her devastated family. However, the realisation that she died so close to home rather than at a music festival as originally thought creates tension among her neighbours, who are soon suspecting each other of murder. The detective delves into the vulnerable young woman’s isolated existence to identify her killer.
Friday 29th December, 9pm, ITV Encore