In five days the great tradition of the Doctor Who Christmas Special will be renewed with a new adventure “The Snowmen.” It’s a lavishly costumed romp set on Christmas Eve 1892, with Richard E. Grant (The Crimson Petal and the White) guest-starring as the sinister Doctor Simeon and introducing the Doctor’s new companion Clara (Jenna Louise-Coleman, Titanic ). Off-screen, the voice of the Snowmen is provided by none other than Sir Ian McKellen. “The Snowmen” will premiere on BBC America December 25th at 9pm ET / 8pm CT / 9pm PT, and on Space December 25th at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. Releases on DVD and Blu-ray will follow sometime in 2013.
Fan Alert: Martin Freeman, currently starring as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is well-known to longtime fans of The Office and Sherlock. He’s pretty easy to spot even in make-up, but recognizing other BBC talent presents a greater challenge. Beneath the dwarves’ beards and prosthetics are Richard Armitage (Robin Hood, MI-5) as Thorin, Aidan Turner (Being Human, Desperate Romantics) as Kili, and James Nesbit (Jekyll, Ballykissangel) as Bofur. We failed to spot Stephen Fry (Blackadder) as the Master of Laketown, but something essentially Sylvester McCoy (Doctor #7) shone through the persona of the wizard Radagast the Brown. The most disguised of all, performance capture wizard Andy Serkis as Gollum, may be seen in Little Dorrit in his Emmy-nominated performance as Rigaud.