Television choice

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Once upon a time, the animator who seemed to have Christmas wrapped up for himself was Raymond Briggs, of The Snowman reknown. These days it's the far more vivid and less patronising (remember Briggs's "ordinary" family in When the Wind Blows?) Nick Park who seems to have inherited the season - and Park's latest Wallace and Gromit claymation, A Close Shave (6.15pm BBC2) is his best yet. The inventor and his dog get mixed up with sheep-rustlers this time round, as Wallace (voiced again by Peter Sallis) falls for the charms of the local wool shop proprietoress. Inventive and wholly beguiling stuff.

The heart of any true PG Wodehouse lover drops through his socks when TV takes on one of the beloved texts. Douglas Livingstone's adaptation of the Castle Blandings tale, Heavy Weather (8.45pm BBC1) is not murderous, blessed with a wonderfully relaxed performance by Peter O'Toole as the Earl of Emsworth. Here's a man, you feel, who might well have thrown food with the best of them at the Drones club. The story itself concerns a nephew, a show girl and a prize pig.

Less convincing is Helen Mirren as a plain Yorkshire housewife in The Hawk (10.20pm BBC2), David Hayman's otherwise fine Screen Two. She is supposed to experience a slow realisation that her husband may be a serial killer, but looks too intelligent for the part.

If the idea of Ken Russell's Treasure Island (7.30pm C4) has you rushing to join the turkey in the oven, fear not. This is a jaunty reading of Robert Louis Stevenson, complete with a female Long "Jane" Silver.

Comments