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The Week (And A Half) In Sci-Fi

Brace yourselves for a bumper festive crop of gift-wrapped SF

MONDAY 19 DECEMBER

Tom Baker audio series Doctor Who: Hornets' Nes t continues at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

There's a mystery in Terra Nova , Sky One at 8pm.

Johnny Depp is a book dealer caught in a diabolical scheme in The Ninth Gate , 9pm on 5*.

A potential buyer takes a tour of the house in American Horror Story , 10pm on FX.

Liam Neeson's face is in trouble in Darkman , 10pm on Syfy.

Mia Farrow favours raw liver over turkey sandwiches in horror classic Rosemary's Baby , 00.05am on Channel 4.

TUESDAY 20 DECEMBER

Long awaited MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic arrives on PC today. Brace yourselves, force users…

Jim Carrey discovers his whole life is a lie in The Truman Show , 10.35am on More4.

Tom Baker audio series Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest continues at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Bill flippin' Murray has his very own Groundhog Day on 5* at 8pm.

Season two of Haven comes to an end on Syfy at 9pm.

Two of the cinema's greatest bad asses face off in AVP: Alien Versus Predator , 10:50pm on Film4.

WEDNESDAY 21 DECEMBER

The Carry On team parody Hammer horror in Carry On Screaming , 2.30pm on ITV3.

Hard-to-spell Hayao Miyazaki classic Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind is on Film4 at 4pm.

Tom Baker audio series Doctor Who: Hornets' Nes t continues at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Kirk and Spock head to the big screen (although admittedly this is broadcast on the small) for the first time in Star Trek: The Motion Picture , Film4 at 6:20pm.

Continue a week of Bill Murray wonderment with Ghostbusters , 9pm on Watch.

Quarantine , the American remake of Spanish horror [REC], is on 5USA at 10pm.

Halle Berry dents our belief in humanity in Catwoman , 11pm on ITV2.

Get a second dose of extra-terrestrial battle in AVPR: Alien Versus Predator Requiem , 11:35pm on Film4. Okay, we are stretching the definition of "highlights" slightly here...

THURSDAY 22 DECEMBER

Douglas Adams directs Black Cinderella Two Goes East , a dark twist on panto, on Radio 4 Extra at 10.00am (repeated at 3pm).

There's a double-bill of Tales Of The Unexpected (come on, let's all do the dance!) at 6pm on Sky Arts 2.

Tom Baker audio series Doctor Who: Hornets' Nes t continues at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

The latest episode of fantasy sitcom Elvenquest is on Radio 4 at 6.30pm.

Khaaaaan! Join in at the crucial moment in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan , 6:50pm on Film4.

Warm up for this year's Doctor Who Christmas special by watching last year's, "A Christmas Carol" - BBC3, 7pm.

Could there really be a Red Flag mole in the team? Find out in Alphas , 9pm on 5*.

Tomorrow Never Dies , especially when you're the eternally middle-aged James Bond, 10:35pm on ITV1.

The third instalment of spooky show Weird Tales is on Radio 4 at 11.pm.

Iain Banks and China Miéville are amongst the contributors to part 1 of Cat Women Of The Moon , an exploration of sex in SF, Radio 4 at 11.30pm.

Insomniacs rejoice! Whedon-movie Serenity is tucked away on ITV1 at 2.45am.

FRIDAY 23 DECEMBER

Issue 10 of SFX's sister mag Comic Heroes - which comes with a free graphic novel, no less – can be snapped up from your local news emporium today!

A dramatisation of Narnia tale The Magician's Nephew begins on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

Tom Baker audio series Doctor Who: Hornets' Nes t concludes at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

More Trek! Huzzah! Star Trek III: The Search For Spock is on Film4 at 7pm.

Shrek and Princess Fiona find out that true love is being able to fart in the company of your partner with no repercussions in Shrek , 7:35pm on BBC Three.

It's based on a true story and it will make you seriously reconsider annoying any passing demons: The Exorcism Of Emily Rose is on 5* at 9pm.

Mila Jovovich gets the guns out and puts them to alarmingly frequent use in Resident Evil: Extinction , 9pm on 5USA.

Matt Smith is a guest on The Graham Norton Show , 10.35pm on BBC1.

Roger Corman Poe adap Masque Of The Red Death is on the Horror Channel at 10.55pm.

Two-part exploration of the treatment of sex in SF Cat Women Of The Moon concludes, Radio 4 at 11.30pm.

There's nothing quite like hiding away a brilliant piece of twisted Christmas family fun in the middle of the night is there? The Nightmare Before Christmas is on BBC Three at 11:45pm.

Too excited about Christmas to sleep? John Carpenter's original version of The Fog is on ITV1 at 3.30am.

CHRISTMAS EVE

It's Christmas Eve! There is literally no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with Michael Caine and Kermit The Frog in The Muppet Christmas Carol , 12pm on Channel 4.

Toby Stephens and Ian McKellen star in a dramatisation of Goldfinger , Radio 4 at 1pm.

Tom Hanks has the life sucked out of his performance by high-powered computers in The Polar Express , 1:45pm on ITV1.

Get comfy, surround yourselves with close friends and family, and do the right thing: watch ET: The Extra Terrestrial at 3:35pm on ITV1.

Yet another Miyazaki anime classic, My Neighbour Totoro , gets an airing, 5.15pm on Film4.

Fantastic family fantasy The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is on BBC One at 5:50pm.

There's even more fantastical family entertainment in The Spiderwick Chronicles , 7pm on Film4.

Gremlins is on again (if you have TCM): 7pm.

Catch the finale of Merlin at 8pm on BBC One.

JJ reboots Star Trek in style at 9pm on Film4.

Sylvester Stallone is a re-animated ass-kicking cop from the past in Demolition Man , 10pm on ITV4.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Happy Christmas! Start your day with classic fun for all the family The Borrowers , 7:45am on ITV1.

Magical Disney adventure The Sword And The Stone gets a timely festive airing

at 10:50am on BBC Two.

Perfect pre-lunch kiddie-calming fodder arrives at 1:15pm on ITV1 in the form of Aladdin .

It's Christmas Day. Did you really think it wouldn't get an airing? The Snowman is on 2:30pm on Channel 4.

Is the very thought of watching the Queen spout off a load of glib end-of-the-year platitudes from her enormous palace made of gold while the rest of us struggle through the mire of an economic nightmare filling you with revulsion and bitterness? Then watch Roald Dahl classic Matilda instead, starting at 1:25pm on Watch and running all the way through the Queen’s speech. It'll make you feel better.

Once old Liz has done her bit and decided it's gin o'clock, settle in for a bit of Monsters vs Aliens , 3:10pm on ITV1.

There's feature-length Futurama on Sky One at 4pm as Bender becomes addicted to Dungeons & Dragons .

Catch Studio Ghibli visual feast Ponyo at 5:10pm on Film4.

Tom Hanks plays a massive piano with his feet and we all grin like the half-drunk, bloated maniacs we all are by this time of the day as Big gets a seasonal airing at 5:20pm on Channel 4.

The Doctor's yearly jaunt is here! Rejoice! Doctor Who makes us all feel like kids again at 7pm on BBC One.

Will Smith, the harbinger of a mildly entertaining pre-argument Christmas Day evening, flies in to save us all in Independence Day , 7:55pm on Film4

Bruce Willis saves the world but, unfortunately, cannot save your waistband, which has been irrevocably ravaged by maximum turkey. Armageddon is on BBC Three at 8pm.

Remember a more innocent time, when Wyld Stallyns ruled the world, with Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey , 9pm on Sky Living.

Begin a festive Game Of Thrones marathon as the first five episodes of the glorious first season are aired back-to-back from 9pm on Sky Living. There's nothing like casual slaughter and incest to keep the festive spirit alive.

Torchwood's Burn Gorman plays the Tinman in a dramatisation of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz , 9pm on Radio 4.

You're utterly blitzed on chocolate liqueurs, tiny bottles of continental lager and Quality Street, the family game of Trivial Pursuit has been long lost, and you've given up all hope; it's time for Watchmen , 10:50pm on Film4.

BOXING DAY

There’s a hefty crop of DVD releases today for you to blow your unwanted WHSmith vouchers from Auntie Doris: Misfits Series Three, The Fades Season One , Cowboys And Aliens , The Skin I Live In , Futurama Season Five , Final Destination 5 , Apollo 18 and Videodrome (on Blu-ray) are all waiting to be snapped up.

The Magician's Nephew continues with part 2 of 3 on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

That-geezer-who-was-Dracula (he loves being called that) reads Poe's "The Black Cat" in Christopher Lee's Fireside Tales , 11am on Radio 4 Extra (repeated at 9pm).

Will Farrell is Buddy the elf, and he's here to make your Boxing Day special in Elf 12:50pm on Film4

Remind yourself why The Princess Bride is regarded as a classic at 1:10pm on 5*.

Get your spade out and join in the 1959 version of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth , 2:40pm on Film4.

Young Radcliffe struts his scar-headed stuff in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets , 3:30pm on ITV1.

Green skinned sequel Shrek 2 will keep every generation of your family happy at 4pm on BBC One. Apart from teenagers - there’s not enough loud noise or swearing for that unruly breed.

Click your heels together and wonder why Dorothy didn’t do the same all along (even by accident) in musical classic The Wizard Of Oz , 5:10pm on Channel 5.

Tom Baker reads the novelisation of Doctor Who: Pyramids Of Mars (part 1 of 6) at 6pm (repeated at midnight), Radio 4 Extra.

Learn all about basic safety precautions when dealing with sharpened cutting implements in Edward Scissorhands , 7pm on Film4.

Two blokes who've both played Time Lords, Christopher Eccleston and Stephen Fry (yes he has, it was in a radio play), are amongst the cast of a new version of The Borrowers , BBC1/BBC1 HD at 7.30pm.

There’s drama in the dim and distant dino-ravaged past in Terra Nova , 8pm Sky One.

Megan Fox does her best to take your attention off all the explosions and robots in Transformers , 9pm on Film4.

If you’ve only just woken up after Christmas Day's late night to early morning Game Of Thrones marathon, you’d best prepare yourself for episodes six to ten, from 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

Christopher Nolan reboots the Dark Knight in Batman Begins , TCM at 11.05pm.

Spanish time-travel twister Timecrimes is on Film4 at 11.45pm.

Understated 1942 horror classic Cat People is on BBC2 at 1.10am.

Darren Aronofsky's critic-dividing SF romance The Fountain is on Film4 at 1.45am.

TUESDAY 27 DECEMBER

The Magician's Nephew concludes on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

Jerome K Jerome’s “The Man Of Science” is today’s reading in Christopher Lee's Fireside Tales , 11am on Radio 4 Extra (repeated at 9pm).

Pass the afternoon with some gently underwhelming Trek action in Star Trek: Generations, 2:45pm on E4.

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor returns at 4:30pm on ITV1 to prove that some franchises really can’t be saved, no matter how much CGI you throw at them.

There's another double-bill of Tales Of The Unexpected at 6pm on Sky Arts 2.

Tom Baker continues reading the novelisation of Doctor Who: Pyramids Of Mars (part 2 of 6) at 6pm (repeated at midnight), Radio 4 Extra.

There’s even more green-skinned fairytale fun to be had in Shrek The Third , 6:05pm on BBC One.

Arnie’s finest gets a timely festive airing in Terminator 2: Judgment Day , ITV2 at 9pm.

Peter Jackson’s take on King Kong smashes its way onto your TV screen at 10:30pm on ITV1.

Lo-fi masterpiece Monsters should take the edge off all those post-Crimbo turkey sandwiches at 11:05pm on Film4.

Thomas Jane takes on super-intelligent sharks again in Deep Blue Sea , TCM at 11.15pm.

If you enjoyed Cat People the other day you'll also like Jacques Tourneur's I Walked With A Zombie , 1.30pm on BBC2.

WEDNESDAY 28 DECEMBER

A three-part dramatisation of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe begins on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

E Nesbit’s “John Charrington’s Wedding” is today’s reading in Christopher Lee's Fireside Tales , 11am on Radio 4 Extra (repeated at 9pm).

Fill the time in the awkward part of the festive week between Christmas and New Year with a fantastic piece of big-screen Jean-Luc: Star Trek: First Contact is on at 1:50pm on Channel 4.

Part-animated fantasy, and one of Disney’s finest (if you ask us), Bedknobs And Broomsticks is on BBC One at 4:05pm.

Tom Baker continues reading the novelisation of Doctor Who: Pyramids Of Mars (part 3 of 6) at 6pm (repeated at midnight), Radio 4 Extra.

Genre names like Christopher Lloyd and Billy Boyd (hey, that rhymes!) feature in part 1 of Oz reimagining The Witches Of Oz , 6.10pm on Channel 5.

Johnny Depp takes on the role of Willie Wonka in the Tim Burton-directed Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at 6:40pm, ITV2.

Those damn robots just keep on coming back - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines is on Watch at 9pm.

Spotted any errors? Got events to tell us about? Email rob.power@futurenet.com or ian.berriman@futurenet.com