2023: British TV Christmas Specials on Acorn TV (US)

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Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Stefanie Hutson

One thing we love about British TV is that many shows make lovely Christmas episodes – sometimes as part of the BBC or ITV Christmas and Boxing Day programming lineup, other times within the course of the regular season.

In this post, we take a look at the Christmas specials – new and old – available over on Acorn TV for Christmas 2023. 

2023 British TV Christmas Specials on Acorn TV: Currently Available

Midsomer Murders: The Christmas Haunting

Midsomer Murders – So far, Midsomer Murders has released four Christmas-themed episodes: Ghosts of Christmas Past, Days of Misrule, and The Christmas Haunting. They're listed as Series 7, Episode 7; Series 11, Episode 6; and Series 16, Episode 1.

A number of years back, they produced a Christmas DVD  with episodes that were originally aired as Christmas/New Year's specials (though Christmas isn't  necessarily a prominent theme in all of them). Those episodes were: ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past' (S7E7), ‘Death of a Stranger' (S3E1), ‘A Talent for Life' (S6E1), and ‘Shot at Dawn' (S11E1). Watch them HERE

Madam Blanc Mysteries returns to Acorn TV in December 2022

Madame Blanc Mysteries: 2022 Christmas Special 

Season 2 of this popular cosy mystery series opens with a Christmas-themed special. Antiques dealer Jean White (Sally Lindsay) has returned, fresh from an attempt on her life. Once again, her specialist knowledge of antiques proves essential to solving a variety of interesting murders and mysteries in the French village of Saint Victoire. 

Foyle's War – You might think a drama about WWII-era Britain would be lacking in holiday spirit, and it's true that Foyle's War didn't have a ton of holiday episodes. They did have one, though. In “Bleak Midwinter” (Series 5, Episode 1), we visit December 1942, where Foyle busts a restaurateur for offering illegal Christmas foods.  Watch it HERE

Detectorists 2015 Christmas Special

Detectorists – This sublimely quirky comedy has had two Christmas specials – one in 2015 and another in 2022. The first one returns after Lance's big find has found a new home in a display at the British Museum, but Lance himself seems to have “the curse of the gold”. You'll find it listed as Season 2, Episode 7.

The 2022 special sees the Danebury Metal Detecting Club coming to grips with the possibility of developers demolishing their usual meeting place in the scout hut. Lance secures a prime permission to detect on 10 acres of unsearched land, but things go south after an important discovery. This one is the very last currently available episode (no word on whether there will ever be another). Watch both specials HERE

Ashley Jenson in “Kissing Xmas Goodbye”, Agatha Raisin Christmas Special | Photo Credit: Mark Bourdillon/AcornTV

Agatha Raisin, “Kissing Christmas Goodbye”

Ashley Jensen returns as Agatha Raisin in this holiday-themed feature-length episode based on the Agatha Raisin novel “Kissing Christmas Goodbye“. She's hired to protect a woman, but when the woman is murdered anyway, she'll have to figure out who did it. Suspects include local villagers and the woman's own children. Watch it HERE

– Doc Martin_Season 10, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Neil Genower/Acorn TV

Doc Martin – While Doc Martin traditionally airs in autumn and winter months, they've had a surprising lack of Christmas episodes over the years. Just one episode is listed as a Christmas special, having aired on Christmas day in 2006. “On the Edge” is not the most Christmas-y special you'll ever see, but you can find it listed under Season 2, Episode 9.

In 2022, the final episode of the entire series was a more traditional Christmas special. Watch Doc Martin HERE

Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets

Mary Berry's Country House Secrets: Episode “Country House Christmas”

In each episode of Mary Berry's Country House Secrets, Mary Berry gets behind-the-scenes access to some of the UK's most spectacular country houses. She ventures beyond the tourist areas to show us the families that occupy the homes and how they live today – and in the fifth episode “Country House Christmas”, we get a special look at the holiday festivities at Harewood House. Watch it HERE.

Doctor Finlay

Doctor Finlay* – After serving in World War II, Doctor Finlay returns to Scotland to practice at Arden House. The series was filmed in Auchtermuchty, and early parts of the show focus on the modernization of medicine and the institution of the NHS. The very last episode, aired in December of 1996, was a Christmas special called “Snowblind”.

*Sadly, this one disappeared from Acorn TV for a while, and you'll have to wait until January 2024  before it returns (Season 1 on the 1st, season 2 on the 8th, season 3 on the 15th, and season 4 on the 22nd). In the meantime, you can catch it on most of the major “free with ads” platforms like Tubi, Plex, Freevee, Crackle, and Roku Channel.

Winter Solstice – Photo Credit: Courtesy of AcornTV

Winter Solstice – 2003 – This one's less of a Christmas special and more of a “miniseries that includes Christmas”. After losing her husband, Elfrida Phipps (Sinead Cusack) moves into a cottage and makes friends with the nearby Blundell family. Just when it seems she's getting her life back in order, tragedy strikes the Blundells. They all head north to Scotland for Christmas in an attempt to escape their grief, and a chance encounter leads to it being the best Christmas of their lives. Watch it HERE

A Berry Royal Christmas

A Berry Royal Christmas (2019) – Mary Berry teams up with Will and Kate to celebrate the holidays and prepare a special meal for a group of people working and volunteering over Christmas. Watch it HERE.

Acorn TV's “And Beyond” Christmas Specials

Acorn TV fans will know that not every show on Acorn TV is British. Many come from the Commonwealth or various European nations. For those who enjoy venturing beyond the British Isles, we've gathered up some of the other Christmas specials in this section.

Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas

Murdoch Mysteries – This Canadian period mystery has a few Christmas-themed episodes: “A Merry Murdoch Christmas” – S9E1, “Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas” – S10E1, “Home for the Holidays” – S11E1, and “The Night Before Christmas” – S15E11. Watch it HERE

A Merry Bloody Christmas

Brokenwood Mysteries – Often called “the Midsomer Murders of New Zealand”, this series also has a Christmas special. You'll find it in season 3, episode 4 – “A Merry Bloody Christmas”. Watch it HERE

Darby & Joan

Darby & Joan – This delightful new Australian cozy follows an English nurse trying to get answers about her dead husband's past – and the former Australian cop she meets up with along the way. Though it's not often we see a Christmas special in the very first episode of a series, this one gave us a Christmas episode in S1E4 and a New Year's Eve episode in S1E5. Watch it HERE

My Life is Murder: “Silent Lights”

My Life is Murder – Lucy Lawless stars in this Australia/New Zealand-based series about a retired detective who occasionally helps police out with tough cases. Season 3, episode 5 – “Silent Lights” – offers a Christmas-themed mystery. Watch it HERE

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – Fans of Agatha Christie are sure to enjoy this 1920s period mystery starring Essie Davis as the brilliant and independent Miss Fisher. Set in Melbourne, the series sees her solving mysteries alongside her trusty assistant Dot – and occasionally butting heads with Detective Jack Robinson. In Series 2, Episode 13, you'll find “Murder Under the Mistletoe”. Watch it HERE.

Ms. Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries – This spin-off series has a New Year's Eve episode, “New Year's Evil”. You'll find it in Series 2, Episode 8. At a New Year's Eve party at the Adventuresses' Club, a shot rings out in the dark and Peregrine and James will have to work together to contain the suspects and find the killer. Watch it HERE.

2023 British TV Christmas Specials on Acorn TV: Coming Soon

Along with the Christmas episodes already available, Acorn TV will be adding the following in December 2023.

Keep in mind: This is NOT the complete list for Acorn TV's December premieres. You can view the full Acorn TV December 2023 schedule HERE

The Madame Blanc Mysteries 3 | Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Madame Blanc Mysteries, Season 3 Christmas Special

Sally Lindsay returns for another murder-filled season of Madame Blanc Mysteries, beginning with a Christmas special on December 25th.

In the lead-up to Christmas, Judith and Jeremy have arranged for Jean, Dom, Caron and Gloria to attend a murder mystery night at an old friend’s hotel. Judith explains that the hotel has a spooky history, and things get even spookier when a storm rolls in.

Taking things up another notch, it's not long before someone is actually killed. With all the suspects gathered together in the hotel, Jean will have to work fast to find the killer – and possibly the source of the ghostly occurrences at Hotel Sanguinet.

Watch seasons 1 and 2 HERE

More British TV Christmas Viewing…

Need more British TV Christmas viewing ideas?

 

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