The Radio Times logo

The best TV shows to watch on Netflix this Christmas

From The Crown to British TV classics like Gavin & Stacey, Call the Midwife and Doctor Who, check out all the TV series guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit this year

Published: Thursday, 13th December 2018 at 10:00 am

Christmas is a time for bingeing, whether that be turkey or TV.


So if you're short of something to watch with the family this year – or if you're desperate to escape the regular TV festive offerings – check out some of the best TV shows to watch on Netflix this Christmas.

UPDATE: check out the best new movies and TV shows coming to Netflix in December 2018

The Crown

Series two of the royal historical drama was released at the start of December last year, but sadly series three – with an all-new cast – will not be coming until 2019.

At least we'll always have Matt Smith dressed in a Christmas jumper. Watch on Netflix

Gavin & Stacey

Probably the most successful British Christmas comedy special of recent years, and certainly the one with the biggest heart. Almost a decade on from its first airing, Ruth Jones and James Corden's festive special will still have you laughing and crying (and singing along with Smith of course). Watch on Netflix

Black Mirror: White Christmas

Charlie Brooker brings tidings of discomfort and genuine terrors. Just in case you were feeling a little jaded by all the November tinsel... Watch on Netflix


No new Sherlock this New Year (will it ever be back?), but every episode of the brilliant BBC drama including 2016 New Year's Day special The Abominable Bridge is available to watch online. Watch on Netflix

Gilmore Girls

Seasons come and go, but Amy Sherman-Palladino's comedy drama remains timeless. The big buzz of 2016's revival may have gone, but Netflix subscribers still don't know how lucky they are to be able to drop into Stars Hollow whenever they like. Watch on Netflix

Only Fools and Horses

Proof that the oldies are still goodies, Only Fools and Horses was one of the most-watched shows on Netflix in Christmas 2016. Maybe with more time on our hands we return to the ones we know best? Watch on Netflix

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Think your family's a little... odd? You've got nothing on the Baudelaire children. This Netflix series goes deep into Lemony Snicket's peculiar series of books in a way the previous movie version never could. Two seasons are available to binge, with a third and final run on the way. Watch on Netflix

War & Peace

A big, strutting, scything giant of BBC drama, Andrew Davies' binge-friendly Tolstoy adaptation is perfect viewing for when this year's TV dramas dry up. Watch on Netflix

Frozen Planet

Feel the chill with David Attenborough's remarkable Frozen Planet, just one of many natural history epics to delve into on Netflix. Watch on Netflix

Call the Midwife

The first six series of the BBC Christmas staple are available to watch online all over again, from the early years of Jessica Raine and Miranda Hart through to Charlotte Ritchie's first appearance as Nurse Barbara. Watch on Netflix

Doctor Who

Christmas specials, regenerations, plus some of the best British storytellers and directors to be found anywhere: Doctor Who is a modern Christmas tradition. But what does Jodie Whittaker's first festive outing holdWatch on Netflix

Pride and Prejudice

OK, we're getting a little heavy on the period drama front now, but if you're going to watch anything, surely it has to be this? Nothing will lift the winter gloom better than a summer's dip in a fountain... Watch on Netflix


A 124 minute long festive special called Happy F*cking New Year? Sense8 viewers have been spoiled... until the series was cruelly cancelled earlier in 2018. Watch on Netflix



Infuriatingly, Netflix only has the rights to series three and four, so a trip back to the Elizabethan era is off limits. But to be honest, with the First World War Blackadder Goes Forth on repeat all December, we're still happy. And don't forget Rowan Atkinson's take on A Christmas Carol is also available online. Watch on Netflix.


Sponsored content