TV Times tops picks for Boxing Day

What’s on telly tonight? Here the TV Times team of expert reviewers highlight the best shows on Boxing Day…

Little Women, 8.00pm, BBC1

There’s no Dickens or Downton on telly this Christmas, but this three-part adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s hugely popular 19th-century novel promises to be a real treat. The coming of age story follows the four March sisters Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth through snowball fights and hairdressing disasters, falling in love and dealing with hardship. And as mother Marmee (Emily Watson) guides them through life, will they blossom or will their mistakes prove costly? Murder She Wrote legend Angela Lansbury steals the show as opinionated Aunt March, and Michael Gambon also features as the family’s kindly neighbour, Mr Laurence. Rating: ****

The Miniaturist, 9.00pm, BBC1

The Miniaturist

Amsterdam in the 17th Century isn’t a regular setting for period drama but makes this two-part adaptation of Jessie Burton’s best-selling novel even more special. The action centres on young Nella (Anya Taylor-Joy), whose new husband Johannes (Alex Hassell) gives her a wedding present of a doll’s house. However, Nella is disturbed when the miniaturist, who is creating tiny items to decorate the house, seems able to predict events that are happening in Nella’s own home. As Nella gradually uncovers the secrets of Johannes and his stern sister Marin (Romola Garai, who chats here about the drama), the family’s sins are threatened with exposure. Concludes tomorrow. Rating: *****

Snow Bears, 6.30pm, BBC1

Snow Bears

Emerging from their winter den under the northern lights, two polar bear cubs face an epic 400-mile trek in search of seal-rich pack ice. Their journey is a perilous one, and they face danger from a persistent predatory male. Kate Winslet narrates this beautifully filmed, tension-packed triumph for the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Rating: *****

Reindeer Family and Me, 8.00pm, BBC2

Reindeer Family and Me

Back in November, adventurer Gordon Buchanan left home comforts far behind to learn survival skills from the Sami people. Once the Sami are sure he can fend for himself, Gordon embarks on a dangerous mission to capture the northern lights on film, with only a reindeer for company. Rating: ****

More previews tomorrow