A Ghost Story For Christmas: The Dead Room 10pm, BBC Four
Kudos to Mark Gatiss, who’s worked hard to revive the BBC’s old supernatural Christmas tradition. The strand is most famous for its 1970s MR James adaptations, and in 2013 Gatiss directed a new adaptation of James’s The Tractate Middoth. This time, though, he’s written his own tale, a spare and spooky piece about a pompous old-school actor (Simon Callow) who has been hosting a radio horror story show for 40 years. For his latest recording, he’s returned to a studio he used to work in decades ago, bringing memories of the hot summer of 1976 creeping from the shadows. It’s stripped-down and claustrophobic, with the BBC’s Maida Vale studio almost a character itself. Stay tuned afterwards for two excellent 1970s MR James stories, Lost Hearts and The Ash Tree.