While it might seem there's not much to look forward to this Christmas week, there's one major Christmas gift from BBC America, in the form of a very special Matt Smith Doctor Who special called "A Christmas Carol." We'll also see the start of a Goosebumps-type anthology series for kids called The Haunting Hour, a new Human Target, one of the final outings of Undercovers featuring Dollhouse's Harry Lennix, and a talking-puppy pic called Santa's Buddies.
Here's what we have to look forward to this week on sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and spy-fi TV, along with non-sci-fi shows that involve sci-fi or fantasy storylines or stars.
Wednesday, Dec. 22
Human Target (Fox) 8 p.m. - "The Other Side of the Mall"
The team heads to the suburbs for the holidays when an ordinary middle-class family find themselves targeted for murder. While Chance and Guerrero go undercover at a corporate office, Winston plays Santa and Ames is put in charge of a teen party.
Undercovers (NBC) 8 p.m. - "Funny Money"
Guest-star alert! Dollhouse's Harry Lennix joins the show in one of its final outings as Steven's estranged older brother, Gary Bloom. The spy couple ends up needing his help when they take on a mission to track down stolen plates of currency that can be used to make counterfeit money. Meanwhile, Lizzy makes a decision regarding her future.
And other Wednesday shows of interest
On USA's Psych (10 p.m.), it's the fifth-season finale as Shawn and Gus try to track down Mr. Yin with the help of Yang (Ally Sheedy) in "Yin 3 in 2D."
Thursday, Dec. 23
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) 8 p.m.
Classic special! One animated special worth noting is this 1966 classic, narrated by Boris Karloff. The Dr. Seuss tale explores the Whos, creatures who love Christmas and the evil Grinch, who has a heart two sizes too small and plans to steal the holiday. Includes songs by Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague. ABC follows the half-hour special with the Jim Carrey live-action movie.
Here's a look:
And other Thursday shows of interest
On the History Channel's Ancient Aliens (9 p.m.) it's a look at "Alien Devastations."
Friday, Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve Day
Santa Buddies (Disney) 8 p.m.
George Wendt and Christopher Lloyd head up this live-action Christmas tale about talking puppies who travel to the North Pole hoping to help Santa (Wendt) save Christmas. Directed by Robert Vince and written by Vince and Kevin DiCicco. Also features the voices of Tom Bosley, Tim Conway and Richard Kind.
Here's a promo:
Saturday, Dec. 25 - Merry Christmas
R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour (The Hub) 8 p.m. - "A Creature Was Stirring" and "The Dead Body"
R.L. Stine tweets that fans of Goosebumps won't be disappointed by this new half-hour anthology series, which had a sneak peek back on Oct. 29. First up on Christmas Day, in "A Creature Was Stirring," a boy discovers an acid-spitting monster under his Christmas tree, even though he didn't ask for anything other than a chance to bond with his non-merry relatives. Then, in "The Dead Body," a bullied teenage boy learns there's a high price be paid when it comes to revenge.
Doctor Who (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "A Christmas Carol"
A brand-new Christmas special featuring Matt Smith as the Doctor! In what may be the most Christmasy Doctor Who Christmas special ever, newlyweds Rory and Amy are trapped on a crashing space liner. In order to save them, the Doctor must first save a Scrooge-like character and help him realize the value of Christmas in the "Christmas Carol" tradition. The special was written by Steven Moffat and guest-stars Harry Potter's Michael Gambon and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.
Moffat said: "Oh, we're going for broke with this one. It's all your favorite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon. And ... oh, you'll see. I've honestly never been so excited about writing anything!"
Here's a preview and an inside look:
What are you going to watch?