If you’re not quite sure just how quickly kids grow up, the Outnumbered Christmas Special 2016 spells it out in a big way as the little family that brought us so many laughs when they were kids returned to BBC with teenage angst and growing pains as its new status quo. With Hugh Dennis’ beard fast approaching Santa Clause levels of discolouration, and both Ben and Karen even older than Jake was back in the day, it’s a whole new world at the Brockman household.
The Christmas Special arrived on BBC 1 with a brand-new 40-minute standalone episode over the holiday season in 2016 following a three year break since the end of Series 5 back in March 2014. The official air date on the 26th December 2016, but unfortunately it’s no longer available on BBC iPlayer. A DVD wasn’t produced for the show, but you can get the special episode on digital from the likes of Amazon video.
The story picks up with them as they try to fulfill a special Boxing Day mission for granddad, which can only spell trouble for the family as they take on another crazy day, but with the luxury of leftovers in the fridge. In the process of getting the mission done they face car troubles, teenage kick backs, parental problems and the shaddow of World War II, so it’s probably not going to be an entirely merry Christmas.
The full cast were back in action for the special episode with Hugh Dennis playing dad Pete and Claire Skinner back in unsung hero action as mum Sue. Tyger Drew-Honey (Cuckoo Series 3) continues as the girl-obsessed wall of sarcasm that is Jake, Daniel Roche takes the hyperactive Ben into his older teenage years and Romona Marquez, now 15 in real life, is back as the question-firing Karen.
There were also a fair few recognisable guest performances to look out for in the Christmas Special with Daisy Edgar-Jones (Cold Feet), Ruth Madeley, Mark Benton (Eddie The Eagle Movie), Katherine Jakeways and Martin Trenaman featuring in the cast. We also got to see more acting from funnyman Miles Jupp following on from his role in Rev.
With so many funny episodes from the old series of the show, the 2016 Outnumbered Christmas Special had a lot to live up to. Things are clearly very different in terms of the age of all the cast members, but the characters manage be a continuation of their younger selves. Karen may not have had too many awkward questions about Brexit, the US election or The Great British Bakeoff going to Channel 4, but she’s still putting her brain to good use in the latest from the Brockmans.