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‘The Last Train To Christmas’: everything you need to know about the new festive feel-good movie

'The Last Train To Christmas' stars Michael Sheen and Nathalie Emmanuel.
'The Last Train To Christmas' stars Michael Sheen and Nathalie Emmanuel. (Image credit: Sky)

All aboard The Last Train To Christmas! The original new movie coming to Sky Cinema features time travel, plenty of 1980s nostalgia, some life-changing decisions, as well as Michael Sheen in a dodgy wig and Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel. It kicks off in the UK in 1985 as Tony Towers, a successful nightclub manager and local celebrity, boards the last train to Nottingham for a Christmas family reunion. Towers is at the top of his game, and has also recently become engaged to a much younger woman. But things go wrong when he moves to the buffet car only to suddenly find himself in 1995 — and things ten years on aren’t all they’re cracked up to be!

The movie looks at one man across many decades. It simultaneously celebrates the history of British cinema with each period shot cinematically as it would have been at that time.

So here’s everything you need to know about Sky Cinema's Christmas TV highlight The Last Train To Christmas...

‘The Last Train To Christmas’ release date

The Last Train To Christmas will premiere on Saturday 18 Dec. on Sky Cinema and the movie will also be available on the streaming service NOW. We also think it will be shown in the US and worldwide on a streaming service, possibly Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. As soon as we find out, we'll update right here.

Is there a trailer for ‘The Last Train To Christmas’?

Yes a trailer for The Last Train To Christmas has been released by Sky  which shows Michael Sheen donning a classic 1980s-style long blond mullet. In fact there's a load of big hair on display! Plus we see Michael as his character in many different eras and fashions. 'Welcome aboard and merry Christmas!' the station announcer says at the start. Enjoy the fun! 

‘The Last Train To Christmas’ plot

In The Last Train To Christmas it’s 1985 and things are going great for Tony Towers (Michael Sheen) with his recent engagement to Sue (Nathalie Emmanuel) and a string of successful nightclubs. But things become a little strange when he boards the 3:17 train to Nottingham for a Christmas family reunion. Moving up a carriage to the train’s buffet car, Tony finds himself transported to 1995, where his nightclubs have shut and his personal life is in tatters. It soon becomes apparent that travelling up and down the carriages sends Tony forwards and backwards in time to various stages of his life, with his actions in one carriage directly affecting his life in the next. His appears as Tony Towers in many different years, hairstyles and fashions. You'll see him as a youth, in the 1970s in checked suit, plus getting old! The question is, can Tony change his life — and the lives of the people he loves — for the better, or will he just make things worse?

Different era! Tony Towers joins a train carriage in the 1970s!

Different era! Tony Towers joins a train carriage in the 1970s! (Image credit: Sky)

Older Tony Towers taking the train.

Older Tony Towers taking the train. (Image credit: Sky)

‘The Last Train To Christmas’ cast — Michael Sheen, Nathalie Emmanuel and Cary Elwes

Welsh actor Michael Sheen plays Tony, adding it to his list of notable movie roles, including Frost/Nixon, Tron: Legacy and The Twilight Saga series of films. The 52-year-old was nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy for playing politician Tony Blair in The Deal (2003), The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). He’s also appeared on TV in Masters of Sex, Good Omens and BBC1’s Staged.

Natalie Emmanuel, who plays Tony’s fiancée Sue, is best known as Missandei in the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. The British star began her acting career in the West End before joining Hollyoaks as Sasha Valentine in 2006. She’s also starred in the Maze Runner movies as well as the Fast & Furious films The Fate of the Furious and F9.

Also among the cast is English-American actor Cary Elwes, who plays Tony’s brother Roger. He’s best known for starring in The Princess Bride (1987), the Saw film series and as Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). On TV he’s appeared in Stranger Things, The X-Files and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Cary Elwes as Tony's brother Roger.

Cary Elwes as Tony's brother Roger. (Image credit: Sky)

Yet another era for Tony Towers!

Yet another era for Tony Towers! (Image credit: Sky)

'The Last Train to Christmas' cast — who else is starring

Last Train to Christmas also features guest appearances from Katherine Kelly (Innocent, Criminal, Liar, Gentleman Jack and Coronation Street) and Anna Lundberg (Staged) as Astrid. They are playing characters on the train. Also look out for passengers such as Tristan played by TV comedy legend Robin Askwith, plus iconic film star Hayley Mills and Cold Feet's John Thomson as Vic.

Katherine Kelly (on right) is on board with Nathalie Emmanuel.

Katherine Kelly (on right) is on board with Nathalie Emmanuel. (Image credit: Sky)

The legendary Hollywood star Hayley Mills is travelling too!

The legendary Hollywood star Hayley Mills is travelling too!  (Image credit: Sky)

What happened in 1985 when 'The Last Train To Christmas' is set?

In the UK Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and about to defeat the miners under their leader Arthur Scargill. James Bond film A View to A Kill was released, Madonna’s Like A Virgin topped the charts and the very first mobile phone calls were made in the UK. We also got to enjoy Live Aid, Boris Becker becoming the youngest winner to become men’s champion at Wimbledon and the first episode of EastEnders. Around the world, Ronald Reagan was sworn in for a second term as US President and Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet leader.

In 1985 when 'Last Train To Christmas' begins, Margaret Thatcher is British Prime Minister.

In 1985 when 'Last Train To Christmas' begins, Margaret Thatcher is British Prime Minister. (Image credit: Getty)

What happened in 1995 when 'The Last Train To Christmas' jumps in time?

By 1995 the Conservative Party were still in power with John Major as Prime Minister,  although young Labour leader Tony Blair was giving him plenty of trouble as Leader of The Opposition. In November that year Princess Diana gave her infamous interview with Martin Bashir. Bond film GoldenEye was released and the year saw also hits from Oasis (Wonderwall), Take That (Back for Good) and Robson & Jerome (Unchained Melody).

Elsewhere, Bill Clinton was US president, Forrest Gump won Best Picture at the Oscars, and the world was gripped by the trial of OJ Simpson.

'The Last Train To Christmas' has a time jump to 1995 when Take That ruled the pop charts around the world.

'The Last Train To Christmas' has a time jump to 1995 when Take That ruled the pop charts around the world. (Image credit: Getty)

'The Last Train To Christmas' — what else we know

The Last Train To Christmas is written and directed by BAFTA and EMMY-award winner Julian Kemp. It explores the decisions we make, how they affect our lives and how in turn, these decisions change who we become. 

 Julia Stuart, Director of Original Film at Sky, says: “At Sky Cinema we are rounding off our Christmas slate for 2021 with a film starring top British talent including Michael Sheen and Nathalie Emmanuel. This project joins other Sky Original films for the season including A Boy Called Christmas and A Christmas Number One [see links below].” 

The Last Train To Christmas is produced by Matt Williams for Future Artists Entertainment and Matt Wilkinson for Stigma Films. 

Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.