While the whole of the UK is still reeling over last Tuesdays broadcast of the Downton Abbey Christmas Special and while January 2013 has become ‘all-things Downton Abbey‘ in the States with the PBS premiere of series 3 just over a week away on January 6, there is some brilliant drama coming to telly on both sides of the pond in early 2013. While we have teased both of these series when they were originally announced, we’re now getting close enough to where full-length previews are available. Let’s just say neither of them disappoint.
BBC’s Ripper Street
First up is Ripper Street, which premieres Sunday, 30 December at 2100 on BBC One with the U.S. premiere set for Saturday, January 19 on BBC America. The series stars Matthew MacFadyen (Spooks, Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Adam Rothenberg (Alcatraz), Myanna Buring (Twilight Saga, White Heat) and David Dawson (Luther, Secret Diary of a Call Girl).
Set in a post-Jack the Ripper London, detectives who were on the case are haunted daily by the failure to catch London’s most evil killer. Inspector Edmund Reid (Macfadyen) now heads up the notorious H Division, the toughest district in London’s East End. Charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets of Whitechapel, Inspector Reid is soon drawn deep into the seedy criminal underworld of Victorian London — where fear always lurks that each new murder could mark the return of The Ripper.
ITV’s Mr. Selfridge
Entourage‘s Jeremy Piven stars as the flamboyant American entrepreneur and UK department store founder Harry Gordon Selfridge, who changed the way British women shopped in the early 20th century. Set in London in 1909, Harry Selfridge, the self-described ‘Earl of Oxford Street’ opened the doors of his lavish department store, Selfridges, on London’s infamous Oxford Street. Nicknamed “Mile a Minute Harry”, Harry Selfridge was a man who had one mission in life..to make shopping as thrilling as sex. He was considered to be both pioneering and reckless, with an almost manic energy. He created a theatre of retail where any topic or trend that was new, exciting, entertaining – or sometimes just eccentric – was showcased.
Mr. Selfridge is set to premiere in early January 2013 on ITV1 with a U.S. premiere on Sunday, March 31, 2013 as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. It’s hard to believe that 2013 can top 2012 from a drama output standpoint, but it’s already looking like this is a good possibility and we’re not even there yet.