Given that there are still a few episodes left in the first series of Mr. Selfridge for U.S. audiences, there may be more spoilers than the law allows in today’s post so read on at your own peril if you are in the U.S.
It’s safe to say that in both the U.S. and the UK, Mr. Selfridge can be considered an audience hit even with several episodes to go as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series. Given the response, ITV was fairly quick to commission a second series, which began filming this past week in London. The ten new episodes, based upon the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, played by Jeremy Piven, picks up the story in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary of trading.
While Harry is understandably proud of the success of Selfridges, there is no time to rest on his laurels. I say understandable because, personally, I’m not sure Harry Gordon Selfridge ever ‘rested on his laurels’. Ever. With rumors rampant and talk of war in Europe imminent, Harry prepares his staff for challenging times ahead. The store must play its own part in the war effort and help keep morale high on the home front. As with Downton Abbey, the war plays an integral part in the storyline as it will, obviously, affect the lives of everyone in the store.
Lots of characters returning to Mr. Selfridge with several new characters to be added to the mix for series 2. Stirring the pot will be the flamboyant new Head of Fashion, Mr Thackeray, played by Cal Macaninch (Downton Abbey, Wild at Heart) and Polly Walker (John Carter, Clash of the Titans), who plays Delphine Day. Day is a Bohemian novelist and owner of the infamous Delphine’s Club in Soho and, now, Rose’s new best friend whom she met on the boat home from New York. Lord Loxley also unexpectedly returns creating tension and animosity throughout Selfridges with his unsettling presence that threatens to drive a wedge between Harry and Lady Mae.
Series 2 of Mr. Selfridge is set to transmit this Fall on ITV1 and beginning late March 2014 on PBS in the States. If you’re keeping score at home for series 2 potential, you have a beleaguered Harry, an empowered Rose, a returning Lord Loxley and a flamboyant new Head of Fashion and that’s just episode 1!. Oh, yeah, there’s World War I that’s getting ready to begin too. I’m liking this already….