Not that you are already trying to figure out what your going to do with your time beyond February 2014 for good telly drama but…just in case. As I’m sure you are keenly aware, both Downton Abbey 4 and Sherlock 3 will be returning to PBS in January. Chances are, however, you are already lamenting the time when both series come to an end, leaving us with more months than we care to admit before they return. Fear not, because PBS, the BBC and ITV are definitely looking out for you. In March 2014 alone, on PBS, you have the return of both Mr. Selfridge and Call the Midwife with new seasons both beginning Sunday, March 30, 2014.
The ten new episodes in series 2 of Mr. Selfridge picks up the story in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary of trading. Seeing the trailer for series 2 for the first time, Jeremy Piven is cast perfectly as Harry Gordon Selfridge and seems to be increasingly at home playing the flamboyant American entrepreneur.
While Harry is understandably proud of the success of Selfridges, there is no time to rest on his laurels. No surprise here as I’m not sure the real Harry Gordon Selfridge ever ‘rested on his laurels’. Ever. With the 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 an earlier series of Downton Abbey, the war plays an integral part in the storyline of Mr. Selfridge 2 as it will have a big effect on the lives of everyone in the store.
From what we’ve been able to determine, lots of characters are 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, Patriot Games, Clash of the Titans), who plays Delphine Day.
Following the departure of his wife Rose (Frances O’Connor) for America at the end of series one, Harry has become accustomed to the life of a single man in London as the couple become increasingly estranged. But when she returns to British shores to celebrate Selfridges’ fifth anniversary of trading, Harry is determined to win back her affection. Getting in the way of Harry’s plan is Rose’s new friendship with bohemian novelist and owner of the infamous Delphine’s Club in Soho, Delphine Day, played by Polly Walker (Rome, Waking the Dead, State of Play), whom she meets on the boat back from New York.
Adding to Harry’s woes is his increasingly troubled relationship with business partner, Lady Mae Loxley (Katherine Kelly) as Aidan McArdle (Garrow’s Law) joins the cast as Lord Loxley, returning from ‘the countryside’ which creates tension and animosity throughout Selfridges with his unsettling presence, threatening to drive a wedge between Harry and Lady Mae.
According to ITV, series 2 will transmit in early 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. U.S. broadcast as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series is set to begin not long after on Sunday, March 30, 2014.