Finally, something to fill the Downton Abbey sized hole in my heart. ITV presented the new series of Andrew Davis’ Mr Selfridge last Sunday, and it was not short of drama.
Two weddings and a funeral, the war is over, and the department store is trying to deal with the aftermath. The successful costume drama is now heading into its third series, with no signs of slowing down.
But Mr Selfridge (Jeremy Priven), is not feeling quite as enthusiastic or entrepreneurial as usual. Selfridges has survived the war, but now Mr Selfridge must come to terms with the death of his wife Rose, whose illness was hinted towards by the end of the previous series.
This is juxtaposed against the wedding of their daughter who is paired with an aristocratic playboy with links to Lord Loxley (Aidan McCardle) who remains pitted against Harry and the ever successful Selfridges.
The second wedding of the episode, markedly less decadent, is that of returning characters Agnes Towler (Aisling Loftus) and Henri Leclair (Gregory Fitoussi).
Henri surprises Agnes after his return from fighting in France, and they quickly decide to marry in a small ceremony followed by some alfresco consummation. Quite risqué for 1919. Nevertheless, the psychological impact of the war on Henri quickly emerges.
This series that will tackle post-war issues suffered by London, particularly the conflict between women and men returning from the front. Another element of post war Britain is the demand for housing brought to Selfridge’s attention by newcomer Nancy Webb (Kelly Adams), who wants to build cottages for ex-soldiers.
Her entry into the series suggests a potential new love interest for Selfridge.
Despite this, Selfridge’s problems are not over, Loxley is still plotting against him and the store seems set to fall into anarchy if the workers disputes are not resolved. A cracking start, and something to keep us going until Downton returns.