All ten episodes from the first series of the ITV period drama tracing the story of the founder of the famous London department store. In 1909, fresh from a successful retail career in Chicago, a dashing Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) arrives in London intent on building the world's largest department store in the capital's Oxford Street. Helped by his association with socialite Lady Mae Moxley (Katherine Kelly), Harry soon has the financial backing necessary for his plans, resulting in the store being completed in record time. But as the company goes from strength to strength, Harry's marriage to his wife Rose (Frances O'Connor) is jeopardised by his continuing infatuation with music hall artiste Ellen Love (Zoë Tapper).
Already an acclaimed and successful period drama, the first series of Mr Selfridge
boasts ten episodes, centred around the adventures of the American title character, played by Jeremy Piven. He's the man who came to Britain and founded the store of the same name, and Mr Selfridge
explores that, using Lindy Woodhead's book Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge
as its basis.
Piven's take on Mr Selfridge is dripping with fun and flamboyance, and his performance is one of the many reasons why the drama works so well. His co-stars, though, deserve real credit too. The likes of Zoe Tapper and Aisling Loftus are amongst the many highlights in that department. Credit too to the sumptuous production design, which works hard to put across a real feel of the early twentieth century. Mr Selfridge is a glorious show simply to look at.
The drama at the heart of it is a whole lot of fun, too. It's occasionally a bit shallow and daft, but never sells you short as a piece of entertainment. Furthermore, it finds sparks in the inevitable clash of culture as an American man sets up what would go on to be a very British store. The disc release of Mr Selfridge, as well as featuring all of the episodes of the show's first series, also has an interesting behind the scenes peek at how it was all made, sweetening an already worthwhile deal. --Jon Foster