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The Paradise [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliot, Elaine Cassidy, Sarah Lancashire, Matthew Mcnulty
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: BBC Worldwide
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec. 2012
  • Run Time: 471 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009GJDDHS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,589 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Set amidst the Victorian splendour of Britain’s first department store, The Paradise is a rags-to-riches story of a young girl who falls in love with the intoxicating charms of the modern world. As Denise finds her feet as a lowly shop girl, she must navigate her way through power struggles, intrigues and affairs. When the shop’s dashing and reckless owner, John Moray, spots her talents she knows she can use this opportunity to rise to great things. Through sexy, episodic stories driven by romance and glamour, this series creates a world as colourful and captivating as the silks on display in the store. This is a love story, a story of ambition and progress, with a mysterious, dark secret at its heart.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Bill Gallagher has written a Victorian period drama (1865),that is basically entertaining escapism. Country girl Denise (Joanna Vanderham) arrives at her uncle's drapery shop who promised her years ago that the shop would be hers, one day, and a job always awaiting. Little did Denise know her uncle had fallen on hard times due to the opening of a department store ('The Paradise') opposite his and other shop-owners, founded by the ambitious and seemingly ruthless John Moray (Emun Elliott). Denise gains employment there only to be put in her place by ladieswear supervisor, Miss Audrey,splendidly played by Sarah Lancashire.

Denise is bright, attractive and is quick to spot a sales opportunity, not always to her colleagues' approval but attracts Moray's attention to her potential and looks. He is ambitious and is being strangled by the attentions of the spoilt little rich girl Katherine Glandenning superbly played by Elaine Cassidy whose stoical father is a wealthy banker (Patrick Malahide). The cunning and dislikeable Katherine uses her father's financial position to push the handsome Moray into a promised marriage. Moray has secrets. He is kept on his feet by his best friend and confidante. The sinister Jonus (David Hayman) lurks menacingly in the background.

Characters Arthur and Sam add to life and humour in the department store with their own personal problems and loyalties along with other staff members. Despite Denise's attempts to help her uncle and his fellow independents, the stranglehold of the haberdashery ('The Paradise') is seemingly unbeatable. The horrid, deluded Katherine (wicked witch of the North) is not to be thwarted with her marriage ambition despite Denise's presence. There are interesting revelations concerning the characters' pasts.
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Format: DVD
Set in an undisclosed location in the north of England during the 1870s, 'The Paradise' is a historically accurate period drama regarding Britain's first department store, and the lives of those people affected by it. From Mr Moray, who struggles to make his visionary enterprise thrive, to the small shopkeepers he has inadvertently put out of business, to the the wealthy Glendennings and humble employees alike. Everyone, including the side characters, are richly drawn and come to life. Especially Denise, who quickly proves adept at her position in lady's wear (much to the chagrin of Miss Audrey, the strict departmental head who Sarah Lancashire plays to such perfection, she steals every scene), and becomes something of a love interest to Moray. The tension there, I might add, is lovely, and plays a role in that series cliffhanger. Thankfully, 'The Paradise' has been recommissioned for a second series.

In addition to the character driven story lines, this made for a nice look at the class divisions in Victorian England, how the worlds of the working class and the nouveau riche differed so enormously, yet in the end were both equally plagued by very human problems. It was a treat to watch simply for the respect paid to the era, and truly, this was an absolute gem of British programming.

In fact, I would go so far as saying this is arguably one of the best BBC productions in recent years, with its lush attention to detail in spite of the more limited budget, the authentic sets, sharp dialogue and impressive costumes. I was beginning to despair that our friends across the pond would ever produce a period drama of such high calibre again, but I am glad to have been proven so wrong in that regard. Anyone who loves classic British television should find this wonderful series a pleasure to watch.
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Format: DVD
The Paradise is an eight part BBC series based on the novel Au Bonheur des Dames by Emile Zola, about a daring entrepreneur, John Moray, pioneering in his management of a flourishing, sumptuous department store located in an unknown northern town- known as The Paradise.

The story begins when Denise, an impoverished but clever girl arrives in town. Slightly awkward and naive from a sheltered, rural upbringing, Denise hopes to stay with her uncle, a struggling dressmaker who has been unable to compete with the success of the Paradise across the street. Denise's uncle is unable to look after her, and, much to his chagrin, she is forced to seek work at The Paradise. She is placed in ladieswear and quickly her sharp eye and modern ideas get her noticed by Moray, and elicit both jealousy and respect in equal measure amongst the rest of the staff. The chemistry between Denise, played by Joanna Vanderham, and Moray (Emun Elliott) is natural and convincing, and they are clearly cut from the same cloth in terms of business acumen, if you'll pardon the pun. Then there is Moray's on-off girlfriend, Katherine Glendenning, a devious and controlling little coquette who wants Moray for her own, and whose father just so happens to have the financial power to make or break Moray's endeavor. Throw in a few flies in the ointment- Clara, a jealous but fragile colleague with an unhappy secret, Miss Audrey, a spinsterly superior desperate not to be usurped by Denise, and Mr Jonas, a Machiavellian henchman of Moray's and you have the makings of an excellent pot-boiler.
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