Need Another Shopping Drama? The Paradise Comes to Masterpiece This Fall

Warning: I might slip and call her Agnes. (Photo: BBC)
Warning: I might slip and call her Agnes. (Photo: BBC)
If the end of Mr. Selfridge (for now) has left you with a department store sized hole in your heart, well, you won’t have to wait too long to get your shopping-focused period drama fix. The BBC’s The Paradise, based on the classic French novel by Emile Zola will be coming to Masterpiece this Fall. And guess what, it’s also set in a luxuriously posh department store.

The Paradise is a rags-to-riches drama set in the first department store in Northern England in the late nineteenth century. It will follow the many stories of the store’s owner and his staff and the various entanglements in which they find themselves. There will – of course – be love affairs and plenty of gorgeous clothes and exploration of the inevitable class issues that arise from someone getting involved with a person they shouldn’t.

The eight-part series features a sprawling cast that includes Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Sarah Lancashire, David Hayman, Elaine Cassidy, Matthew McNulty and more.

Take a look at the BBC trailer for The Paradise below. This particular shopping-focused series certainly seems less centered around shopping as an occupation/concept than it is around the many entanglements faced by all these staff members. Maybe this is a good thing, since we did just see Mr. Selfridge remind us where sales come from, do we really need to rehash that again? And, to be fair Selfridge was at its most interesting and entertaining when focused on character-related, rather than store-driven plotlines. Seems logical to assume the same would hold true here. 

The Paradise will air Sunday nights on Masterpiece Classic, beginning October 6 and continuing through November 17. Does this show sound interesting to you? Or have you had quite enough costume drama shopping stories these days? 


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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