PBS brings viewers to another early 1900s world in 'Mr. Selfridge'

Harry Selfridge made shopping fun. Though many Americans may not know his name, the eight-part series “Mr. Selfridge” begins on PBS' “Masterpiece Classic” at 8 p.m. Sunday on OETA-13.
By Jacqueline Cutler Modified: March 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm •  Published: March 30, 2013
Advertisement

In the pilot, Selfridge announces, “We are going to show the world how to make shopping thrilling.”

He does. Selfridge has a more than a touch of P.T. Barnum in him. He's a man of appetites, a huge ego and a visionary. Surrounded by naysayers, Selfridge creates, from a hole in the ground in an unfashionable corner of London, a magnificent store — Selfridges — that makes people want to shop.

Frances O'Connor (“Cashmere Mafia”), who plays Rose, Selfridge's wife, said when she shops there, “Your heart rate goes up. It is such a beautiful store, with high ceilings, and when you enter, it is so glamorous.”

Rose is a smart, established woman who knows her husband is having affairs. By the second episode, she is determined to not be lonely.

“I can understand why he chose her,” O'Connor said. “She has a quiet strength, a sense of being grounded, and is very reassuring. She's her own person. She's not ever going to be a suffragette.”