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Catching Up with Mr. Selfridge — Season Three Coming to PBS March 29 at 9PM!

Mr Selfridge S3

Season three of Mr. Selfridge premieres next Sunday with more than a few changes–some for the better and some for the worse.

For those who are curious–and wonder how it compares to Downton Abbey–I will say that it’s edgier, rougher even. This is not set in the bucolic English countryside, ruled over by an English aristocrat with generations of breeding and might at his back. Harry Gordon Selfridge is an American plutocrat, a captain of industry, who pulls Edwardian London into the twentieth century through shopping. His employees are mostly London born and bred, which means they’ve had to fend for themselves, and they have fears and hopes of a future they have to solve themselves. Nevertheless, the overarching theme that draws everyone together is family. Harry discovers this important lesson many times over, sometimes in the face of tragedy.

The Worse

Frances O'Connor as Rose Selfridge
Frances O’Connor as Rose Selfridge

Though the series is loosely based on the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the script cannot mess with real historical events, such as Rose Selfridge’s death in 1918. This takes place off screen, but the loss of this character on Harry and on the actual show is significant.

Which leads to the next absence this season…

Katherine Kelly as Lady Mae Loxley
Katherine Kelly as Lady Mae Loxley

Kelly went on maternity leave as season three was in production, so no more Lady Mae bon mots or fabulous fashions! (Never fear, she’s returning for season four *phew*)

The Better

Henri and Agnes
Gregory Fitoussi as Henri Leclair and Aisling Loftus as Agnes Towler

At long last, Henri and Agnes get married! Of course, being a drama, trouble looms in paradise, but let us savor this long-awaited moment.

The Impact of the War
The Impact of the War

The impact of the war on returning veterans and the women who entered the workforce in their place explodes this season in harrowing ways.

Aidan Mcardle as Lord Loxley
Aidan Mcardle as Lord Loxley

Maybe this should be categorized under “The Worse,” but I love to loathe this man! After Lady Mae’s successful divorce suit, Loxley cannot stop himself from stirring up even more trouble for Harry.

Returning Characters

Amanda Abbington as Josie Mardle
Amanda Abbington as Josie Mardle

The lovely Miss Mardle has been through so much because of that horrible Mr. Grove, but she always manages to rise above it. The less said about Roger Grove the better!

Greg Austin as Gordon Selfridge and Jeremy Piven as Harry Selfridge.
Greg Austin as Gordon Selfridge and Jeremy Piven as Harry Selfridge.

Last season, Gordon quit school to work for Harry. This season sees him stepping into his father’s shoes–and risking his position for a forbidden romance with shopgirl Grace Calthorpe (mirroring the real Gordon’s love life).

Amy Morgan and Sai Bennett as Grace Calthorpe and Jessie Pertree
Sai Bennett and Amy Morgan as Jessie Pertree and Grace Calthorpe

Grace now works in accessories (Agnes’s old position) under Miss Mardle, while Jessie is Kitty’s right-hand woman in cosmetics.

Samuel West and Amy Beth Hayes as Frank and Kitty Edwards
Samuel West and Amy Beth Hayes as Frank and Kitty Edwards

Kitty gets her man…but at what cost? Frank is still an underemployed, slightly disreputable journalist, and his quest for a good story tests their marriage.

Trystan Gravelle as Victor Colleano
Trystan Gravelle as Victor Colleano

Fresh from the war and still licking his wounds over Agnes breaking their engagement, Victor forges ahead with the plan for his own business. But instead of the restaurant he’d long dreamed of, Victor opens a swanky nightclub to catch the beginning wave of the Roaring Twenties. He will pay a hefty price–literally–to keep the club open.

Calum Callaghan as George Towler
Calum Callaghan as George Towler

We’ve watched George grow from bumbling, browbeaten boy to an assured, honorable man over the past two seasons, and this season he struggles to find his purpose as a returning veteran. But never fear, he still grows and matures in a heartwarming way.

Ron Cook as Mr. Crabb
Ron Cook as Mr. Crabb

I love Mr. Crabb! He is the heart and backbone of Selfridges. He is a far cry from the timid, tremulous accountant who nearly had a heart attack every time Harry proposed the expenditure of a huge sum of money.

New Characters

Kara and Hannah Tointon as Rosalie and Violette Selfridge
Kara and Hannah Tointon as Rosalie and Violette Selfridge

Technically not new characters, but with Rosalie and Violette taking center stage in season three, they were recast with real life sisters, Kara and Hannah Tointon.

Zoë Wanamaker as Princess Marie and Leon Ockenden as Serge De Bolotoff
Zoë Wanamaker as Princess Marie and Leon Ockenden as
Serge De Bolotoff

Rosalie Selfridge married Russian aristocrat and aviator Prince Serge de Bolotoff in a lavish wedding in 1918. His mother Marie, Princess Viazemsky, lives lavishly despite being in exile after the Russian Revolution. Both are arrogant, with a slightly codependent relationship that doesn’t bode well for Rosalie or Harry.

Sacha Parkinson as Connie Hawkins
Sacha Parkinson as Connie Hawkins

Kitty’s little sister joins Selfridges with as much determination to get ahead as Kitty (but with less cleverness than her sharp sister).

Naomi Ryan as Elsa
Naomi Ryan as Elsa

The cool and mysterious Elsa is Victor’s nightclub manager. Whether she looks out for Victor’s best interests or her own remains to be seen.

Kelly Adams as Nancy Webb
Kelly Adams as Nancy Webb

Nothing seems to get Harry’s motor revving better than an independent woman with a plan, and when Nancy Webb storms into his office demanding his patronage for a housing estate for veterans and their families, he is immediately smitten. But things may not always be as they seem…

All photos © Copyright ITV

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12 thoughts on “Catching Up with Mr. Selfridge — Season Three Coming to PBS March 29 at 9PM!”

  1. I’ve never seen this show, but it looks very tempting! I miss Downton Abbey, so perhaps this would be a good distraction while we await season six!

      1. Sounds great! I’ll have to catch up on the first two seasons, but I have Amazon prime and think I remember seeing it there.

    1. I actually think it’s more fun in terms of story, although I love both for the costumes, the settings, the details.

        1. You will! It does “fiddle” a little bit with history, but sticks to the era. I only wish they hadn’t rushed through time in either Mr. Selfridge or Downton Abbey. Jumping years, when they could have done more. Oh well. I could never get enough! lol

  2. Oh, I LOVE MR. CRABB TOO!!! he’s wonderful. And I love every bit of this – I’ll have to watch Seasons 1 & 2 before 3 comes back on! Thanks for the “preview”!!

  3. Looking forward to seeing the new season! I read “Shopping, Seduction, & Mr. Selfridge” by Lindy Woodhead (the show’s basis) from the library awhile back and enjoyed it. If you haven’t yet read it, this biography will fill you in on the background behind the show.
    Since “Downton Abbey” will end with its 6th season, “Mr. Selfridge” will give us something to watch!

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