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Masterpiece Classic | The Paradise Season 2

Posted by WMHT Web Editor

Order the carriage, raise your credit limit, and hurry to town: The Paradise is re-opening for business!

Joanna Vanderham (Blackwood) and Emun Elliott (Prometheus) return as the fairy-tale couple who found true love at a glamorous Victorian-era department store. The Paradise, Season 2, airs in eight dazzling episodes on MASTERPIECE, Sundays, September 28 - November 16, 2014 at 8pm ET on PBS.

In last season’s thrilling climax, Elliott’s character, Moray, proprietor of The Paradise, gave up his wealthy bride-to-be on the brink of the altar to fall into the arms of his heart’s desire—his lowly sales assistant Denise, played by Vanderham. It’s a beautifully improbable match, and The Paradise, Season 2, tells what happens next.

Critics absolutely adored Season 1. “The Paradise … sparkles and shimmers … it looks wonderful,” marveled The New York Daily News. “Compelling [and] addictive,” enthused The Philadelphia EnquirerVariety called it “impeccably cast, extremely handsome …another first-rate costume drama.” And The Wall Street Journal discerned a “tale of love, ambition and dark competition for power, set in a glitzy world of opulence.”

Elaine Cassidy (A Room with a View) reprises her role as Katherine, Moray’s jilted fiancée and the daughter of his chief creditor. Ben Daniels (House of Cards) stars as Katherine’s recently acquired husband, Tom Weston, an ex-army officer with an iron will, an excruciating wound, and a ruthless sense of honor. He also has an endearing young daughter from a previous marriage, Flora (Edie Whitehead).

The returning cast includes Sonya Cassidy (Endeavour) as Clara, Denise’s professional rival at The Paradise; David Hayman (Trial & Retribution) as Jonas, Moray’s frightening fixer; Peter Wright (Hot Fuzz) as Edmund, Denise’s star-crossed shopkeeper uncle; Sarah Lancashire (Last Tango in Halifax) as Miss Audrey, head of ladies-wear and Edmund’s secret sweetheart; Stephen Wight (Sherlock) as Sam, the store jester; and Matthew McNulty (Cranford) as Dudley, Moray’s ever practical business partner.

New cast members include Adrian Scarborough (Upstairs Downstairs) as Fenton, a shady financier who desperately wants to buy The Paradise; Lisa Millett (Robin Hood) as Myrtle, the store’s indelicate cook; and Katie Moore (Doc Martin) as Susy, a gullible but goodhearted clerk.

Season 2 opens a year after Moray and Katherine’s aborted wedding. Katherine’s father has died, she has married Tom, and Tom now officially owns The Paradise. Meanwhile, Moray is cooling his heels in Paris and longing to return to Denise, who has kept her job at the store. But then Katherine unaccountably calls him back to take charge of The Paradise. What could her motive possibly be?
There follows a mighty struggle for control of the store. Everyone gets emotionally disarranged. Hypnotism, specters, and high-stakes gambling enter the picture. It seems that The Paradise—a retail palace that caters to impulse, feeling, and avarice on a grand scale—has the ability to enrich and empower, but also to destroy.
Oddly, the person who understands this best is the savvy country girl, Denise.

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