PBS will be airing two British period dramas back-to-back on March 31 – in case your Sunday night TV schedule is in need of a boost. Season 2 of Call the Midwife will lead into the two-hour series debut of Mr. Selfridge. The three hour period drama event will begin that night at 8pm EST.
Call the Midwife (starring Jessica Raine, Pam Ferris, and Helen George) is a medical drama set in London’s East End during the 1950s that focuses on the struggles and successes of a group of midwives. At age twenty-two, our narrator Jenny leaves the comforts of home to pursue a career in midwifery. Her job at a convent located within a struggling community serves as the wake-up call of a lifetime as she bears witness to all sorts of lifestyles.
The show, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, explores themes of life, death, emotional integrity, self discovery, poverty, social division, and friendship. The critical acclaim and high viewership of BBC One’s broadcast of the first season was equally
matched when aired on PBS Masterpiece last autumn.
According to PBS.org, “Season 2 stays true to the show’s roots — viewers can expect to see more births, babies and bicycling, plus blossoming romance from an unexpected quarter.”
If you missed Season 1 you can check your local listings, as it is being re-broadcast in some areas. The DVD is also available through amazon.com. Fun fact: Vanessa Redgrave provides the voiceover for the older Jenny’s commentary on events.
The return of Call the Midwife is likely to keep curious viewers lingering by their screen for the series premiere of iTV’s Mr. Selfridge. This new drama – set in London at the turn of the twentieth century – focuses on the life and times of Henry Gordon Selfridge, the American founder of British department store Selfridge’s. Jeremy Piven (Entourage) plays Selfridge himself, alongside Frances O’Connor as Mrs. Selfridge. Expect character-driven plotlines chronicling the ambition and cunning of a retail tycoon amidst a time of social change for women.
Both shows will transport you to another place and time, the way a quality British period drama should. And what better way to launch into Spring than with some escapist British telly?
Set your DVRs now for the PBS Masterpiece lineup on March 31.