Earlier this year PBS aired some fine documentaries about some iconic British landmarks and they’re back this fall with three more that are sure to be just as good.
From the PBS presser:
PBS unmasks the real-life drama and intrigue hidden within the walls of notable British landmarks in three new one-hour specials from Pioneer Productions: SECRETS OF THE TOWER OF LONDON (October 27), SECRETS OF SELFRIDGES (November 3) and SECRETS OF SCOTLAND YARD (November 17). The Sunday night specials air from 8:00-9:00 p.m., leading into the much-anticipated MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “The Paradise,” which begins its seven-week run on Sunday, October 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET.
“This fall, we peel back the layers and look to see what’s been swept under the rugs of British history with three new SECRETS OF specials, commissioned especially by PBS for Sunday nights leading into MASTERPIECE,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “Viewers love exploring the real stories of sites made familiar by so many of our fictional series. The specials have been so popular – along with other dramas scheduled in the 8:00 p.m. slot like CALL THE MIDWIFE – that we’ve seen a ratings boost of more than 25 percent for Sunday nights.” (Sunday night ratings increase compared from Sept. 2011-June 2012 to Sept. 2012-June 2013.)
Standing guard over its city for nearly 1,000 years, the Tower of London has been a royal castle, a prison, a place of execution and torture, an armory and the Royal Mint. In SECRETS OF THE TOWER OF LONDON, PBS goes behind the tower’s ancient walls, exposing its stories, unlocking doors to rooms never before seen on television, talking to the people who do stealth jobs in the edifice and revealing little-known facts about this English icon.
SECRETS OF SELFRIDGES takes viewers to the place where luxury shopping was born. The brain child of an American — Harry Gordon Selfridge, whose life is depicted in the ongoing hit PBS show MASTERPIECE “Mr. Selfridge” — Selfridge & Co. spurred a revolution in the way Londoners shopped, introducing a new American retail model that made shopping less a practical pursuit and more a luxurious adventure. Keen to put the shopper’s experience above anything else, it was Selfridge who adopted the philosophy that “The customer is always right,” a mantra for shops all over the world.
SECRETS OF SCOTLAND YARD explores the organization that has now become synonymous with the English police force itself. From Dickens to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie to James Bond, no police institution in the world has caught the public imagination in quite the same way as Scotland Yard. Its officers, known as “bobbies,” can be seen not only as characters in fiction but also in real life, standing beside the Royal Family or other officials in their role as protectors. Above all else, however, Scotland Yard is associated with a particular type of professional police officer — the detective. Meet some modern-day sleuths who outline the skills needed to become a contemporary Sherlock and disclose the grim, sometimes grisly details of the detective’s daily life.
These all sound excellent – we’ll definitely be watching!
Check your local listings for specific air times, they may vary based on your location.