Though its most talented employees made The Paradise seem like an oasis free from trouble or responsibility to their customers, the thriving department store has been anything but for those who call it home. Built on the illusions of glamour and escape, each department harboured secrets that made store at the centre of this dramatic series a thrilling, confounding, and sometimes even dangerous place to work. As VisionTV’s presentation of Season Two of The Paradise approaches, it makes sense to take a look back at the shocking finalé that turned the lives of so many characters upside-down.
After balking at the idea of marrying for business rather than love, last season ended with Moray (EMUN ELLIOTT) professing his feelings for shopgirl and ingénue Denise (JOANNA VANDERHAM) – and calling off his wedding to the affluent Katherine Glendenning (ELAINE CASSIDY) in the process. The bold move had profound ramifications, and as the second season of The Paradise opens, it will only be to find the ambitious young storeowner in a state of exile, working in Paris, while dreaming of his chance to return to the store, and the love, that he was forced to leave behind. Whether or not his stint abroad will prove to have dampened his brash tendencies, or added fuel to his feverish way of doing business remains to be seen, but either way, his return will spell big changes for The Paradise, and its staff.
Back in England, Moray’s store is, of course, missing him as much as he is missing it. Denise isn’t the only one reeling from his departure, and the more his longtime partner Mr. Dudley (MATTHEW McNULTY) tries to fill the shoes of the store’s visionary owner, the more obvious his friend’s absence becomes. Despite his best efforts to fulfill his own duties, and Moray’s, Dudley’s talents (great as they may be) have always been of a logistical nature, rather than a strategic one.
Never were Moray’s instincts as a salesman clearer than when his store’s fortunes were in jeopardy, but it seems that there are few who share his natural ability to turn a crisis into an opportunity. It’s hard to imagine The Paradise without the inspiration and audacity that Moray brought to the venture, and even harder to imagine the store’s remaining staff (even Denise) stepping into his shoes.
And you can be sure that Denise and Dudley aren’t the only ones missing the presence of the store’s charismatic leader. In ladies’ wear, both the prim and proper Miss Audrey (SARAH LANCASHIRE), and Denise’s more worldly counterpart, Clara (SONYA CASSIDY), show every sign of disappointment as Moray’s letters remain vague about the date of his return. With the addition of new staff – including the effervescent Susy (KATIE MOORE), and the mysterious Nathaniel (KEVIN GUTHRIE) – there’s still more happening within the walls of the store than meets the eye, and it likely won’t be long before some of those secrets come to the fore.
In the meantime, Dudley and Dudley might be forced to contend The Paradise’s new owners, Katherine and her wealthy (though not particularly charming) husband, Tom Weston (BEN DANIELS). A former military man with a mysterious past, and no great affection for his young daughter, he holds an unusual sway over his normally strong-willed wife. Disdainful of the store, and seemingly only interested in how the property can benefit him, Weston could prove a powerful enemy to all those who hold The Paradise dear, including Moray.
What will it take to get the store’s rightful chief back in its offices – and what kind of chaos will his return create for those whom he cares about the most? We’re eager to find out, starting Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10pm ET/7pm PT and airing through Wed., April 1, 2015..