Episode 1 – It’s one year since Moray jilted Katherine, for which he was banished and ended up working in Paris. Denise was allowed to stay, while Lord Glendenning and his daughter disappeared from the city. In the 12 months since, The Paradise has been put up for sale. However, unforeseen circumstances bring Moray back and the lovers are reunited, although their elation is short-lived when Katherine also returns – with her new husband.
Episode 2 – Moray’s return has improved the fortunes of the Paradise, but he must think tactfully if he is to win the store back from Tom and Katherine. He invites business associate Clemence Romanis to visit from Paris, hoping he can strike a deal to sell the fireworks she has brought with her. However, she is a dazzling and tactile woman, and her intimacy with Moray soon arouses Denise’s jealousy – and negotiations are delayed when Tom gets involved. A display is organised to demonstrate Clemence’s wares – but the fun is overshadowed when a cart carrying the half-dead Jonas arrives in the street. Meanwhile, Miss Audrey is forced to think about her future happiness.
Episode 3 – Spirits are high ahead of the annual staff outing, a visit to the theatre – only for Tom to cancel the trip. However, when he realises his decision could lead the workers to favour Moray, he turns to Denise, who suggests that if they can’t go to the music hall, they should bring the music hall to the Paradise – and ropes in every willing worker to perform. Meanwhile, Moray tries to persuade Denise not to apply for the head of ladieswear position, leading to an argument between the pair, and Myrtle finds herself the butt of the joke yet again.
Episode 4 – Denise is thrilled about her new job but she soon realises it’s lonely at the top when the supervisory role puts her at odds with her friends – and even worse, tension rises between her and Moray when he dismisses one of her ideas. A break-in at Edmund’s shop forces Susy to tackle demons from her past when she recognises the culprit, and Katherine’s attempts to build a relationship between Tom and his daughter go badly when Flora asks her father about his childhood. Plans to expand the Paradise put it beyond Moray’s financial reach, so Jonas brokers a deal on his behalf – but it may not be the wisest decision he has ever made.
Episode 5 – Tom is furious to see that Moray is selling pocket watches, a counter that is attracting attention away from his new food hall, so he poaches Denise from ladieswear and asks her to come up with ideas for improving other departments. Meanwhile, Katherine agrees to give Moray her father’s old timepiece to add to his display – despite it being intended as a gift for her husband.
Episode 6 – Denise gets the chance to use her business initiative when wealthy newlywed couple Lucille and Campbell Ballentine arrive in town, discussing the possibility of the husband investing in the Paradise. But when she runs the proposition past Moray, he is dismissive of the idea. Meanwhile, Mrs Ballentine confesses to Clara that she doubts her feelings for her husband, and Katherine confides in Moray about Tom’s increasingly spiteful behaviour – unaware her husband has been watching their intimacy grow.
Episode 7 – Tom engages renowned photographer Christian Cartwright to take a family portrait, although as Katherine soon discovers, it’s merely a gesture as her husband makes it clear her position is fragile. The staff also have their pictures taken, although an indecent proposal leaves Clara questioning who she really is. Denise’s suspicions about Moray and Katherine are confirmed in the most heart-breaking of ways, so she throws herself into work as a distraction. Can Dudley and a ghost story bring them back together again?
Episode 8 – Moray’s French business associate Clemence is back in town, but it appears she is in trouble and finds herself at the mercy of Tom. Denise tries to help the visitor by marketing a Parisian rouge to her most esteemed clients, while Katherine is distressed to see Tom and Clemence together and confides in Jonas – leading to revelations about her husband’s dark past. As things come to a head, Moray risks everything to be rid of his rival once and for all.
Period drama, starring Emun Elliott, Joanna Vanderham, Elaine Cassidy, Ben Daniels, Sarah Lancashire, Matthew McNulty, Peter Wight, Stephen Wight, Sonya Cassidy, Katie Moore, Lisa Millett, Branka Katic, David Hayman, Liz White and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
To tell you the truth, I watched the last episode last Monday, and I completely forgot to post anything about that disappointing series, choosing to get back to Doctor Who, Amy and Rory’s adventures.
I’m French and I’m a fan of Emile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart novels. I read them all and appreciate them for being one of the greatest studies of human beings, its originality being to deal with every levels in the 1850 to 1870 French society. Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise, which I think is really a bad translation) is a novel about the creation of department stores (in this case based on Le Bon Marché, which is still the most classy in Paris) that will lead to the end of small shops. In the first series, the writers tried to deal with that topic at the beginning and added other themes to fill a eight part drama. The storyline of Zola’s novel was really simple, so when I watched last year series I really didn’t understand why they finished it with Denise and Moray’s parting. I guess they just wanted a second series. In this one, I mostly enjoyed watching Ben Daniels. I don’t think I’ll watch a third. If you really want to watch a great series on this theme, there is Mr Selfrige first series in DVD and the second series will air next January. It’s really better written and more entertaining.