Secrets of Iconic British Landmarks

Updated Wed, Nov 13, 2013 10:36 am

Sunday, Nov. 17 • 8 p.m.

PBS unmasks the real-life drama and intrigue hidden within the walls of notable British landmarks in new one-hour specials from Pioneer Productions: Secrets of Selfridges (November 3) and Secrets of Scotland Yard (November 17). The Sunday night specials air from 8:00-9:00 p.m.

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.