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Miss Scarlet & The Duke is a mystery series set in 1882 London. Eliza Scarlet attempts to run her father’s detective agency after his untimely death. Her efforts are both helped and hampered by William Wellington (nicknamed ‘Duke’ after the more famous Wellington), a protégé of her father’s who is now a Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard. And, of course, her efforts are stymied in every direction by the fact that she’s a woman.
I enjoyed this mostly because of the fun relationship between the two title characters. They’ve known each other long enough to have something of a sibling vibe going on, but not quite long enough that a slip into romance is out of the question. If Bridgerton was too steamy for you, Miss Scarlet & The Duke might be perfect.
The screenwriter is Rachael New, who also wrote Grantchester, another series that I love because of the interactions between the two mystery solvers.
Kevin Doyle played Eliza’s father, in both memory and imagination. Doyle played Molesely on Downton Abbey, a character that I mostly pitied and occasionally lost patience with due to his whining. In this role, he is much more dignified, a worthy father figure to both of the title characters.
According to this Variety article, the show was filmed in Dublin. Now, I feel like I should watch again, because I hadn’t guessed that as a filming location. I’ve been to both Dublin and London and I can see how Dublin might work well as a 19th century London. One of the things that I loved about Dublin was its human scale since it’s never gone for the super-high skyscrapers of other cities.
Miss Scarlet & The Duke was shown on PBS’s Masterpiece. It’s currently available to stream on the PBS website with a PBS Passport — a benefit I got by joining my local PBS station.
The series has a satisfying ending, but also plenty of room for another season. There were rumors on line that filming might have started in September, but is on hold due to COVID-19. Here’s hoping that everything works out for us to get more time with these fun characters.