Concluding their rewatch of S1 of Miss Scarlet & The Duke, SanditonSisterhood hosted a Twitter Q&A with the show’s creator, head writer and show runner Rachael New. We’ve collected all questions and answers for those not on Twitter and to prevent them from getting lost.
@Scarleteers: 30°C in Belgrade today 🥵 How are you keeping cool? 🧊 Free ice-cream for the actors? 🍦 😋
Yes it’s hot here. Very hot. But unlike our brave cast who will be wearing 19th century costumes in the heat, I get to wear shorts and sandals. And yes ice cream most definitely helps. Pistachio and Choc Chip does the trick.
@AndrewGowerF4ns: Can you tease a little about our dear Rupert’s storyline in S2? 🙏🙏🙏 Just 3 words? We cannot wait to see more of @TheAndrewGower as Eliza’s best friend!
Hi Isabel. We love Rupert but the talented Andrew Gower is in great demand and sadly we just couldn’t get his and our schedules to work. But we have some amazing new characters and cast. It’s going to be a cracking season so watch this space! (sorry that was more than 3 words!)
@outlanderfan_nl: Can you share a bts sneak peek from S2 since you are now filming S2?
I would love to and I certainly will once we’re up and running. In fact myself and our uber talented director @moviegoblin will be regularly sharing lots of lovely bts pics and tweets and on Instagram too so please feel free to follow me over there on @rachjnew19
@LynnyBright: Is there a scene you wrote that turned out better then you imagined on screen?
Hello Lynny. There are so many. The one that comes to mind is when Duke is teaching Eliza how to boil an egg in the finale of Season 1. Who knew boiling an egg could be that seductive!
There are so many ways, but if someone asks me advice on how to become a writer my number one tip would be practice your craft. The more you write, the better you get and that’s when you write a spec script and secure an agent. So write, write, write!
@finestseaside: Are any of the cases inspired by true stories? Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions.
Myself and my writing partner Ben Edwards do a lot of research when we are plotting out the stories. The actual cases are all made up but the historical context that acts as a backdrop is generally true to the period.
@megan_koerber: Hi Rachael! Do you keep up with fan theories, fanfiction or any of the headcanon #Scarleteers come up with? If so, any hints as to what fans may have gotten right in regards to future seasons?
Hi Megan, I’m a bit of a technophobe. You’re more likely find me with my head in a book than on internet. But through my teenage children I’m very aware of the online love there is for the show & the idea that anyone takes time to write fanfiction about it is lovely!
Great question. In one word, yes. You always have the future of your characters in your mind. I love thinking about what’s in store for Eliza, Duke, Moses, Ivy and the rest. I can’t wait to share it with you all when you finally get to watch season 2
@VicsTiara: Will S2 pick up right where we left off in S1 or will there be a time jump? Thanks!!!
There’s a time jump of a couple of months.
@madame_mim: I honestly don’t really have a question. I enjoyed your series very much and am happy that it will continue. Well, maybe one question: Is there a possibility that there will be more after Season 2?
That’s lovely to hear. Yes there will be more.
@LynnyBright: Has it been good to have so much time to write season 2 or have you been as desperate to film it as we are to watch it?
It’s been wonderful for Ben & I to have the space to actually write all the scripts before shooting. That doesn’t happen often. Covid did delay things somewhat and that was a little frustrating. I’m not the most patient of people, a flaw that I channel into my heroine
I do. Eliza is a woman who wants financial independence, to pay her own bills and make her own decisions. Unfortunately it’s the 19th century and a male dominated society, so she has to work out the most productive way to operate within the limits of the time. But I think these constraints only make her an even smarter operator.
@VicsTiara: My carpe diem question: Any chance Eliza & William will kiss in S2?
Haha! I thought this question might pop up. You’ll just have to wait and see…
@katesanditon: What is your favorite scene in season 1? Thank you so much for joining us
I think it has to be in ep 4 when Duke exits the city mortuary and wants to get rid of Eliza for fear that the journalist inside will be more interested in her than him. It makes me laugh every time. Kate Phillips & @stueymartin86 are such a joy to watch & work with.
@FinestSeaside: In contrast to Jane Austen’s “inside job” approach to commenting on English society, you’ve put together quite the band of outliers across various dimensions. What motivated you to include such a range of characters?
A truly watchable character is one you can relate to. You don’t have to like them but if you can understand their choices and identify with them, you often find yourself cheering them on. I think most of us at some point in life have felt like an outsider, I certainly have, and relating to these characters is what’s made the show so successful.
@sararipple: I am fascinated by Moses. His character is so dark and mysterious, but deep down has a good heart. Was he always supposed to be a mysterious character throughout his storyline? It seems like Eliza sees through Moses tough dark walls. Talk about their character arcs.
I love writing the character of Moses and Ansu Kabia who plays him is such a lovely, talented man. When I was a girl I would watch all the old spaghetti westerns with my dad and brothers, my favourite was “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. So I very much had that type of character in mind when I created Moses. He’s got some cracking storylines in Season 2!
@FinestSeaside: The “hallucinated” conversations between Eliza and Mr. Scarlet are both touching & amusing. (How) do they link to her mourning and will they continue in S.2?
In season 1 Eliza wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her father. His death was unexpected and sudden, so she is hit with the full force of grief. Talking to him helped her work through that grief and once she solved the case of who killed him she found closure. So Henry Scarlet finally rests in peace and in creative terms his story came to end, so he won’t be appearing in Season 2.
@megan_koerber: Both Stuart and Kate are PERFECT in their roles and I think I remember you saying they were your first choices. What made you want to choose each of them?
They are both warm, funny, incredibly talented people and they bring that sparkle to the screen. Myself, Ben and the team of execs were always determined to have a happy show with a real team ethos. Kate and Stuart are hugely collaborative so they fitted right in.
@izzie907: On a scale from 10 to 10, how awesome is Mr Moses / Ansu Kabia? 😁
@NunyaB127: The breakout star for S1 had to be the Duke’s glorious beard. Did you have that look planned outfrom the beginning? Also, do you need a beard wrangler for S2? Thanks!
A “beard wrangler”? What a genius idea! Yes I had a very clear picture of what I wanted Duke to look like. Stuart would send me photos of how the beard was coming on. I banned all razors from his house.
@tammyr72: The lighting in the series is quite dark til we get to episode 6 then it becomes lighter brighter, is this because Eliza and William start to trust one another? Thank you for joining us, excited for season 2 of Miss Scarlet and The Duke 🥰
Yes, they have been on a journey together. That little bit of lightness is the balance they finally found. But that’s not to say there won’t still be plenty of that lovely bickering banter to come. Duke is a 19th century man. He will never agree with a woman having a job as a private detective and that discord between them is what makes the show sizzle and fizz.
@sheppardster: In an interview you mentioned that you knew you wanted Kate & Stuart for Eliza & William from the start. I’d love to know which pivotal role you saw each of them in that made them stand out to you?
Kate it was ”The Crown” and Stuart “Babylon”. They are the type of actors that you instantly engage with. They’ve just got that special something.
@scarleteers: From #Scarleteer Trina: Ha, just thought of a question for #askRachael. What threat did Eliza use with Mr. Potts in Cell 99 that he refused to repeat to William? I’d love to know…
Hi Trina, great question. The answer is it was so unspeakable that it cannot be repeated!
That was fun! I hope you love season 2 as much as we did writing and making it. I will keep you posted on all the comings and goings on the Scarlet set. Until then thank you for having me!
ETA (9 August 2021):
In a follow up question, Rachael New confirmed that neither Andrew Gower nor Matthew Malone (who plays PC Clarence Honeychurch) will be returning to the show “in the foreseeable future”.
ReFrame, the gender equity coalition founded by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute, and IMDbPro, announced the 117 TV and streaming shows that earned the ReFrame Stamp for the years 2020 to 2021. Among the honorees are FX’s Pose, Netflix’s Bridgerton, HBO’s Lovecraft Country, and Disney+’s WandaVision.
The stamp is intended as a mark of distinction for projects that have demonstrated success in gender-balanced film and TV productions that hire female-identifying people in four out of eight critical areas of production: writer, director, producer, lead, co-lead, speaking parts, department heads, and crew. Additional points are awarded to content that features women of color in key positions.
“The significant increase in Stamped TV content tells us that we are beginning to see the impact of years of advocacy for more equitable hiring in Hollywood,” said Andria Wilson Mirza, Director, ReFrame. “These Stamped shows not only entertained, inspired, and united audiences as we navigated a global pandemic, they also demonstrated that a commitment to inclusion behind the scenes translates to commercial success. As we celebrate this milestone, our advocacy doesn’t stop at 51% — our goal is for 100% of TV and film productions to commit to equitable hiring and earn the ReFrame Stamp.”
We would like to send our congratulations to all the amazing women in cast and crew, who worked in a multitude of areas across the show, led by the show’s creator Rachael New, Executive Producer Patty Ishimoto, lead actress Kate Phillips and head of costume Leonie Prendergast!
First of all, thank you very much, Mr Daniels, for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to answer our questions!
Everyone just really loves the soundtrack, so the most asked question is: where can I buy, download or stream it? Are there any plans to release it?
Yes!! As part of the planning for S2, I had a chat with the wonderful Jeanette at Avant Music Publishing the other day. A soundtrack album with The Theme, Closing Credits Track and some favourite cues from S1 should be available to download and stream before S2 airs.
What is the song called that is played during the opening credits?
It’s based on a pre-existing library track the guys at Phase had done for Cratedigger Music called ‘Going Places’. When I played Rachael, Declan and all the other execs in the USA pieces that me and the team at Phase had done in the past to try and find the right tone for The Opening Theme, they fell in love with it. I shaped it and gave it the Scarlet sound and Cratedigger were good enough to allow it to reach its destiny as The Scarlet Theme.
During the theme song / opening credits, is there a female voice singing or vocalizing sounds? If so, what is the name of the singer?
There is a great company called Output who make brilliant synths and audio software for the computers that I use in my studio. They make a wonderful vocal plug in called ‘Exhale’. The vocalized sounds are from that.
Suzanne Lau: The main theme tune for Miss Scarlet & The Duke is one of my favourites. What inspired you to create the theme tune the way you did in relation to the show? I really love the rock music element to it.
The Execs wanted the theme to sound like current commercial music mixed into the ‘The Scarlet Band’ (which was the instrumentation we’d decided upon to deliver the score – all organic sounds that, although you couldn’t record them back in Victorian London, you could hear them back then…)
Lucy Feekins: Really love the whole soundtrack you’ve created (would love to be able to listen to it somewhere!) Were you influenced by anyone/thing in particular, and did you have to do any specific research for the show in relation to instrumentation/ ideas?
For the score, Dec & Rachael gave me the guidance that we wanted the sounds to be organic and believable from the past – no synths or electric guitars. I’ve been influenced by so many great composers, producers and arrangers along the way. They’ve all helped!
Helen Collins: I think there are tambourines and cymbals there? Could you tell me what other instruments are used in this amazing music?
I augmented the band with a chamber orchestra and sometimes a symphony orchestra too – for the ‘glamour cues’!
How did you come to be a composer?
My Mum forced me to have piano lessons. She used to say “you’ll thank me when you’re older” – she was SO RIGHT! I was very lucky and was given a few opportunities with the Phase guys. I delivered and they came to trust me.
Was Miss Scarlet & The Duke your first time composing for TV?
No, BUT it was my first time out on my own – scary, but thrilling, I loved it so much and am so proud that my first solo gig is a show that philosophically I truly believe in. Rachael has created characters that I love and a show that helps the world get better by showing us the folly of sexism and prejudice. It’s an honour to be part of that.
Final question: Will you be back composing the soundtrack for season 2?
Yes!! I can’t wait. It’s going to be even better!!!
Thanks for asking me to answer these questions Isabel. I’ve really enjoyed it!
Thank you so very much again, Mr Daniels! It was a pleasure talking to you and we look forward to hearing more of your amazing music!
Miss Scarlet & The Duke will return to our screens in 2022! Follow / join Scarleteers on Facebook (Page & Group), Instagram and Twitter for more information.
This submission is an important first step to be considered to receive a nomination. Voting for the 2021 Emmy Awards will be held between 17 June and 28 June 2021 and the nominations will be announced on 13 July 2021. Eligible to vote are the members of the Television Academy, who are all industry professionals. You can find more information on the process here.
IndieWire reported the “surprising news” (according to Rachael New and Kate Phillips) in their article and they conclude:
It’s part of the fun that is Miss Scarlet and the Duke, a show that can comprise mystery, murder, romance, and the fun of discussing relationships. If there was any silver lining to the pandemic, it was being able to enjoy not just watching Miss Scarlet, but seeing how much joy it brings to those working on it.“
Both leads, Kate Phillips, who plays Victorian London’s first female detective Eliza Scarlet, and Stuart Martin, who plays family friend and “potential love interest” William “The Duke” Wellington, are both confirmed to reprise their roles. Andrew Gower will also return as Rupert Parker as Eliza’s best friend and investor in her private detective agency.
“Miss Scarlet and The Duke has built a massive following since it first aired on Alibi last year, so we are thrilled to have it back for another series. Rachael New has created a wonderful range of characters and mixes the gritty scenes of Victorian London with a brilliant light-hearted side, making it a firm favourite for our viewers.”
Congratulations to Scarleteers for this shout out! Scarleteers are the original fan page for Miss Scarlet & The Duke, established in September 2019. You can now find them on Facebook (Page & Group), Instagram and Twitter.
We are filming in Serbia in August because Ireland schedules didn’t work out. We’re super excited. Belgrade is beautiful and the crews are fabulous. Can’t wait to get cracking!
(Quote: Rachael New)
Regarding to release date, there can be only speculation at this point. Season 1 of the Victorian mystery show began filming in early July 2019 and wrapped 2 months later in early September. The episodes premiered on Alibi channel (UK) on 31 March 2020. If Season 2 follows a similar path, we might be looking at a release date in April or May 2022. With PBS now helming productions, it is possible that the episodes will be shown on the American network first, or at least simultaneously to the UK and other countries.
The good news for Andrew Gower fans is that 4 months should be enough time to wrap filming on Carnival Row‘s Season 2.2. Czech production service company Stillking Films currently seems to be preparing for a Covid-safe return to the set of the Victorian noir series. The first half of Carnival Row Season 2 is scheduled to be released on Amazon Prime later this year and the second half can probably be expected in 2022.
There is a lot of Ezra Spurnrose and Rupert Parker to look forward to in the next 1 1/2 years!
Scarleteers are celebrating the first anniversary of Miss Scarlet & The Duke by sharing their favourite moments from the show or pictures of their own private viewing parties on social media by using the following hashtags:
“I’m absolutely thrilled at the news that Miss Scarlet & The Duke will be back for a season two. I have so much in store for Duke, Eliza and her crew. With even more action, adventure and of course a nice big dollop of romance, it’s going to be a cracking season. The fans are going to love it.”
In a recent interview with Salon, show creator further added about her plans for Season 2: “I would have lots of things in store for Rupert and how he’d navigate his domineering mother, and try and have some semblance of a happy life.”
We are happy to say that Andrew Gower will reprise his role as Rupert Parker in Season 2!
However, the news come with a bittersweet tang as it was also confirmed that fan favourite Declan O’Dwyer (who directed Season 1) had to leave the project due to a scheduling conflict. He will be replaced by Steve Hughes.
Also dropping out are A&E International, which launched the series as its first global scripted co-production in 2019. Season will be co-produced by Element 8 Entertainment and PBS Masterpiece with PBS overseeing international distributions.
“Miss Scarlet & The Duke was an instant fan favorite. Our audience couldn’t resist its light-hearted tone and the appealing characters so wonderfully portrayed by Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin. We’re delighted the show will return for a second season.”
She also mentioned what might be in store for Rupert, the character played by Andrew Gower:
I would have lots of things in store for Rupert and how he’d navigate his domineering mother, and try and have some semblance of a happy life. It would be really difficult for him because she’s a very difficult woman. I love Mrs. Parker. We would have more of her in Season 2 as well.
We’re looking forward to seeing more of Rupert Parker and his mother (played by Helen Norton) and fully support the petition for season 2 of Miss Scarlet & The Duke.
The popular period crime drama about the first female detective in Victorian London is about to conclude its run on PBS Masterpiece in the US (also available on iTunes in the USA and Canada) and is currently also shown in The Netherlands (BBC First) and Belgium (RTL Play). For a complete list of countries, networks and streaming options, please click here.
Are we missing any information or do you have any questions? Please let us know!
It seems that early plans were made to start filming S2 in September 2020, however several circumstances, including to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent postponement of the release of S1 in the USA (originally scheduled for September 2020), put a halt on these plans. We’ve had it confirmed that these plans were also only tentative should S2 have received an official order which it still hasn’t yet.
We know from Kate Phillips‘ and Stuart Martin‘s Instagram TakeOver, everyone is really keen to bring the fans more Miss Scarlet & The Duke and that there is a small army of people working on making it happen… but nothing is certain yet.
Asked about the status of S2 in an interview with the NY Post published on 12 February 2021, Stuart Martin replied:
We’ll have to wait and see. There’s big hope for it and lots going on in the background to get that to happen. It’s been such a weird time, but we shall watch this space and hopefully soon [there will be news].
After all these delays and postponements, it will also be increasingly challenging to bring everyone back on board again. Many projects were put on hold last year which might lead to conflicting schedules for our beloved cast and crew. Peaky Blinders(Kate Phillips) recently started filming their final season, and Carnival Row (Andrew Gower) is due to resume filming the final 4 episodes of S2 (to be released seperately from the first 5 completed in 2020) later this year.
So we can only “wait, watch and see”, hope that a (positive) decision can be made soon and support the show by tweeting about it (#Scarleteers #MissScarletAndTheDuke #MissScarletPBS), sharing information on other Social Media channels and of course watching the show!
Scottish actor Stuart Martin, who plays William “The Duke” Wellington on period crime drama Miss Scarlet & The Duke spoke to Paste Magazine about the benefits of weekly episodes, Eliza’s partnership and more.
“’Miss Scarlet and the Duke’ is an ideal primetime show for a very broad and truly global audience that loves great detective stories and a constant love-tension between two lead characters. This already popular series is but one remarkable example of A+E’s compelling, first-run hits amongst the 800 hours of fresh content we presented at Mipcom 2020.”
(Source: Patrick Vien, Group Managing Director, International, A+E Networks)
Please check out our list of international distributors to see where and when you can watch Miss Scarlet and The Duke in your country. We will update the list as soon as we find out more dates.
Fans will have the unique opportunity to join the Zoom meeting and ask their questions live themselves. Message the Scarleteers page on Facebook or contact us to be included in the Q&A and receive your invitation. If you prefer, you can also just send in a question and the host will ask it for you. Scarleteers are asking you to send in your questions by Monday, 7 December 2020 in order to allow them to organize them and send out the invitations.
The event will be free to view on YouTube. The link will be shared about 15-30mins prior to the live stream on the Scarleteers Twitter account and on Facebook. We will share it as soon as possible on our our Social Media outlets on Twitter, Facebook and in this post.
We are sure you can sneak in a question about Andrew Gower and his character Rupert Parker if you like!
What do you like best about Eliza Scarlet? She’s a quick thinker and a clever mind. I love her wit and her tenacity. She’s a very fun character to play.
What do you think annoys the Duke the most about Eliza? She doesn’t know when to give up and it often ends with the two on them at logger heads. She doesn’t pull her punches with him, which clearly winds him up but somehow they always manage to come together in the end.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? Rachael has created an amazing ensemble of really witty and heart felt characters and Eliza is different with everyone – each bringing out a different side of her. I particularly love her relationship with Ivy. She takes on the role of a mother figure for Eliza and between them they share a lovely balance of bickery but also tender moments.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? There are way too many to choose from but I have the best memories of filming one particular scene in episode 5. It was our last day of the shoot and Stuart and I were having to perform a scene through a small hole in a prison door. It was a very fun and fast paced scene to play as, whilst starting off quite sweetly, as ever it escalates quickly into a full blown row.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 Action sequences. My favourite moments are when Eliza is bounding around, hair a mess, spouting some sort of pithy, cutting remark – most likely in The Duke’s direction.
What do you like best about Henry Scarlet? He loves and admires his daughter.
What do you think annoys Eliza the most about her father? He’s usually right about things.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? Eliza.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? No favourite. They were all wonderful to do.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 Come back to life!
Lola Sattar is a young aspiring actress who is best known for playing young Eliza on Miss Scarlet and The Duke. She has also appeared in the British-German fantasy children’s television series The Worst Witch and most recently, played a guest role on The Dumping Ground, a British children’s drama series about young people living in care homes.
What do you like best about Eliza Scarlet? I like her fiery nature, sharp mind and determination as well as her compassion for those in need.
What do you think annoys her father the most about Eliza? I think the fact that Eliza is so strong minded can annoy her father as it would have been unusual at the time for a young woman to act in such a way and I think he fears what the rest of the world will take of it, especially in her future – he wants what he thinks is best for his daughter.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? Moses.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? I love the scene where Eliza begins to teach Ivy to read & write – I found it really moving.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 I’d like to see Eliza solve more cases and build up her reputation for being a great detective.
What do you like best about Ivy? What I like best about Ivy is her honesty and loyalty! She always speaks her mind and she is absolutely loyal to Miss Scarlet. Even when Miss Scarlet runs into finance trouble and can’t pay Ivy, Ivy stays and remains loyal and continues to run the house. Her honesty is a joy to play. She always speaks her mind even when it’s not what Miss Scarlet wants to hear. This relationship is everything to Ivy. Miss Scarlet is the daughter, sister, best friend she never had.
What do you think annoys Eliza the most about Ivy? What annoys Miss Scarlet most about Ivy is her conservative and old ways: Ivy doesn’t believe in women’s rights. A woman’s place is in the home. But watch this space… Miss Scarlet is working her beautiful ways on her. She teaches her to write and educated her on women’s rights. I love this journey Ivy is on.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? It has to be my lovely Eliza! Kate Phillip’s portrayal of Miss Scarlet is wonderful. She has an ability to bring great masses of emotion and gear changes with the lightest of touch. It’s beautiful to watch Eliza grown through series one.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? My favorite scene to play was in ep 4 where Eliza teaches Ivy to write. Two women from opposite poles supporting each other and making their way in the world.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 I’d love to see Ivy continue to grow with Eliza. Perhaps help Eliza in her private dectective business. What I am most confident about is that in the hands of our gifted creator and writer Rachael New, Ivy is in very safe hands.
What do you like best about Mr Potts? Pompous characters are always fun to play as they have further to fall when it all goes wrong. Mr Potts is a perfect example of that. He is a stickler for rules which are invariably broken by either Miss Scarlet or The Duke.
What do you think annoys Eliza the most about Mr Potts? See above. Also he secretly knows that she is way more intelligent than him.
Who was your favourite character in S1? What a difficult question! I’m going to sit on the fence and say all of them. Is that allowed?
What was your favourite scene in S1? Really too many scenes to choose from but the first scene in the first episode with the glass eyed moll is a fantastic opening.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 Win the lottery. Failing that, managing to get one over on Miss Scarlet…
Dublin born and based actress Helen Norton has an impressive resumee in theatre where she hasn’t only acted but also written and directed short plays for children, and toured with her two-hander play To Hell in a Handbag (co-written with Jonathan White) across the UK and Ireland to sell-out performaces. Her television and film credits include Angela’s Ashes, Ella Enchanted and The Borgias.
What do you like best about Mrs Parker? I love that Mrs Parker pulls no punches, speaks her mind and will do whatever she thinks is best to protect her own.
What do you think annoys Rupert the most about his mother? Probably the fact that she treats him more like a child than an adult and never seems to listen to his opinions or believes he could, in fact, have any opinions of his own.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? That’s a difficult question, there were so many great characters! I loved the hapless policeman Honeychurch and also Ivy and Moses.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? My favourite scene was in Episode 1 when Mrs Parker and Rupert are visiting Scarlet and the artificial eyeball rolls into view!
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞If I’m lucky enough to return in Season 2, I’d be delighted with whatever Rachael decides Mrs Parker should get up to!
What do you like best about PC Honeychurch? I think my favourite thing about him is how green he is. Honeychurch is wonderfully out of his depth starting out as a policeman, learning through his mistakes, and it’s fun to play that comedy as he struggles to keep up with Eliza and Duke.
What do you think annoys William and Eliza the most about PC Honeychurch? Probably his inexperience and his cheek. He always seems to say the wrong thing and finds it hard to see Eliza as an authority – but she shows him what’s what.
Who was your favourite character in S1? I have a real fondness for Mrs. Parker (Helen Norton). She’s straight out of Oscar Wilde and is scary and hilarious in equal measure.
What was your favourite scene in S1? There’s a scene at the end of episode 3 when Eliza starts to teach Ivy (Cathy Belton) how to read and write. There’s something really powerful about that passing on of knowledge to someone who’s cared for her for so many years, and it ties up that episode’s story really well.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2?🤞 I’d love to see Honeychurch do something right (for once!) and impress the Duke. I can imagine how surprised and chuffed he’d be at helping to solve a case.
What do you like best about DS Frank Jenkins? Frank is a thinker and everyone around him underestimates him.
What do you think annoys the Duke the most about Frank? I think the Duke dislikes Frank’s dress sense and his slopey ways.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? That’s a hard one. I loved everyone. If I was pushed I would say my favourite character has to be Rupert Parker. He is so diametrically opposite to Frank – and Andrew just made him fascinating and funny.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? I have two scenes actually. One is when young Eliza has a conversation with her father over the kitchen table and then the mirror scene to that; when adult Eliza is sat at the same table having a conversation with her father.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 For season two I would love to dress like the Duke, Stuart Martin looked fantastic.
What do you like best about The Duke? He’s a proper old school bloke, isn’t he, from a bygone era. And Rachael doesn’t shy away from that in how she’s written him. Warts and all. He doesn’t always get it right, he doesn’t always say it in the right way or apologise quick enough when he’s got it wrong. But he does apologise, in his own way. Says what he thinks, let’s his temper and emotions flare unmoderated and unapologetically. He goes from zero to ten in a heartbeat and back to three again just as fast. That is the best and most rewarding thing to be given and to be able to play as an actor. To be able to follow those thoughts and emotions and not second guess them or dampen them before they’ve even reached the surface. To be able to have an argument and not be apologising while you’re having the argument. I’ve got a real soft spot for Duke. Hardened because of his experiences in a tough world, but caring and loving and open to change and what’s right.
What do you think annoys Eliza the most about The Duke? All of the above. He’s very much a man of his time and Eliza is ahead of her time. So their ways of thinking don’t always aline, which gives a lot of the lovely drama and comedy. They both infuriate each other because they both have such different ways of seeing the world and cases. He’s getting there. He may not be the most forward thinking by today’s standards, but I think he’s learning and trying to do what’s right and Eliza knows this and respects him for this. She just knows it may be a slightly longer journey getting him to see her way of thinking and what’s right often. But it goes both ways. It’s a brilliantly complex relationship that Rachael has crafted with a whole load of affection and love and history thrown in, that makes the characters such a joy to play and delve into.
Who was your favourite character in season 1? They are all so brilliantly crafted, on and off the page. They all have their own distinct lives and journeys, flaws and struggles. A testament to Rachael’s writing and how she’s created these characters. They all have such great moments and lives and struggles we all care about. And they will continue to grow and shine in season two.
What was your favourite scene in season 1? So many, but I loved filming episode 5 in the prison. We all did. We filmed it all near the end of the shoot in an ancient prison in Wicklow, Wicklow Gaol. It has such an amazing history of its time used in the Irish War of Independence and Civil War and before. There are so many scenes in that ep that I loved as Eliza and Duke’s relationship and working relationship has matured. The stakes are so high and tensions and emotions are so high that we really see who they are. Unfiltered. The scene between them when Duke finally finds Eliza locked in the cell, for me, sums up their whole relationship and what the shows about. Their battles and tiffs, how they wind each other up and the comedy that comes with it and is such a beautiful part of the show, their losses and fears. They both allow themselves to be very honest and open in that scene through the locked cell door. I think it was maybe 6 pages and Dec would just run it as 8 minute long takes. It was great fun for me and Kate to play out under the watchful brilliant guidance of Dec.
Is there something you would like to see your character do in season 2? 🤞 It’s funny, normally you do have a feeling of the things you want to see your characters doing more of in the next season. Something you felt was missing that would show a different side of them or could be expanded. But not with this, the way Rachael mapped out the characters in season one, you don’t feel that, we got to show so many sides to them. And although there are many sides to these characters that we are yet to see, I’m as excited as you are to see where she takes them. What I do know is that the next journey that they go on will be up a level. We’re going to go deeper and further. With the introduction of new characters and dangers and challenges that will make their worlds all that harder and ultimately dramatic and funny and heartbreaking for these brilliant characters. It’s going to be BIG.
Inevitable bonus question: How was working with Andrew Gower?
Kate Phillips: Well, you know better than anyone what an amazing actor he is. Working with Andrew is heaven. He’s unbelievably talented and his comic timing is genius. There is one scene in episode 6 that I wasn’t sure we would ever be able to complete because we were both laughing so much.
Kevin Doyle: I didn’t get to work with Andrew but I did get to watch his work and I thought it was a wonderful, sensitive, intelligent and funny performance. I also thought he was a lovely human being.
Lola Sattar: Really good, he made me feel so welcome on set!
Cathy Belton: Working with Andrew Gower was a joy! He is a gifted actor. Hardworking but such fun. We laughed a lot. It was hard to keep a straight face in scenes with Andrew. His comic timing is extraordinary.
Simon Ludders: Unfortunately I didn’t get to work with Andrew as we were never in any scenes together. However, I’ve battled against him in a few Zoom quizzes over lockdown and it hurts me to say that he’s rather clever. Ish. Kind of.
Helen Norton: Andrew was Gorgeous to work with, it’s difficult to launch into a Mother/Son relationship when you don’t know the other actor well but we had some interesting character chats and playing our scenes was great fun!
Matthew Malone: I never crossed over with Andrew on set, but I really enjoyed his performance as Rupert. His comic timing brings so much to his scenes.
Danny Midwinter: Andrew Gower is the next John Hurt.
Stuart Martin: Just brilliant. He’s one of my favourite people. Lovely and funny and brilliant and generous on and off screen. Nothing better than finding a wee old pub in a wee town in Ireland to have a few pints of Guinness after a long day shooting, and no better person to have there with you, both talking rubbish, than Andrew.
Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders) stars in a six-part mystery as Miss Eliza Scarlet, the headstrong, first-ever female detective in Victorian London. Stuart Martin (Jamestown) plays her childhood friend, professional colleague, and potential love interest, Scotland Yard Detective Inspector William Wellington, a.k.a., The Duke.
For a list of international distributors click here.
There is currently no information whether the series has been picked up for a second season. If you would like to show your support for the cast & crew of Miss Scarlet and The Duke, please sign our petition to bring it back for more seasons!
Cabinteely House is one of the main locations used to filming season 1 of period crime drama Miss Scarlet and The Duke. In this short video you can see some of the gorgeous rooms of this 18th century manor house in one of Dublin’s southside suburbs. In the series they appear as Ivy’s kitchen, Rupert Parker’s drawing room and the Dean’s office.
Good news for Andrew Gower‘s German fans: The crime solving dynamic duo, Miss Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) and The Duke (Stuart Martin), will begin their investigations on Video-on-Demand platform TVNOW in Germany on Tuesday, 1 September 2020.
Only last week PBS MASTERPIECE announced that the period drama will premiere in the USA as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations starting in January 2021.
You can currently watch Miss Scarlet and The Duke on Alibi Channel in the UK and it is set to be released on DVD in Australia and New Zealand in mid-August after a successful broadcast on 7TWO and Lightbox. For a list of international distributor click here.
According to their website “the exact air date for Miss Scarlet and the Duke is still a mystery” but you can sign up for their newsletter (or watch this space!) to be the first to know when the date is announced.
What is it About?
When headstrong Eliza Scarlet is left penniless and devastated after the death of her father, she has two choices for survival: marriage or her father’s private detective agency. But no matter how well she knows the tricks of his trade, the trade itself is deemed entirely inappropriate for a genteel lady of the 1880s. Enter “The Duke,” Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector William Wellington, a notorious drinker, gambler, womanizer…and a crime-solving friend to Eliza (no matter how much they may bicker!).
It’s great news that Miss Scarlet and The Duke was chosen to be part of the anniversary season, which will potentially bring more visibility to the series, but unfortunately it also means that Andrew‘s American fans will have to wait about 4 months longer than previously thought until they can see him as Rupert Parker, Eliza Scarlet’s best friend and supporter.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke follows Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), the daughter of famed private detective Henry Scarlet (Kevin Doyle). Eliza has dreamed all her life of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a detective but is unable to due to the fact she is a woman. After Henry dies however, Eliza is left penniless. Not wanting to have to marry in order to survive, Eliza resolves to continue her Father’s agency.
This proves to be easier said than done however as no one will take her seriously because of her gender. With no one wanting to hire her, Eliza is forced to turn to childhood friend William Wellington (Stuart Martin)– who is a Detective Inspector. Eliza proposes the two work together on cases, so that he can gain her insight and she can gain enough experience and reputation to…
We’re happy to support Scarleteers, the Facebook page for fans of Miss Scarlet and The Duke and their campaign to bring back the series for (at least!) another season. Their petition is as much a gentle nudge to the production company A & E Studios to officially announce more adventures for our favourite dynamic duo as it is a way of showing our love and appreciation to the entire cast and crew for creating such a wonderful period drama.
As was to be expected, Showmaster’s London Film & Comic Con (LFCC) had to take the difficult decision to postpone their main convention event this summer due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The event will now take place from 20 – 22 November 2020 at Olympia London.
If you already have a ticket for the event, this will be automatically transferred to the new date. If you can’t attend the event on the new dates, please e-mail Showmasters to receive a voucher which will be good to use for any future Showmasters events up until the day after LFCC 2021 (26 July 2021). At that point, you can request a full refund, should you have not been able to use your voucher.
Tickets sales will be available shortly again for the event and photo op tickets (£20) for Andrew. Autograph tickets (£20) can be purchased at the event itself.
Some of the main “characters” on Miss Scarlet and The Duke, next to the two leads Kate Phillips (Eliza Scarlet) and Stuart Martin (“The Duke”), are certainly the gorgeous original sets that were used during filming. Filming at original sets (in contrast to built sets in a studio) always provides certain challenges for cast & crew but adds a definite layer of authenticity to the scenes.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke was filmed entirely in and around Dublin (Ireland) which doubles for Victorian London as unfortunately the British capital has changed quite a bit since the 19th century while Dublin has preserved large parts of its original Georgian houses. Other large productions, such as the BBC’s Ripper Street, have profited from filming in the Irish capital for its authentic look as well as financial reasons.
Cabinteely is a suburb of Dublin’s southside which is home to the 18th century Cabinteely House & Park. The grand country manor house was built by Robert Nugent, Lord Clare, and has an 18th century staircase, decorative plasterwork and a vaulted gallery still preserved while the park is a beautiful example of an 18th century English landscape park.
Only a short drive alog the coast away from Greystones is Wicklow Gaol, a former prison located in the town of Wicklow, Ireland. It served as a prison from the late 18th to the early 20th century. In 1822 and 1842/43 it was extended and housed prisoners until 1924 when the last prisoners left. It was renovated and re-opened as a museum in 1998 and claims to be one of the world’s most haunted buildings.
On Miss Scarlet and The Duke is serves as the eerily beautiful Woolwich Prison.
While William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin) continues the investigations into last episode‘s criminals and the murder of Henry Scarlet (Kevin Doyle), he tries to keep Eliza (Kate Phillips) safe by placing her under house arrest. However, he’s yet again underestimated Eliza’s cleverness who has secretly contacted one of her accomplices and gathers information on the case on her own.
When Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower) comes to talk to her about an urgent personal matter, he also relies a message for Eliza from the Jamaican crook Moses (Ansu Kabia). Rupert’s own dilemma is that the seemingly quiet and docile Miss Tilly (Amy McAllister) turns out to be quite as determined and insistent when it comes to marrying him as his mother is to get him married, and Eliza’s advice doesn’t help to improve matters at all.
Following some clues, William and his assistant DS Frank Jenkins Danny Midwinter discover some shocking truths that hit closer to them and Miss Scarlet than they could have imagined. The world isn’t black and white any more – who is on the right side of the law and who is on the wrong side isn’t always as it appears, and the stakes have never been higher for Miss Scarlet and The Duke.
Visit our Gallery for more screencaps from this episode!
William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin) is on his way to an important meeting with Superintendent Stirling (Nick Dunning) and other division heads of Scotland Yard when a distress calls reaches him: Miss Scarlet (Kate Phillips) has gone missing. Eliza’s canny housekeeper Ivy (Cathy Belton) has already undertaken some investigating of her own and is sure that something untoward has happened.
Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower) is the last person to have seen Eliza and he is entertaining German undertaker Herr Hildegard (Richard Evans) and his “radiant niece” Tilly (Amy McAllister) – who he is eager to impress – when William arrives to inquire about Eliza’s whereabouts. The late Henry Scarlet’s (Kevin Doyle) old case book finally leads William to the seeminly empty Woolwich Prison.
Reunited with Eliza the two soon discover that an abandoned gaol is also a perfect hideout for a gang of criminals. But what is Henry Scarlet’s connection to the gang and who is the mysterious prisoner in Cell 99? This case is soon turning into a most personal one for the dynamic duo and test for their resolve. The culprits this time might be closer to them then they think.
Visit our Gallery for more screencaps from this episode!
Are you an artist who’s been inspired by Miss Scarlet (or any other of Andrew Gower‘s projects)? We’d love to see and share your art! Graphics, videos, fan fiction – we love them all! You can contact us via e-mail or one of our social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)!
After last week’s case, Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) is disappointed to find out that Scotland Yard’s DI William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin) has claimed all credit for solving the case for himself. Her friend and business partner Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower) is likewise disappointed that his investment is not mentioned as this would have surely vexed his mother (Helen Norton). When German undertaker Herr Hildegard (Richard Evans) approaches Eliza in the street, she tries to brush him off, but becomes more interested when he mentions a potential new case.
James Henderson (Hugh O’Conor) is a “death photographer“, who specializes in capturing the images of the recently deceased for their loved ones, a custom that was weirdly popular in Victorian time where people were obsessed with death and the afterlife. James himself is now receiving threatening messages from beyond the grave after he got engaged to his daugher’s governess Amelia (Roisin Murphy). Is the ghost of James’ dead wife Violet (Amelie Metcalfe) trying to take revenge or is Amalia’s mother Edith (Marion O’Dwyer), a psychic, behind the mysterious postcards?
William gets a taste of what it feels like to be overlooked and prejudiced against in his chosen profession for himself while he must deal with the nosy journalist Jacob Bunce (Kevin Eldon). Rupert ponders the idea of giving in to his mother’s pressure and get married, if for appearances only. After Eliza laughs at his suggestion, she is surprised to see him pursuing a different prospect very quickly, but a discovery in her father’s (Kevin Doyle), former office distracts her and makes her question the circumstances of his sudden death.
Visit our Gallery for more screencaps from this episode!
Scottish actor Stuart Martin spoke to The Scotsman about life in lockdown and period crime drama Miss Scarlet & The Duke, starring Kate Phillips as Victorian London’s first female detective Eliza Scarlet and Andrew Gower as her friend and financier Rupert Parker.
It’s been a couple of weeks since Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) has opened her own private detective ageny and things are not going quite as hoped for. Not many people in 19th century London are willing to hire a female detective. During her first monthly meeting with her financier Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower), who proudly presents her to his friend Dr Moorhouse (Kieran Hodgson), she has to admit she can’t pay the agreed rate.
Tabitha Butler’s (Deirdre Mullins) husband Edward (David Crowley) was found at the scene of a murder with the murder weapon his his hand. Tabitha hires Eliza to prove her husband’s innocence despite his confession. During her investigation she once again crosses paths with Jamaican bouncer Moses (Ansu Kabia) while The Duke tries his best to discourage Eliza from continuing on her “foolish” endeavour.
Eliza’s skills of deduction lead her back to Rupert, who takes a great risk by confiding a big secret to her, but the realization that they are both outsiders in a Victorian world, strengthens their bond and friendship. In the end even the Duke has to reluctantly acknowledge Eliza’s abilities are an asset, and a new business partner will help take care of her clients’ poor payment behaviour.
Visit our Gallery for more screencaps from this episode!
Michael Pickard (editor of Drama Quarterly) visited the set of Miss Scarlet and The Duke in Dublin last year and spoke to the cast and crew of the new Victorian crime drama. His article contains a lot of interesting information about the development of the show and the characters from show creator Rachael New with additional quotes from director Declan O’Dwyer as well as the cast.
If you want to remain completely spoiler free, we advise you to stop reading now.
Rachael New on Rupert Parker:
[…] to operate beyond her limits in 1880s London, [Eliza] leans on three male characters for support. […] Rupert Parker is a rich, privileged man who proposes to Eliza. To his relief, however, she turns him down because he doesn’t want to be married, only proposing under the pressure of his domineering mother Mrs Parker. “The reason why he doesn’t want to get married – as he reveals to Eliza – is he is secretly gay, something that in this period of time would destroy your life and your reputation. They bond over this and he invests in her agency,” New says.
Brought up by her widowed father Henry (Kevin Doyle), Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) is an educated, headstrong young woman living in Victorian London. When her father suddenly dies, she is left penniless and forced to pick up Henry’s business and become London’s first female detective in a time where women had little to no rights at all. Reluctantly she teams up with her father’s former protégé, Scotland Yard Detective Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin).
Eliza’s first client introduces himself as Alfred Winters (Aidan McArdle) who hopes to see his niece, Clara Simms (Ellise Chappell), one last time before he dies. Clara had eloped with her scoundrel husband and is now believed to work in Soho as a chorus girl. Despite the dangers the streets of London hold for a woman alone at night, Eliza manages to find Clara and arrange a meeting with her uncle. Belatedly, Eliza realizes she has made a grave mistake and vows to correct it.
Back at her house, Eliza finds a visitor in her parlour. Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower) is a wealthy young man, whose domineering mother (Helen Norton) is extremely displeased about her only son’s unmarried status and forces him to propose to Eliza. Clearly terrified of his mother, Rupert confides in Eliza that he doesn’t want to be married. The two bond over the fact that they both crave independence and quickly discover that there is a different way for them to form a partnership.
Visit our Gallery for more screencaps from this episode!
With most of us in some form of quarantine during the Covid-19 epidemic, we hope the follwing interview will provide some welcome distraction. Andrew Gower graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us earlier this week – little did he know how many there would be! He answered all of them nonetheless and we cannot thank him enough for his time and patience!
We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did coming up with questions and covering “a bit of everything”.
First things first: How are you?
Right now, I feel like I should be asking all of you … how you are? … but I shall answer your question : despite the craziness of the world right now – I’m well thank you and healthy. Self isolating in London. In a VERY clean flat.
This question needs to be asked: On a scale from 1-10, how weird or how awesome is it for you to have your own small fanbase?
10 for awesomeness. The weirdness has worn away.
Do you remember the first time someone asked you for your autograph?
The first autograph I ever signed was at a cinema in Angel – the person sat next to me thought I was Andy Murray.
You’re not very active on Social Media. What changed your mind about joining Instagram? Do you have a preference?
I love Twitter for football. All Everton news. That’s a daily go to. I do like to post random photos or music on both – sporadically. I think it’s a nice way to share work you’re passionate about. But I’ve definitely made a conscious effort to spend less time on them. Nothing wrong with a bit of mystery.
Tell us something about Andrew, the actor: when you’re filming, what’s the first thing you do when you come on set? Do you have a special routine?
This changes from set to set … or whatever scenes I’m filming that day. But I’d say a common go to is a cup of black coffee or at a push a red bush tea.
Is it as hard for you as it is for us fans to wait for a new film or TV series to come out after you’ve wrapped filming?
Part of the fun of wrapping a project is knowing that when it comes out you’ll be in a completely different headspace/another role 🤞. There’s something magical about that. Much nicer to be able to watch a project from a distance – not that I’m an avid viewer of my work anyway.
Out of all the characters you played, do you have a favourite?
I really don’t. The joy is being able to think what you can play next or how you could improve the role you just played/make better for next time.
Probably one of the most beloved characters you’ve played so far is Sherlock Holmes (lovingly nicknamed “Baby Sherlock” by your fans btw) on Murdoch Mysteries. It’s been 7 years and people are still asking if/when you’ll make a comeback. Are you aware there’s even an online petition that asks for your return?
Probably be incredibly envious of her talents … and hat collection.
Sherlock Holmes, Rupert Parker and Ezra Spurnrose are all Victorian men (even though Ezra isn’t really from the 19th century). Were you able to use some of your research for the other characters?
I’ve definitely had my overdose of Victorian England. Etiquette coming out of my ears. Although with every character I try and approach them with a different mind set or from a different angle – but it definitely helps to have researched a time period.
One of your fans once commented that it takes “guts and talent” to take on characters like Caligula or Bonnie Prince Charlie. What do you think were some brave choices you made in portraying either character?
That’s lovely to hear. I think one of the main things I took from drama school and from actors I admire … is that we should always be taking risks. Creative risks. Bold choices. Just like Brian Epstein took a risk on 4 lads from Liverpool. Best creative decisions are always risks.
Speaking of Caligula: there were moments when he definitely reminded us on Peter Ustinov’s Nero in the old classic Quo Vadis. Have you ever seen it?
I’ve never seen it. Thanks for the recommendation.
Three of the characters you played recently (Tommy Quickly, James Hadfield and Ben Taylor) are all battling (different) mental health issues. Coincidence or is this a topic you particularly liked exploring at that moment?
Honestly, it’s just they’re all really interesting characters on the page. It’s an amazing opportunity to play somebody who faces different day to day obstacles than yourself.
Iceland, Sweden, the Czech Republic – you filmed in some pretty cold places lately. Which one was your favourite (and do we need to knit some mittens for the future)?
I really couldn’t choose. V lucky to have filmed in all those countries. My mitten game is strong … don’t you worry.
Congratulations on a second season for Carnival Row! How does it feel to be back for another season?
It’s great to be back!
Our corner of the internet imploded a little, when you announced your part in the final season of Poldark. To see Mitchell and Cutler unite is probably the biggest dream, Being Human fans never knew they had, come true. How was filming with Aidan Turner?
Great to finally meet Aidan. Was lovely to chat about our time on Being Human and many of the Poldark crew had been on the show too. Joy to see them all!
You recently completed your first film as a producer. Can you tell us something about the experience to be in charge of a project from beginning to end? Would you like to produce again, maybe also direct?
It’s definitely something I’d like to do again. Though like with everything … It’s all about finding the right project and then you’ll NEED to do it.
It seems you often manage to include some of your music when you’re acting, for example one of Emerson’s songs is featured in an episode of Monroe. How did that happen?
Our wonderful producer Jennie Scanlon found out I had been in a band and asked if they could use the music for the episode.
Another example is Rob (Black Mirror), who is singing in his car just before the fatal accident. Was that scene improvised?
Andrew Gower plays Miss Scarlet’s best friend Rupert Parker, a mild mannered and slightly nervous young man who invests in Eliza’s agency and is one of her few supporters.
Rachael New and Declan O’Dwyer
Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin
ETA (31 March 2020):
In this episode of A Stab In The Dark, Mark Billingham talks to Kate Phillips and Rachael New. Kate and Rachael discuss with Mark the enduring appeal of the Victorian era when it comes to crime fiction and drama and explain why Eliza Scarlet is the female Sherlock Holmes.
Rupert Parker is a mild mannered and slightly nervous young man who also happens to be extremely wealthy. If he seems a little unsure of himself, it might be because he’s never had the chance to step out of the shadow of his domineering mother, who seems intent on making a marriage match between him and Miss Scarlet. Maybe they can partner up in some other way, though.
to see the new crime drama about Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), the first female detective in Victorian London, and Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin). Don’t miss Andrew Gower as Rupert Parker, Eliza’s best friend and business partner.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke is set to be broadcast in the USA on PBS Masterpiece in September this year. For more information on other international distributors, please see this post. We will update the list as soon as we have more details.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke follows the adventures of Miss Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), the first-ever female detective in 19th century London who is forced to partner with Detective Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington (Stuart Martin) of Scotland Yard, a drinker, gambler and womaniser. Rupert Parker (Andrew Gower) is Eliza’s best friend and one of her few supporters.
For the episode summaries and more promo pictures, please visit the Alibi TV website. We know that Andrew Gower will portray Rupert Parker, “Scarlet’s business partner and friend who invests in the agency and is one of her few supporters”, in at least 5 of the 6 season 1 episodes.
We had the great pleasure of speaking to the wonderfully talented Rachael New, creator of the upcoming drama Miss Scarlet and The Duke. We talked about her work on the 6 part series, the challenges of writing in a period setting and her plans for the future.
The British screenwriter’s impressive CV consists of a wide variety of drama and comedy series, both in contemporary and historical settings. In 2009 she wrote and co-created comedy drama series Monday Monday (starring Tom Ellis and Miranda Hart) for British channel ITV. She’s well-known for her work on The Mallorca Files (BBC), which also features a male and female detective clashing on how to investigate, and period drama Grantchester (ITV). Miss Scarlet and The Duke is the first time she serves as creator, writer and show runner.
What are you most excited about for fans to discover about Miss Scarlet and The Duke?
There is so much I’m looking forward. The characters have been so much fun to write. My protagonist Eliza Scarlet is a force of nature – an ambitious, independent woman living at a time where women had little or no rights. This creates lots of lovely conflict which you need to create a cracking story. I also think the tone of the series is quite a fresh take on the period genre. It’s a drama but punctuated with lots of comedy. I think this is something that will feel quite new and exciting to watch.
There’s no release date yet but can you maybe roughly hint at when we can expect to see it?
Great news, especially for everyone this side of the pond. Thank you!
How much research went into your work on Miss Scarlet and The Duke?
A lot. I wanted the world to feel as authentic as possible so that Eliza’s struggle could cut through. It wasn’t a chore. I love history, and curling up on my sofa with a pile of books, cup of tea (or g&t) usually with a blanket or a cat on my lap, is my idea of heaven.
That sounds really heavenly indeed! Is Miss Scarlet based on historic events? Was there a real “Miss Scarlet“?
The character of Eliza Scarlet is fiction – there were no female detectives in 19th century London – however the world she inhabits is very much an authentic one. I felt it was important to research as much as possible. The 19th century was very much a male dominated society and at its core the premise of Miss Scarlet and The Duke is a woman in a man’s world trying to stay in the game.
What was your inspiration for Miss Scarlet, as a character and as a series?
We have a female Doctor Who so I wanted to write a female Sherlock Holmes, but unlike Holmes Eliza Scarlet is more human and less super hero. And where Holmes would be celebrated for his brilliance, Eliza has to work a hell of a lot harder for any kind of respect or recognition.
Haha! There is a lot of me in Eliza – her determination, her impatience, her lack of culinary skills – I’d rather be digging in the garden covered in mud than in the kitchen baking. But Kate Phillips (who plays Eliza) has brought so much to the role that now I’m writing season 2 I just think of her. She is sensational.
Can you share anything about the casting process? What were you looking for in the actors portraying Eliza, the Duke, and Rupert?
I was looking for that spark, a connection that the actor has with the script. As soon as I met with Kate (Eliza), Stuart (Duke), Andrew (Rupert), Ansu (Moses) and Cathy (Ivy) I knew immediately that’s who I wanted. Each are very special actors. They’ve brought magic to the screen and I feel extremely lucky to have them on the show.
Standard and inevitable question: how was working with Andrew Gower?
Andrew’s funny, smart, intuitive and just a lovely person to hang out with. Rupert Parker is a complex character and Andrew did a beautiful job of playing those nuances with such subtlety. He manages to make you laugh as well as move you all at the same time. He’s a class act.
We couldn’t agree more!
How old were you when you started writing? Has writing always been a passion for you?
I always loved writing as a kid and a teen but never really thought about making a living out of it. It was later when I had my first baby (who is now almost 18!) that a stranger actually paid me for a piece of writing. I haven’t stopped since.
Do you enjoy writing historical stories or contemporary ones? And why? What are some pros and cons of each genre?
I’m a period drama junkie so that is my preference both to watch as a viewer and to write. There are many cons of writing period – it’s costly and it’s tricky when out on location to cover up the signs of our modern age – satellite dishes, telephone lines, street lights… but it’s worth the hassle. I love diving into a world that isn’t recognisable as my own. To me that’s true escapism and what storytelling is all about.
Miss Scarlet and The Duke was the first time producing your own show. How did that feel?
It was exhausting, stressful, relentless… and I loved every minute of it. Working with director Declan O’Dywer was a real career high for me. I’ve found a friend for life as well as a trusted colleague who I’ll definitely be working with on other projects. I don’t want to big him up too much or he’ll get a big head and it’s already pretty big – that and the fact that someone else might snap him up if they realise just how good he is.
Show Running Miss Scarlet has been incredible but I had an awesome team behind me. Ben Edwards who over the years has often been my writing partner on other shows (and who rather conveniently also happens to be my husband) wrote a couple of the episodes and helped me break the stories. Then there’s my formidable exec producer team headed up by Patty Ishimoto at Element 8. It was a massive team effort.
What’s your next project? Anything you can share?
I’ve got a Tudor thriller that’s an itch I’m going to scratch at some point, but at the moment it’s all Miss Scarlet. I’m in the middle of writing the first two episodes of season 2.
Thank you so very much, Ms New, for taking the time to answer our questions. We are even more excited to see Miss Scarlet and The Duke now and are loving the idea of a second season!
This article will be updated with more information as soon as and when we find out more.
The articles also mention Andrew and give us a little bit more information about his character Rupert Parker:
Andrew Gower (Carnival Row) plays Rupert Parker, Eliza’s business partner and friend. At the start of the series he invests in Eliza’s new detective agency and is one of the few encouraging voices on her side.