If you know me, you know I enjoy watching all sorts of TV and film, which means I also take pleasure in watching a well-produced period drama. Sadly, in the era of competing streaming services and television, they’re scarce, and if we are lucky to get one, we often have a long wait for a new season (not that I’m complaining–waiting for a new season of Peaky Blinders is always worth it). Last year, a light seemingly shone as we were blessed with Sanditon, but that crashed and burned faster than Mr. Tom Parker’s uninsured building.
However, despite this heaping pile of gorilla s— year, the skies above decided to endow us once more. Enter, Miss Scarlet and the Duke. No, it’s not the kind of romance centered period drama you’re thinking, even though that’s exactly what the series sounds like, I promise you. But if you’re into a strong, intelligent, well-developed independent female breaking gender norms in Victorian London that shares sexual tension with a brooding Scottish detective inspector, then prop your pillows and prep your snacks because it IS a series you should definitely watch.
The series follows Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), who takes over her father’s private detective agency after his death. Regardless of her capabilities, Eliza soon realizes she faces many obstacles solving cases in the field as a female and due to her lack of experience. In order to establish herself in a “man’s” world, she works alongside her father’s former protégé, Detective Inspector William Wellington, aka “the Duke” (Stuart Martin), of Scotland Yard. The first and perhaps only thing you should know: these two have INSANE chemistry. Better yet, they have a partnership centered with mutual respect and care combined with the frustration ensued by their constant bickering. Seriously, though, there’s sparks flying in all directions.
While Eliza may not be the seasoned detective like the Duke is, she’s got the skills and instinct, and she’s not afraid to get down and dirty with the boys while maintaining her femininity. She may not want to get married or know how to boil eggs, but she’ll boldly stand up against those in the wrong, support her friends, and fight for her values and the helpless. She accepts her mistakes, but she won’t allow others to use those mistakes as an excuse to dismiss her. In short, she’s awesome. And while her persistence drives the Duke to high levels of annoyance (for instance, she claimed to be one of his favored whores in order to avoid arrest), he has her back and will not hesitate to shut down those who disrespect her. He values what she has to say, whether he wants to hear it or not, and ultimately listens, usually with a scowl on his face. He’s basically the cliché grump with the endless exasperated expressions that’s soft for the bubbly one. That’s surely a big factor for y’all to watch, right?
Of course, there are other wonderful aspects and characters of the show to keep you lured in, but it’s more fun to discover those yourself. You’ll love the witty banter, the mysteries, character relationships, and all the shenanigans Eliza gets herself into. Don’t worry, we’ll get a chance to go over all these and more episode by episode once they air in the U.S., so make sure to come back and join our discussions!
Anyways, my ramblings have concluded. In summary, it’s worth a watch, especially for those craving a period drama. For interested viewers, the series’ first season consisted of six episodes and was broadcasted March 2020 in the U.K. on Alibi. You’ll be pleased to hear it has been renewed for a second season, although production has been delayed due the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S viewers will be able to catch the series premiere as part of PBS’ Masterpiece beginning on January 17th, 2021. (Perfect time for when the Bridgerton high begins to fade.)
Have you already seen Miss Scarlet and the Duke? If so, share your thoughts below!