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“Miss Scarlet is feisty and scrappy”

“Miss Scarlet is feisty and scrappy”


Get clued up on Alibi’s new and exclusive detective drama Miss Scarlet And The Duke from star Kate Phillips

By Jack Prescott, Senior Staff Writer

Thought all Victorian detectives wore deerstalkers, smoked pipes were maddeningly aloof? Think again, because alibi’s new crime drama Miss Scarlet And The Duke ditches all of that for something far more relevant and refreshing.


Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders, The Crown, Downton Abbey) stars as Eliza Scarlet, a young woman who is left in severe financial trouble after her father dies suddenly. To ease her money woes, Eliza could follow the conventions of the era and marry a wealthy man. Or – and this is far more exciting – she could fulfil her ambition of being a supersleuth by carrying on her father’s detective agency.

Kate Phillips in Miss Scarlet And The Duke

Choosing the latter (thank goodness), Eliza soon discovers she can’t clean up Victorian London’s murky streets on her own. To help her navigate this male-dominated world, she decides she needs someone with a bit of professional clout to help her collar the city’s crooks. Enter Scotland Yard Inspector, and Eliza’s childhood friend, William “The Duke” Wellington (Jamestown’s Stuart Martin). Just don’t expect this newly minted crime-fighting team to always get along.


What Eliza lacks in hands-on knowledge, she more than makes up for in confidence and smart-thinking. Meanwhile, William is the gumshoe who knows plenty about catching law-breakers, but is stuck in his stubborn ways and doesn’t need an inexperienced detective telling him what to do. If only they could see how their respective skills complement each other…


Both supremely stylish and seriously witty, new six-part series Miss Scarlet And The Duke is sure to thrill fans of quality crime drama. Find out even more about the show from star Kate Phillips…


On first receiving the script...

“It was hugely exciting. I remember when it popped into my inbox and I was hooked within the first sequence. I knew immediately I wanted to play that part. Reading on, you get to understand Eliza is a really grounded, complex character. She’s sympathetic but also feisty and scrappy and extremely intelligent. When you’re looking at roles to play I always get excited by characters who are bright. I loved playing her.”


On Eliza’s flaws...

Kate Phillips in Miss Scarlet And The Duke

“She’s a great problem-solver and investigator, but she’s also constantly getting it wrong. That’s one of the reasons why you fall in love with her. She’s good at solving crime, but she often comes to those conclusions inadvertently after making a fool of herself. She’s definitely not perfect.”


On the show’s immersive set...

“The set design and the world that’s been imagined is extraordinary. We worked in a number of locations around Dublin and the stuff [the set designers] do is just stunning. I remember the day I saw Eliza’s living room and all of the colours and the fabrics pull everything together. It’s all of those little details that come together that help you do your job.”


On researching for the role...

“One thing I read about was sanitary wear for Victorian women. They didn’t wear your archetypal underwear; they had to be suspended from your shoulders! Researching is useful for getting the texture of the ordinary world, but the thing I love to do is immerse yourself in the script. That’s the most useful preparation.”


On Eliza’s relationship with “The Duke”...

“These two have known each other for years. There’s a long history there, yet their relationship has a bit of a sibling rivalry thing going on. But as the series develops, that turns into something more. You want them to get together by the end.”


On having a CV packed with period dramas...

Kate Phillips in Miss Scarlet And The Duke

“The most contemporary piece of drama I’ve worked on was set in 1952! It’s not out of any choice of my own. I would love to be part of the contemporary world, but I also know I’m hugely grateful for the work I’ve been able to do. I’ve loved every world, but I do wonder how I’ll feel when I have to wear a pair of jeans on set.”


On working on new Julian Fellowes drama The English Game on Netflix...

“I was really excited to be part of another Julian Fellowes project. It’s a really exciting drama about the birth of football. It’s something I didn’t know anything about. It casts a light on the class divide of the time. It’s the kind of thing I’d love to watch as well.”


When is alibi’s Miss Scarlet And The Duke on TV?

Miss Scarlet And The Duke airs on alibi/HD (CH 126/212) on Tuesdays at 9pm, with the first episode screening on 31 March. It is also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > alibi

The six-part series will subsequently air every week until Tuesday 5 May.

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Interviews: Any opinions expressed in interviews are those of the interview subject and not those of Virgin Media.

Image credits: Miss Scarlet And The Duke © UKTV / Bernard Walsh