Miss Scarlet and the Duke getting a title change ahead of Season 5

One of the titular leads of Miss Scarlet and the Duke is leaving ahead of the fifth season. What's going on?

MASTERPIECE Mystery!
"Miss Scarlet and The Duke" Season 2

Episode Three
Sunday, October 30, 2022; 8-9pm ET on PBS
Eliza is forced into hiding when she is the prime suspect in a series of break-ins at city morgues. While the Duke tries to find other suspects, Eliza turns to Moses and her other associates for help.

Shown from left to right: Stuart Martin as William "The Duke" Wellington and Kate Phillips as Eliza Scarlet 

For editorial use only.

Courtesy of Element 8 Entertainment and
MASTERPIECE Mystery! "Miss Scarlet and The Duke" Season 2 Episode Three Sunday, October 30, 2022; 8-9pm ET on PBS Eliza is forced into hiding when she is the prime suspect in a series of break-ins at city morgues. While the Duke tries to find other suspects, Eliza turns to Moses and her other associates for help. Shown from left to right: Stuart Martin as William "The Duke" Wellington and Kate Phillips as Eliza Scarlet For editorial use only. Courtesy of Element 8 Entertainment and /
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There’s a major change coming to Miss Scarlet and the Duke for its now confirmed Season 5. The series will be renamed to just Miss Scarlet.

Yes, we’re saying goodbye to The Duke, according to TVLine. It sounds like this is due to Stuart Martin’s decision rather than a creative decision from the show. After all, when you have a series that is named for its two leads, you’re probably not going to make a creative decision to have one of them leave.

Why is Stuart Martin leaving Miss Scarlet and the Duke?

The exit will come ahead of the fifth season, which will still see Kate Phillips return as Miss Eliza Scarlet. Martin shared that he thought it was time for Scarlet to explore new stories and challenges. The show will evolve without him, although he is grateful for the show and his colleagues.

Take a look at the full statement below:

"It has been such an incredible joy to bring Duke to life through [series creator] Rachael [New]’s beautiful, brilliant writing, and to get to play him for the past four years, but it felt like the time was right for Scarlet to explore new stories and challenges for now, as the show continues to grow and evolve. I will miss working with my amazing partner in crime Kate and the rest of our brilliant family and team, but I’m excited to continue following Eliza and her escapades as a huge fan and newly enrolled Scarleteer!"

There are no hard feelings from anyone else. Phillips will miss Martin, but this is time for Miss Scarlet to grow as a character. She loves her Duke, but she needs to start to go out on her own.

Can Miss Scarlet work without the Duke?

It’s going to be interesting to see how this works. A lot of shows struggle once one of the main leads leaves. Look at how The Vampire Diaries struggled after Nina Dobrev left and how Once Upon a Time struggled with its reboot season. It’s really only the large ensemble shows that work with big cast changes, such as NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy.

It is disappointing news for the fans. The relationship between Miss Scarlet and her Duke was one of the big reasons to tune in for the period drama. His lack of inclusion in the most recent season certainly made some things fall flat at times.

Production is currently underway in Belgrade, Serbia. It looks like this exit is not a big surprise to any as it will have been written without the Duke around from the beginning.

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Miss Scarlet and the Duke is available to stream on PBS Masterpiece, which is available via Amazon Channels.