Miss Scarlet & The Duke is a hugely popular British cozy crime drama TV series set in Victorian London.

Created by Rachael New, the series premiered in 2020 and follows the adventures of Eliza Scarlet, a pioneering female private detective.

The quick back story is that her father, Henry before he died, was a highly regarded Detective who passed on his knowledge to his very enthusiastic daughter.

However, given the time period, women were not allowed in the Police Force, and pretty much nobody had ever heard of a female investigator.

The ace up Eliza’s sleeve is William “The Duke” Wellington, a Scotland Yard Inspector who has known the Scarlet family since he was a teenager.

He feels a sense of duty to Eliza now that her father has passed. He also recognises that she’s incredibly smart and very good at her job so the two tend to work hand-in-hand to solve various crimes around London.

Theirs is very much a complicated relationship where they are clearly as in love with each other as much as they frustrate one another.

But with neither ready to commit or even admit their feelings for the other, viewers have, so far, had to contend with a ‘will-they-wont-they’ dynamic for four seasons.

There was a glimmer of hope in Season 4 Episode 3 when it looked like they might finally get together, but then The Duke was offered a job in America.

So he packed his bags and headed across the pond, leaving Eliza and us with nothing more than a few back-and-forth letters.

And, dear readers, that is also where their relationship ends!

“Noooooo!” I hear you cry, but the sad news is that Stuart Martin, who played William Wellington, will not return for Season 5.

Why Is William Not Returning?

As usual there is no hard or fast reason as to why Stuart Martin decided to call it a day on Miss Scarlet.

There was plenty of love between cast members when it was announced with them all stating how much they will miss him blah blah blah, but nothing concrete.

The statement from Martin was: “It has been such an incredible joy to bring Duke to life through Rachael’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!”

As I said, they gave away nothing!

But here’s my take, for what it’s worth. Stuart Martin is also in Rebel Moon Part 1 & 2, and promotion for Part 2 fell at the exact same time as filming for Miss Scarlet & The Duke.

He was at all sorts of events and talks about it right through to its release on Netflix on April 19th, 2024.

Simultaneously, Kate Phillips was on Instagram with photos and videos of Season 5 wrapping on May 2nd, 2024.

So, by any stretch of the imagination, Stuart Martin couldn’t conceivably be in two places at once, and a tough decision had to be made.

They are clearly still friends, they like each other’s posts, etc…and the reality is that Stuart Martin has worked on a number of projects with director Zach Snyder, and this was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Who Will Replace The Duke?

So, technically, the Duke will not be replaced. So much so that the show will now be called Miss Scarlet.

And while it’s bye-bye to the Duke, both physically and in the title, there have been other cast additions to season 5 that have piqued our interest.

A lot of familiar faces will return for Miss Scarlet season 5, including Felix Scott as Patrick Nash, Evan McCabe as Detective Fitzroy, Cathy Belton as Ivy, Simon Ludders as Mr. Potts, Paul Bazely as Clarence, and Tim Chipping as Detective Phelps.

But along with them comes Tom Durant Pritchard, who plays Alexander Blake, a respected detective inspector who joins Scotland Yard to replace William Wellington who has gone to America.

While he may potentially be a new romantic interest for Eliza, the path to true love will not run smoothly for this duo.

Blake has no issue with a female private detective; however, he does have a problem allowing outsiders to help with investigations.

So rather than get more access to paid jobs, Eliza is initially shut out completely until, of course, their paths cross enough times for him to recognise her valuable input.

For many fans who were really hoping for a happy ending between Eliza and William, it will take some time to get used to a new face.

But ultimately, all stories evolve, cast changes happen and Miss Scarlet is no different.

And you can catch it all in early 2025 when Miss Scarlet season 5 is released.

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