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‘Miss Scarlet’ Is Ditching ‘The Duke’ AKA Stuart Martin Ahead of Season 5

Miss Scarlet and the Duke Stuart Martin Announces Exit

Miss Scarlet and The Duke is dropping “The Duke” — literally — as actor Stuart Martin exits the hit series ahead of season 5.

PBS Masterpiece announced on Thursday, February 29, that private detective Miss Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips) will be back for a new season — but her favorite Scotland Yard detective William “The Duke” Wellington (Martin) won’t be by her side. Instead, the show is being renamed Miss Scarlet for season 5.

“It has been such an incredible joy to bring Duke to life through [creator] Rachael [New]’s beautiful, brilliant writing, and to get to play him for the past four years,” Martin, 38, said in a statement, confirming his departure after four seasons. “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.”

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The Scottish actor added: “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!”

Phillips, 34, revealed in her own statement that she “will miss working with my pal Stu every day, and know Eliza will miss her Duke, but I think the best is yet to come for her.” The actress teased: “I can’t wait for fans to see what we have in store for Season 5.”

Miss Scarlet and the Duke Stuart Martin Announces Exit
Kate Phillips as Miss Scarlet and Stuart Martin as William Wellington (The Duke) Sever Zolak/MASTERPIECE

The series creator also hinted at Eliza’s future, saying, “We will miss our Duke but there is so much in store for Eliza — new crimes, new friends, new foes and new romance. We will be keeping her very busy!”

Fans, Us included, weren’t happy to hear that Eliza and William’s love story has seemingly been cut short. From the series’ start in 2020, Eliza has tried to hide her feelings for William, who she met as a teenager, but during season 4, their feelings bubbled to the surface.

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After William got shot on the job, Eliza and her housekeeper helped William get back to full strength by season 4, episode 4, which aired in January. Once healthy, however, he told her he has taken a job in New York for a year “because I love you.”

The omission left Eliza speechless, but William insisted that it will “give us the time to consider our options” and see whether they are meant to be. The moment culminated in a kiss, but he still left.

“Nothing to watch since Miss Scarlet and the Duke season 4 is over. The Duke told Miss Scarlet he loved her this season. I cannot wait for season 5,” one user wrote via X on February 25.

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When news broke that Martin would not be reprising his role, fans showed outrage over the open-ended love story.

“What do you mean the Duke isn’t coming back? Miss Scarlet and Who??” one user wrote via X on Thursday, while another pointed out, “What do you mean it’s Miss Scarlet AND the Duke??? What do you mean he’s leaving and you’re renaming the show??? It doesn’t make any sense!!!”

A third user shared a gif of Everybody Loves Raymond’s Marie saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things” alongside a gif of Kitty on That ‘70s Show pouring alcohol in a blender to drown away her sorrow. “’Miss Scarlet’ … the most devastating thing ever,” the fan captioned the X post.

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