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‘Miss Scarlet’ Adds Tom Durant Pritchard as the Duke’s Replacement — and Fans Are Losing It

Miss Scarlet Adds Tom Durant Pritchard as the Duke s Replacement — And Fans Are Losing It 912 919 Tom Durant Pritchard Stuart Martin
Tom Durant Pritchard, Stuart Martin. Courtesy of MASTERPIECE

Miss Eliza Scarlet won’t have the Duke by her side for season 5 of Miss Scarlet, but that doesn’t mean she won’t have a handsome sparring partner.

PBS Masterpiece announced on Thursday, April 18, that Tom Durant Pritchard has joined the cast as Alexander Blake following Stuart Martin’s exit as Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington.

Inspector Blake is a former soldier who joins Scotland Yard to “replace” William, according to a press release. Like William before him, Alexander will cross paths with Eliza (Kate Phillips) as she continues to work as a private detective.

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“He’s not particularly shocked by a woman working as a private eye, so Eliza takes this to mean she’ll be given more cases,” the official character description reads. “But their relationship gets off to a rocky start since Inspector Blake has decided not to allow private detectives to aid in his investigations.”

As Alexander and Eliza continue to run into each other at crime scenes, “They can’t help but develop mutual respect for one another, and perhaps even an attraction,” per the synopsis.

“I am thrilled to be joining the team and to become part of the Scarlet family,” Durant Pritchard, 36, said in a press release. “Working with Kate has been a dream and she’s been so welcoming.”

Miss Scarlet Adds Tom Durant Pritchard as the Duke s Replacement — And Fans Are Losing It 912 918

While the actor is excited to be on board, fans had mixed reactions to Durant Pritchard stepping into the Duke’s shoes.

“Wow. This doesn’t feel right. Bait and switch,” one user wrote via X following the casting announcement. A second fan commented, “Nope, you lost me when you let the Duke go … I’m all done with this show.”

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A third user quipped, “Miss Scarlet and the Blake?” Multiple social media fans used the hashtag #BringBackDuke to express their frustrations over the situation.

“So disappointing that you feel that one of the half of the show was ‘replaceable,’” another user commented on PBS Masterpiece’s post. “It’s a no from me #BringBackDuke #MissScarletANDTHEDUKE.”

At the end of season 4 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke — which has since been renamed Miss Scarlet — William professed his love for Eliza. Moments later, he revealed he had taken a job in America to give them “time to consider our options.” William mustered up the courage to kiss Eliza before leaving her in London.

Miss Scarlet Adds Tom Durant Pritchard as the Duke s Replacement — And Fans Are Losing It 912 914

While fans were shocked by his choice to move to New York, many didn’t expect the character to be gone from the show completely. However, PBS Masterpiece announced in February that Martin was exiting the series and would not be reprising his role as William, a.k.a. the Duke, 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. “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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He 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, who worked with Martin for four seasons, released her own statement, saying 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 34-year-old actress teased: “I can’t wait for fans to see what we have in store for Season 5.”

Season 5 of Miss Scarlet is currently filming.

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