All new from MASTERPIECE for an entire evening! “Miss Scarlet and The Duke,” “The Magpie Murders” and “Annika” all premiere Oct. 16< < Back to
Eliza Scarlet is back!
Miss Scarlet and The Duke
Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin return as Victorian London’s dynamic duo on MASTERPIECE
Sundays, October 16 – November 20 on PBS
TV’s dueling detectives return for a new season of intriguing cases set in Victorian-era London on Miss Scarlet and The Duke, starring Kate Phillips
(Wolf Hall) as private eye Eliza Scarlet and Stuart Martin (Medici) as her hot-tempered friend, Inspector William “The Duke” Wellington of Scotland
Yard. Season 2 of this spellbinding series airs on MASTERPIECE, Sundays, October 16 – November 20 at 8pm on PBS.
Hailed as “smart, funny and fervently feminist” (TV Times), Miss Scarlet and The Duke was also pegged as “fun, atmospherically shot and packed with
skilled supporting players, while making its points elegantly” (Radio Times).
Nearly eight million viewers tuned in to Season 1, with an additional 1.6 million streaming the series on PBS Passport. On social media, fans
avidly debated the burning question, “Will they, or won’t they?” Meaning, do these two realize they are made for each other?
In an era of corsets, bonnets, and rigid patriarchy, Eliza Scarlet is England’s pioneer female private detective, and a credit to her sex since she is
arguably the nation’s finest sleuth. For his part, Duke is a natural-born crime-buster, destined for high office at Scotland Yard.
Along with the help (or hinderance) of Duke, Eliza is aided by her underworld odd-job man, Moses (Ansu Kabia, World on Fire); her sage housekeeper, Ivy (Cathy Belton, Hidden Assets); and her young friend and protégé, Hattie (Jessie Cave, Harry Potter).
The cast of characters also includes Duke’s new boss, Superintendent Monro (Ian Pirie, Guilt), who puts politics above policing. Consequently,
Duke is ordered to mentor Detective Fitzroy (Evan McCabe, Doctor Who), the inept son of the powerful police commissioner (Michael Simkin, This Is
Going To Hurt). Young Fitzroy is more suited to literary clubs than billy clubs, getting his colleagues into sticky situations. Charlie Phelps (Tim Chippings, Liar) rounds out the characters at Scotland Yard as the rough-around-the-edges detective.
Then there is the city mortuary clerk, Mr. Potts (Simon Ludders, Young Dracula), who is justifiably suspicious of Eliza since she has a habit of
breaking into his premises to inspect murder victims. Undeterred, Eliza assigns Ivy to find Potts’s weak points.
The new season presents a cavalcade of investigations, among them the search for a missing drawing by Charles Darwin, a murder that Eliza realizes mimics the plot of a mystery novel, a product-poisoning scheme, and a grave-robbing conspiracy. She also helps out Hattie by looking into prospective marriage partners proposed by her socially ambitious aunt (Helen Norton, Cracks), conveniently finding scandals associated with all.
Eliza is so good at her job that a rival detective agency led by Patrick Nash (Felix Scott, Grantchester) even tries to coerce her into joining their firm. If only Duke would take her more seriously!
“Sherlock Holmes only had to solve the crime,” says Susanne Simpson, executive producer of MASTERPIECE. “But Eliza also has to deal with society’s low opinion of women. In her audacious way, she turns being underrated into an advantage!”
Executive Producer for Element 8 Entertainment Patty Ishimoto says, “Rachael and Ben have taken all that we loved about season 1 and amped it up. Our favorite characters are back for more mystery and intrigue along with a few new ones that will delight the audience. Duke remains a dedicated champion of Eliza’s as she faces the ongoing struggle to find clients, and of course the ‘will they, won’t they’ saga lives on!”
“It was an absolute joy diving back into Eliza and Duke’s world and I just know the fans are going to love what we have in store for them,” notes creator, writer and executive producer Rachael New. “As with season one we have action, adventure, romance and more. The world of Scarlet is as vibrant as ever with new friends and some new foes for our duo to deal with. And as usual Eliza and Duke will be crashing into each other’s orbit, stepping on each other’s toes – there will never be a dull moment between these two. I can’t wait for Season 2 to explode onto the screen!”
The mysteries multiply
Lesley Manville stars in Anthony Horowitz’s adaptation of his thrilling, bestselling novel
Sundays, October 16 – November 20, 2022 on PBS
A dead mystery author. An incomplete manuscript. Suspects galore. This juicy setup for Anthony Horowitz’s (Foyle’s War) bestselling novel, Magpie
Murders, is coming to MASTERPIECE in an adaptation by Horowitz himself starring Academy Award®-nominee Lesley Manville (The Crown, Phantom Thread). Magpie Murders airs in six spellbinding episodes, Sundays, October 16 – November 20, 2022 at 9pm on PBS.
Critics were transfixed during the show’s UK broadcast. “A satisfying dose ofarmchair detective fun,” applauded The Guardian. “Yikes, this is excellent,” raved The Times. And The Telegraph was dazzled: “In a grey TV landscape crammed with humdrum whodunits, Magpie Murders is a splash of vivid color.”
“There’s never been a TV mystery like this,” notes MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson. “Anthony Horowitz weaves together a real world with an imaginary one, giving viewers multiple murders to solve and keeping them guessing right up to the end.” MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by GBH Boston.
Jill Green, Executive Producer for Eleventh Hour Films says, “Nothing else like this has ever been done in the world of murder mystery—it’s ingenious and playful at the same time.”
“I am so happy with this wonderful production of my novel—and audiences have loved it,” says Horowitz.
Also starring is Tim McMullan (The Crown, Patrick Melrose) as Atticus Pünd, the Poirot-like hero of the fictional series penned by irascible author Alan Conway, played by Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones). Michael Maloney (The Crown) is Alan’s astute publisher, Charles Clover. And Lesley Manville is Alan’s longtime editor, Susan Ryeland, who has thwarted his ambition to compose great literature, channeling his talents into compulsively readable whodunits. A very wealthy man, Alan nonetheless resents Susan’s heavy editorial hand.
Alexandros Logothetis (The Durrells in Corfu) costars as Susan’s Greek- teaching lover, Andreas; and Claire Rushbrook (Sherwood) is her suburban
sister, Katie. Both Katie and Andreas knew Alan when he was a poor instructor at a private school with unlikely dreams of becoming a published author. Little did anyone know…
But shortly after turning in his latest Atticus Pünd blockbuster, Alan dies under suspicious circumstances. Plus the manuscript is missing its crucial last chapter! Since Charles is in negotiations to sell his publishing company, and Alan is its greatest asset, financial ruin looms for both Charles and Susan, who is in line to become the next CEO, if she chooses.
Thus, Magpie Murders presents two mysteries: What happened to Alan, and what happens in the last chapter of his new book, titled Magpie Murders? Susan informally heads the first investigation, taking place in the here and now. Meanwhile, Pünd and the characters in Alan’s novel enact a separate mystery plot, set in 1955.
In a clever blending of present and past, fact and fiction, some of the characters in Susan’s world are portrayed by the same actors in Pünd’s. This is because Alan wrote thinly disguised real people into his books, usually to even scores. Therefore, Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) doubles as Detective Superintendent Locke in Susan’s world and the dull-witted D.I. Chubb in Pünd’s. Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood) is Alan’s lover, James Taylor, and also Pünd’s slow-on-the-uptake sidekick, James Fraser. Pippa Haywood (Mr. Selfridge) is Alan’s underachieving sister, Claire, as well as the resentful Clarissa, sister of the brutally murdered Sir Magnus Pye (Lorcan Cranitch, Trigger Point).
“It’s like solving two puzzles,” says MASTERPIECE’s Simpson, “and Anthony and the director, Peter Cattaneo (two-time Academy Award®-nominee for The Full Monty and Dear Rosie), pull it off brilliantly.”
One final mystery: Alan vehemently insists that the title of his book is Magpie Murders, not The Magpie Murders. Could that be a clue?
Nicola Walker stars as the dry-witted skipper of Glasgow’s Marine Homicide Unit in a new series on MASTERPIECE
Sundays Starting October 16th at 10 pm
Set on a scenic river amid stunning Scottish lochs, Glasgow has an unusually high rate of slayings connected to water. At least, it does in MASTERPIECE’s gorgeous new crime series starring Nicola Walker (Unforgotten, Last Tango in Halifax) as DI Annika Strandhed, the speedboat-driving head of the city’s newly-formed Marine Homicide Unit.
A police procedural with wit, Annika delighted critics during its recent UK broadcast. “The dialogue is so droll and the performances so charming
I’m in for what fisherfolk call the long haul,” enthused the reviewer for The Guardian and The Times offered this praise, “Annika allows Walker to let
loose a warm sense of humor.”
MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson said, “Annika is a terrifically complicated, funny, one-of-a kind character brought brilliantly to
life by Nicola Walker. Fans of Unforgotten and Last Tango in Halifax have a lot to look forward to in Annika.”
Arabella Page Croft, producer for Black Camel Pictures says, “I am absolutely delighted to see this hit Scottish show arrive stateside! We are
thrilled to bring our irrepressible marine homicide squad chief Annika, played by the amazing Nicola Walker, to a new audience who we hope will
delight in her literary life-musings and crime-solving prowess as much as the UK audience have loved it.”
Walker is joined by Jamie Sives (Guilt) as DS Michael McAndrews, Annika’s old colleague, who resents being passed over for the DI job but performs
at full throttle as her second-in-command; Katie Leung (Harry Potter) as DC Blair Ferguson, the forensic brains behind the unit; and Ukweli Roach
(Grantchester) as DS Tyrone Clarke, the new cop at the station, who requested a posting with the legendary Annika.
Also appearing are Silvie Furneaux (Limbo) as Morgan, Annika’s rebellious teenage daughter, and Paul McGann (Luther) as Morgan’s therapist Jake
Strathearn, who develops into something of a soul mate for single mom Annika.
While other TV detectives discuss the case exclusively with their team, Annika addresses viewers directly, “breaking the fourth wall” that separates the action from the audience. “With most characters there is so much subtext,” notes Walker. “But there is no subtext with Annika because the subtext is her talking directly to you and telling you what she feels. By the end, we are going to know her as well as she knows herself.”
Annika’s strikingly effective M.O. is to link the crime under investigation to her obsessive reading of literature and mythology. For example, the harpoon manner of death in Episode One starts her musing about Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and its ruinous quest for a white whale, which provides an oblique clue to the murderer’s motive.
Similarly, Episode Two features the discovery of a corpse on the boat Valkyrie, linking the crime—in Annika’s mind—to the female warrior deities who gave the vessel its name. As Annika closes in on the fugitive killer, it suddenly occurs to her that Valkyries “don’t run; they fly.”
Uncannily real, Walker’s interpretation of Annika draws on the popular radio drama Annika Stranded, which aired in 31 episodes on BBC Radio 4 between 2013 and 2020. Walker was the one-woman star of that series, with scripts by Nick Walker (no relation). The two Walkers have now teamed up again to bring Annika to television in all her complexity, vulnerability, and eccentric affability.
“I’ve been Annika a long time now,” says Nicola Walker, “and if there was a chance of getting her fully fleshed out in a real-world environment, I wanted to be part of it.”