Parents' Guide to

Miss Scarlet and the Duke

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Violence is diluted in female-centered period mystery.

TV PBS Drama 2021
Miss Scarlet and the Duke Poster: The main characters stand below the show's title

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Fun with a great female role model

My family (husband, daughter who is 15 and son who is 17 as well as grandma) all really enjoyed this series! The acting is good, the stories are engaging and Miss Scarlet is intelligent, independent, brave, and kind. She is accepting of others' identities even during a time that many were not, and is strong enough to say no to marrying someone she doesn't love for financial security even when everyone else tells her that it’s the only way.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Phillips makes a charming, brimming-with-confidence Miss Scarlet, and the vintage feminist setup is fun, but this drama is less colorful and more predictable than you might hope. Victorian London looks like it's composed entirely of three hues -- black, gray, and dirty dark blue -- and though viewers will relish period touches like horses clip-clopping down the streets and men shaving with straight razors, Miss Scarlet and the Duke simply looks grim. A mystery seems like just the thing to liven things up, but since the show's cases generally seem to feature an obvious villain whom Eliza must unmask with a combination of fearlessness and intelligence, dramatic tension is light.

And so Miss Scarlet and the Duke winds up primarily getting what verve it has from the interplay between Eliza and supporting characters like Wellington. The moments in which Eliza evades the strict boundaries that William -- who's forever infuriated by her shenanigans -- puts her in are among the best in the series. Later characters Moses and Nash give Eliza an even larger sandbox to play in, as the more forward-thinking investigators support her in ethically sound, if not always perfectly legal, ways. The scenes in which Eliza and her companions' grit runs headlong into Victorian sensibilities are fun, like when Eliza's cook and maid are aghast that their unmarried employer would want to go out sleuthing late in the afternoon. "What will people think of a woman who goes out alone after dark?" they ask. "Let them think what they like," Scarlet shrugs. In such scenes, this series is a delight. It can drag a bit in between bright spots, but viewers who like a gentle period mystery could do much worse.

TV Details

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