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Sun, Dec. 4 at 10pm - The Mysterious Women of Masterpiece Mystery

Simon Ludders as Mr. Potts and Kate Phillips as Eliza Scarlet
SERGEJ_RADOVIC / Courtesy of Element 8 Entertainment and MASTERPIECE
PBS Pressroom
Simon Ludders as Mr. Potts and Kate Phillips as Eliza Scarlet

MASTERPIECE Mystery has delighted PBS viewers for decades with incredible productions featuring intriguing sleuths and diabolical villains, bringing the greatest crime novels ever written to the screen while creating fresh classics for new audiences. With distinguished decades of history behind it, MASTERPIECE Mystery continues to grow and evolve.

This fall, MASTERPIECE features the second season of Miss Scarlet and The Duke and the debuts of Magpie Murders and Annika, a trio of beguiling mysteries featuring female lead characters sure to delight fans. The Mysterious Women of MASTERPIECE Mystery provides viewers with enticing clues and secrets about these captivating series and includes clips from each, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Interviews with the cast and creators offer insights and stories about the joys — and challenges — of making these series.

Tune in Sun, Dec. 4 at 10pm on the WSIU stations: WSIU 8.1, WUSI 16.1, WSEC 14.1, WQEC 27.1 and WMEC 22.2 or access the WSIU local broadcast livestream online at pbs.org or via the PBS Video app. Get extended access to this program and more with WSIU Passport.

About the Program
Delving deeply, Mysterious Women focuses on the tenacious, bold and intrepid women who head up each series. Beginning with Miss Scarlet and The Duke, the program immerses viewers in the world of Victorian London’s brilliant, beautiful and first-ever female private detective. A woman in a man’s world, Eliza Scarlet encounters challenges and obstacles at almost every turn but continues to persevere. Kate Phillips, who stars as Eliza, sums up her character: “Her most infuriating and most charming quality has got to be the same thing — her tenacity and her inability to say no or give up. It’s annoying but also kind of her superpower.”

Additional cast interviews include Stuart Martin, who portrays William “The Duke” Wellington, Ansu Kabia who portrays Moses, an unexpected but valuable member of Eliza’s team, and Cathy Belton, who plays Eliza’s devoted housekeeper and former nurse Ivy. Creator and writer Rachael New and writer Ben Edwards discuss the popularity of the series and its intriguing characters.

Starring in the title role of new detective series Annika is Nicola Walker, familiar to MASTERPIECE viewers for her role in Unforgotten. Set in modern-day Glasgow, Walker plays DI Annika Strandhed, the speedboat-driving head of the newly established Marine Homicide Unit. Describing her character, Walker says: “I liked her on the page the first time I read her. She’s funny and smart and renowned within the force for approaching crimes from a unique angle.”

The series explores Annika’s loving but fraught relationship with her teenage daughter, played by Silvie Furneaux, who discusses the dynamics of their mother-daughter roles. Cast members from the Marine Homicide Unit interviewed include Ukweli Roach (DS Tyrone Clarke), Jamie Sives (DS Michael McAndrews), and Katie Leung (DC Blair Ferguson).

Creator and writer Nick Walker reveals that Annika began on the radio and talks about one of the most provocative devices used in the mystery series: breaking the fourth wall. “In all good crime movies, there’s a kind of relationship that you have with your partner in a police unit,” he says. “We thought, ‘What if the audience was Annika’s police buddy?’ What if the things she talked about were to us rather than to somebody else?” Having Annika speak directly to the camera turns viewers into confidantes, allowing them to understand her innermost thoughts.

Also new to the MASTERPIECE schedule this year is Magpie Murders, unspooling over six spellbinding episodes. Based on Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling novel, the series ingeniously weaves together the present and the past, fact and fiction, and allows several actors to portray dual roles. When detective novelist Alan Conway (Conleth Hill) dies, the last chapter of his latest manuscript goes missing. Now it’s up to Alan’s longtime editor Susan Ryeland (Academy Award®-nominee Lesley Manville) to suss out what happened to Alan and find the last chapter to solve the mystery.

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With over a decade of experience in public media, Stackhouse serves as the Assistant Director of Digital Services for WSIU Public Broadcasting. The Digital Service department supports the promotion of the station’s digital content and services including social media, web-based membership services and activities, and marketing and communications. Stackhouse's professional goals include creating an inclusive environment where media students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can gain experience and professional development opportunities in various aspects of the broadcasting industry.
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