Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt has been cast in a two-part ITV drama about based on the true story of Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton.
In Dark Angel viewers will meet Mary Ann, a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But when she’s faced with abject poverty and an ailing husband, her desires for a better life reveal the true extend of her ruthlessness.
Mary Ann is a very female serial killer, a poisoner whose methods leave no visible scars, allowing her tally of victims to mount unsuspected by a Victorian society unable to conceive of a woman capable of such terrible crimes.
Travelling around the North East, she insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own – before killing them, taking their money and moving on.
Through adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder, Mary Ann betters herself socially and financially. But the more she kills, the greater the risk her crimes will finally be exposed …
The show is due to begin filming in August in North Yorkshire and County Durham and is supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund.
ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the drama.
“Dark Angel is an extraordinary and chilling true story,” said Victoria Fea, ITV’s Controller of Drama.
“We’re delighted to have an actress of Joanne Froggatt’s calibre in the lead role. The combination of a tautly written script, an outstanding cast and great producers in World Productions make this a really exciting addition to the ITV drama slate.”
Dark Angel is written by Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days) and will be directed by Emmy and BAFTA award-winner Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).