Dark Angel

'Dark Angel': Recap

Masterpiece presents a portrait of Mary Ann Cotton, the first female serial killer in the industrial era, in drama Dark Angel. A story of the a woman who killed her victims using pots of tea laced with arsenic, the two hour production explores what might make a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown tip into madness.

Dark Angel and Our Obsession with Serial Killers

This Sunday, PBS will air the BBC's production of Dark Angel, which focuses on the life of Mary Ann Cotton, one of the 19th century's most prolific serial killers, and one that you've mostly likely never heard of.

What drives a killer to take the lives of those around them? This is a question that has an entire subgenre of entertainment devoted to it, from true crime novels, to Lifetime movies, to tevision specials on the Discovery Channel to podcasts like Serial. But most of these focus on male killers -- your John Wayne Gacys, your Ted Bundys, your Jack the Rippers. But this weekend, Masterpiece presents a dramatic miniseries that focuses on one of the lesser known serial killers of the 1800s, Mary Anne Cotton, whose death count may in fact be higher than any of those mentioned above. 

Joanne Froggatt Serial Killer Drama ‘Dark Angel’ to Premiere on Masterpiece in May

Joanne Froggatt as Mary Cotton in "Dark Angel" (Photo: : Courtesy of Justin Slee/World Productions and MASTERPIECE)

The only truly great thing to come from the end of Downton Abbey is watching the popular period drama’s cast members move on to new projects. Michelle Dockery is busy playing a con artist on TNT’s Good Behavior. Dan Stevens is a powerful mutant on FX’s X-men drama Legion. Lily James played Cinderella, Natasha Rostova in War and Peace and a zombie-fighting version of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet.

Now it’s Joanne Froggatt’s turn. Froggatt, who played long-suffering ladies’ maid Anna Bates on Downton, has a new drama coming to Masterpiece this spring. And her role couldn’t be more different than sweet Anna Bates. She’s starring in Dark Angel, a drama that tells the story of infamous Victorian poisoner Mary Cotton. The series will premiere as part of the spring Masterpiece lineup, on Sunday, May 21st.

Joanne Froggatt as Mary Cotton in "Dark Angel" (Photo: Courtesy of ©JustinSleePhotography2015/MASTERPIECE)

Joanne Froggatt’s ‘Dark Angel’ to Air on Masterpiece in 2016

Joanne Froggatt’s next project after Downton Abbey is kind of…against type. Best known for playing the beloved, long-suffering Anna Bates, Froggat will next take on the role of infamous Victorian poisoner Mary Cotton in an upcoming two-part drama entitled Dark Angel.

The series will be aired on ITV in the UK, and will come to America shortly thereafter on PBS stations nationwide as part of PBS’s 2016 Masterpiece slate.

‘Downton Abbey’s’ Joanne Froggatt Signs on to Play a Victorian Serial Killer

One of the most interesting things about Downton Abbey drawing to a close is seeing what sorts of projects its many fantastic actors are signing up to do next after the doors of Highclere close forever. (Or at least until a prequel or sequel series gets greenlit; let’s all keep that dream alive.)

First out of the gate appears to be star Joanne Frogatt, who plays everyone’s favorite long suffering house-turned-ladies maid Anna Bates. Anna has certainly dealth with more than her fair share of tragedy over the course of Downton’s run – enduring a brutal rape, suffering through her husband’s lengthy trial for murder and eventually ending up arrested herself at the end of last season before having her name cleared. So, after playing such a long-suffering character, it’s no surprise that Frogatt seems to have gone in a completely different direction for her first post-Downton gig.

She’ll be starring in a two-part drama for ITV called Dark Angel, which aims to tell the story of Victorian poisoner Mary Cotton, who used adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder to “better” herself socially and financially before being convicted and hanged for her crimes in 1873.