Dark Angel (2016)
1 user 1 critic

Episode #1.1 

24-year-old Mary Ann Cotton returns home to Seaham, County Durham having eloped to Cornwall with Billy Mowbray. A terrible cycle of births and deaths has haunted the pair but as Mary's circumstances worsen she finds a deadly solution.


Brian Percival


Gwyneth Hughes, David Wilson (inspired by book "Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer")




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Seamus O'Neill Seamus O'Neill ... William Calcraft
Alun Armstrong ... George Stott
Joanne Froggatt ... Mary Ann Cotton
Tom Varey ... Billy Mowbray
Penny Layden Penny Layden ... Margaret Stott
George Potts ... Insurance Agent
Paul Bentall Paul Bentall ... Seaham Minister
Laura Morgan ... Maggie Cotton
Isobel Dobson Isobel Dobson ... Isabella Mowbray (3 years)
Bill Fellows ... Mr Brownlee
Jonas Armstrong ... Joe Nattrass
Isla McMonigle Isla McMonigle ... Isabella Mowbray (7 years)
Mike Burnside Mike Burnside ... Sunderland Doctor
John Hollingworth ... Dr John Maling
Thomas Howes ... George Ward


In 1857 Mary Ann Mowbray, nee Cotton, returns to Durham from Cornwall with husband Billy and a surviving child, her other four all having died and mortality will claim a further two, only daughter Isabella being spared. This spurs her stepfather George into taking out insurance policies on the family. When Billy falls ill Mary Ann poisons him, using a typhus outbreak as cover, and claims the insurance on him and her dead baby whilst starting an affair with lusty miner Joe Nattrass. Having poisoned a second husband, George Ward, Mary Ann starts work as a nanny for widower James Robinson, though his sister Helen mistrusts her. Mary Ann's mother works out her daughter's scheming, thus sealing her own fate, before Mary Ann chooses her next victim. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


As the episode starts 'Seaham' ( a coastal town on the East coast) appears on the screen giving the impression that is where the setting is but the opening scenes are on the beach around the pier at Saltburn ( the only town along that part of the coast with a pier) and where a good part of the episode was shot. See more »

User Reviews

The tale of a real life monster.
2 August 2019 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Get ready for marriages, sickness and murder. Britain's first female serial killer is brought to life in this excellent two part ITV series. It is a very dark, grim story, not one for the faint hearted. Cotton gets a formula, to make money, and sticks with it, killing all those who get in her way.

Wonderful costumes, it looks incredibly accurate and well made. Froggatt in particular wears some great outfits.

Joanne Froggatt shines as Mary Ann Cotton. I applaud her and the production team, writers, for making her sincere, and understated, you buy into her as a character, she's cool and calculating. Jonas Armstrong and Alun Armstrong are excellent also.

Don't drink the tea! 8/10

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Release Date:

21 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

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