FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMURDER IS SERVED
JOANNE FROGGATT STARS AS
INFAMOUS VICTORIAN SERIA
KILLER MARY ANN COTTON IN
Available on DVD from
PBS Distribution May 23rd
Arlington, VA. - PBS Distribution announced today it will be releasing "MASTERPIECE: DARK ANGEL
" on DVD. Joanne Froggatt, who stole the hearts of millions of viewers as Anna, the loving and resilient lady's maid on Downton Abbey
, stars in a totally different role in the spine-tingling two-part drama. Dispensing death from the spout of a warm teapot, Froggatt plays the notorious Victorian poisoner, Mary Ann Cotton, in DARK ANGEL
Directed by Emmy award-winner Brian Percival (Downton Abbey
), written by Golden Globe nominee Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl
), and inspired by the book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer
by noted criminologist David Wilson, DARK ANGEL
dramatizes the events that drew a troubled woman ever deeper into a career of casual murder, while her loved ones and friends - who were also her victims - never suspected a thing. DARK ANGEL
will be available on DVD May 23, 2017. The run time of the program is approximately 150 minutes, and the SRP is $29.99.
A Golden Globe-winner and three-time Emmy nominee for her Downton Abbey
performance, Froggatt is joined by an exceptional cast, including Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, Bleak House
) as Mary Ann's stepfather, Mr. Stott; Thomas Howes (Downton Abbey
) as her husband number two, George; Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood
) as her longtime lover, Joe; Sam Hoare (Jane Eyre
) as husband number three, James; Laura Morgan (The Hollow Crown
) as her best friend, Maggie; plus additional actors playing other husbands, her many children, and the few citizens who suspect that something is not quite right about Mary Ann.
Born in North East England in 1832, a child of the coalfields, Mary Ann Cotton grew up in poverty with the dream of escaping the hard life of a miner's family, a goal she came tantalizingly close to achieving. Her chosen means were her good looks, sexual allure, and the dirty secret of nineteenth-century suspicious deaths: arsenic, which is tasteless and easily disguised in a cup of tea.
For authorities, the problem was that arsenic poisoning, if done skillfully, mimicked the symptoms of two of the major public health scourges of the day: typhoid fever and cholera. The passing of a child or husband after a week of severe stomach pains, convulsions, and other portents of disease was all too common...and even less surprising when several members of the same household succumbed.
Mary Ann did tempt fate by taking out a modest insurance policy on her intended victims, whenever possible, but she inadvertently hit on the major success strategies of a serial killer: keep moving, be charming, and exude self-confidence. And along with others in this line of criminality, her body count can never be certain; the current best estimate is at least thirteen, ranking her far above her Victorian male counterpart, Jack the Ripper.
Female serial killers are so rare that criminologists continue to debate what makes them tick. Is it a thirst for power, a desire for material gain, or a sadistic delight in undermining gender stereotypes when they ask, "Why don't I make you a nice cup of tea?"
is a World Productions/MASTERPIECE Co-Production for ITV and also supported by Screen Yorkshire's Yorkshire Content Fund. The Director is Brian Percival. It is written by Gwyneth Hughes and inspired by the book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain's First Female Serial Killer
by David Wilson. It is produced by Jake Lushington and executive produced by Kirstie Macdonald, Simon Heath and Gwyneth Hughes for World Productions. The Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE is Rebecca Eaton at WGBH Boston.
MASTERPIECE: DARK ANGEL
Street Date: May 23, 2017
Run Time: 150 minutes
The top-rated primetime show on PBS, MASTERPIECE celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2016. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Audible with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust. MASTERPIECE is known for presenting iconic shows such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga, Poldark, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria.
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children's series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at www.wgbh.org.
About PBS Distribution
PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.
PBS Distribution offers a broad range of high quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS International offers factual content for broadcast, cable, and satellite services internationally. The PBS Distribution catalog includes films from Ken Burns, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children's programming.