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Series 1-Episode 2

Series 1-Episode 2

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Victorian murderer Mary Ann Cotton keeps putting on the kettle to make arsenic-laced tea for anyone who displeases her or indeed anyone she professes to love.

Mary Ann (Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt) leaves an ever-increasing trail of corpses in her wake as she rackets around the various men in her life, the poor saps who are taken in by her sexual skills. We rejoin her as she’s on the brink of worming her way into the lives of a shipwright widower and his brood of cute children.

But Mary Ann is getting a bit too secure and is becoming careless. In the concluding part of this very gloomy true story, she must face a reckoning.


Conclusion. On returning to Sunderland, Mary Ann discovers James has had a change of heart about their relationship and says he cannot marry again so soon after the death of his first wife, as it will unsettle his children. Furious, Mary Ann sets out to get rid of the apparent impediments and two of the Robinson children suddenly fall sick, as does her own daughter Isabella. Fact-based period drama about Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton, starring Joanne Froggatt, with Jonas Armstrong, Alun Armstrong and Sam Hoare.

Cast & Crew

Mary Ann Joanne Froggatt
Joe Nattrass Jonas Armstrong
Maggie Cotton Laura Morgan
Helen Robinson Emma Fielding
James Robinson Sam Hoare
Isabella Mowbray (7 years) Isla McMonigle
William Robinson George Kent
Elizabeth Robinson Hayley Walters
James Robinson Jr Alexander McMonigle
Dr John Maling John Hollingworth
Mr Johnson John Bowler
Vicar Edward Gower
Draper Niall Ashdown
Fred Cotton Mark Underwood
Charlie Cotton Jake Lawson
Isaac Hedley Jacob Anderton
William Edwards Mark Holgate
Sarah Edwards Joanna Horton
Jane Hedley Laura Jane Matthewson
Mr Riley Paul Brennen
Mr Quick-Manning Ferdy Roberts
Sgt Hutchinson Shaun Prendergast
Dr Kilburn Phil Cheadle
William Calcraft Seamus O'Neill
Director Brian Percival
Producer Jake Lushington
Writer Gwyneth Hughes
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