First look at Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt playing a Victorian serial killer

Her days as sweet lady's maid Anna Bates are well and truly over...

The final season of Downton Abbey is yet to grace our telly screens (psst – here’s what to expect from episode one) but the cast and crew have already moved on. 


The last few weeks have seen the show’s stars tweeting poignant pictures and saying tearful farewells, and now that filming has well and truly wrapped on the period drama, some have already started new projects.

Joanne Froggatt had mere days between her final scene as Anna Bates and her first morning working on new ITV historical drama Dark Angel. And here’s the photographic evidence. 

Gone are Anna’s bright blonde locks and dark uniform and gone are the familiar passageways and stairwells of the Crawley’s country pile. Instead Froggatt has stepped back in time to play real-life Victorian murderer, bigamist and adulteress Mary Ann Cotton.

We want to say that Froggatt looks completely different. That she has murderous intent, wild eyes and blood under her fingernails, but, erm, she doesn’t. In fact she looks a little like lovely Anna in a bonnet…

Her sweet appearance could be part of Mary Ann Cotton’s disguise. Or it might just be because this is more of a behind the scenes shot than a still. We’re pretty sure ladies didn’t drink tea from polystyrene cups in the 1800s… 

Cotton, dubbed Britain’s first female serial killer, racked up an extraordinarily high body count, secretly poisoning her victims to better herself socially and financially while remaining unsuspected by Victorian society. 

Alun Armstrong, Jonas Armstrong, Laura Morgan, Emma Fielding, Sam Hoare and Penny Layden also star in the two-part drama, which is currently filming in North Yorkshire and County Durham. 


Downton Abbey returns to ITV next month

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From Downton Abbey to Dark Angel: Joanne Froggatt to play Victorian serial killer in new ITV drama

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