ITV filmed Dark Angel in Yorkshire
Two-part ITV period drama Dark Angel filmed on location in Yorkshire and County Durham, and was supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Content Fund.
The story is based on the true-life tale of mid-19th century serial poisoner Mary Ann, whose crimes in north-east England went unpunished for years partly because Victorian society could not conceive of a woman acting in such a way.
Dark Angel stars Joanne Froggatt and filmed in locations including York, Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Hull.
“I would say it’s one of the more challenging location projects I’ve worked on and I’ve worked on a lot of period dramas,” said producer Jake Lushington. “Partly because it’s a real story and we need to tell so many different parts of it.
“It’s very easy to film in a big country house, because most of them still exist. A lot of working-class and middle-class locations don’t exist. They’ve been re-developed, done up. Go to the real West Auckland (a village in County Durham) - it’s a rather shiny Farrow and Ball town. Which you would have to dirt and dampen down.”
Mary Ann was partly motivated by a desire to escape the life of a miner’s wife and so creating mining backdrops was important to the story.
“For Seaham we filmed at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, just above Whitby, which is an amazing place,” said Lushington. “We have The Butcher’s Arms pub there and a row of period mining, fishing cottages against the cliff and sea. An extraordinary location which we turned into a period set.
“For the other mining village we went to a place called South Dalton, near Beverley in Yorkshire, where we turned farm buildings into a miners’ village. Because actually it was easier to turn old agricultural buildings that hadn’t been changed for 150 years into a mining town. That gave us a 360-degree set with a lot of dressing.
“We used some of the period streets of Hull for Sunderland, because Sunderland doesn’t have any.”
Yorkshire continues to build on its status as a northern production hub. Recent projects have included Channel 4’s high-profile historic abuse drama National Treasure and ITV’s Victoria, about the early reign of Queen Victoria, which will return for a second series of filming in Yorkshire.
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