Fallen Angel (UK TV series)

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Fallen Angel
Genre Crime Drama
Starring Charles Dance,
Emilia Fox
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 3
Original channel ITV
Original run 11 March 2007 –
13 March 2007

Fallen Angel is an ITV series broadcast on 11–13 March 2007 based on the Roth Trilogy of novels by Andrew Taylor. It tells the story of Rosie Byfield, a clergyman's daughter, who grows up to be a psychopathic killer. It has an unusual narrative that moves backwards in time as it uncovers the layers of Rosie's past.


The Four Last Things[edit]

Set in 2007 London, the show starts with the ordination of a female curate, Mary Appleton, as the first female curate in the fictitious diocese of Roslington. During her service she is heckled by an old lady called Audrey Oliphant while her carer, Angela Wharton, hides in the background behind the altar. Angela or 'Angel' turns out to be a serial killer and she kidnaps the Appleton's five-year-old child, telling her somewhat reluctant accomplice (Eddie) that 'this one is not like the others.' She then sends the girl's parents on a wild goose chase, and emotional roller-coaster, by leaving a number of other child body parts around the city, all of which bear some link to their daughter (her boots, her cut hair and ribbon).

It is later revealed, by Wendy Appleton acting as narrator, that Angela was taking advantage of Audrey, getting her to lie for her. She also took advantage of a (non-practicing/abusing) paedophile named Eddie, her surprisingly compassionate and protective accomplice, who she intended to blame for the child killings. Eddie later, whilst rummaging through some of her belongings, discovers evidence that 'Angel' had faked her own death, and is possibly an imposter. After, glimpses of the child's father's (Michael Appleton - Wendy's husband) past are shown, he reveals to his wife that when he was eleven he knew a girl named Rosie who threatened to get back at him after he got her in trouble after having witnessed and reporting a murder. (Back then, she in a rage, had promised to punish him for it even if it took her the rest of her life to do so.) It is also revealed that Rosie was obsessed with a young priest and heretic named Francis Youlgrave, a man who was himself obsessed with transubstantiation and supposedly ate the flesh and blood of orphaned children in/from the slums of North London. Rosie is later revealed to be hiding under the guise of 'Angel', and had stolen Angela's identity (quite possibly after having murdered her, in order to use the body in her death deception); and the child, Lucy, is returned safely, but not before Rosie/Angel brutally murders Eddie, when he tries to hide and save Lucy from the former's murderous wrath, and return her safely to her parents. When they catch her in the act of slashing Eddie's throat, she attempts to implicate him as a paedophile and that she only did so in protection of the chid. However, knowing of her past she's not believed, so arrested, then locked up in a mental institution.

The Judgement of Strangers[edit]

Moving backwards from the first part, the second episode starts in 1987 with Rosie (Angel) at 16 and applying for university in Roth (Little Missenden). After finishing her exams, she goes to stay with her father, the parish priest David Byefield, only to find that he wants to marry again to a woman named Vanessa. Rosie initially opposes the idea but then seemingly changes her mind. After the wedding, a woman named Juliana and the local historian Audrey Oliphant, both try to obtain the Journals of Francis Youlgrave - who lived at the local manor house - from their owner, Lady Youlgrave. Lady Youlgrave used to own the local manor, but she later sold it to some hippies because she was too old to properly maintain it. Having failed her exams Rosie takes out her anger on the young Michael who has come to stay with them while his parents are on a second Honeymoon.

After Michael sees Rosie murder her stepmother and attempting to destroy the journals, he tells his family and Rosie is arrested. However, before they take her away, she threatens the whole family by screaming, "You will all suffer for this!," and threatens Michael specifically (which is what we see come to fruition in part one). Sometime after this and before the first episode, her father finds that Rosie has been released and apparently killed in a car crash, of which an 'Angela Wharton' is the sole witness.

The Office of the Dead[edit]

Going back even farther, this episode focuses on Rosie's childhood when her father was a dean at Roslington Cathedral in 1973 (St Albans). Wendy Appleton comes to stay with the family after breaking up with her husband and finds her friend's marriage is in just as bad a shape. Rosie's mother can't take care of her due to being pregnant and she is constantly ignored by her father. She has a close relationship with her grandfather, Hugh, but things take a turn for the worse as he becomes senile.

After David finds Hugh "cuddling" in bed with Rosie, he threatens to send him to a home. Hugh replies with "I wish I was dead." That same night, he is murdered and Janet, Rosie's mother, commits suicide while taking the blame for the murder. However later on, while eating at an ice cream parlor run by Audrey Strickland, Rosie reveals to Wendy that it was in fact she who killed Hugh and that Janet simply covered it up. She tells Rosie never to mention it to anyone. At the end of the episode Wendy is back together with her husband and pregnant with Michael.

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