Our Dark Lady

Kathryn Lo, Writer/Producer 

Shukree Tilghman, Producer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2021, Sloan Episodic Storytelling Grant, Sundance Institute 

Project Type: TV Pilot 

Genre: Historical Drama 

Length: six 60 minute episodes 

Field of Science: Biophysics, X-ray Crystallography 

Stage: Development 


Post-war London—Rosalind Franklin, an accomplished and intense chemist, lands a prestigious job: map the molecular structure of DNA. Despite significant progress, she fights for control over her work amongst back-stabbing colleagues. Elsewhere, Francis Crick and James Watson wish to solve DNA, but without experimenting. Considered scientific clowns, they mysteriously stumble onto the correct model. Devastated by her failure, Rosalind struggles to make a major discovery until she dies from ovarian cancer at 37. Later, Watson trashes Rosalind as a harpy and hack in his best-selling memoir. Incensed, her friend, a journalist, suspects Watson and Crick of stealing Rosalind’s data, and seeks to restore her reputation, by investigating two labs in 1950s England—where Rosalind emerges as the centerpiece to the most important breakthrough of the modern era. Her friend’s biography changes history, casts a shadow on Watson and Crick’s legacy, and places Rosalind within the scientific canon.