Jamie Dornan has proved himself a dashing action hero as the lead in Channel 4’s New Worlds. A sequel to 2008’s The Devil’s Whore, New Worlds returns to a Restoration England 20 years on in 1680 and riven by conflict under King Charles II.

Jamie made a big impression last year as psychopathic killer Paul Spector in BBC2’s crime drama, The Fall, opposite Gillian Anderson. Then Hollywood came calling and Jamie was cast as Christian Grey in the movie of EL James’ runaway bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Now Jamie, 31, can be seen as Abe Goff, who is determined to remove the Stuart dynasty from the British throne.

“Abe lives in the woods with a tribe of like-minded folk and they’re all fighting the cause together,” says Jamie. “He is fighting to end tyranny and make England a republic. He sacrifices a lot to fight that cause.”

Jamie says New Worlds is more realistic than other period pieces such as The Tudors, which he calls “medieval porn”, and admits he was shocked at the brutality of the period.

He says: “Four hundred years doesn’t seem that long to me, yet it’s so barbaric – the deaths, the way people treated each other and the way the country was run, was quite disturbing.”  

How does it feel for Jamie’s life to have changed so dramatically in a year?

“In terms of professionally doing a job that’s well received, it helps, but otherwise nothing’s changed. I don’t get recognised much, except when somebody shouted, ‘There’s that serial killer!’ at me – which provoked an interesting reaction,” Jamie told the Daily Express.

Jamie married singer Amelia Warner last April and they now have a baby daughter.

Despite his rapidly rising star, the actor’s feet remain on the ground. “The Fall has changed the landscape of my professional career slightly, but I know so many actors who don’t work and a few who work a lot. I’m just happy to do good work.”  

Series two of The Fall will screen on BBC2 later this year.

New Worlds starts on C4 on Tuesday, April 1