Almost four years to the day since the shocking Novichok attack on former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the southern English city of Salisbury, BritBox is premiering a factual drama series based on the ominous events of that time.
The Skripals were found unconscious on a public bench in the centre of Salisbury on 4 March 2018, close to death’s door. They had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, a lethal substance that subsequently affected three more people in the area – one fatally.
The terrifying real-life drama and public health crisis that unfolded in the aftermath of the poisonings, which held the residents and the entire UK in the grip of fear, is explored in the four-part series The Salisbury Poisonings, new and exclusive to BritBox. It debuts in South Africa on Thursday 3 March 2022.
When the series aired in the UK, it was the biggest new drama across all channels since 2018, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. It remains jarringly resonant, given the current reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns – since, in response to the poisonings, Salisbury instituted a lockdown, closed the local economy, set up an elaborate system of contact tracing and testing, and sourced and distributed personal protective equipment for use on the frontlines.
While dramatising the still-raw events of 2018 and highlighting the trauma faced by the victims of the attempted assassination, the series also homes in on a scared and paranoid community that wonders if life will ever be the same again.
Anne-Marie Duff (Shameless, His Dark Materials, Sex Education) stars as Tracy Daszkiewicz, a public servant who is suddenly called on to help combat a lethal, invisible enemy that has appeared out of nowhere.
Particularly poignant given the sacrifices made by healthcare workers during the current pandemic, The Salisbury Poisonings showcases a quiet kind of everyday heroism that often emerges when ordinary men and women are called on to step up in times of crisis, showing a community that bands together even as they realise their lives will never be the same again. It captures the bravery, resilience and, in some cases, personal tragedy of the unsuspecting locals who faced a situation of unimaginable horror so close to home.
The Salisbury Poisonings also features MyAnna Buring (Downton Abbey, Ripper Street, The Witcher) and Rafe Spall (Life of Pi, The War of the Worlds)
“The Salisbury Poisonings tells the untold stories of the Novichok attack – and they are deeply affecting.” – Radio Times
“An engrossing and deeply researched four-part drama.” – The New York Times

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