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The Salisbury Poisonings (BBC TV Series 2020, Anne-Marie Duff)

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The Salisbury Poisonings BBC 2020 Anne-Marie Duff MyAnna Buring Rafe Spall

3 part BBC One drama The Salisbury Poisonings is based on the incredible 2018 true story of how two Russians were poisoned in broad daylight and how the fall out shut down a whole city.

When Sergei and Yulia Skripal are found seriously ill on a bench in Salisbury City Centre it sets off a deadly chain of events. Tracy Daszkiewicz (Anne-Marie Duff), the Director of Public Health for Wiltshire Public Council is called in. It is very quickly realised that the Skripals have been poisoned with a highly toxic drug and have potentially passed on the toxin on their extensive travels around town. Tracy is forced to shut down the city something which doesn’t sit too well with the locals.

Meanwhile Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey (Rafe Spall), who was first on the scene also falls dangerously ill, later troubled Dawn Sturgess (MyAnna Buring) and her boyfriend Charlie Rowley (Johnny Harris) also become struck down after Johnny discovers a bottle of perfume in a skip that he gives to Dawn.

Filmed in an intense documentary style The Salisbury Poisonings is an incredible story, more so for being true, the way the shut down is handled by Tracy and the various police departments resonates particularly in the world of 2020 and Covid-19.

The excellent cast also includes Annabel Scholey as Nick’s wife Sarah. Incredibly despite Nick leaving poison traces all over their house neither Sarah nor their two daughters fell ill. Mark Addy plays the Skripal’s friend Ross Cassidy, Stella Gonet and Ron Cook play Dawn’s parents Stan and Caroline. Nigel Lindsay heads up the Police response as DCC Paul Mills and Darren Boyd is his number two Supt Dave Minty.

The drama, which aired on BBC One across three consecutive nights from Sunday 14 – Tuesday 16 June 2020, was written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn. Saul Bibb directed.