The BBC has commissioned a drama about the Novichok poisoning crisis in Salisbury in 2018. “Salisbury” will be a two-part factual drama produced by Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC Two which will focus on the impact of the case on the English city and the community.
The Novichok poisonings dominated national news in Britain for months in 2018 after former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with the nerve agent in Salisbury in early March. In late June two Britons, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, came into accidental contact with the nerve agent in Amesbury, seven miles outside Salisbury. Sturgess later died. British authorities named two Russian nationals as suspects in September 2018 who were later identified as members of Russia’s intelligence service the GRU.
The drama, written by Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, will tell the story of how ordinary people reacted to the event, displaying extraordinary heroism as their city became the focus of an unprecedented national emergency. Casting has yet to be announced.
“We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story,” said Patterson and Lawn. “Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so. This is an extraordinary story full of ordinary heroes, the tale of how a community responded to an inconceivable event.”
“Salisbury” was commissioned by controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger and controller of BBC Two Patrick Holland. Chris Carey and Laurence Bowen serve as executive producers for Dancing Ledge Productions alongside Patterson and Lawn, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Fremantle handles distribution.