ITV has released the first images of former Doctor Who star David Tennant as Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian Security Services and KGB officer, who died from Polonium-210 poisoning in November 2006 and whose death began one of the biggest and most complex investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police.
The drama, called simply Litvinenko, is to be released in the UK Thursday 15th December on ITVX, the new streaming service from British commercial broadcaster ITV which will begin streaming from 8th December 2022.
Litvinenko is written by George Kay who has previously penned Lupin and Criminal and will chronicle the story of the determined officers of Scotland Yard as they attempt to prove who was really responsible for the mysterious death.
“In late 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was a living witness to his own murder. He spent his dying days entrusting the Metropolitan Police with the details of what happened to him.” said screenwriter Kay.
He added: ” It took those police and his remarkable widow Marina Litvinenko a decade to have those claims ratified. Their stamina, hard work and bravery are what make this not only an essential story of our times but a privilege to be asked to write.”
The show, which also stars Mark Bonnar, will also focus on the story of Alexander’s widow Marina played by Margarita Levieva as she fought to convince the British Government to publicly name her husband’s killers and acknowledge the role of the Russian State in his murder.
Much of the drama will focus on the aftermath of an incident in November 2006 when two police officers were called to University College Hospital in LOndon to interview a patient in very poor health. The patient was Litvinenko, who claimed to have been poisoned by the Russian dissident at the orders of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The evidence given would ultimately aid the detectives of Scotland Yard to track down the people who had poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium-210, a toxic radioactive material.
Patrick Spence, Executive Producer, ITV Studios, said: “This one is a privilege, a once in a career opportunity to tell a story about a family and a police team who have shown such courage and resilience that it has inspired us all.”
ITV Head of Drama, Polly Hill, said: “After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen I’m delighted he returns to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder. George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story that documents a long police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina. It is going to make a compelling drama and I am proud to have it on ITV.”
David Tennant was last seen on TV opposite Stanely Tucci in Steven Moffat’s Inside Man and will be back on TV in 2023 in major roles as the Fourteenth Doctor as part of the 60th-anniversary celebrations of the long-running BBC science fiction show, and opposite Michael Sheen in the second run of Good Omens on Prime Video.