The publicity photos for The Salisbury Poisonings are consistent in one way: there is a lot of frowning. Frowning from police, health officials and public. And it’s an appropriate response to the 2018 events recounted in this BBC series.
The Salisbury Poisonings weaves an unusual course through its story by focusing not on the Skripals, who were the initial targets, but on its ancillary characters. Anita Singh in The Telegraph notes, the events “grabbed attention because they put an English cathedral city at the centre of a spy tale with the hallmarks of a Hollywood thriller.” And she goes on to say that this series is “retelling history, but also reframing it to ensure that we don’t forget the personal cost.”
The Times’s Carol Midgley thinks that the “writing here was nicely understated, the human stories well crafted and the unfolding crisis detailed without sensationalism… This is the toxic aftermath of a Russian hit job seen through the eyes of ordinary citizens. Any chance Putin is watching?” In The Guardian Lucy Mangan writes “It is also about the responses of ordinary people when extraordinary things are asked of them. It should, ideally, come with a warning: ‘Contains scenes of genuine courage and competence.’”
Some viewers have asked if this is too soon to dramatise an event where an innocent passer-by was cruelly murdered, but at Must TV we think The Salisbury Poisonings sheds an essential human light on a shocking piece of state-sponsored terrorism.
First shown April 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.