– Four-part series stars David Tennant (`Doctor Who’; `Broadchurch’) and is scripted by George Kay (`Lupin’; `Criminal’)
– Litvinenko’ to have Nordic, Baltic, Polish and Dutch premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service
– NENT Group to premiere at least 50 Viaplay Originals in 2021
STOCKHOLM, Sept. 30, 2021 — Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) and ITV have commissioned the four-part drama `Litvinenko’, starring David Tennant (`Doctor Who’; `Broadchurch’) as Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer whose death in London from polonium poisoning triggered one of the most complex and dangerous investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police. Written by acclaimed screenwriter George Kay (`Lupin’; `Criminal’), `Litvinenko’ is the story of the determined Scotland Yard officers who worked for 10 years to prove who was responsible. In the Nordic region, Baltic region, Poland and the Netherlands, the series will premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service.
The drama will relate how two police officers were called to University College Hospital in London in November 2006 to interview a patient in declining health. The patient was Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin. From his hospital bed, Alexander provided meticulous details about the events leading up to his illness, which would ultimately help detectives track down two Russians who had poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium-210, a highly toxic radioactive substance.
The drama also focuses upon the story of Marina, played by Margarita Levieva (The Deuce, The Blacklist), Alexander’s fearless, dignified widow who fought tirelessly to persuade the British government to name her husband’s killers publicly and acknowledge the role of the Russian state in his murder.
`Litvinenko’ is produced with the support of many of the key individuals involved in the investigation and subsequent public enquiry, including former Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Ben Emmerson QC and Alexander Litvinenko’s family. Mark Bonnar (`Catastrophe’; `Quiz’) will play Clive Timmons, whilst Neil Maskell (`Small Axe’; `Utopia’) is playing Brent Hyatt.
Filippa Wallestam, NENT Group Chief Content Officer says,
“Dramatising events of such magnitude requires a truly exceptional line-up of talents and partners – and that’s exactly what this project has brought together. Our hope is that `Litvinenko’ can provide a broad audience with a fuller understanding of what happened, the remarkable human stories involved, and of the profound consequences that remain with us more than 15 years afterwards.”
George Kay says,
“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. 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.”
Patrick Spence, Executive Producer, ITV Studios says,
“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.”
Directed by Jim Field Smith (`Criminal’; `Truth Seekers’), the drama will be executive produced by Patrick Spence for ITV Studios (`Adult Material’; `Marvellous’), Josephine Zapata Genetay for NENT Group, Lucy Bedford for Tiger Aspect Productions (`Viewpoint’; `The Good Karma Hospital’), George Kay, Jim Field Smith and David Tennant. The co-producer is Richard Kerbaj for Livedrop Media (`Hunting the KGB Killers’; `Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist’) and the drama will be produced by Chris May. `Litvinenko’ will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios.