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New ITV drama Litvinenko is based on the November 2006 polonium poisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko.
Litvinenko was a member of the Russian intelligence service, known as the KGB at the beginning of his tenure, which later became the FSK and then the FSB during his time as an intelligence officer.
Litvinenko became a notable figure after making a number of accusations regarding the practices of the Russian state and its intelligence service.
He accused the FSB of being linked to ‘all the bloodiest terrorists of the world’ and of organising the 1999 Armenian parliament shooting.
In July 2006, just four months before his death, Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of pedophilia and alleged that the FSB possessed footage documenting Putin’s pedophilia which had been destroyed by the Russian leader when he was FSB director.
The ITV drama follows the story of two metropolitan police detectives who were called to University College Hospital to interview a man claiming to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.
This man was, of course, Litvinenko and the four part series follows the two detectives’ attempts to uncover the truth behind the man’s poisoning and depicts the turbulent experience endured by his widow, Marina.
Marina Litvinenko lobbied continuously for the British government to publicly name her husband’s killers and to recognise the complicity of the Russian state in his murder.
He’s made an impact on both screen and stage, having played the title character in both Richard ll and Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare theatre.
Tennant’s portrayal of the former Russian spy will undoubtedly be compared to Benedict Cumberbatch’s.
Cumberbatch is starring as Litvinenko in HBO series Londongrad which is scheduled to be released later this year as well.
The ITV series will also star Barry Sloane, who featured in Pleasureland and The Mark of Cain.
Litvinenko also includes Daniel Ryan, known for his performances in Linda Green and The Government Inspector.
Whilst the show’s exact release date is unknown, it is expected to be released in Autumn 2022.
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