BBC Novichok Poisonings Drama Heads to U.S. on AMC

Manori Ravindran

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AMC has picked up hit BBC One drama “The Salisbury Poisonings,” based on the true story of the 2018 Novichok poisonings in the U.K.

The Fremantle-distributed drama stars Anne-Marie Duff (“His Dark Materials”), Rafe Spall (“Trying”), MyAnna Buring (“The Witcher”) and Jonny Harris (“Jawbone”). It tells the story of the British city of Salisbury, which became the epicentre of one of the country’s biggest political events of the century when former double agent and spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned via a lethal nerve agent called Novichok, which can kill 20,000 people with just half a teaspoon.

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Within four days, hundreds of traces were found across the city, and, when things were thought to be under control, a perfume bottle containing the nerve agent was discovered, throwing the investigation into disarray.

The four-part series, which enjoyed the biggest overnight launch of a new drama in the U.K. in six years, is produced by Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge.

The central characters affected by the attack, including Tracy Daszkiewicz (Duff), who was the director of public health of Wiltshire Council; the Sturgess family, who lost their daughter Dawn (Buring); Charlie Rowley (Harris), Dawn’s boyfriend; and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey (Spall), who was contaminated during the course of his work, have worked closely with producers to tell their stories amid an ongoing investigation.

Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC and co-president of AMC Studios, said, “’The Salisbury Poisonings’ is a riveting story about the bravery and resilience of a small town under siege by a silent killer. With mysterious twists and turns and an array of complex, heroic characters, it’s exactly the type of captivating, high-end scripted drama that our audience craves, and we’re thrilled to share it with them this fall.”

Lisa Honig, SVP of distribution for North America and international at Fremantle, who brokered the deal with AMC, added: “The events that took place in 2018 in Salisbury truly shocked the world. Dancing Ledge have created a sensitive and authentic telling of this event in ‘The Salisbury Poisonings,’ bringing together a brilliant cast who portray the real people affected in such a compelling way.”

Laurence Bowen, CEO of Dancing Ledge Productions, said: “We’ve always felt this is a universal story of a community coming together to face an invisible threat — ordinary people rising to an incredible challenge with bravery and resilience. And the truth is that an attack like this could happen anywhere in the world.”

Executive producers on the series are Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey for Dancing Ledge Productions, Lucy Richer for the BBC and Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn, who also wrote the drama. It is directed by Saul Dibb, who also executive produces, and is produced by Karen Lewis.

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