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Litvinenko release date, cast and plot for David Tennant ITV drama

David Tennant will star as Alexander Litvinenko in the upcoming drama alongside Mark Bonnar and Margarita Levieva.

ITV drama Litvinenko
Published: Wednesday, 3rd August 2022 at 4:37 pm
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Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006, triggering one of the most complex cases in the history of the Metropolitan Police.


Now, the investigation is being dramatised in ITV series Litvinenko, which will follow Scotland Yard Officers as they spend 10 years trying to prove who was responsible for the death of the former Russian Federal Security Services officer.

Written by Lupin's George Kay, the drama will also follow Alexander's widow Marina (Margarita Levieva), who campaigned tirelessly to convince the British Government to publicly name her husband's murderers and acknowledge the Russian State's role in his death.

In a statement, writer Kay said: "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."

David Tennant will star as Alexander Litvinenko in the upcoming drama alongside Mark Bonnar and Margarita Levieva.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to watch the upcoming true crime drama.

Litvinenko release date

Margarita Levieva as Marina in Litvinenko

Litvinenko is expected to premiere on ITV's new streaming service ITVX at some point in 2023, with a linear transmission expected to follow months later.

It promises to be an intriguing and harrowing watch.

Litvinenko cast

The following cast members have been confirmed:

  • David Tennant as Alexander Litvinenko
  • Margarita Levieva as Marina, Litvinenko's widow
  • Mark Bonnar as Scotland Yard officer, Clive Timmons
  • Neil Maskell as Scotland Yard officer, Brent Hyatt

Speaking about Tennant's casting, 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."

She continued: "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
David Tennant will play Alexander Litvinenko Getty

Speaking on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Interval Drinks podcast (via The Independent), Tennant said that he had found playing Litvinenko tough as he had spent time with the real-life Marina.

“Litvinenko stayed with me because of meeting Marina and being so aware that this is the life she is still living,” he said.

“We are recreating something that happened relatively recently, that was devastating to her and to her life and has entirely transformed what her life since has become. I felt the responsibility of that, of getting that right. Just the horrors that she lived through and that that story signifies, our world is still living through.”

He added: “It’s so relevant to the world we’re living in, what happened to that man and the things that he spent his life talking about, and that his wife Marina, who is an extraordinary human, is still doing. The reason we tell that story is because it’s so raw and vivid and important.”

What is Litvinenko about?

Litvinenko, who fled to Britain after leaving Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB, died in November 2006 after being poisoned with polonium-210.

The upcoming drama will dramatise the Metropolitan Police's investigation into his death, which began in November 2006 when two police officers were called to London's University College Hospital to interview a rapidly deteriorating patient: it was Litvinenko, who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.

The information he provided would ultimately help the detectives track down the two Russians responsible for his poisoning.

Litvinenko passed away 22 days after being poisoned.

Is there a trailer for Litvinenko?

No, not as yet, but watch this space!

For more news, interviews and features, visit our Drama hub, or find something to watch now with our TV Guide.


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