BBC to dramatise Salisbury Novichok poisoning

Former Panorama journalists Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson will write the two-part series

Salisbury Cathedral in South West England, United Kingdom

The BBC is to make a two-part drama inspired by the 2018 Novichok poisonings in Salisbury.


Declan Lawn (a former investigator for Panorama) and documentary director Adam Patterson will write the series, which will put a spin on the news story from March 2018, in which former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were targeted with the nerve agent Novichok in the south-England town, and “how ordinary people reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism”.

In the hours after the attack, police officer Nick Bailey accidentally came into contact with the poison and was taken to hospital for treatment. Four months later, on 30th June, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley encountered a discarded bottle of the substance. Sturgess passed away on 8th July, while Rowley later made a full recovery. Both Skripal and his daughter survived the attack.


“We feel extremely privileged to be telling this story,” the writing duo said in a joint statement. “Extensive, meticulous research is at the heart of how we like to work and we’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Salisbury who have opened up to us over the past few months and continue to do so.”