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The Salisbury Poisonings is BBC One's biggest new drama launch for six years

The new series dramatises one of the most shocking British news stories of recent years.

Rafe Spall in The Salisbury Poisonings
Published: Monday, 15th June 2020 at 12:34 pm

BBC One's The Salisbury Poisonings has been a ratings hit, providing the broadcaster with its biggest drama launch in six years.


The three-part series recounts the remarkable real life events of 2018's shocking attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, using a deadly nerve agent known as Novichok.

Both survived the terrifying incident, concluded to be an assassination attempt by Russian intelligence service the GRU, but one member of the public later died from exposure to the same toxin.

The Salisbury Poisonings is a dramatisation of this huge new story and its impact on the news cycle appears to have translated to huge viewership, as around 7.2 milion people tuned in to the first episode last night.

That number makes it the most-watched programme of the day with a 38.8 per cent share of the audience in its time slot, as well as the biggest overnight launch of a new BBC drama since The Musketeers in 2014 (7.4m).

Expect that number to rise over the next week when people catch-up via BBC iPlayer, as the show continues tonight and concludes on Wednesday.

The Salisbury Poisonings finished filming just prior to the UK going into lockdown and post-production was completed by the crew remotely. gave The Salibury Poisonings four stars in our review, saying the series was a "deeply affecting piece of television".


The Salisbury Poisonings continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.


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