Litvinenko: ITV release date, trailer, and cast of true crime drama with David Tennant and Mark Bonnar

The four part series will be released later this year on the soon-to-be launched ITV streaming service ITVX
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In December of last year year, ITVX launched its four part series Litvinenko, starring David Tennant as Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer, whose death in 2006 triggered one of the biggest investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police.

Now, the series is set to make its television debut, with each episode airing on ITV1 at 9pm on successive nights this June.

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As part of the filming for the upcoming drama, Tennant and the team behind the series recreated the iconic picture of Litvinenko in his hospital bed which made international headlines shortly before he died from Polonium-210 poisoning.

This is everything you need to know.

What is Litvinenko about?

Litvinenko is an upcoming ITVX series exploring the story of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who told police officers that he had been poisoned on direct orders of Vladimir Putin.

In November 2006, officers were called to University College Hospital in London to interview a patient in declining health - Litvinenko. During his police interviews, Litvinenko explained in great detail the events that occurred in the run up to his illness, which ultimately took his life on 23 November.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Russia was responsible for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy (Photo: PA)The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Russia was responsible for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy (Photo: PA)
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Russia was responsible for the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy (Photo: PA)

The information provided to New Scotland Yard officers would eventually help detectives track down two Russians that had poisoned him with Polonium-210, which is a highly toxic radioactive substance.

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In a statement about the show, series writer George 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.”

Who is in the cast?

Taking on the role of Litvinenko is David Tennant, whom viewers will recognise from things like Doctor Who, Inside Man, Around the World in 80 Days, Good Omens and Des, to name a few.

Alongside Tennant as Litvinenko, the series will also star Margarita Levieva (In From the Cold, The Deuce) as Marina, Litvinenko’s wife and widow who tirelessly campaigned for the British government to publicly name her husband’s killers, and to acknowledge the role that the Russian State had in his murder.

Alexander LitviinenkoAlexander Litviinenko
Alexander Litviinenko
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Litvinenko has been produced with the support of a number of key individuals involved in the real life investigation and subsequent public inquiry, including former New Scotland Yard Officers Clive Timmons, who will be portrayed by Mark Bonnar (Guilt, Shetland), and Brent Hyatt, played by Neil Maskell (Stuck, Peaky Blinders).

Also in the cast we have:

  • Barry Sloane (The Bay, Bluff City Law) as DS Jim Dawson
  • Daniel Ryan (Four Lives, Cold Call) as DAC Peter Clarke
  • Richard Pepper (The Spanish Princess, Holby City) as DCI Duncan Ball
  • Estella Daniels (Chloe, Da Vinci’s Demons) as Dr Onome George
  • Greg Kolpakchi (Lee and Dean, Strike Back) as Oscar Enrique 
  • Sarah Naudi (Foundation, Klem) as Justine Adams
  • Radoslaw Kaim (World on Fire, Cleaning Up) as Andrei Lugovoy
  • Maggie Evans (Tales of the Creeping Death, Beth) as Pat Troop

Is there a trailer for Litvinenko?

Yes, there is. You can watch it right here.

When is it out?

Litvinenko is set to air on ITV1 on Monday 19 June at 9pm. The series will continue at the same time each night thereafter, followed by a specially commissioned documentary about Litvinenko at 9pm on Friday.

Litvinenko was first released on ITVX on Thursday 15 December, following the launch of the free streaming service on 8 December.

Speaking about the then-upcoming launch of ITVX, ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said: “We’re really excited to launch ITVX, with more content available than ever before, and a whole range of exclusive commissions.

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“ITVX is powered by a significant, streaming-first commissioning budget, and an integrated technology and data platform providing a high quality, and more personalised viewing and advertising experience, that will continue to evolve in 2023 and beyond.”

How many episodes is Litvinenko?

Litvinenko is a four-part drama, with each episode running to around 50 minutes long.

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