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First look as David Tennant transforms into poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko

The trailer opens with two police officers talking with Tenant, playing Litvinenko, in the intensive care unit at University College Hospital

David Tennant’s first look turned Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, shown lying in a hospital bed before his death from poisoning in the first trailer for a new ITVX miniseries.

Litvinenko, a former Russian Federal Security Service and KGB officer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, died in agony in November 2006 after ingesting a rare radioactive substance.

The trailer opens with two police officers talking with Tenant, playing Litvinenko, in the intensive care unit at University College Hospital.

Footage shows the former FSB officer after he was poisoned in the Pine Bar at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, shortly before his death and the ensuing inquest.

The trailer opens with two police officers talking with Tenant, playing Litvinenko, in the intensive care unit at University College Hospital

The trailer opens with two police officers talking with Tenant, playing Litvinenko, in the intensive care unit at University College Hospital

Footage shows the former FSB officer after he was poisoned at the Pine Bar at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, shortly before his death and the ensuing inquest

Footage shows the former FSB officer after he was poisoned at the Pine Bar at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, shortly before his death and the ensuing inquest

Litvinenko, a former Russian Federal Security Service and KGB officer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, died in agony in November 2006 after ingesting a rare radioactive substance.

Litvinenko, a former Russian Federal Security Service and KGB officer and outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, died in agony in November 2006 after ingesting a rare radioactive substance.

The new drama on ITVX, ITV’s streaming service, will explore the story of the Metropolitan Police officers who investigated the case of Litvinenko, who was found in poor health at University College Hospital in London.

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Litvinenko will be played by Doctor Who star Tennant. His wife, Marina Litvinenko, will be played by Russian-American actress Margarita Levieva who starred in The Deuce and The Blacklist.

ITV said former New Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Marina Litvinenko’s lawyer Ben Emmerson QC and the former spy’s family, helped the production.

Mark Bonnar, famous for Catastrophe and Quiz, will portray Timmons, while Utopia’s Neil Maskell will take on the role of Hyatt.

A British public inquiry concluded in 2016 that Russians Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi deliberately poisoned Litvinenko by putting polonium-210 in his drink at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.

Led by former High Court judge Sir Robert Owen, the inquiry found the tea poisoning was ‘probably’ carried out with the approval of the Russian president.

Led by former High Court judge Sir Robert Owen, the inquest found tea poisoning had

Led by former High Court judge Sir Robert Owen, the inquiry found the tea poisoning was ‘probably’ carried out with the approval of the Russian president.

A British public inquiry concluded in 2016 that Russians Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi deliberately poisoned Litvinenko by putting polonium-210 in his drink at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.

A British public inquiry concluded in 2016 that Russians Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi deliberately poisoned Litvinenko by putting polonium-210 in his drink at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.

ITV said former New Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Marina Litvinenko's lawyer Ben Emmerson QC and the former spy's family, helped the production.

ITV said former New Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Marina Litvinenko’s lawyer Ben Emmerson QC and the former spy’s family, helped the production.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) also ruled last year, following a case brought by Litvinenko’s widow, that Russia was responsible for his murder.

Russia has always denied any involvement in the death and had refused to comply with international arrest warrants issued for Kovtun and Lugovoi.

Sir Robert’s inquiry said the use of the radioactive substance – which could only have come from a nuclear reactor – was a ‘strong indicator’ of state involvement and that the pair were likely to have acted under the direction of the Russian security service, the FSB, for which Litvinenko worked.

The drama also focuses on the story of Marina, played by Margarita Levieva, the fearless and dignified widow of Alexander. [the couple pictured on their wedding day in Moscow, 1994]

The drama also focuses on the story of Marina, played by Margarita Levieva, the fearless and dignified widow of Alexander. [the couple pictured on their wedding day in Moscow, 1994]

Maria fought tirelessly to persuade the British government to publicly name her husband's killers and acknowledge the role of the Russian state in his murder. [pictured in 2018]

Maria fought tirelessly to persuade the British government to publicly name her husband’s killers and acknowledge the role of the Russian state in his murder. [pictured in 2018]

Tennant takes on role of former Russian Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko in upcoming ITVX drama Litvinenko

Tennant takes on role of former Russian Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko in upcoming ITVX drama Litvinenko

Possible motives included Litvinenko’s work for British intelligence agencies after fleeing Russia, his criticism of the FSB and his association with other Russian dissidents, while it was said there was also a “personal dimension to the antagonism between him and Putin.

Kovtun died in June of Covid-19 in Moscow, according to Russian news agency Tass.

Litvinenko will air exclusively on ITVX in December.

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