The Salisbury Poisoning Review: A riveting and traumatic tale of the tragic event.

Sajid Ali -

The Salisbury Poisoning Review:  A riveting and traumatic tale of the tragic event.
Movie Rated


Story of how ordinary people reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, based on the true events of the 2018 Novichok poisonings

Format: Film
Platform: Netflix
Movie Rated: 16+
Genre: Crime, Drama
Language: Hindi
Digital Premiere Date: 24 June 2020


What is the story about?
It’s a four-part British drama series based on the actual events which occurred in Salisbury in 2018. It follows the story on Novichok poisoning crisis in Salisbury in 2018. The series is directed by Saul Dibb. 

When a story is based on actual events it becomes imperative for the filmmakers to assemble a cast which does justice to the real-life characters. In this series, they’ve done a great job in picking an ensemble that not only has done a great job but has uncanny resemblances of their real-life characters. Anne-Marie Duff (Sex Education) was genuine and driven as Tracy Daszkiewicz. She had this innate quality which makes the reel-life character look extremely convincing. Rafe Spall as Nick Bailey had a little to do but does it with integrity. These two characters come in the spotlight in comparison to the other supporting cast. And Annabel Scholey as Sarah Bailey scores higher among the supporting cast. The ensemble seemed real and you get a feeling of watching a docu-drama because the cast was very convincing with their performances. 

It’s a miniseries which focuses mainly on the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal on March 4th, 2018 who was found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury city. Sergei was a former Russian military officer and a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services. Who lived a secretive life along with his daughter in Salisbury. Even after his discharge his name was not changed which is a usual procedure. But this sudden move of eliminating him and his daughter at once sparked a biological threat, which shook the city of Salisbury in 2018. What began as a normal investigation started consuming its first respondents. The 4 part series was well-researched with dates of occurrences and facts which were associated with the case. Also, it throws a hard light on the people who took the brunt among the bureaucracy. The episode runs on an average of 45 minutes each and keeps a steady pace focused on the prime subject. The writers Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn were nuanced in handling the emotions which surrounded the families of the poisoned victims. The direction was admirable and was restrained at parts to keep it authentic. Sometimes people who are oblivious to tragic events happening around the world, series such “The Salisbury Poisoning” give a good insight among the fictitious bubble we live in. 

Music and other Departments
Rael Jones score was gripping. The cinematography by Graham Smith was brilliant. He was thorough with the geographical aspect and composed delectable shots. The series editing by Tania Reddin, Nina Annan and Alastair Reid was sharp. The series may have not demanded a brilliant technical team but they did a great job in packaging the true events which felt life-like.

Nuanced writing and commendable performances backed with a brilliant technical team.

Truly nothing.  

Did I enjoy it?
I admired the direction and learnt a few techniques myself. 

Do I recommend it and why?
I definitely recommend it. It breaks my heart to see how innocent lives are caught between the diplomats and their bureaucracies. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.




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