Litvinenko ITV drama: release date, cast, plot and everything we know about the David Tennant series

Litvinenko ITV drama
David Tennant stars as Alexander Litvinenko in ITV1's four-part drama (Image credit: ITV)

David Tennant's Litvinenko ITV drama will finally be coming to prime time television this summer. 

The four-part series, which originally aired on ITVX last year, will see the former Doctor Who star playing the ex-Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer, Alexander 'Sasha' Litvinenko.

The drama is based on the real-life story of how Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium in November 2006, a murder widely believed to have been carried out on the orders of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

His death shocked the world and triggered one of the most complex and dangerous cases in the history of the Metropolitan Police, with Litvinenko spending his final days helping detectives find his killers. 

Written by acclaimed screenwriter, George Kay — whose screen hits include Lupin and Criminal Litvinenko also follows the determined Scotland Yard Officers who worked for ten years to prove who was responsible. 

George Kay says: "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."

Here's everything we know about the four-part drama... 

Marina Litvinenko: British politicians must watch real-life David Tennant drama

Litvinenko TV drama release date

Litvinenko will premiere on ITV1 on Monday June 19 at 9pm. 

The series will air consecutively each night, accompanied by a compelling factual documentary, Litvinenko: The Mayfair Poisoning airing on Friday June 23 at 9pm. 

The four-part series premiered on ITVX in December of 2022 and all four episodes are available to view online. 


Margarita Levieva plays Alexander Litvinenko's widow Marina (Image credit: ITV)

Litvinenko TV drama plot - what happens? 

The drama tells of how in November 2006 two police officers were called to University College Hospital in London to interview a patient in declining health. The patient was Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who claimed to have been poisoned on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin. 

During the police interviews, Alexander provided meticulous details from his hospital bedside about the events leading up to his illness. His information would ultimately help detectives track down two Russians who had poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium 210, a highly toxic radioactive substance.   

The iconic photograph taken of Litvinenko at his bedside generated international headlines, and after he was pronounced dead on November 23, Scotland Yard launched its murder investigation.    

The drama also focuses upon the story of Marina, Alexander’s fearless, dignified widow who 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.


Neil Maskell (right) plays Scotland Yard officer, Brent Hyatt (Image credit: ITV)

Who's in the Litvinenko cast?

David Tennant, who's recent screen credits include Des, will lead the cast.

“After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen I’m delighted he returns to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder," says ITV head of drama, Polly Hill. "George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story that documents a long police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina.  It is going to make a compelling drama and I am proud to have it on ITV.”

Mark Bonnar Litvinenko

Mark Bonnar will play police officer, Clive Timmons (Image credit: ITV)

Margarita Levieva (The Deuce, The Blacklist) plays Marina, Litvinenko's fearless and dignified widow, while Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Quiz) and Neil Maskell (Small Axe, Utopia) play Scotland Yard officers, Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt.

What else do we know about Litvinenko? 

The four part drama is produced with the support of many of the key individuals involved in the investigation and subsequent public enquiry including former Scotland Yard officers, Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Ben Emmerson QC and Alexander’s family. 

“Making this one is a privilege," says Executive Producer, ITV Studios, Patrick Spence. "It's a once in a career opportunity to tell a story about a family and a police team who have shown such courage and resilience that it has inspired us all.”

Is there a trailer for Litvinenko? 

Yes there is! Check it out below... 

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.