The Salisbury Poisonings review: Like watching a Crimewatch reconstruction

The fateful trip to the Zizzi restaurant, and the “confessional” interview in which the suspects said they merely wanted to visit the city with its famous 123m cathedral spire. The drama is a reminder that it was terrifying at the time,especially for local residents, who saw their city on the news every night, with agents in hazmat suits spraying the town centre. Duff and Spall both give their characters the requisite humanity, Daszkiewicz rising to events far beyond anything she expected to encounter, Bailey bravely succumbing to the poison himself after being first into the Skripals’ house. Perhaps the mostsympathetic character is Sturgess, an alcoholic whose boyfriend Charlie Rowley (Johnny Harris) finds a perfume bottle and gives it to her, not realising it was the delivery mechanism forthepoison. No major news story has been dealt with until we have witnessed an ensemble of familiar character actors playing policemen, bystanders and other “everyday heroes” with quiet competence. The Salisbury Poisonings is perfectly well written and acted and informative but you never quite escape the sense that you’re watching a particularly thorough Crimewatch reconstruction.