Litvinenko (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

(indistinct music on headphones)
(indistinct music continues)
(Marina talking indistinctly)
(Alexander clinking glass)
But it is important
I do this in English
because today, after
six years of waiting,
we received letter
from UK government.
Now we call ourselves
British family.
British family.
British family.
(indistinct sports commentary)
(Marina speaking in foreign language)
(Alexander coughs)
(Alexander vomits)
(tense music)
(tense music continues)
Improved by Sailor420
Hope you enjoy the sub-show
(radio static)
(sirens wailing)
Listen, right, I think
there was a fair bit
of back and forth about it.
Yes, sir.
Sorry mate, 20 minutes tops.
Yes, sir.
Yes, I did see that.
Boss has got the hump.
You and me got better things
to be doing apparently.
I mean, why is this not
a counterterrorism job?
That's what I'm asking.
Counter-terrorism don't want it,
say they don't deal with homicides.
Homicides don't want it
Because nobody's actually dead.
Because nobody's
actually dead, yeah.
But the real reason nobody wants it,
is because they all think
the man's lost his marbles.
Do we think that?
Oh, I can't speak for you, Jim.
I'd say let's meet the guy
first, judge for ourselves.
Hi there.
We're here to see a Mr. Carter.
Mr. Edwin Carter.
It's the one who thinks
he's been poisoned.
(receptionist) He's down the end.
(tense music)
10 minutes.
Mrs. Carter?
This is a big moment for us.
My husband was worried nobody
was taking this seriously.
Well, we're here
now, Mrs. Carter.
He wants the whole world
to know what has happened.
You understand?
Are you okay, Mrs. Carter?
My husband is ill.
This means I'm also Ill.
We're together in life.
And he'll talk to us right now?
The doctors, I know
they do not believe him,
but they do not understand.
(Marina knocks on door)
Mr. Carter?
I'm Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt,
the specialist crime director.
This is Detective
Sergeant Jim Dawson.
I need to report a murder.
Who's murder?
Today, yes, I'm alive,
of course, I can stand.
But tomorrow, no.
Tomorrow I will be tired.
In two days, most very weak.
In three days,
or maybe it take four days.
How can you know that?
The number of days, I mean?
If you have been
poisoned, as you say,
how can you be so specific?
I know how this happened.
I know when, I know why.
Detective, I explain to you my story
before it is too late.
Well, if he is a nut, he's
the most levelheaded nut
that I've ever come across.
And I've met a few.
Okay, look, we take his
statement, hear him out.
There they are.
Who's in charge here please?
Look, I'm gonna put this
as politely as I can.
You need to go.
The man we're speaking to-
The man you're speaking
to is seriously ill.
That's the beginning and end of it.
He's saying that he's been poisoned.
People say all sorts of things.
Doesn't mean we don't
take them seriously.
Oh, we've taken him very seriously.
We've tested him for several
toxins, including thallium,
which is what he's convinced
he's been poisoned with.
But we just can't stand it up.
And his hair loss?
Likely a reaction
to the antibiotics.
I'm going to take his statement.
(doctor) It's midnight.
I appreciate that.
Then for the sake of
the other patients,
if that's what you insist on doing,
at least wait till the morning.
You're sure that will be possible?
How do you mean?
Can you give me your
personal guarantee
that Mr. Carter will
be alive in the morning
in order to give us his statement?
If you can, then fine.
We'll come back first thing.
If not, with respect,
we'll crack on.
(pensive music)
(pensive music continues)
Mrs. Carter, I'm going to have
to ask you to leave the room.
(recorder buzzes)
The time is 00:08 on the
18th of November, 2006.
I'm Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt.
Also present are
Detective Sergeant Jim Dawson.
Edwin, if you could just
state your name please
for the tape.
My name
My name is not Edwin Carter.
This name I use for protection.
So what is your name?
For this statement
to be worth anything,
we need to know who
we're speaking to.
My name is Alexander Litvinenko.
I am former FSB Officer.
In Russia I have a senior job,
deputy head of Section 7.
Section 7?
Top secret department.
This job is simple job.
This job is to kill.
Your job was to kill.
Brent: Who?
Enemies of Russian state.
They give me a list.
They give me names.
Ask me to organize.
That's why I am here today.
Because you killed people.
No, because I refuse.
This job is not human.
This job is corruption job.
Corruption in the law and
corruption here inside.
When we arrived to London,
I write book about Russia,
about corruption.
And when I write this book,
they're very angry with me.
They come find me.
They want to kill me.
And because you wrote that
book, you become a target.
Yes, because I tell truth.
Because I am troublemaker.
And you have any idea who
may have made this order?
Yes, I know the man
who make order for this.
The man who says I must die.
I know this person.
You have a name?
This man was head of FSB.
Brent: Was?
Before, yes.
Not anymore.
Brent: What is his name?
Edwin, let's start with the name.
His name is Vladimir Putin.
(sirens wailing in distance)
(pensive music)
Mornin' Floppy.
(officer) Mornin' Guv.
(pensive music continues)
(sirens wailing)
(pensive music continues)
(reporter on TV) It is being billed
as the celebrity
wedding of the year.
A list of stars gathered
in Rome for the wedding
of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
The ceremony is expected
to take place today.
(pensive music continues)
(pensive music continues)
(pensive music continues)
We have a Russian friend in London.
Alex Goldfarb.
He arranged for a photographer
to come to the hospital.
He says we need publicity.
For Sasha.
We say Sasha for short.
You think it was mistake?
speaking, I couldn't say.
Personally, if Sasha
wants the whole world
to know what happened,
I'd say he'd be hard pushed to
come up with anything better.
Jim: Brent.
It's important now, Alexander,
that we draw up a list of people
that you've had
contact with in London.
Get an idea of who
might have done this.
Does that make sense?
When they come to London,
they make contact
with other Russians.
Brent: What sort of Russians?
Like me, enemies of state.
Alex Goldfarb.
Boris Berezovsky.
And a woman who
visited from Chechnya.
Anna Politkovskaya.
She is also a target.
Yes, because she
writes many articles
against Putin, against
war in Chechnya.
She's critic.
She go home in October.
She go back to Moscow.
She is murdered.
Brent: Killed?
It is fact.
I say to all media,
my friend Anna has been
killed by Russian street.
By Vladimir Putin.
If I not explain this, nobody will.
Brent: And this was
in October of this year.
October 7.
Putin's birthday.
Next, from nowhere I receive
phone call from Italian man,
intelligence expert with
connection to Russia.
He says, coming to London,
he say wants to see me,
wants to have lunch with me.
He calls you up out of the blue
and says he wants to meet
you for lunch in London.
Jim: Did you have a name?
His name Mario Scaramella.
Brent: Did he say
why he wanted to meet?
But you agreed to meet him.
And do you remember
what date this was?
Yes, I remember.
1st of November.
Also very important day.
Brent: Why?
Because this is the
day I am poisoned.
(indistinct loudspeaker
Alex Goldfarb.
Long time friend of Sasha's.
You brought in the photographer.
Please, this is
Professor John Henry.
He is one of the world's
top toxicologists.
We would like permission
to examine Sasha.
Oh, I'm sorry.
With respect, it's not
my permission to give.
(gentle music)
That being said, if you do
find a way to examine him,
would you mind keeping me posted?
Not exactly getting much joy
out of the doctors ourselves.
(gentle music continues)
Clive: Guv.
Peter: He's had two
homicide detectives with him
for the past 24 hours.
Now, it's not our job technically
because we don't handle homicides.
But homicide is saying
it's not theirs either.
Because no one's actually dead.
Peter: Because no
one's actually dead.
Well, it's a fair point.
Either way, Clive, given
how this is escalating,
given his background,
given the international
nature of all of this,
we want it as a joint inquiry,
with counter-terrorism
taking the lead.
And as the on-call SIO in London
I'm the lucky man.
I'm not sure lucky is the word.
Oh, it might be not for you, gov.
But in my job, you can
spend your entire career
waiting for something
like this to come along.
And it never does.
So I'll take it.
(sirens wailing)
I meet Scaramella
at Piccadilly Circus.
He's very worried man.
He say, "Let's go,
let's go, let's go."
So we walk away, we
go sushi place, Itsu.
Itsu, it's the name of it, Itsu.
But then he say, "I'm not hungry.
I already have food before."
He comes all the way
from Italy for lunch.
When you meet him,
he's already eaten.
And the whole time
you were together,
you were the only one to eat.
Only me.
Scaramella only drink with lid.
He's very anxious.
He's very hot.
Sorry, my English is not
No, there's no rush, Sasha.
You take your time.
We do not have time to take time.
That is problem, detective.
Scaramella say he has
something to show me.
A white package.
He tries give contents
of package to me.
He tried to give you the
contents of a white package.
I say, "I don't
want this paper."
He say, "No, put in your bag."
Brent: And did you?
What else can I do?
I take packet, I eat food.
I go.
Scaramella is little bit
He is mad man.
To be clear, Scaramella
might have been the person
sent to poison you.
It's possible.
(knocking at door)
One minute please.
Mr. Carlton needs
his medication.
Excuse me.
Detective, I ask Marina to
bring you a copy of my book.
This is from me to you.
Thank you.
There you go.
I don't mind calling that one in.
(cell phone ringing)
Brent Hyatt.
So, sir?
The doctor's got it wrong.
No, let me rephrase that.
Wrong, it's harsh.
But he has been poisoned.
Oh, I'm convinced.
Though not with thallium.
Sasha was wrong about that.
Having seen the data
the doctors gathered,
it's clear they scanned
him with a Geiger counter.
That would've picked up thallium
and/or other heavy metals
common in poisoning
had they been there.
But they weren't.
What a Geiger counter misses
are things called alpha emitters.
And suddenly that
explained everything
including the hair loss.
Sasha Litvinenko has been poisoned,
in the middle of London, in
the middle of a working day,
with a radioactive substance.
Now, precisely which
one it is hard to say.
How do we find out?
By getting a sample of Sasha's urine
down to the atomic weapons
establishment in Aldermaston.
It's the only place in the country
that can run the analysis.
Get it down there
first thing tomorrow,
get priority clearance,
and I'd say you'd have
feedback within a day or two.
A day or two may be all
poor Sasha has left.
(pensive music)
Turn right here a sec.
(pensive music continues)
(car door slams)
You got it too or is it just me?
The guilt.
The guy's giving us the
final days of his life.
The one person who
should be with him
is stuck in a corridor
on a plastic chair.
Well, there's only
one way to stop yourself
feeling like that, Brent.
Catch the bastards.
(pensive music)
(pensive music continues)
(pensive music continues)
Go straight through.
Right, congratulations.
What you are working
on is the first ever
murder investigation where
nobody's actually died.
In all seriousness, while
Mr. Litvinenko is alive,
we have the best possible
witness we could hope for.
Our two friends from
homicide have begun
a process of talking to the victim.
They made a strong start.
Let's now build on
their findings, please.
What's dangerous here
are the unknowables.
Useful though Litvinenko's
statements have been so far,
we do not yet know who it
was that tried to kill him.
We do not know what with,
we do not know where,
we do not know why.
All we can be certain
about is that a substance,
an unidentified poison,
has been deployed in Central London,
the busiest square mile in Europe.
And that that substance has
the power to kill people.
If we needed something
to focus our thinking,
let it be that, please.
Right, back to it.
I appreciate that this is
now a counterterrorism job,
but I just wanted to say
that Jim and I built up
a very close personal
dialogue with Mr. Litvinenko.
Not to mention the fact-
It's not a
counter-terrorism job, Brent.
It's a joint inquiry.
Clive: And there's
a clock on this, yes.
We just owe it to the bloke
to finish what we started.
Well, you better
get on with it then.
(tape recorder buzzes)
The time is now 14:41 on
the 19th of November, 2006.
The same persons still present.
Also present
My name is Nina Tapper.
I'll be acting as interpreter
for Mr. Litvinenko.
What I need now, Sasha, is for you
to complete your account
of the 1st of November.
This important day.
I leave Itsu and make phone
call to arrange next meeting.
Brent: Scaramella wasn't
your only meeting that day.
I agreed to meet old
colleague from KGB.
He's in London on family holiday.
He's staying at Millennium
Hotel, Grosvenor Square.
And his name?
Andrey Lugovoy.
He say, "Hurry Sasha,
meet now, meet early.
We not have much time."
Brent: He brought
the meeting forward.
Yes, because they're
going for football match.
Arsenal and CSKA Moscow.
They being Mr
Lugovoy and his family.
Lugovoy and his associate.
This name
I not remember this name.
You didn't know the second guy.
I remember.
Dmitry Kovtun.
I go hotel.
I walk inside.
I see Lugovoy.
Lugovoy was waiting in the foyer.
He told me to go into hotel bar.
The waiter come.
Ask for me to have drink.
But before I can say yes,
Lugovoy says, "No, no.
No more drinks.
We're only here short while."
The waiter goes away.
So you don't have a drink?
Lugovoy told him there's no need
to order a drink of your own.
After all, there is plenty
of tea left in the pot.
So, you drank the leftover tea.
How much?
Three mouthfuls.
The tea is cold, I not like.
And Kovtun.
Where's he in all this?
Would you point this fan?
Yes, of course.
Kovtun come from his room.
Say hello.
Talk about big business scheme.
Say I can make money in UK.
If the police ask
questions, you pay them off.
He's arrogant.
I said, "No, you not
understand United Kingdom.
Here, policemen does
not take bribes.
Here, more than any
country, policeman is good.
You can trust with your life.
What else can you
give me on Lugovoy?
I know you're tired, Sasha,
but you're right,
this is crucial now.
I wouldn't be doing my job
if I didn't push you on this.
Nina: In his house, Mr.
Litvinenko has many papers,
all of which he's made sure
to arrange very carefully.
Nina: In the bottom
drawer of his desk,
you will find a file on Lugovoy.
(siren wailing)
I found 'em.
Turns out he's an ex platoon
commander in the KGB,
and involved in state security.
The Russian foreign
intelligence service
today denied having anything
to do with what happened
to a critic of President Putin
when he apparently
visited a sushi bar.
Peter Marshall reports.
Peter: The victim,
the former Russian spy,
Alexander Litvinenko, a defector
whose poisoning in London
has left him in hospital
fighting for his life.
(wife) This is you.
Peter: Litvinenko
now joins a growing list
of those who've been
victims of assassination.
It's exciting.
That's one word for it.
Peter: All vehement and
critics of Vladimir Putin.
(speaker) A person of
his standing, I thank
(wife) Hey.
Clive: Mornin' Floppy.
Mornin' Guv.
(cell phone ringing)
Detective, this is James
Cairns calling from Aldermaston.
I have a result for you
on the urine sample.
Go on.
The sample contains clear traces
of a substance known
as Polonium 210.
You mean plutonium?
It's an isotope.
It's extremely rare.
Almost certainly produced in Russia.
Right, well, what does
that mean for the victim?
James: Well, I'm
not a medical doctor.
It's not my job to say.
But in your opinion.
Well, in my opinion,
there's no conceivable
way that he can survive.
Polonium is commonly accepted to be
the most dangerous
substance known to men.
She's gone to get some air.
Sasha always makes life easy for me.
Whatever he tells me, I believe.
He tells me he has been poisoned.
I believe.
He tells me this
poison will kill him.
I believe.
But all this time,
just because I believe,
does not mean I do not hope.
It does not mean I
cannot hope he's wrong.
Mrs. Carter.
Given we're near the end
of the interviews now,
I was wondering, would you
like to come into the room,
sit with Sasha?
I'd like it if you said yes.
I come out of bus, I put
music in my ears, I walk home.
But before I go in my door,
I see my wife and son in window.
They are happy.
And once doors, you stay indoors?
Did you eat?
Yes, I had a meal.
Marina made dinner.
She always makes
such excellent meals.
Later, I have pain in stomach.
I have blood in mouth.
I am sick.
I'm poisoned, I know this.
I know
I'm sorry detective, I not learn
English language completely yet.
But I am proud to be able
to say I am British citizen.
Britain is good country.
I will die, yes.
But I will die a free person.
My wife and son are free.
I say to my son, "Remember
for the rest of your life,
this country saved us."
You ask me many questions.
I'm sorry.
Now I ask you,
you have a wife?
I do.
Litvinenko: You love this woman?
I do.
Not yet.
But we still hope to.
I ask request of you inspector.
I know there will be pressure
from top,
on the police,
on you.
But, I ask you your best
to bring this case
to justice for me,
for my family,
as far as it is possible.
I give you my word.
(tape recorder buzzes)
["BBC News Theme"]
(reporter) The mystery
surrounding the poisoning
of the former Russian
agent Alexander Litvinenko
has deepened tonight.
Doctors now say that it's unlikely
that he was poisoned with Thallium.
Mr. Litvinenko remains-
The discovery of
polonium puts this case
at the top of the
Metropolitan Police agenda.
I've called an emergency meeting
of the relevant agencies.
And I'll be establishing a
testing site here at the yard.
Nick's from the Health
Protection Agency.
You and your team
will all need assessing,
as will anyone or anything
that's come into direct contact
with the victim.
How do you mean, anything?
You, your tapes, you recording
equipment, your clothes,
it will all need to be scanned
for signs of radioactivity.
Why do you think we're sitting
on this side of the table?
So if someone who's
contaminated gave you something,
that object could also be
carrying traces of the
That's right.
Oh, sorry sir.
I have to go.
Just taking an interest.
What was that for?
(Brent sighs)
Thank you very much.
Hospital called.
Sasha's had a cardiac.
Brent, meeting's starting in
(elevator beeping)
(machines beeping)
(indistinct doctor orders)
The sushi restaurant,
the victim's home,
the Millennium Hotel, wherever
Mario Scaramella was staying.
these need to be secured
as absolute priority.
How many uniforms can I get?
Peter: How many do you need?
Oh, 50, minimum.
There are on call teams
at Belgravia and Savile Row.
They can be made available
immediately tomorrow.
That can double, but
let's be careful please.
This is one of the
world's busiest cities.
Flood the streets with uniform
and they can create a panic.
Mr. Litvinenko died
at 21:21 this evening.
(solemn music)
(solemn music continues)
I want to show you something.
This is now a murder investigation
and there has never been a
murder investigation like it.
So, let's all take a moment.
Let's look around us.
And let's understand that the people
sitting in this room just now
are the people best
equipped to get justice
for a British citizen
and his family.
What was it you told me
when we first got here?
You didn't think anybody
was taking it seriously.
(reporter) Mr. Goldfarb!
(reporter) There he is!
(indistinct chatter)
Good evening.
Good evening.
Two days ago, I spent
some time in the company
of my friend Alexander Litvinenko,
who died this evening.
Sasha asked me to
read something to you.
I have the privilege
of doing this now.
I would like to thank my
doctors and hospital staff,
who did all they could for me.
I would like to thank
the British police
for pursuing my case with
vigor and professionalism.
I would like to thank my
wife, Marina, who stood by me.
My love for her and our
son knows no bounds.
But as I lie here,
I can distinctly hear
the beating of wings
of the angel of death.
I think therefore, that
this may be the time
to say one or two things
to the person responsible.
You may succeed in silencing me,
but the howl of protest
from around the world
will reverberate, Mr.
Putin, in your ears
for the rest of your life.
May God forgive you
for what you have done,
not only to me, but to our
beloved Russia and its people.
(solemn music)
Brent: Right, here's
what we're gonna do.
(dramatic music)
(dramatic music continues)
(dramatic music continues)
(dramatic music continues)
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