The skirpals

A fine, even rather noble drama: BBC1’s The Salisbury Poisonings reviewed

This week, BBC1 brought us a three-part dramatisation of an ‘unprecedented crisis’ in recent British life. Among other things, it featured a lockdown, an extensive tracking and tracing programme, much heroism from people on the front line, and much confusion among scientists as to how to provide the facts when they didn’t really know them. The Salisbury Poisonings (Sunday–Tuesday) was presumably made well before you-know-what. Yet watching the programme in the current circumstances, it wasn’t easy to decide whether the timing was good or bad luck for the makers. The obvious parallels did lend a haunting, drone-note resonance to proceedings. On the other hand, they sometimes threatened to overshadow what