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Londongrad: HBO Develops ‘Sherlock’ Spin-Off Series

US broadcaster HBO is developing a new miniseries called “Londongrad.” This is based on Alan Cowell’s book “The Terminal Spy.” The novel is about the poisoned KBG agent Alexander Litvinenko. “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch is slated to play the lead role of Litvinenko. The series and the novel are based on a true and complex event that happened in London in 2006.

Is There A Release Date For “Londongrad”?

The HBO series is currently still in the planning phase. So far, there is no start date. Depending on how many episodes “Londongrad” will ultimately have, the crime series could appear on HBO in the fall of 2022. 

Londongrad: What Is Known About The Show?

On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko had tea in the Millennium Hotel in London. Hours later, the Russian emigrant and former secret service officer fell ill. Litvinenko sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin – he was hospitalized a few days later. Fatally poisoned by the rare radioactive isotope polonium-210, which was mixed in his drink, Litvinenko made a dramatic statement accusing Putin himself of planning his murder on his deathbed.

Alan S. Cowell was then London office manager for the New York Times. From the beginning, they had reported on the event, on the story of an assassination attempt with profound international consequences of the first act of nuclear terrorism. Cowell published this story in his book “The Terminal Spy.” Who was Alexander Litvinenko? What had happened in Russia since the end of the Cold War that made his life there untenable and, even in England, seriously endangered? And how did he die?

The miniseries will undoubtedly be based on the book. The life of Alexander Litvinenko is a compelling story in itself, culminating if set off alarm bells for Western governments. Should it be that easy to use radioactive material in significant western capital to commit a unique crime? But the case also raises a whole host of other questions:

  • Russia’s relapse into authoritarianism.
  • The return of the KGB to the Kremlin.
  • The dangers of a new Cold War fueled by Russia’s oil wealth and Vladimir Putin’s thirst for power.
Michelle Cruz
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