Myanna Buring as Dawn Sturgess in The Salisbury Poisonings

The Salisbury Poisonings: Viewers ‘incredibly moved’ over tribute to casualty Dawn Sturgess

Dawn was played by actress MyAnna Buring

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Viewers were heartbroken last night when BBC drama The Salisbury Poisonings ended with a touching tribute to casualty Dawn Sturgess.

Mum-of-three Dawn died after her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, unknowingly gave her a perfume bottle containing the deadly substance Novichok – several months after the Salisbury nerve agent attack in 2018.

What happened in the final episode?

The Salisbury Poisonings
Actress MyAnna Buring played Dawn Sturgess in The Salisbury Poisonings (Credit: BBC)

Read more: The Salisbury Poisonings: DS Nick Bailey hits back at viewers who criticised his wife Sarah’s behaviour after episode two 

He had found the bottle, which was disguised as the fragrance Premier Jour, sealed in plastic in a charity shop bin.

The third episode of the three-part drama aired last night (Tuesday, June 16), showing Dawn and Charlie falling ill shortly after she sprayed the substance on her wrists.

It followed the efforts of hospital staff to treat them and investigators to get to the bottom of what had happened to the couple. Initially, authorities thought they had taken a bad batch of drugs.

The Salisbury Poisonings
Dawn’s boyfriend, Charlie, survived the incident (Credit: BBC)

Charlie went on to recover but tragically, doctors eventually had to turn off Dawn’s life support machine.

That ending was so incredibly moving.

The very end of the episode introduced viewers to the real people depicted in the programme, including Tracy Daszkiewicz and her family, and DS Nick Bailey, his wife Sarah and their children.

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The screen then showed the message, ‘In memory of Dawn Sturgess. 1974 – 2018’ before showing a clip of her happily dancing with her young daughter.

How did viewers react?

The Salisbury Poisonings
The drama ended with a video of Dawn dancing with her young daughter (Credit: BBC)

Reacting to the tribute on Twitter, one viewer said: “Have to say, the end of #TheSalisburyPoisonings showing Dawn Sturgess dancing with her daughter broke me.”

Another wrote, with heart and crying emojis: “Awww the clip at the end of Dawn Sturgess and her daughter dancing #TheSalisburyPoisonings #SalisburyPoisonings.”

‘Far more beautiful’ than produced drama

A third said: “That ending was so incredibly moving. I think the story perfectly matched the mood of the city at the time. At first it was all completely mad and then it was just sad. RIP Dawn #TheSalisburyPoisonings.”

Read more: What happened to DS Nick Bailey after the Salisbury poisonings? Survivor’s heartbreaking true story revealed

Nick Bailey also commented on the tribute.

He tweeted: “Some things I’ve learned over the last few days: There are a lot amazing people out there. A home video is far more beautiful than any produced drama. We should be more kind to ourselves and each other #RIPDawn #TheSalisburyPoisonings.”

Someone else replied: “I was really impressed with the way #TheSalisburyPoisonings covered the human aspects and impact of this horrific crime – the ending was really touching.”

The Salisbury Poisonings is available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer

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