David Tennant stars in David Hare's new drama for radio, Murder In Samarkand, based on the memoir by Craig Murray.
In Hare's play, Craig is a high-flyer in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who loves his job and is proud to be appointed Ambassador for the first time, to Tashkent. It's before the Iraq war and Uzbekistan is newly in focus as a useful ally in the "War on Terror".
Craig is a man who, when he works, likes to work really hard, and when he has fun, he likes to really enjoy himself – and he immediately starts to do both. He visits the local British businesses, he finds the girls, the night clubs and the drinking friends. And he discovers he is Ambassador to a dire regime that imprisons dissidents and routinely uses torture on its citizens. He realises the Uzbeks are supplying the Americans with intelligence derived from torture, and he cannot get his head around the fact that UK complicity in this doesn't seem to concern his superiors – though they are shocked by the girls and the night clubs. The consequences for him couldn't be greater.
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Saturday Play – Murder In Samarkand airs Saturday 20 February, 2.30-4.00pm on BBC Radio 4