On the set for the filming of Kirill

Utilising Silverlight, a Microsoft application that delivers high-quality video on the web, the show will be broadcast weekly on the MSN homepage, and also shown on various video-upload sites, including YouTube.

For Kirill to work, however, Microsoft needs to prove that the show is entertainment first and foremost and not just an advertisement for the company. This is the tricky part, as it has been made with an overall intention of being a platform to get people familiar with the various online Microsoft services, as well as providing entertainment.

Just as a TechRadar turns sceptical about the whole thing, we glance at a storyboard of one of the episodes. Covered in Post-its, the drawing reveals where Kirill is hiding and what happens at the end of the series. Without giving too much away, it's fair to say that the scope of the web-drama is as high concept as anything churned out by the likes of JJ Abrams, with the directors assuring us that there's a proper three-act structure that's played over all 10 of the episodes.

At the fringe

One person who is not at all sceptical about the show is its main – and mostly sole – actor. "I love the new media platform we are working on with Kirill," says Schofield. "The audience for the show is not entirely different to that of theatre. Viewers will be able to give almost immediate commentary and criticism."

He continues: "I started 40 years ago in the Fringe Theatre, with the likes of John Osborne, David Mamet and Arthur Miller. At the time it was at the cutting-edge, new and exciting.

"Now I am almost 60 and I am back once more at that cutting edge and it's great. But it doesn't matter how good the technology behind Kirill is. If you haven't got a good story, forget it. Luckily, the quality of this project, and the people working on it, is fantastic."

The first webisode for Kirill is available now at www.msn.co.uk/kirill. The series is being produced by Endemol.