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The Serpent: Everything you need to know about Jenna Coleman’s new true-crime drama

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Lauren Geall
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Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman has joined the cast of upcoming BBC crime drama The Serpent, which is based on the terrifying true story of serial killer Charles Sobrhaj.

If you’re a fan of Jenna Coleman’s incredible performances in dramas such as The Cry and Victoria, you’re in luck: she’s just joined the cast of a brand new crime drama.

Her new role will see her take on the character of Marie-Andrée Leclerc in The Serpent, which is based on the true story of serial killer Charles Sobrhaj.

The Serpent intoxicated me into the dark seductive world of Charles Sobhraj,” Coleman said. “I’m so looking forward to delving into hippie trail depths and bringing to life this unfathomable real life story.”

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While we don’t have many details yet – the series is currently in the middle of filming on location in Thailand – we do know a little about the story behind The Serpent, and who else has been signed up to join the cast alongside Coleman.

Here is everything we know about the series so far.

What is The Serpent about?

The Serpent is based on the true story of Charles Sobrhaj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century.

Sobrhaj’s story is one of murder and deception: known as both “The Serpent” and “The Bikini Killer,” Sobhraj was an infamous con artist, drug dealer and psychopath who was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s “Hippie Trail” in 1975 and 1976.

Regularly evading the detection of the police, Sobhraj remained at large despite being a suspect in such a large number of cases, and eventually became Interpol’s most wanted man. By 1976 he had arrest warrants on three different continents.

Jenna Coleman
The Serpent: Jenna Coleman will play Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Charles Sobhraj's partner and frequent accomplice.

The Serpent will focus on how the elusive serial killer was eventually caught and brought to by Herman Knippenberg, a young diplomat from the Dutch embassy in Bangkok.

Jenna Coleman will play Marie-Andrée Leclerc, who was Sobrhaj’s partner and frequent accomplice.

Who is in the cast of The Serpent?

Tahar Rahim will take on the role of Charles Sobrhaj in The Serpent, co-starring alongside Billy Howle as Herman Knippenberg.

As previously mentioned, Jenna Coleman will join the cast as Marie- Andrée Leclerc, Sobrhaj’s accomplice.

Ellie Bamber has also been cast in one of the series’ lead roles as Angela Knippenberg, alongside an ensemble including Top Of The Lake’s Alice Englert and The Widow’s Mathilde Warnier. 

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Is there a trailer for The Serpent?

Not yet – and we won’t be expecting one for a while, as the series is currently filming on location in Thailand. We’ll keep you updated as soon as one is revealed.

When and where can I watch The Serpent?

The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK, and will appear on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland.

As for the release date, we don’t have any information yet – but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear any news. 

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Lauren Geall

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