Doctor Who and Victoria star Jenna Coleman is set to play a serial killer’s accomplice in the upcoming BBC One and Netflix drama The Serpent. The actress will join the previously announced Tahar Rahim, Ellie Bamber and Billy Howle.
The series will follow the real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, the main suspect in the mysterious murders of Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal along the so-called “Hippie Trail” in the years 1975-1976. Sobhraj managed to escape justice multiple times, becoming Interpol’s most wanted man.
The Serpent was directed Tom Shankland and written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay. Tahar Rahim, a French actor of Algerian descent, will play the infamous serial killer, while Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon) is set to appear as Herman Knippenberg, a young diplomat engaged in Sobhraj’s investigation. 22-year-old Ellie Bamber (Les Miserables) was cast as Knippenberg’s wife, Angela.
Jenna Coleman, last seen in BBC drama The Cry, will portray Marie-Andrée Leclerc, the Sobhraj’s partner and frequent collaborator. Asked about joining the series, the actress said:
“The Serpent intoxicated me into the dark seductive world of Charles Sobhraj. I’m so looking forward to delving into hippie trail depths and bringing to life this unfathomable real life story alongside Tahar, Billy, Ellie, Tom, Richard and the wonderful cast and production team for the BBC and Netflix”.
Filming for the eight-part limited series has already started. The Serpent will be produced by Mammoth Screen (Poldark, World On Fire) and run on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix worldwide.