The BBC has released the first trailer of its new serial killer drama, The Serpent, inspired by the true story of the conman and murderer Charles Sobhraj who led detectives on a merry dance throughout Asia in the mid ’70s.
The drama is a co-production between the BBC and Netflix and it stars Tahar Rahim as Sobhraj and Jenna Coleman as his girlfriend and accomplice Marie-Andrée Leclerc, who travelled across Thailand, Nepal and India in 1975 and 1976, carrying out a spree of crimes on the ‘Hippie Trail’ and becoming the chief suspects in a series of murders of young Western travellers.
Sobhraj is depicted as a charming, cold-hearted psychopath in The Serpent trailer.
Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg (The Witness for the Prosecution star Billy Howle), says urgently: “This man will keep killing until he’s caught!”
“What if he’s never caught,” responds his partner.
The Serpent charts the path of Sobhraj as he became international crime agency Interpol’s most wanted man, while Knippenberg becomes involved in his web of crime and himself sets off an extraordinary chain of events.
Notable for Victoria and Doctor Who star Coleman’s departure from her usual virtuous roles, The Serpent also co-stars The Trial of Chrstine Keeler actress Ellie Bamber, Amesh Edireweera, Mathilde Warnier, Grégoire Isvarine and Blackadder actor Tim McInnerny.
The Serpent is an eight-part, one-hour long series made by Mammoth Screen and conceived and developed by Tom Shankland and Richard Warlow.
The Serpent will initially screen on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK on New Year’s Day at 9pm, but will later be available outside of the UK and Ireland on Netflix.