Homeland star Claire Danes has been announced to lead the cast in the new TV adaptation of The Essex Serpent, the best-selling Sarah Perry novel set in 1893.

The project received a setback in October when Keira Knightley was forced to pull out, reportedly because of concerns about childcare during the pandemic. Claire Danes has now been confirmed to take her place.

The actress, who has won countless awards and plaudits for her role as CIA spy Carrie Mathison in Homeland, will play Cora, a widow who leaves Victorian London to start a new life in the Essex village of Aldwinter. After previously experiencing trauma in an abusive marriage, she finds herself fascinated by a 'mythical creature' called the Essex Serpent, and takes an interest in the superstitions of her new area.

The series will air on Apple TV +, but it is yet to start filming. While the production team has been confirmed, including director Clio Barnard and lead writer Anna Symon, there is no word on when the show is set to air, or who will appear alongside Danes.

We will bring you up to date with further casting announcements as soon as we hear news, but after the disappointment of Knightley's departure from the show, we're thrilled to know the show is back on track.

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The Essex Serpent will air on Apple TV + but an air date is yet to be announced. To find out what to watch this week, check out our TV Guide.