Doctor Who and Victoria actress Jenna Coleman has signed up for The Serpent, a new eight-part drama about infamous criminal Charles Sobhraj.
Tahar Rahim (Mary Magdalene, A Prophet) has already been cast as Sobhraj, a serial killer, thief, and fraudster variously known as “The Splitting Killer,” “The Serpent,” and – because of the beachwear worn by many victims – the “Bikini Killer.” During his 35 years of criminal activity, Sobhraj became known for frequently targeting Western travelers navigating the “hippie trail” of Southeast Asia. At one point, he was at the top of Interpol’s most wanted list.
Coleman has been cast as Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj’s romantic partner and frequent accomplice. Billy Howle (Dunkirk, On Chesil Beach) and Ellie Bamber (Les Misérables, Nocturnal Animals) have also joined the cast, the BBC announced in a press statement.
The Serpent is being written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay (Ripper Street), and directed by Tom Shankland (Les Misérables) and Hans Herbots (Riviera). Shooting is underway now in Thailand, the scene of many of Sobhraj’s crimes, and the series will air on BBC One in the U.K. and Netflix in U.S.
Coleman, who’s recently completed a stage stint in a London revival of Arthur Miller‘s All My Sons, said of joining the series: “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.”
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