Jenna Coleman (Victoria, Doctor Who), Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, Dunkirk) and Ellie Bamber (Les Misérables, Nocturnal Animals) have signed on to star opposite Tahar Rahim (The Looming Tower) in BBC One’s eight episode Charles Sobhraj limited series. Netflix is co-producing and will serve as the global broadcaster.
The Serpent tells the story of Charles Sobhraj, who was the chief suspect in the sensational unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal in the mid 1970s. By 1976 Sobhraj was Interpol’s most wanted man and had arrest warrants on three different continents.
When Herman Knippenberg, a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see these two diametrically opposed men engaged in a chase across the porous borders of the Hippie Trail, as Knippenberg seeks to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes.
Jenna Coleman has been cast as Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj’s partner and frequent accomplice; while Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber will play Herman and Angela Knippenberg. Rounding out the cast is Alice Englert, Mathilde Warnier, Gregoire Isvarine, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Fabien Frankel, Chicha Amatayakul, Surasak Chaiyaat, Ruby Ashbourne-Serkis, Armand Rosbak, Ellie de Lange, Ilker Kaleli and Amesh Edireweera.
Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay penned the scripts for the series, which is based on a true story. Mammoth Screen are producing. Stephen Smallwood is the series producer, while Tom Shankland and Hans Herbots are on-board as the directors. The executive producers are Richard Warlow, Tom Shankland, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Carolyn Newman is overseeing the series for Netflix. Production is now underway on location in Thailand