On New Year’s Day, the BBC will be unveiling brand new new serial killer drama that’s bound to be on everyone’s lips as 2021 begins.
Titled The Serpent, the eight-part series tells the story of real-life international killer Charles Sobhraj, played by Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, The Looming Tower).
Sobhraj was the main suspect in the unsolved murders of at least 12 people travelling through India, Thailand and Nepal in the mid-Seventies.
The title gets its name from the moniker Sobhraj was given due to his ability to deceive and outwit the police for many years.
Journalist Andrew Anthony, who interviewed Sobhraj in the late-Nineties, described him as “quite possibly the most disarming serial killer in criminal history”.
He eventually found the net closing in on him thanks to a junior diplomat named Herman Knippenberg, who will be played in the series by British actor Billy Howle.
Former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman will play Sobhraj’s girlfriend and regular accomplice, Marie-Andrée Leclerc.
Speaking about her casting in the role, Coleman said: “I’m so looking forward to delving into hippie trail depths and bringing to life this unfathomable real life story.”
While the drama is set to premiere in the UK on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, The Serpent will eventually be released on Netflix globally.
It’s the latest high-profile co-production between the BBC and Netflix to premiere on New Year’s Day following Dracula, which proved a ratings hit in January 2020.
The Serpent begins 1 January 2021 at 9pm on BBC One.