Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber join BBC/Netflix True Crime Serial Killer Drama ‘The Serpent’

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09 Sep 19
Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber join BBC/Netflix True Crime Serial Killer Drama ‘The Serpent’

Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber join BBC/Netflix True Crime Serial Killer Drama ‘The Serpent’

BBC/Netflix The Serpent has added three more cast members, as Jenna Coleman (‘Victoria’, ‘Doctor Who’), Billy Howle (‘MotherFatherSon’, ‘Dunkirk’) and Ellie Bamber (‘Les Misérables’, ‘Nocturnal Animals’) land lead roles in the true-crime serial killer drama. They join the previously announced Tahar Rahim as Charles Sobrhaj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century.

Charles Sobhraj (Rahim) was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976. Psychopath, con man, thief and master of disguise, having slipped repeatedly from the grasp of authorities worldwide, by 1976 serial killer Sobhraj was Interpol’s most wanted man and had arrest warrants on three different continents.

When Herman Knippenberg (Howle), 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 Knippenberg seek to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes. Jenna Coleman will play Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj’s partner and frequent accomplice, and Ellie Bamber is cast as Angela Knippenberg.

“The Serpent intoxicated me into the dark seductive world of Charles Sobhraj,” commented Jenna Coleman. “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.”

The Serpent’s cast will also feature Alice Englert (‘Top of the Lake’), Mathilde Warnier (‘The Widow’), Gregoire Isvarine (‘The Inside Game’), Sahajak Boonthanakit (‘Only God Forgives’), Fabien Frankel (‘Last Christmas’), Chicha Amatayakul (Girl From Nowhere), Surasak Chaiyaat (‘Love Destiny’), Ruby Ashbourne-Serkis (‘National Treasure’), Armand Rosbak (‘De Slet van 6 vwo’), Ellie de Lange (‘Keizersvrouwen’), Ilker Kaleli (‘Poyraz Karayel’) and screen newcomer Amesh Edireweera in key roles across the series.

“I’m delighted that Richard and Toby’s exceptional scripts for The Serpent have attracted a cast of such extraordinary calibre,” adds Preethi Mavahalli, executive producer for Mammoth Screen, who produce the series. “As we begin filming all the elements are in place to respectfully bring Herman Knippenberg’s brave and determined story to the screen.”

‘The Serpent’ is an eight-part limited series. Commissioned by BBC One, it is produced by Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. It is penned by ‘Ripper Street’ writers Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay, directed by Tom Shankland  (‘Les Misérables’, ‘House of Cards’, ‘Ripper Street’) and Hans Herbots (‘Riviera’, ‘The Spiral’, ‘Cobra’), produced by Stephen Smallwood, and executive produced by Richard Warlow, Tom Shankland, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen, Lucy Richer for the BBC and will be handled by Carolyn Newman for Netflix.

The Serpent’ is filming on location in Thailand and will premiere on BBC One in the UK, and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland.