Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber have also joined the eight-part drama, starring Tahar Rahim as one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century.
Jenna Coleman (Victoria, Doctor Who), Billy Howle (MotherFatherSon, Dunkirk) and Ellie Bamber (Les Misérables, Nocturnal Animals) have been cast in lead roles in the upcoming Netflix/BBC crime drama The Serpent.
Filming has begun on the Mammoth Screen-produced series, which will see Tahar Rahim play Charles Sobhraj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century.
Coleman will play Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj’s partner and frequent accomplice, with Howle and Bamber cast as Herman and Angela Knippenberg.
Charles Sobhraj (Rahim) was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travelers 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.
Also among the cast are 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.
The Serpent is an eight-part limited series. Commissioned by BBC One, it is produced by Mammoth Screen and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. It is written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay, directed by Tom Shankland and Hans Herbots 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. Mammoth Screen is part of ITV Studios.
The series is filming on location in Thailand and will premiere on BBC One in the U.K. and on Netflix outside of the U.K. and Ireland.