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The Serpent - BBC's International Crime Drama To Premiere On New Year's Day

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Inspired by real events, The Serpent tells the remarkable story of how the conman and murderer Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim) was brought to justice. Posing as a gem dealer, Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-AndrĂ©e Leclerc (Jenna Coleman) travelled across Thailand, Nepal and India in 1975 and 1976, carrying out a spree of crimes on the Asian ‘Hippie Trail’ and becoming the chief suspects in a series of murders of young Western travellers.

As Sobhraj repeatedly slips from the grasp of authorities around the world, Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle), a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into his intricate web of crime. Knippenberg sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see Sobhraj become Interpol’s most wanted man, with arrest warrants in multiple continents.

Ellie Bamber also stars as Angela Knippenberg. Further casting includes Amesh Edireweera, Mathilde Warnier, Grégoire Isvarine and Tim McInnerny.

Commissioned by BBC One, The Serpent (8x60') is made by Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. The series was conceived and developed by Tom Shankland and Richard Warlow, and written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay. It was directed by Tom Shankland and Hans Herbots, produced by Stephen Smallwood, and executive produced by Richard Warlow, Tom Shankland, Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen.

The Serpent will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and will later be available outside of the UK and Ireland on Netflix.

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