We love sharing news of intriguing, in-depth upcoming shows and The Serpent sounds exactly right for the type of production we love at Critical Popcorn. Starring Tahar Rahim (who was exceptional in The Looming Tower, and also starred in A Prophet) will portray Charles Sobhraj in the brand new drama series, based on the astonishing true story of how one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century was caught and brought to trial.
Sobhraj was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal through 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, 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.
The Serpent is an eight-part limited series, written by Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay (both Ripper Street) and directed by Les Miserables’ Tom Shankland, and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. Tahar Rahim had this to say:
“I am thrilled to play Charles Sobhraj in The Serpent, a role I have dreamed of portraying since I read a book about him when I was seventeen years old. I couldn’t be happier than to make it under the direction of Tom Shankland and writers Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay.”
The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix outside of the UK, and we’ll bring you further casting as it’s announced.