New BBC Series ‘The Serpent’ Revisits Serial Killer Charles Sobhraj’s Deadly Crime Spree

Screengrab from the trailer

The Serpent is the latest true-crime drama on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Charles Sobhraj is played by the French actor Tahar Rahim, whose previous credits include A Prophet, The Past and The Kindness of Strangers.

The British show focuses on the series of robberies and murders committed by Sobhraj in Thailand in the mid-1970s. And how his accomplice Marie-Andrée Leclerc, played by Jenna Coleman, stood by him despite full knowledge of his crimes and promiscuity.

Charles Sobhraj gained the nickname ‘The Serpent’ because of his skills at deception and evasion. The eight-episode series was released on January 1 on the BBC iPlayer streaming platform. Among the sources of The Serpent, written by Richard Warlow and directed by Tom Shankland, is Richard Neville and Julie Clarke’s Bad Blood: The Life and Crimes and Charles Sobhraj.

Who is Charles Sobhraj?

Born to an Indian father, Hatchand Sobhraj and Vietnamese mother Tran Loan Phung, Sobhraj grew up in Saigon before his parents divorced and his father cut off all contact with the family.

Sobhraj is now 76 years old, lodged in a prison in Nepal. Sobhraj has remained in the Kathmandu jail for almost two decades, despite his record of notorious jailbreaks.

Check out the trailer here:

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