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BBC One announces new serial killer drama The Serpent – find out more

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the serpant 1
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
15 July 2019
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BBC One has announced an upcoming new drama, The Serpent, based on the true story of how the suspect of a series of murders was brought to trial in the 1970s. The series, which is a co-production between the BBC and Netflix, will be penned by Ripper Street writers Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay, and will see The Looming Tower star Tahar Rahim play Charles Sobhraj.

the serpent

Tahar will play Charles Sobhraj

The official synopsis reads: "Charles 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."

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Speaking about his upcoming role in the eight-part miniseries, Tahar said: "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 controller of BBC Drama, Piers Wenger, added: "We are delighted to have the brilliant Tahar Rahim play our leading man in The Serpent and for him to unravel Sobhraj's dark web of deceit, crime and murder in this fascinating true story for BBC One."

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