The Serpent

Watch The Serpent

  • TV-MA
  • 2021
  • 1 Season
  • 7.6  (48,953)

The Serpent is a thrilling new limited series on Netflix that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story takes place in the 1970s and follows the twisted journey of Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim), a French serial killer who preys on young backpackers traveling through Southeast Asia.

The series is based on real-life events and chronicles Sobhraj's crimes, as well as the efforts of Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle) and his wife Angela (Ellie Bamber), who investigate the murders after their own acquaintance disappears while in Thailand. Jenna Coleman also stars as Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj's Canadian accomplice and lover.

The show's attention to detail immerses you in the exotic locales of Thailand, India, and Nepal, and the cinematography and costume design beautifully capture the fashion and style of the era. From the bustling streets of Bangkok's Khao San Road to the serene beauty of the Himalayan mountains, the series transports you to a world that is simultaneously alluring and dangerous.

What sets The Serpent apart from other true-crime dramas is its unconventional storytelling structure. The series jumps back and forth in time, weaving together sobhraj's twisted path of manipulation and murder with the investigation into his crimes. This non-linear approach keeps the audience engaged throughout the show and adds an element of tension as we witness the killer's actions before the investigators catch up to him.

Tahar Rahim's portrayal of Sobhraj is chilling and captivating. He seamlessly moves between charming and manipulative, showing how he lures his victims into a false sense of security before carrying out his gruesome crimes. The series does not shy away from showing the brutality of these killings, but it also explores the psychological toll the murders take on their survivors and the investigators tasked with bringing Sobhraj to justice.

Billy Howle's role as Knippenberg stands in stark contrast to Rahim's portrayal of Sobhraj. Knippenberg is methodical and meticulous in his investigation, following every lead and refusing to give up until he solves the case. His wife Angela provides a refreshing perspective, as a woman who is often overlooked and dismissed by the male-dominated world of diplomacy and law enforcement.

Jenna Coleman delivers a nuanced performance as Marie-Andrée Leclerc, a woman who becomes entangled with Sobhraj and is complicit in his crimes. She portrays Leclerc's struggle between her love for Sobhraj and her growing awareness of his true nature, providing a rare glimpse into the psychology of a woman caught up in a killer's web.

Throughout the series, the audience is left wondering what Sobhraj's motives truly are. Is he motivated by money, power, or does he get some twisted fulfillment from taking innocent lives? The show does not offer any easy answers, but through its exploration of Sobhraj's life, it delves deep into the psyche of a serial killer.

The Serpent is a thought-provoking and gripping true-crime series that will appeal to fans of the genre and those new to it alike. The strong performances, stunning visuals, and unique structure make it a must-watch on Netflix.

The Serpent is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on January 1, 2021.

The Serpent
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Episode 8
8. Episode 8
January 1, 2021
The net begins to close around Charles and Marie-Andr?e in India, but the final chapter of Herman's pursuit of Sobhraj stretches long into the future.
Episode 7
7. Episode 7
January 1, 2021
Charles and Marie-Andr?e arrive in Paris and attempt to set up a new life. Meanwhile, Herman makes a dangerous gamble in his investigation which finally brings a breakthrough.
Episode 6
6. Episode 6
January 1, 2021
The fallout from Gautier's escape threatens Herman's diplomatic career. Charles attempts to set up business in France, a place that holds powerful memories for him.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
January 1, 2021
Herman and Charles engage in an exhausting battle of wits as Herman continues to pile pressure on the Thai police to prosecute the suspects, while Charles perfects his escape plan.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
January 1, 2021
Charles embarks on a terrifying trail of destruction in Nepal, while Nadine helps Herman gather the final evidence he needs for the police to act.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
January 1, 2021
Young Frenchman Dominique Renelleau tries to escape Charles Sobhraj's terrifying lair. As he listens to Nadine and Remi's testimony, Herman realises the scale of Charles's crimes.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
January 1, 2021
Marie-Andr?e Leclerc leaves her life behind for the love of Charles Sobhraj but discovers the chilling cost. Herman vows to investigate the murders of the Dutch couple.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
January 1, 2021
Bangkok, 1975. Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg investigates the disappearance of a young couple who were last seen alive at the apartment of gem dealer Charles Sobhraj.
Where to Watch The Serpent
The Serpent is available for streaming on the Netflix website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Serpent on demand at Netflix.
  • Premiere Date
    January 1, 2021
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (48,953)