Culture / TV

‘The Serpent’ is the Netflix true-crime series you shouldn’t watch alone

The Serpent Netflix

When Netflix dropped its list of April releases late last week, it's fair to say we were impressed by the roster of fresh content. Amidst the plethora of old favourites and classic tales, there were a few noteworthy new releases; namely the Netflix thriller, The Serpent.

In contrast to many of the other true-crime pieces crowding streaming platforms at the moment, The Serpent takes things to an immersive, new level. Rather than the documentary-style format we've become used too; The Serpent is a compelling, dramatised iteration that could easily pass as fiction.

Set primarily in the 1970s, the eight-part limited series follows the life of Vietnamese-Indian con-artist, thief and murderer, Charles Sobhraj, who targeted white travellers in South and Southeast Asia. A chilling storyline, excellent (and very real) sartorial moments and plenty of parties; The Serpent explores how Sobhraj used charm and the promise of freedom to target his victims.

Below, everything you need to know about The Serpent before its release.


What is The Serpent about?

The Serpent is based on the true, and chilling story of serial-killer Charles Sobhraj. The series opens in Bangkok in 1975, where we are first introduced to Sobhraj; who has rebranded himself into suave gem dealer, Alain Gautier. This is where Sobhraj got his start – luring in unsuspecting travellers by dealing gems, only to then drug and rob the backpackers. While initially, he would let his victims escape, as we learn throughout the series, some were not so lucky.

As per the Netflix synopsis, The Serpent tells the story of how "In the 1970s, merciless killer Charles Sobhraj preys on travellers exploring the "hippie trail" of South Asia."

A man of Sobhraj's calibre never works alone – his accomplices lie in Ajay Chowdhury and dissatisfied French-Canadian nurse, Marie-Andrée Leclerc, who later becomes 'Monique.' You can see the three of them in action in the chilling trailer below.

Who stars in The Serpent?

French actor, Tahar Rahim takes on the lead role of Sobhraj, while Jenna Coleman expertly portrays his 'fake' wife Marie-Andrée Leclerc. Billy Howle plays Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg, while French actress Mathilde Warnier plays the courageous Nadine Gires.


Is The Serpent available to watch on Netflix yet?

The Serpent is arriving on Australian Netflix on April 1. Mark your calendars.


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