Taking a trip around Asia seems like a dream for many but after watching The Serpent you may hesitate before jumping into a gap year.
BBC 1 has interpreted their spin on the real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, a gem dealer with a murderous undertone, and his lover and accomplice Marie-Andrée Leclerc; played by the BBC favourite Jenna Coleman who brings love-struck naivety and slight empathy to the couple.
This eight-episode series just aired its fifth instalment last Sunday and the constant cat and mouse chase between Charles and Herman Knippenberg, a junior diplomat at the Dutch embassy, seem to be never-ending.
To start, the number of episodes seemed excessive but as the characters develop and we see the growing list of Asian hippie trail victims fall to his facade, it is evident that these hours are needed to tell the true tale of The Serpent.
Throughout the five episodes, we have seen a number of characters lead to being entwined in this murderer’s tricks. From Marie who has imprisoned by her devotion, to Dominique who was a victim of his own kind. The series displays a back and forth of months apart following the timeline of Herman’s continual discoveries of Charles’ wrongdoing with the help of the grotesque character Ajay who joins the side of the Serpent.
The women in this series grab the attention of the audience through many different emotions. Herman’s wife, Angela is outspoken, passionate, and loyal and is lovable to all who watch, alongside Nadine – who has befriended Marie at their apartment – shows courage and friendship that can only be described as admirable. Marie is not heroic like the others and leaves a constant question of victim or villain but while she may be consorting with the devil, sympathy for this character sweeps over the audience paired with a worrying doubt for feeling this way.
Jenna Coleman’s outfits could not go without a mention. The striking wardrobe could even be the reason that Leclerc stays with the series villain. The 70’s fashion with vibrant colours and the sweeping hairstyle complemented by an array of printed headscarves. It is a guarantee to affect the fashions of 2021, place your bets now.
Each episode includes tension that creates the uncomfortable watch that all drama lovers tune in for and the weekly wait makes the anticipation hard for an audience craving immediate gratification.
But if you find the wait unbearable, BBC iPlayer has made all episodes available for those searching for a TV binge.
A terrifying and gruesome story of young, free travellers falling into the path of Charles and his accomplices is a great winter drama to pass away the hours of this forever month.