Jenna Coleman joins new period drama while ‘Victoria’ is on hiatus

Victoria star Jenna Coleman has announced her next TV project.

A fourth season of ITV’s period drama series about Queen Victoria is being developed, but fans are apparently in for a long wait.

In the meantime, Coleman will star in the BBC’s brand new crime drama from the creator of Ripper Street.

Set in the 1970s, The Serpent is based on the phenomenal true story of how Charles Sobrhaj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century, was caught and brought to trial.

Starring alongside French actor Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) as Charles, Coleman will play Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj’s partner and frequent accomplice.

From the makers of Poldark and Endeavour, the eight-part limited series was first confirmed back in 2017.

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’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 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 Knippenberg seek to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes.”

The cast also includes Billy Howle (Dunkirk), Ellie Bamber (Les Misérables), Alice Englert (Top of the Lake), Mathilde Warnier (The Widow), Gregoire Isvarine (The Inside Game), Sahajak Boonthanakit (Only God Forgives), Fabien Frankel (Last Christmas), Chicha Amatayakul (Girl From Nowhere), Surasak Chaiyaat (Love Destiny), Ruby Ashbourne-Serkis (National Treasure), Armand Rosbak (De Slet van 6 vwo), Ellie de Lange (Keizersvrouwen), Ilker Kaleli (Poyraz Karayel) and newcomer Amesh Edireweera.

Jenna Coleman commented: “The Serpent intoxicated me into the dark seductive world of Charles Sobhraj. I’m so looking forward to delving into hippie trail depths and bringing to life this unfathomable real life story alongside Tahar, Billy, Ellie, Tom, Richard and the wonderful cast and production team for the BBC and Netflix.”

Directed by Tom Shankland (Les Miserables, The Missing) and written by Ripper Street creator Richard Warlow, filming is now underway on location in Thailand.

The Serpent is expected to premiere in 2020 on BBC One in the UK and internationally on Netflix .

Victoria is available on DVD on Amazon.