The Serpent

  • 10 Apr - 16 Apr, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

Charles Sobhraj was a real-life murderer who spent time charming and grooming his victims, then drugging them, killing them and taking their money. In the mid-’70s he was an expert at identifying young Western backpackers travelling through Asia who had some cash on them and charmed them into trusting him. His killing spree, and how he was caught, has been fictionalised in the new limited series The Serpent. Sobhraj is with his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman). There are lots of people there for a party, especially Westerners who are following the “Hippie Trail” in Asia. Also there is Ajay Chowdury (Amesh Edireweera), who is a bit of a protégé of Sobhraj’s. Flash back a couple of months to when the couple, in Hong Kong to make a gem deal, meet Dutch backpacker Willem Bloem (Armand Rosbak), who is travelling with his girlfriend Helena Dekker (Ellie de Lange). Posing as a gem expert, the couple target Willem and start their charm offensive. Things go downhill from there. Same goes for the Knippenbergs four months later; Herman finds out from an Australian diplomat who to talk to at the Bangkok police. It takes a little bit of time to get into the first episode of The Serpent. The shifts back and forth in time, a device that can be highly annoying, had us a bit lost during the first third of the episode.

– Compilation