The Serpent viewers left confused by timeline in show's "gripping" premiere

Joe Anderton
·4-min read
Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC
Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC

From Digital Spy

Doctor Who, Victoria and Xenoblade Chronicles alumni Jenna Coleman joins Mary Magdalene star Tahar Rahim for The Serpent, a new BBC One crime drama based on a real-life prolific killer from the 1970s.

Rahim stars as serial killer Charles Sobhraj while Coleman plays Marie-Andrée Leclerc, Sobhraj's partner and frequent accomplice, and the story follows a team of investigators as they try and catch the duo after a series of murders across India, Thailand, and Nepal.

The first episode aired on TV yesterday (January 1), with new episodes dropping every Sunday from tomorrow until mid-February. But they are also doing that thing where every episode is also available on BBC iPlayer already as well.

Now that viewers have had a chance to delve into the much-hyped drama, what have they got to say about it?

Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC
Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC

Related: Doctor Who season 13 adds John Bishop to cast following Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole exits

Well, on the whole, people seem to be quite impressed with The Serpent. But while many people hailed the show's first episode as a "gripping" drama, viewers also had one major problem with the premiere outing.

And it's all to do with the use of a trope that crime dramas seem to employ more and more these days: jumping back and forth in time.

Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC
Photo credit: Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu - BBC

Related: Victoria star Jenna Coleman admits starting her career with Emmerdale was "overwhelming"

Viewers found the constant time jumps confusing to keep track off, and soon took to social media to complain about the "irritating" plot device, with one viewer adding that this way of telling the story "doesn't make the show seem any cleverer".

"So now we're 2 months earlier than 4 months later? Give us a calendar not relative time!" one viewer shared.

"So we've had 2 months later – and now it's 4 months earlier," another added. "WHY do they do this? So bloody confusing."

A few months back, Jenna talked about the possibility of a fourth season of Victoria, stating that there's a reason they should wait for more.

The Serpent continues on BBC One on Sunday, January 3 at 9pm. You can also watch the whole series on BBC iPlayer now.

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