‘The Essex Serpent’, the new Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes series that takes us into the fear, faith and emotions of Victorian London, arrives to Apple TV+. We at Seriéfilos Enfurecidos have been able to enjoy it in advance, so we’ll tell you (without spoilers, of course) what we thought of it.
Based on the novel by Sarah Perry, ‘The Essex Serpent’ tells the story of Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes), a London widow who decides to move to a small Essex village to investigate and find out the truth about the possible existence of a mythological sea serpent. There Cora meets Will Ransome, played by Tom Hiddleston, the vicar of Aldwinter in Essex, with whom she forms a strange bond over science, scepticism and the mystery of the monstrous serpent. However, he will have to deal with the rumours and fear that spread through Essex.
Starring Claire Danes, winner of three Emmys for her performance in the series ‘Homeland’, and the charismatic actor Tom Hiddleston (‘Loki‘), the rest of the cast of ‘The Essex Serpent’ includes Clémence Poésy, Frank Dillane and Hayley Squires, among others.
The series will premiere its first two episodes globally on Friday 13 May, followed by a new weekly episode every Friday until 10 June on Apple TV+.
CORA SEABORNE, HAUNTED BY HER PAST AND HER FUTURE
Between bowler hats and top hats, Cora sets out on her investigation to unravel the mystery of the serpent in the Blackwater and Colne Rivers. But nightmares and memories of her recently deceased husband haunt Cora’s days and nights. At times, she is confused and tormented by her past and present, preventing her from making decisions about her future. To the point that she hurts those she loves.
The eerie, dark Essex landscape, incredibly captured by the series’ photography, doesn’t seem to deter Cora’s thirst for truth, nor the viewer’s. No doubt the audience will feel as she does – is the serpent real, is it the result of people’s superstitions, or is there something more paranormal behind all this?
Claire Danes’ performance perfectly captures the confusion Cora’s character feels and the dichotomy between continuing her research in Essex, and all that it entails, or returning to London and resigning herself to not following her passion. Many will try to convince her to return, but she does not want to leave her quest behind. However, Cora will not be well received by the people of Essex.
FORGIVE ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED
During Cora’s search for the serpent she meets “some boring vicar”. Will Ransome: married with children, village vicar and played by Tom Hiddleston. Don’t forget to breathe while you’re watching it. Don’t get me wrong, Hiddleston’s performance goes beyond how well he looks in a cassock and corduroy suits. But we had to acknowledge it. He is the “hot priest” of ‘Fleabag‘ part 2.
The two protagonists meet for the first time briefly and by chance, but that will not be the only and last time they will meet again on the intense and furtive trails of the Blackwater River.
Will’s pain and responsibility is reflected in every tear that Hiddleston lets fall in the series and that feeling of duty and exemplarity as a vicar accompanies him in the incredible steps he takes in ‘The Essex Serpent’. But let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
FEELINGS AND FAITH, THE REAL SERPENT OF ESSEX
The mystery of the serpent is not the only thing that surfaces in the series of ‘The Essex Serpent’, the feelings and faith of the characters are the real protagonists.
Fear is the most recurring feeling as it grips the people of Essex, fearing what they do not understand and resorting to anything out of desperation. However, there is also a faith in progress, medicine and the desire for better social conditions thanks to characters such as Doctor Luke (Frank Dillane) and Martha (Hayley Squires). They seem to be passing characters, but they leave their mark on the viewer with the passion they have for their ideas.
Cora also expresses her faith, preferring to believe in the existence of the serpent rather than in an invisible god. Unlike Will. The moments of tension between the two characters who do not want to betray their values have that je ne sais quoi. However, everyone in ‘The Essex Serpent’ runs away or tries to escape what they fear or hide; whether it is the serpent, faith, attraction or one’s own values.
Despite the fact that many characters seem to fall for Cora, I don’t think the character has succeeded it with me. It’s not a series that will appeal to many because it’s not a mainstream plot (and I don’t mean the Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes plot), but ‘The Essex Serpent’ is a series with a look at Victorian times and progress that many will appreciate. Only cowards dare not face their emotions and watch ‘The Essex Serpent’.
¡No te pierdas nada!
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