The meaning of The Serpent of Essex

Try to keep up with all the news arriving on the platforms streaming it is an almost impossible undertaking. Too many TV series to watch, too many news that on paper seem exciting, little time to devote. Yet it takes very little to navigate this world in sight and find something good about which to discuss. To date and for the avoidance of doubt, in addition to the Amazon Prime Video giant, there is that of AppleTV which is offering high-level series and that is worth seeing. Such as The Essex snake, a new miniseries with an all-star cast that is streaming from May 13 with the first two episodes. A series that strikes from the beginning for a fascinating story, poised between a horror it’s a drama psychological.

Freely inspired by Sarah Perry’s publishing case of the same name, the new Apple TV series confirms the desire of the paid entertainment giant – famous for The Morning Show, Phisycal and others – the desire to experiment and bring something new to TV and streaming, and to innovate a sector that, for some time, has in no way managed to take off to offer the public a product that resists the flow of time. Judge The Essex snake is, perhaps, a bit too hasty, but in light of the first two episodes, the series has all it takes to become one show niche but also attractive to a more general audience.

A widow, a priest and a popular legend: the plot of the TV series

We are in London in 1893, at a time of great turmoil for the English capital. An era of changes and struggles for their own rights. The story focuses on Cora Seaborne, played by a beaming Claire Danes. The woman was recently widowed and, on her husband’s death, she hopes to be able to regain her life and passions that she – due to force majeure – she was forced to suffocate. Together with her governess, she flees to Colchester, Essex, and chases the myth and legend of a sea monster that roams one of the largest counties east of London.

While carrying out his research, he comes across Reverend William Ransome, with the face of Tom Hiddleston, with whom he establishes a relationship of trust and based on dialogue, in which Cora begins to approach religious faith. The investigation into the existence of the snake, however, is intertwined with that of a little girl from the city who was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The tragedy shocks everyone and the inhabitants come to accuse Cora of being a bringer of misfortune. The woman thus finds herself fighting for the same innocence as her.

A Marvel super-hero and a former spy: two roles to be discovered

A series with high expectations that is curated in a direction dark, rarefied and from a splendid photograph of the English countryside. To this is added a story that hangs in the balance between a coming-of-age drama and one woman in search of herself, to that of a crime with religious mysticism and a horror with psychological implications. In fact, the series has no intention of revealing the existence of the snake or not, but more than anything else it wants to tell the reality of the time which, on the threshold of the new century, was anchored to traditions and old superstitions. In this The Essex snake finds two iconic protagonists in Tom Hiddleston and Claire Daines.

The first returns to acting in the small screen after the success of Loki, the anti-hero of Marvel, to whom Disney has dedicated a TV series. While Claire Daines remains on the small screen after the great success achieved with Homeland, the spy-drama of Showtime Tv now available on Sky. Two actors with different artistic paths. Tom Hiddleton is stubborn and proud in playing haunted and mysterious characters. Daines, on the other hand, is here in the guise of a woman in step with the times but forced to fight her own demons personal after the death of her husband. Two actors, two stories to tell but united in trying to unravel the knot from the skein and understand where the truth begins and where the lie ends.

Fact and fiction: the legend behind The Essex Snake as a metaphor

The story is not based on real events. Indeed, the search for the existence of the snake is but one metaphorto life. But in England, stories of fearful mythological creatures are not new to film, TV or literature. The series, of course, is a well-aimed reminder of the myths and legends that have stretched from time immemorial across England. Like, for example, the Loch Ness myth that with the snake of Essex has many similarities. But, in fact, history is more than a reinterpretation of human fears that take shape with the face of prehistoric monsters that, in reality, do not exist.

Keira Knightely who turned down the starring role

The AppleTV show before coming to streaming had a difficult gestation. The character of Cora, the focal point of the whole story, was initially entrusted to Keira Knightley, actress famous for Atonement, The Duchess and the saga of Pirates of the Caribbean. The woman, however, is reluctant to commit to a long-term project. So she, she at first she accepted the part of her, then she left the production, revealing that he had abandoned her role in order to be able to be together with her. family. Secondly, then, the choice fell on Claire Daines who did justice to the character of a complex woman but with a great desire to live.

The book from which the series is based

Again, the series is freely inspired by a novel by Sarah Perry, which is published in Italy by Neri Pozza. Compared to the AppleTV show, the book doesn’t take many poetic licenses. Keep yours appeal and that story full of suggestions and twists. Play just a little with the course of events, which are adapted to make the story more usable in the eyes of the public.

Why see The Essex Snake?

A TV series to be discovered, seen and tasted. It is liked not only because it offers a frank and sincere look at the Victorian era, but it deserves to be seen for a story that leaves no way out and that draws the public into a whirlwind of emotions. A little female drama, a little horror, a little noir, The Essex snake is the new bet of post-pandemic seriality, which plunges its hands into the past to tell the fears of our present.

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