We finally have a release date for Apple TV’s evocative new period drama The Essex Serpent

Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes will take the lead in Apple TV+’s adaptation of The Essex Serpent, and alongside some beautiful new images, we also know when the series will be coming to our screens.

While it may seem like we’ve been eagerly anticipating new details on this upcoming drama for quite some time, we come bearing good news: Apple TV+ has finally confirmed a release date for The Essex Serpent.

Yep, the countdown is officially on, because in two months, we’ll be able to binge-watch this evocative period drama when it premieres globally on 13 May 2022. 

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Based on Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel of the same name, the TV adaptation was originally announced in 2020 with Keira Knightley attached to star in the lead role. Owing to family reasons relating to the coronavirus pandemic, Knightley dropped out of the project, but filming resumed when Emmy-winning Homeland star Claire Danes took the helm last year.

There’s plenty of star power elsewhere, too, as Danes will be joined by Emmy Award-nominee Tom Hiddleston in the new Apple Original drama. The stellar ensemble also includes Frank Dillane, Hayley Squires, Clémence Poésy, and Jamael Westman.

The Essex Serpent: Claire Danes will now take the lead in the Apple TV+ series.

Here’s everything you need to know about the star-studded project. 

What’s the plot of The Essex Serpent?

For those who have yet to read the award-winning tale, The Essex Serpent (set in 1893) follows newly-widowed Cora Seaborne, who, after being released from an abusive marriage, relocates to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex.

Claire Danes stars in Apple TV+’s The Essex Serpent.

There, she quickly becomes intrigued by a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent (hence the title), and finds herself inexorably drawn to the village vicar, William Ransome, and his wife, Stella. But when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature. 

 To say much more would veer us towards spoiler territory. Suffice to say, though, it’s a compelling read – which explains why The Essex Serpent was named the 2016 Book of the Year by both the British Book Awards and Waterstones.

Who stars in the cast of The Essex Serpent?

Danes will be portraying Cora, obviously, and Hiddleston will take on the role of William.

The rest of the cast will take on the following roles:

  • Dillane will star as Luke Garrett, a pioneering young surgeon. Some call him a genius, others a liability. He’s headstrong and ambitious, and he meets his intellectual match in Cora.
  • Squires will appear as Martha, who is more than just a servant in Cora’s household; she’s a highly intelligent and fiery young socialist, and Cora’s closest confidante.
  • Poésy will star as Stella Ransome, who is friendly, sympathetic and adored by her husband Will and children. A beautiful soul inside and out, she becomes a firm friend of Cora’s when she arrives in Aldwinter.
  • Westman will portray Dr George Spencer, Luke’s right hand man. An unexceptional surgeon he may be, but a kinder man you couldn’t hope to meet.

Tom Hiddleston stars as William Ransome in Apple TV+’s The Essex Serpent

Who’s directing The Essex Serpent?

The six-episode series will be directed by The Selfish Giant’s Clio Barnard, and is written by Anna Symon, who has been nominated for both Bafta and Writer’s Guild awards thanks to her work on Mrs Wilson and Friday.

When will The Essex Serpent be available to stream on Apple TV+?

Good news, folks: it’s been confirmed that The Essex Serpent will debut globally with its first two episodes on 13 May 2022.

And, in the meantime, why not check out our pick of the best period dramas that are available to stream right now?

Happy viewing. 

Images: Apple TV

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