Apple TV+‘s latest starry series is The Essex Serpent, which is toplined by Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes.

Based on the novel by Sarah Perry, the series is set in Victorian England and “follows London widow Cora Seaborne (Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She forms a surprising bond of science and skepticism with the local pastor (Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature.”

Ahead of the premiere Shadow and Act spoke with Hiddleston, Danes, Frank Dillane and Clémence Poésy about the series that combines a lot of genres and provides and allure.

For her first major TV role since Showtime’s long-running series Homeland, Danes went with this series and was particularly drawn to what she calls a “rewriting of The Garden of Eden.”

“I loved the themes of the book and the conversation between faith and science, but I but I also loved the characters, particularly the one I was lucky enough to get to play,” she told us. “Cora is unusually kind of unruly and expansive. And I just really appreciated her eagerness and hunger for life, and ideas and human connection, which she finds in many different forms. I thought it was kind of a really kind of radical retelling of a very, ancient familiar story. It was like a rewriting of the Garden of Eden, but the characters instead of being penalized and shamed, are kind of accepted and even rewarded. I thought that was really quite brave, and compelling, and kind of feminist which I enjoy.

On the dynamic shared between Cora and Will, Hiddleston says that there is a reason why Will is pulled to her.

“Cora is on the side of life and he’s drawn to her energy, and her curiosity and freedom,” he told us. “I think she’s her soul is very free. And perhaps at this time and at this point in his life, he maybe he hadn’t factored [in] that a woman like Cora would arrive, and it’s huge surprise and destabilizes him and everything in his life. I think it because in a way, he had everything organized in his theology and in his worldview, and Cora awakens something which is very vital. And it’s not within either their control, I don’t think.”

Check out the full interviews below: