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How to watch The Essex Serpent online: release date and time

Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

You'll get more than a good bit of period piece drama when you watch The Essex Serpent on Apple TV Plus. The new series looks like a delicious meal of multiple genres. First off, you've got a mystery surrounding a supposed mythical beast that the public believes in — while local pastor (Tom Hiddleston) laughs it all off. 

Then, you've got a bit of a retroish X-Files, as a slightly more educated Londoner named Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes) has arrived on the scene to investigate the beastly rumors, following the disappearance of a woman.

And while Cora and the man of faith get along — even striking up a friendship over their skepticism — the townsfolk soon think to fit her for a pyre. Yes, it appears the locals will actually blame the investigator for the monster.

At that point, lo and behold, it seems that the pastor can't help Cora evade accusations. Sounds like another Apple TV Plus winner to us. Read more for everything you need to know about how to watch The Essex Serpent online.

When does The Essex Serpent come out?

Claire Danes in The Essex Serpent

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The Essex Serpent debuts on Apple TV Plus tomorrow (Friday, May 13) at 3 a.m ET, with its first two episodes released at the same time. The six-episode season will unfurl with one new episode on each of the following Fridays.

For future episodes, note that we've noticed that Apple TV Plus shows can often debut at 9 p.m. ET on the night before scheduled debuts.

For more recommendations, check out our guide on the new shows to watch

How to watch The Essex Serpent for free online

You can sample The Essex Serpent for free, provided you've not signed up for Apple's streaming service before. That's thanks to the Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial. You could even watch the entire two seasons for free, if you're able to wait until the week of the finale. 

Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial

You can watch The Essex Serpent for free, as new subscribers can take advantage of the Apple TV Plus 7-day free trial. After that, it costs $4.99 per month. Apple TV Plus features excellent originals such as The Afterparty, Severance and Pachinko.

The Essex Serpent trailer

The moody and brilliant-looking trailer for The Essex Serpent shows that our trials and tribulations began with a missing woman, taken in the fog in a small town. When the populus blames a mythical beast, the local pastor (Hiddleston) says it's an accident and a visiting Londoner Cora Seaborne (Danes) is actually going to investigate it.

The Essex Serpent episodes

Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

There are six episodes of first two episodes, and Apple TV Plus is releasing the first two together. Then, the rest come one at a time on the following Fridays.

  • The Essex Serpent episode 1: May 13
  • The Essex Serpent episode 2: May 13
  • The Essex Serpent episode 3: May 20
  • The Essex Serpent episode 4: May 27
  • The Essex Serpent episode 5: June 3
  • The Essex Serpent episode 6: June 10

How to watch The Essex Serpent from anywhere

If you're stuck abroad — in one of the few countries where Apple TV Plus is not available — you will likely run into geo-fenced restrictions on the platforms and services you can use. But with the help of a virtual private network (VPN), you can watch The Essex Serpent and all the other services you already pay for no matter where you are. 

Based on our testing, the best VPN is ExpressVPN, which is easy to use and delivers fast internet speeds, making it simple to set up for streaming in no time at all. It also works on practically any device, starting with iOS and Android and including streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV. 

ExpressVPN

Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, is a top choice for those looking to watch Ted Lasso. It's got a solid mix of safety, speed and ease-of-use. Plus, you get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year. If you've never used a VPN before and are curious and not sure, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.

Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.