Can The Night Manager be as good as a small-screen James Bond?

Published: May 4, 2016
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BBC's adaptation of John le Carre's The Night Manager Photo: BBC

The Night Manager is one of the many adaptions based on the work of the bestselling espionage novelist, John le Carré.  The Night Manager, the book, was published in 1993 and was brought to TV by BBC and AMC as a mini-series comprising of six episodes.

This mini-series is directed by Susanne Bier, staring  Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine and Olivia Colman as Angela Burr.

The Night Manager, adapted by the BBC and due to be screened later this year
Photo: Mitch Jenkins/The Ink Factory/AM

Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier, currently working as a night manager of a hotel in Egypt, is hired by intelligence agents for an exciting yet dangerous mission. He has to navigate an alliance between the intelligence community within Whitehall and Washington DC, and also infiltrate the inner circle of an international arms dealer, comprising of Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie), Jed, his girlfriend (Elizabeth Debicki) and Corkoran, his ad associate (Tom Hollander).

Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager
Photo: IMDb

The director was wise to adopt this as a mini-series and not a movie, because the result would have been disastrous had he attempted the latter. Each episode of this show is fast paced and nail biting. I must say, I was mildly surprised when I heard that Hugh Laurie, who usually plays the good guy, was playing the villain. Being the maestro that he is, he manages to nail the role and it’s hard to imagine anyone else portraying this conniving bad guy.

Tom Hiddleston shooting a scene for The Night Manager
Photo: IMDb

Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Jonathan Pine is top notch and his scenes with Hugh Laurie are a treat for the viewers. Hiddleston comes across as the small screen’s James Bond. The supporting cast has done a commendable job as well. Elizabeth Debicki perfectly fits the troubled girlfriends’ role, while Tom Hollander makes viewers hate Corkoran with all their heart.

Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston in The Night Manager
Credit: Mitch Jenkins/BBC

The sleek guns and bubbling champagne coupled with the mesmerising background music make the opening credits a visual treat. The show’s £30 million budget allowed the filming to take place in countries such as Spain, Devon, Morocco and Switzerland, making it an exotic adventure, adding to its allure.

Not many BBC dramas have casual scenes set on a yacht.
Picture: Des Willie

The world of elite criminals, intelligence officers, conspiracies, betrayal and revenge is showcased in this brilliantly written TV show. I guarantee these six episodes will leave you wanting more. I have my fingers crossed in anticipation of season two being as great as this one.

Sahir Palijo

Sahir Palijo

The author is an undergrad pursuing a degree of Business Administration. He loves to write his thoughts and is a movie freak. He tweets at @The_Sahir (twitter.com/the_sahir)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Watched season one……. not impressed Score : 4/10.Recommend

  • curious2

    Watched the first two episodes – looking forward to the 3rd.Recommend

  • S.

    Hugh Laurie’s performance alone is worth more than just 4/10.Recommend

  • Parvez

    It’s not about the performance ……. its small things that the director has failed at, things that impairs the credibility of the story. The over all idea is good, after all it’s a le Carre story…….the problem is in the making…..in the detail. Recommend

  • S.

    The details?Recommend