This John Le Carré adaptation is essentially a sexier, and rather smarter, James Bond. Sorry Bond, there’s a new spy in town…
We open with our protagonist casually walking through Cairo during the Arab Spring, seemingly unfazed by the near constant gunfire, and far too focused on looking handsome in his pastel linens. This is Jonathan Pine. Played by Tom Hiddleston, he is clean shaven and charming, the sort of guy you’d want to take home to your Mum’s for a cup of tea. In fact, he’s positively knightly – decent, lean, bold, and with posture so good he’s almost suspicious. But surely not, after all, he’s just The Night Manager at a swanky hotel – well, this is Le Carré, after all.
The action begins when Pine pals up with an impossibly beautiful woman named Sophie, who gives him a peek at some documents concerning her terribly evil arms dealer boyfriend. Naturally, they end up getting naked, and then she ends up dead. Before we know it, we’ve zoomed back home to meet secret agent Angela Burr (Olivia Coleman). She’s sending our knight on a mission, to avenge the princess and bust those weapon loving bastards. Here we launch into a whirlwind of armoury, manipulation and Machiavellian malice.
Admittedly, there are a few changes from the original novel, most notably a gender change for Burr, and we’re not sure the novel details such a sexy protagonist. But if you ask us, these are good additions. We also have got to mention this stellar cast, which also includes Hugh Laurie as villain Richard Roper, and arguably best of all, Tom Hollander, who plays his camp-as-Christmas chief security officer.
The Times’ Andrew Billen, however, isn’t such a fan of the new additions. He says that whilst the series is “unflashy and contains a succession of enjoyable performances…it does not quite work.” However, The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston disagrees entirely, saying that “the alterations and updates are skilfully and almost invisibly tailored by David Farr, who has adapted the novel.” And The Telegraph’s Jasper Rees is with him, giving The Night Manager a solid five stars. He says, “the only sadness of updating the action to the present day is that we have lost any belief that a clapped-out old Blighty…can find any sort of redemption through the lone agency of a chivalrous man of action.”
First shown April 2016. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: