Review: The Night Manager


The BBC’s flagship six part drama, co-produced with AMC, has been described as many things, with most recent views being that Hiddleston’s role was an extended audition for the next 007.

     Photo from USA Today

But as cynical as many of the descriptions offered were the BBC developed the perfect formula for The Night Manager. A classic spy thriller brings in readers and older generations, while updating the story keeps it current, relevant and original. Pair all of this with a stellar cast and you’ve really hit the money. The six part formula is short enough to hold interest and the Sunday night slot is prime time for drama.   
 Photo from The Telegraph

Hiddleston was suave, sophisticated and wily. Is he Bond material? I’m not so sure but he is certainly well suited to Le Carré’s style and despite the public school accent managed to channel an element of the bad boy, occasionally making us question which side he was working for.
 Photo from the Radio Times

Despite Hiddleston being the main character it was Hugh Laurie who stole the show as Roper, one of the most charasmatic villains I’ve seen on TV in a while. He may not have been the scariest but when his humour catches you off guard and you start to sympathise with him, he bowls you over backwards with what he is capable of. Roper is always in control and he never gets his hands dirty.  
  Photo from the Radio Times

But he certainly has a match, albeit unconventional, in the figure of Angela Burr, diversifying Le Carré’s original characters. Played by Oliva Colman who’s pregnancy was written into the script, her character tops the others by a long way. She is a fierce, determined woman who isn’t taken seriously in her profession and is constantly demeaned by men and younger women in power suits, who exemplify the corrupt echelons of the security services. 

With one of the country’s best funny-men and a pregnant spy you would think the show risked becoming a farce, yet it was far from it. The drama was serious and tense, the humour was perfectly poised and utterly engaging. If it is the input of a successful American channel which has helped this then it is a partnership which I would like to see continue in the future. If anything is going to give channels a fighting chance against streaming services, then it will be series like The Night Manager


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