5 reasons The Night Manager should be your new Sunday night viewing
BBC’s new Sunday night drama kicked off last night. The Night Manager is an adaptation of John Le Carré’s 1993 novel of the same name, and stars Tom Hiddleston as the eponymous character who unintentionally becomes embroiled in murder, corruption and arms dealing.
Tense, slick and with a touch of luxury about it, the debut episode was watched by 6.14 million viewers and has provided us with (at least) 5 reasons why we’ll be tuning into The Night Manager every Sunday.
1. Tom Hiddleston‘s face.
Great actor, great face. Well-known for playing the suave bad guy, Hiddleston now gets his chance to play the suave good guy, Jonathan Pine – and he’s pretty damn good at it. The epitome of an English gentleman, he feels it is his British duty to make right of the wrongs he encounters. As an ex-soldier traumatised by his time in service, his morality gives him no choice but to take on the “worst man in the world”, arms dealer Richard Roper. Episode two will see Pine agree to infiltrate Roper’s inner circle in an attempt to take him down.
2. The supporting cast
The cast list of this show reads like the front row of the BAFTAs. Olivia Coleman, Hugh Laurie, Russell Tovey and Tom Hollander all grace the screen. Laurie’s portrayal of snake-like arms dealer Roper is cocky with just enough charisma thrown in to make you love to hate him. Tom Hollander plays his bitterly sarcastic associate – somehow we don’t feel Hollander tries too hard to nail this character. Coleman and Tovey are charming as ever as intelligence operative Burr and government contact Ogilvey, respectively. It’s slightly off-putting to see Tovey in a serious and stern part, but Coleman reassures us with her slightly comical but doggedly-determined character (reminiscent of Broadchurch’s DS Miller).
3. The production.
The BBC reportedly spent a cool £20 million on this programme. Episode one gives a glimpse into what racked up that bill for them. The epic locations of Cairo, Egypt and Zermatt, Switzerland provide stunning visuals whilst the two hotels managed by our protagonist ooze luxury. We get a taste of the James Bond-esque quality we were so looking forward to in a few explosions, a beautiful girl murdered and the arrival of the bad guy in a helicopter. (Fans are already calling for Hiddleston to take over Daniel Craig as the next 007).
4. The light relief
After the vicious murder of (spoilers) the token beautiful girl, Sophie, Twitter was alight with shock and horror over the situation. Sympathy for the actual victim was pretty scarce, her dog however…
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HIDDLESTON.
CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT THE DOG IS TRAUMATISED?!?
HUG IT!!! #TheNightManager
— the woozle (@the_woozle) February 21, 2016
Not sure the dog’s going to make it to the end of this episode #TheNightManager
— Fi Cotter Craig (@ficottercraig) February 21, 2016
5. The drama
At the heart of this story is a good old-fashioned spy thriller, a genre beloved by the British. Following the success of London Spy, the BBC have hit the nail on the head with this adaptation. Taking a hugely popular source text and adding a talented writer to adapt it for screen was a recipe for success. David Farr took on the challenge of writing the screenplay, but with successes like Spooks and blockbuster Hanna under his belt, he didn’t have much to worry about. Take a look for yourself:
Catch up with episode one of The Night Manager on BBC iPlayer.