Tonight, The Night Manager makes its long-awaited debut on AMC. The six-part BBC adaptation of John le Carré’s novel recently finished airing in Britain, where it received rave reviews.
I attempted to watch the miniseries objectively in order to provide you with a spoiler-free preview; but as we all know, that’s a bit difficult for me to do when my love Tom Hiddleston is on screen. But I can say this: The Night Manager is so much more than it appears in the trailers. It’s a film noir spy thriller, told through brilliant color and modern language. It’s a battle of wits, egos, temperaments, and tall tales. The deceptively simple story of an ex-soldier infiltrating the inner circle of an arms dealer is complicated by the archetypes we know better than we know ourselves: love, sex, and revenge.
I read a few interviews in which viewers compared Hiddleston’s performance to that of an audition for the role of James Bond. There are definite similarities, but Hiddleston’s Jonathan Pine stands apart from 007. (Although if Tom got the role of Bond, I wouldn’t complain; The Night Manager will have been good practice.) The bond and rivalry, the cat and mouse game, between Pine and Richard Roper (played flawlessly by Hugh Laurie) sets the story of The Night Manager squarely in the television thriller genre. This story would not have succeeded if not for the medium in which it was produced; television writing allows for exploration and characterization that simply can’t be had on the big screen, and both Hiddleston and Laurie thrived in the environment.
If you enjoy spy movies, international intrigue, or anything Tom Hiddleston related, tune in tonight to watch the first installment of The Night Manager at 10/9 central time. There will also be a Twitter Q&A with Tom at 9:30 p.m. ET, using the hashtag #AskNightManager.
Until next time,
The Collected Mutineer