We're watching The Night Manager

08 March 2016

Our new feature is all about what we're watching, listening to and talking about this month.

Social Media Manager Tom has a look at BBC One’s Sunday night spy thriller, The Night Manager.
So we’re half way through The Night Manager, the Beeb’s adaptation of John le CarrĂ©’s classic slice of espionage, and things are looking good. A dastardly villain running international arms deals? Check. A 007-in-waiting performance from the nation’s strawberry blonde sweetheart Tom Hiddleston? Check. A (so far) non-speaking part for Bob the Builder ‘star’ Neil Morrissey? Oh yes.
If the reaction on Twitter and in the national press is anything to go by, the public are lapping this up. And so they should. First of all there’s the style. Exotic locations, unnecessary speedboat rides, a soaring soundtrack AND Hiddleston’s selection of crisp linen shirts (M&S Blue Harbour, surely) – this is clearly a production with some serious dollar behind it, and it ain’t afraid to show it.
But there’s also the substance. Sure, the premise is bloody preposterous and some of the dialogue is a bit clunky, but it sweeps you up, pours champagne down your greedy little neck and leaves you desperate for the next episode.
If you haven’t been watching (SPOILER ALERT), former soldier-turned-hotel manager Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston) has somehow found himself living with world-famous philanthropist/’worst man in the world’ Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) in his luxurious coastal resort in Mallorca. And he also happens to be spying on Roper on behalf of Olivia Colman, who works for MI6 and should really see a medical professional, having been continuously pregnant for at least the last four years. It also looks as though Pine might become romantically involved with Roper’s girlfriend. So it’s all going off, and we’re set for a cracking second half of the series.
We still haven’t really got the measure of who exactly Hiddleston’s Jonathan Pine is, and that’s a good thing. Part Jason Bourne, part Basil Fawlty (only famous screen hotelier I could think of, sorry), he smoulders away, sporadically beats people up, but also has a sensitive side and enjoys an ice-cream. Hiddleston is carrying the whole show, which is impressive enough given the star-studded cast (David Harewood, Tom Hollander being and Elizabeth Debicki all keep popping up); he’s taken the intriguing baton that le CarrĂ© handed him and really run with it. If he is to be the next Bond, people will surely look back at The Night Manager as a superb audition tape – in much the same way people now look at Daniel Craig in Layer Cake, or perhaps Pierce Brosnan in Mrs Doubtfire.
Having not read the book (sue me), I’m still not sure where the story is going to go, but based on what we’ve seen so far you know that, as long as you can suspend your disbelief, it’s certainly going to be entertaining.

We'd love to hear about your latest obsessions too. Eating cereal over Making of a Murder? Binging on The Bridge? Let us know in the comments below.