Adapted from John Le Carre’s 1993 novel of the same name, The Night Manager, which premiered its first of six episodes last night in the US, has already received rave reviews from UK viewers. Why? Well, let’s dive in and find out.
We meet lead character Jonathan Pine (played by the ever-excellent Tom Hiddleston) in Egypt where he is – surprise, surprise – the night manager of a very high class hotel where in between calmly assisting guests, he’s flirting (and getting down and dirty) with Sophie, the mistress of Cairo-money thug Freddie Hamid. Needless to say that doesn’t end well, but before the tragedy unfolds, Sophie, or Samira, as it turns out her name is, asks Pine to copy some documents which list a stock pile of weapons – rocket launchers, sarin gas, the works, all of which are connected to renowned arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie).
As a former army man, Pine cannot stand idly by and do nothing, so photocopies said documents and sends them to an old diplomatic colleague – rather unaware – at this point at least - of the chaos he’s about to unleash. His actions trigger a chain of events that make up the next 5 episodes, but tonight, it results in Sophie/Samira being brutally murdered and Pine starting to plot his revenge.
Roper himself is largely absent from the majority of the episode, but when he finally appears, he does so with menace and gusto, with the story having flash-forwarded itself by four years where we pick things up in Zermat. Here, Pine is again working at a hotel where Roper and his entourage stroll in – and so begins the circling game of cat and mouse; fox and the hound…you get the idea.
After closely observing Roper – and his lovely girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki)
–and cleverly gathering the discarded sim cards they’ve thrown away, he arranges to meet intelligence officer Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) where after giving a deeply honest and passionate speech about the horrors of war he’s already been witness to, they discuss what to do next … the game, it would seem, is well and truly underway.
What did you think of the episode? Are you excited for next week? Comment below and let us know!