I know you all still love Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. I get that Broadchurch was fun and intense (series one anyway…) and I understand that those cute little accents just get you every time in Downton Abbey.
But I assure you – The Night Manager is about to become your new favourite British TV show. And yes, we do spell that with a ‘U’.
Let me introduce you.
The Night Manager is based on John Le Carre’s novel, and the author and his sons were closely involved in the adaptation. (He wrote Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, amongst many others) Depending on who you believe, it cost £3m an episode – and it was money well spent.
Three stories that at first seem disparate are brought together, and if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to look away.
Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is the night manager of the title, working in a hotel in Cairo, and, like all good night managers, catering to his guests’ every whim, despite it being very late at night/early in the morning. He’s also seeing a very beautiful (and important) lady named Sophie, and that might annoy some people.
Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) is working for the security services in the UK, except she’s got a rubbish office and no real staff to speak of. She wants to take down international arms dealers. She’s also vvv pregnant. It’s clear that whilst we know she’s good, a lot of other people regard her as a pain in the backside, and would like her to go away.
Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) is, by coincidence, an international arms dealer. He’s living the life of bloody riley, is Roper, with a range of stunning houses, an entourage of sycophants (like Tom Hollander, who plays henchman Corky) and a beautiful girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki) But of course, there’s always a loose cannon… we just don’t know who it might be. And nor does Roper.
There’ll be no plot spoilers here – you have to watch it for yourself – but of course, Pine, Roper and Burr’s worlds will intertwine. The British government (well, bits of it, because of course corruption is rife here) doesn’t like arms dealers, and Jonathan Pine will soon have cause not to like them very much either.
How he becomes a part of Roper’s world – and then tries to destroy it from the inside – is deft and clever and taut and beautiful, and you will miss it when it’s gone.
WHY YOU WILL LIKE IT
* Such a great cast. Look at them though. Others I haven’t mentioned include David Harewood, Katharine Kelly and Aure Atika. And there are no weak links, everyone is a wonderful actor.
* It looks incredible. It’s beautifully shot, in beautiful locations.
* The plot is just plausible enough, and there’s enough tension to sustain you through six episodes.
* OK I wasn’t going to do this, but OK let’s – I wasn’t a Hiddleston fan before, but I totally am now. Yes there is nudity, but more than that, there are green eyes and the look that says “oh come on now”.
WHY YOU WON’T LIKE IT
* It’s not that violent, but there IS violence, so if you aren’t a fan, then this might not be for you.
* The plot, whilst plausible, is ever-so-slightly ludicrous at times.
* The BBC is, of course, planning a second series (because if something is a success, you can’t just call it a success, you have to mess with it) and knowing about that made me a bit twitchy.
The show has its US premiere in LA this week, and will then be on AMC from 19th April, if my sources are correct. I highly recommend you watch it.