The Night Manager Season 1 Review

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 25, 2017 (Last updated: December 2, 2023)
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Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston), a former army serviceman, is a hotel night manager. When he meets shady businessman Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), he is working in a Swiss hotel where, he is told, Roper is a frequent guest. The second he claps eyes on Roper and the very extravagant life he leads, Jonathan’s guard is immediately up, especially when he manages to make a link to events he witnessed when he worked in Cairo a while before. When he decides to take a look inside an envelope that Roper handed him upon his arrival, he makes a sinister discovery. He sends the information to whomever it may concern and the next thing he knows is he is being offered an undercover job by operative Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) to try and bring Roper down. Jonathan reluctantly accepts the invitation to bring down the worst man in the world in the hope that it may also provide the answers to all the questions that remained unanswered after his time in Egypt.

I was waiting for The Night Manager for the best part of four months after it was first shown to us in the BBC’s 2015 Winter Preview. When there was no sign of it showing before Christmas, I was beginning to wonder whether we would ever get to see it, and whether it was going to be worth the wait. Well, towards the end of February, The Night Manager was finally shown and it was most defiantly worth the wait.

So, let’s get down to business and start off with Tom Hiddleston, who I am now a rather big fan of (probably alongside every other woman in the country). I think everyone who watched the show just wanted him to come out on top no matter what. Jonathan was just a very likeable character that probably had that effect on audiences regardless of whatever situation he might have been in. I think this is a sign that Hiddleston did a remarkable job of portraying a man who was just doing what had to be done.

Of course, alongside the hero audiences love, there has to be a villain that they also love to hate. Hugh Laurie did just that and he was terrific at it. As Roper, he never actually got his hands dirty, but there was a very ominous presence surrounding Laurie’s performance that certainly had me on edge at various points throughout the series. He gave Roper a very threatening demeanour that reared its head just often enough that you didn’t forget it was there. I really loved this aspect of his character as it meant you could never predict what was coming next with him, or with everything else for that matter.

The Night Manager boasted a very star-studded cast which worked wonderfully – after all, you can’t have a high-profile master criminal without a high-profile working for and against him on both sides of the law. Alongside the likes of Hiddleston, Laurie and Colman (who was her usual frighteningly good self) were David Harewood, Neil Morrissey, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki, who all did a wonderful job in their respective roles, making for some thrilling Sunday night viewing.

The entire series was based on the novel of the same name by John Le Carré, however it all started off in 2011 as opposed to the 90s setting of the book. Now, how closely it followed the blueprint of the book I don’t know. However, I do know a devout reader of Le Carré’s work and she massively approved of the series, so that’s saying something.

All in all, it’s well worth investing your time in The Night Manager. It has a stellar cast, an enthralling storyline and is just simply worth every penny of the £20 million that it took to produce it. With rumours of a second season, the show clearly made a good impression as it would seem we’re all eager to book the same thing for the same time next year.

TV, TV Reviews
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