Is Night Action Real? Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: April 28, 2023
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Is Night Action Real? We take a look at whether the clandestine agency is, in fact, real or something purely made up in Netflix’s The Night Agent. 

The Night Agent on Netflix is a conspiracy thriller based on Matthew Quirk’s book of the same name, starring Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland as he operates a singular phone in the basement of The White House.

Created by Shawn Ryan, this ten-episode show shows Sutherland’s quest to uncover a conspiracy at the very heart of the American government.

The show debuted to a strong audience, and its fans wonder if there is any truth to the story. So is the Night Action a real agency in a real basement, or is it just something made up for the book and the show?

Is Night Action from The Night Agent a real agency?

Given that the Night Action agency in the show is an entirely off-the-record service that secret service agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, and DEA use when something has gone wrong, it’s impossible to know if such a thing exists in real life.

If it did, that sort of thing would be kept at the highest levels of secrecy, mainly as it’s used as a last resort option in the show. Anything like that would be classified and not subject to public knowledge.

That being said, it’s probable that these secretive organizations would have some anonymous helpline for agents who are in distress, much like Rose Larkin’s aunt and uncle are in The Night Agent.

It only makes sense for them to establish these sorts of contingencies.

What does the Night Action agency do?

The Night Action agency is rather duller than the name suggests. All it is is a phone in the basement of The White House, operated by Peter Sutherland, who takes calls from compromised agents based in the FBI, CIA, NSA, and DEA.

Sutherland’s job is to help these agents get out of the trouble they find themselves in and redirect their calls to the relevant agency. He’s confined to his desk, helping out those in the field.

What is Night Action based on?

The Night Agent is based on Matthew Quirk’s bestselling novel of the same name, where audiences can also find the Night Action agency.

In 2019, in an interview with The Real Book Spy, Quirk explained that “For [my] research [for the book], I talked to my friend, and his job turned out to be quite a bit more interesting and hush-hush than I had suspected, one of several factors which led me to place the novel’s action in the White House Situation Room. I also talked to FBI and CIA people about what happens on these night watches and in the Situation Room during a crisis and how a counterintelligence scenario like the one in the book would play out.”

So it sounds as though it’s very likely that something that the Night Action does exist in real life, even though it’s not general knowledge.

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