The Night Manager ★★★★½

At first glance it seems to be a miscast. Hugh Laurie portrays an arms dealer. Can this work? Yes, it can superbly. The mini-series of John le Carré’s THE NIGHT MANAGER is a positive surprise in many ways. Spy thrillers are the speciality of le Carré who actually worked as a spy for MI6 in his younger years. His novels are successful and have often been made into movies. His hero Jonathan Pine is portrayed by Tom Hiddleston, who was tipped as the new James Bond after THE NIGHT MANAGER was broadcasted. It’s not surprising that fans discovered a connection because both Bond and Pine order Wodka Martini at the bar and the Codename “Felix” is used for the CIA in London - Felix Leiter is an established CIA agent in the Bond movies.

Although there are no major turning points, the story of THE NIGHT MANAGER is thrilling and enthralling until the last minute. The exotic locations, the luxurious properties and the Bond-like soundtrack of Victor Reyes underscores the drama of the scenes. The casting is exquisite - like in almost every BBC production. Hugh Laurie is a fan of the original novel and had imagined playing Jonathan Pine for a long time. Now he plays Pine’s antagonist with an intensity that gave me the creeps. Olivia Colman plays Angela Burr, a character which is a man in the book. Maybe because of her pregnancy her portrayal is very maternalistic, but fierce, too. I was very happy when Olivia, Hugh and Tom received Golden Globes for this work. Well deserved. Tom Hollander, who has proved in a variety of films that he can play a terrific villain, almost made me feel pity for his character. He plays probably the most pitiful character of them all, because he knows the truth, but no one takes him seriously. The final episode left me with a few open questions therefore I favour a second season although I know how unrealistic this is.