Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Hospitality industry will never be the same.. The Night Manager on BBC One

 the sleek and clever titles graphics, Hugh Laurie giving a humanitarian  presentation in quite a posh voice (even for him) to the sight of the impossible handsome Tom Hiddleston walking through the embattled streets of Cairo, you know that new BBC Sunday Night Drama” The Night Manager” is going to be a corker.

Set in the midst of the Arab Spring , it is a modern reselling of the beloved book.

He plays Jonathan Pike, the Titular night Manager at a premium hoteliers Cairo. He is calm as chaos reigns outside the Hotel doors and his clipped English Tones only aid to his air of total sophistication and capability. 

It does not take a genius to work out he is an ex Millitary  man (and this being a Le Carre adaptation, it makes it almost a foregone conclusion) and it seems that the superior training may well come in handy as alluring guest Ms Sophie Alekan, the mistress of a wealthy and corrupt man and guest at Pike’s Hotel seeks his assistance. He looks pretty damn fine in his Manager Uniform and is well connected at  the embassy, so he was the perfect choice!  She rather pointedly gives him sight and then possession of some very damning documents about her benefactor and by association Mr Richard Roper, Mr Laurie’s character.

Russell Tovey makes an appearance as the Embassy man that Jonathan passes info to and he in turn sends the veritable cornucopia of weapons and toxins to a rather shabby and unassuming office in London Victoria to the International Enforcement Officer Angela Burr  played by the totally unsurpassable Olivia Coleman. 

Sophie is then attacked by her lover’s Goons  and the evil Richard Roper sanctions more severe punishment for her lack of loyalty and  so Jonathan and She flee to a safe house to decide her next move. They become lovers and he promises to help her escape to England.

Meanwhile in Whitehall the powers that be are obviscating over what to do about the Roper problem, diplomacy rather than justice seems to be the order of the day. When an important joint chiefs meeting is cancelled, Angela knows that Roper will get away Scott free again.Angela is not to be deterred and calls Jonathan to tell him to get Sophie out of the Hotel. 

He is too late, she has been murdered. The police refuse to take his statement that Hamid is at the heart of things. He knows that all is lost, that none will pay pay this death and the arms trading will continue.

Four years pass. Jonathan is now the Night Manager at a Swiss hotel and who should bowl up as a VIP guest with a whole cadre of acolytes and hangers on, but naughty old Richard Roper. Within seconds of them coming face to face of each other, a dynamic  forms between the two that is taut and mesmerising.  

After he recovers from the shock, he takes action.

Jonathan calls in Angela Burr to pass on burner phone sims he has retrieved from the party’s bins . She demands he decide how far he is willing to go to make amends for what befell Sophie.

There is such a strong British supporting cast  Including Tom Hollander, Douglas Hodge and Adheel Akhtar,so I think this is bound to be a success. With the three leads being so beloved and tremendous character actors in their own rights, this show will get a lot of attention, but I am certain viewers will become enthralled by the narrative as these actors inhabit their roles and the twists and turns, so inherent in a  story by the King of thrills, John Le Carré begin to pile up.

Definitely a quintessential British Drama ( broken radiators and dingy offices are remarkably close to reality in public sector jobs!) but with a little bit of US razzle dazzle to make the whole thing sparkle!! Think spooks with just a dash of Homeland!

The Night Manager continues on Sunday nights on BBC One, and arrives on US shores in April.

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