The Night Manager – Episode 1 (Review)

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By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

On Sunday evening we saw The Night Manager air on BBC One to a strong set of viewing numbers and high critical appraise.

The series is an adaption of John Le Carré novel of the same name. Le Carré is famous for his spy and espionage books, and a more recent cinematic adaption of one of his books was the brilliant Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

The Night Manager is directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (Serena 2014), and she did a fantastic job in this strong opening episode.

In terms of the cast, you have a fantastic array of British acting talent, with mass American appeal.
You have Tom Hiddleston in the lead role, followed closely by Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.  Talk about a holy trinity!
Supporting the main stars are the fantastic Tom Hollander, and newcomer Eliazabeth Debicki. We also have the appearances of Neil Morrissey and David Harewood still to come, which is something to look forward to.

In terms of the story, expect lots of twists and turns, deception and intrigue, as Tom Hiddleston is thrown in to the world of arms dealers and espionage.

We will now look at what happened in the first episode. If you have not watched the first episode yet, we suggest you read no further until you do.

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The Night Manager – Episode 1

In the midst of angry protests on the streets of Cairo, Jonathan Pine walks through the crowed hoping to avoid any confrontations. Arriving at a police barricade outside a luxurious hotel, Pine offers his credentials and is able to proceed. He changes from his casual blue shirt, in to an expensive, well fitted suit. Cue hearts of millions of women twanging across the UK.
Pine is the polite and charming night manager at the hotel, and he’s about to thrown in to a world of chaos and deception.

We meet Sophie, a guest at the hotel, who reveals some secret documents to Pine, involving the British arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) and her violent, and wannabe arms dealer, boyfriend.
Pine believes the information to be of the upmost importance and passes the information on to his friend at the British Embassy.
The information is passed on to Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) who heads up the International Enforcement Agency. Burr is determined to bring down and expose Roper, and now she finally has some evidence to help her do this. But those above her don’t want to know, Roper is well connected higher up, Burr must now try to follow this information up…she reaches the front desk of the hotel, and Mr Pine answers.
Despite a room change, a safe house and sex with Pine, the stubborn Sophie returns to the hotel, despite being warned to lay low. After a frantic call from Burr to get Sophie out of danger, Sophie is murdered. Pine is distraught, and the opening act ends with Pine cradling the body of Sophie.

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We skip to 4 years later. Pine has left Cairo and the bad memories behind and is now working as the night manager at a hotel in Switzerland. One night, Pine learns that there is a rather important guest coming to stay, and who turns up but Richard Roper. Roper brings with him an array of advisers and bodyguards. Staying with him at the hotel are his girlfriend Jed Marshall (Elizabeth Debicki) and trusted associate Major Corcoran (Tom Hollander).  Roper seems to take a shine to Pine, not knowing that Pine is already putting on an act.

Pine intercepts a package meant for Roper, and is able to obtain some phone sim cards. He is contacted by Burr who wants to arrange a meeting. During this brief encounter we learn a little about Pine’s military past, and the sense of duty he felt in having to pass on the information to the authorities. Burr makes it clear to Pine that Roper had a direct hand in Sophie’s death, and asks him to get closer to Roper, affectively turning him in to a spy.

At the end of the episode we get a look at next week’s episode, which looks set to add plenty of action and espionage in to the mix as Pine is entrusted in to Roper’s inner circle.

The Night Manager is off to a great start, you can already feel that the cast and writers are going to deliver a truly memorable series.

We are hooked.

The Night Manager returns Sunday 28th at 9pm on BBC One.

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