Wednesday, 12 October 2016


The Night Manager, the brilliant six-part television adaptation of the book written by spy novelist John le Carré (the pen name of David Cornwell), premieres tomorrow in France on pubcaster France 3

This big-budget co-production for the BBC and American cable channel AMC stars Tom Hiddleston (best known as Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies), Hugh Laurie (House), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki.

The Night Manager marks the return of the work of John le Carré on television 25 years after a TV movie based on A Murder of Quality, and almost 40 years since the BBC version of Tailor Tinker Sailor Spy. Penned by David Farr (Spooks) and helmed by Danish Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier (Serena), The Night Manager is a clever update of le Carré's 1993 novel on the scale of a James Bond film. Stephen Cornwell and his brother Simon, the author's sons, are behind it through their prodco The Ink Factory. For the big screen they produced Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and A Most Wanted Man (2014), both from novels by their father.

The Night Manager is centered on Jonathan Pyne (Tom Hiddleston), an ex-soldier turned night manager of a luxury hotel in Cairo. At the height of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Jonathan  receives a plea for help from Sophie Alekan, an elegant and enigmatic guest who's the mistress of playboy Freddie Hamid. Hamid is an associate of Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie), a British arms dealer posing as a businessman and philanthropist. Pyne makes a decision whose tragic consequences haunt him for ever. Four years later, he works for a prestigious hotel in Switzerland when Roper arrives with his girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki) and his entourage.

Jonathan Pyne accepts to infiltrate the inner circle of "the worst man in the world" under the supervision of British intelligence operative Angela Burr (Olivia Colman). The Night Manager was filmed in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Morocco, Spain and Turkey (each episode cost £3 million). Produced by The Ink Factory in association with Demarest Films and Character 7 for the BBC and AMC. Exec produced by Stephen Garrett (former head of Kudos), Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell. Rob Bullock is the producer. Music by Spanish composer Victor Reyes (Los nuestros). Michael Snyman is the cinematographer. Opening titles made by Elastic (The Leftovers, True Detective).

Sophie is played by French actress Aure Atika. Though John le carré's book is titled Le directeur de nuit in French, the serial arrives on France 3 as The [pronounced "ZE"] Night Manager: L'espion aux deux visages ("The Night Manager: The spy with two faces"). Swiss TV aired it this summer as The Night Manager. Between Wiseguy (Stephen J. Cannell's show), Shakespeare and the aforementioned Spooks, The Night Manager is pure Must Watch TV in every department, starting with its solid ensemble cast. On BBC One each of the six one-hour episodes caught more than 6m viewers overnight.

Our February 2016 review of the first episode:

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