fri 12/07/2024

The Night Manager, Series Finale, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

The Night Manager, Series Finale, BBC One

The Night Manager, Series Finale, BBC One

Masterly Le Carré adaptation gallops to a thrilling conclusion

High anxiety: Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) and Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) play cat and mouse

So at a stroke, The Night Manager has proved that appointment-to-view television is not yet dead in the age of Netflix, and that the BBC can do itself a favour in battling against the best American dramas if it can find a US production partner (AMC in this case).

Perhaps its most vital lesson was that if you want to put bums on seats, pay whatever it takes to get Tom Hiddleston's up on the screen.

High fives for director Susanne Bier, who ensured that this sixth and final episode comfortably sustained the tension so successfully spun across the preceding five, and powered thrillingly to a conclusion which, if perhaps a fraction too tidy, was undeniably satisfying. Though personally I'd like to have seen a brief shot of Richard Onslow Roper's bloodied corpse tied in a sack and dumped by the side of the road. Does that make me a bad person?

The Night ManagerHaving bounced around Devon, Austria and Majorca, the denouement found us back at the Nefertiti Hotel in Cairo, where it all began. Roper and his unsavoury crew of scumbags, seemingly dredged from some toxic swamp where stateless mercenaries and cashiered army officers go to die, were about to finalise their big score, selling a colossal quantity of armaments to a group of shady Middle Eastern potentates. However, Roper was also intent on some domestic house-cleaning. He was fairly certain that his girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki, pictured above) was unfaithful to him in a variety of ways, and he had a good idea that she was in cahoots with Hiddleston's Jonathan Pine (masquerading as "Andrew Birch" in his role as Roper's new and indispensable aide-de-camp). He could hardly help noticing the way Pine and Jed kept gazing longingly at each other and holding hands under the table.

The story has been a game of feint and counter-feint, as we waited with curled toes and clenched teeth for the moment when Pine's cover would be blown. Hugh Laurie's performance as Roper has been a compressed masterpiece of sustained menace, with his veneer of languid courtesy towards Pine always undercut by disturbing hints that he knew more than he was letting on. Even when he was delivering an elaborate compliment, like comparing himself and Pine to Churchill and TE Lawrence "dividing up the Middle East over Champagne and a cigar", Laurie's cold blue eyes seemed to be saying, "Any moment now, son." Mind you, the late Corky had warned Roper that he couldn't trust Pine. And as Dr House used to say, "everybody lies."The Night ManagerBut you had to admire the dramatic orchestration of the finale. Pine's past experience as night manager of the Nefertiti gave him a useful edge in the shape of some helpful Egyptians who were adept at sabotage and subterfuge, and when Roper played his hand, Pine was several steps ahead. Jed was caught out by Roper having changed the code on his hotel-room safe (though surely he would never have entrusted his priceless documents to such a bog-standard piece of equipment). However, after Jed (real name Jemima, apparently) had endured some ugly roughing-up by the henchman called Frisky, it was the chronically dyspeptic Angela Burr (Olivia Colman), irritably toting a gun, who was her improbable rescuer (Colman pictured above, with David Harewood as Joel Steadman). As for Pine, his sang-froid remained unshaken and unstirred as he demolished Roper's elaborate plans armed only with a smartphone. Back in London, the fates of the treacherous Geoffrey Dromgoole (Tobias Menzies) and Barbara Vanden (Katherine Kelly) were left to dangle ambiguously.

So what next? There are rumours of a second series, but let's hope we're not in for Night Manager 2: The Krakow Protocol. Or maybe it's Hiddles for James Bond, with Hugh Laurie as Goldfinger. 

Roper could hardly help noticing the way Pine and Jed kept gazing longingly at each other and holding hands under the table


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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Above all, please, Olivia Colman as M in the next Bond.

Superb programme certainly and maybe there might be a little extra plausible mileage in the story of Roper. And that's one guy who will certanly be rescued from a seemingly terminal situation by well paid henchmen.

Still I agree overall that it would preferable to dramatise anothe Le Carre book before the world of second rate sequels is explored.

I dont think there should be another 'Night Manager' series, its a one-off and needs to remain so otherwise it will be diluted and done for all the wrong reasons, it needs to keep ist integrity!

What they should do is make another Le Carre novel, 'The Little Drummer Girl' for example, although extremely contraversial subject material, might be too provocative! or the other novel 'A Perfect Spy'.

Doing The Night Manager 2 would be naff, as are all sequels!!!!!!! leave it be, let it stand alone, and do another novel!.

The BBC have already made a Perfect Spy. Broadcast in 1987.

I love this series and want to see a part 2 that continues the story line with Andrew somehow or someone. Its very much like Blacklist on tv series.

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