This sophisticated six-part Le Carré adaptation pits the Bond-like agent Jonathan Pine against devious supervillain Richard ‘Dickie’ Roper. It's a thrilling chase from Cairo and Mallorca to the shifting borders of the Middle East and audiences were gripped by it.

Former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) is recruited by British intelligence operative Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) to investigate billionaire arms dealer, Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie).

Selling contraband weaponry to whichever rogue state or despot will pay the highest price, Roper has built up a vile trading network that implicates some of the higher-ups in the world of intelligence. The heavily pregnant Burr is on to him, and she's unafraid to condemn any corrupt colleagues that may stand in her way

 

"The series finale amassed a whopping 6.6 million viewers"

 

Pine must first go undercover in Devon, assuming a new identity to create a convincing backstory as a violent and effective criminal, before infiltrating Roper’s inner circle. Stage-managing an attempted kidnap of Roper’s young son, Pine steps in and saves the day gaining the trust of his target.

Pine also tests the weaknesses and vulnerability of two of Roper’s closest confidantes, nimble girlfriend Jed (Elizabeth Debicki) and pocket-sized fixer Lance ‘Corky’ Corkoran (Tom Hollander). As the trio tread carefully around each other, viewers can’t be sure whether the next predestined clinch will be passionate, deadly, or both.

Tension mounts as the series races to a breathtaking finale and a face-off between two consummate and convincing scammers.

The series had audiences gripped as the series finale amassed a whopping 6.6 million viewers (beating the ITV documentary The Queen at 90, shown an hour earlier, by one million), and critics all agreed that the show was a very worthy hit. 

 

"This explosive high-stakes escapism is a sinister reminder of the allure and power of big money, and the often piffling cost of human lives"

 

This BBC dramatisation of The Night Manager is a bold retelling of the original 1993 novel, where the action played out among Colombian drug barons. Fans of the book would have been surprised to see a few shake-ups, which led to a change in location, a lead character played by a female, and of course, the ending itself.

Executive producer, Simon Cornwell—who also happens to be Le Carré's son—spoke to The Telegraph of the changes.

"We've tried to bring out and recontextualise the novel for the present day." There was the added idea of keeping fans on their toes. The novelist, who made a cameo as a restaurant diner in the show, fully approved of all changes. 

It's largely down to this update and a stellar cast that The Night Manager remains complex and impossible to second-guess. Shot through with Le Carré’s trademark sense of justice, this explosive high-stakes escapism is a sinister reminder of the allure and power of big money, and the often piffling cost of human lives.

A huge ratings hit for the BBC, a second series is strongly rumoured and will have a good deal to live up to. Audiences are hoping that its duplicitous charmers somehow survive to do or die another day.

Buy The Night Manager on DVD in our entertainment shop

John le Carré’s book, on which the adaptation is based, is available to buy in our bookshop

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