The Night Manager: Books and Show

I recently finished The Night Manager just in time to watch the first few episodes of the show. I have some thoughts.

No spoilers without warning though.

To start, I should be clear that I read mostly sci-fi and, to be honest, I hadn’t heard of John le Carré. Amusingly, I’d heard of every movie one of his books had been turned into (didn't see them either, though).

What got me interested in reading/watching The Night Manager was this incredible anecdote by Hugh Laurie.

Now if that doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what will.

The Night Manager is a slow burn, full of interesting characters and lots of intrigue and such. Bourne or Bond, this is not.

The show, so far, is beautifully shot and exceptionally well cast (more on this later). It’s a miniseries, so you don’t have to invest an entire season’s worth of time. Here’s the trailer. A few thoughts and opinions and such after the trailer.

So far, I’m enjoying the show. I liked, though didn’t love, the book. The casting is fantastic. Hugh Laurie is perfect. I was picturing someone a bit more rough than Tom Hiddleson, but he’s always great so it’s hard to fault there.

Tom Hollander as Corky is not at all what I pictured. I was definitely picturing someone older and way more weathered. But he’s great too and I quickly forgot what I’d pictured.

Jeds is interesting. The character is different than the book, so the casting of an Aussie playing an American is certainly no issue. Honestly, they’d have to change the character. In the book she’s annoying, one dimensional, and, well… le Carre certainly describes her well, but I can’t tell if he’s such a brilliant writer that it’s Jonathan the character that hates women, or le Carre being exceptionally misogynistic. I’ll go with the former since I haven’t read his other stuff. So making Jeds more interesting for a modern TV audience is as welcome as it is unsurprising.

The same goes with changing Burr’s character to female, and casting the brilliant Olivia Colman in the part. She owns ever scene she’s in.

So far I’m enjoying the show, partially to pick up on things changed from the book (they’re in Spain, not the Caribbean, for one), but also because it’s a good story well told.

It’s airing now on AMC (and aired a few months ago on the BBC), or you can buy it on iTunes and Amazon.