The Series (4/5)
When Tom Hiddleston inevitably becomes the next James Bond, the Night Manager will be able to be viewed as his audition tape. Much like Roger Moore in the Saint or Pierce Brosnan in Remington Steele, the Night Manager sees Hiddleston in a prototype version of what his Bond could be on a cinema screen. Of course, that would be selling the Night Manager short. It is also an endlessly suspenseful and compelling miniseries event in its own right.
The Night Manager stars Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine. As the series begins he is a hotel manager in Cairo, Egypt in the midst of the Arab Spring. A woman named Sophie gives him information, which he shares with intelligence. This act causes Sophie to be killed. Four years after Sophie’s death Jonathan is working for another hotel, this one in Switzerland when he encounters the man responsible for taking Sophie’s life, Richard Roper. Still reeling from Sophie’s death Jonathan gets involved with MI6 in order to take down Roper’s operation from the inside and get his revenge.
The Night Manager is based on the first post-Cold War novel by John LeCarre. Although, it is adapted to modern times and our current political climate. The series itself is quite slick looking, and most of it wouldn’t be out of place in a modern Bond film. It is also endlessly suspenseful and compelling throughout its 6 episodes. The performances are quite solid for the most part with Hiddleston doing solid work as Jonathan Pine, but Black Adder’s Hugh Laurie creating an exceptional villain in Richard Roper.
The series does have some minor issues. The plot as such does meander a bit, making some episodes feel longer than they are. Other times it feels like characters just appear to be exposition dumps. However, in general the series is moving at such a fast clip it is an absolute thrill to watch.
Sony presents the Night Manager in a solid 1:78:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the original broadcast aspect ratio. Everything looks quite nice here, detail is solid throughout the presentation, colors are well reproduced, and blacks are deep. The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English. The dialogue and score come through nicely, and I did not detect any issues with the track.
The Night Manager is an awesome espionage miniseries that will certainly have the distinction of being referred to as Tom Hiddleston’s James Bond prototype should he be awarded that role in the future. The Blu-ray looks quite good, but lacks any extras. RECOMMENDED.