DATELINE: The Nighty Night Manager
Tom Hiddleston is auditioning to be the next James Bond by starring as Pine/Birch, the mysterious agent in John LeCarre’s The Night Manager.
This brilliantly produced miniseries features Loki versus House, for movie fans. Yes, Hugh Laurie has joined Hiddleston to produce the series in a fanfare of luscious locations and political hotspots.
From Egypt to a Swiss hideaway to Mallorca, the tantalizing scenery masks a hot-and-cold cat-and-mouse game.
Hiddleston’s hotel manager, coolly efficient, is allegedly recruited by MI6 to spy on a sociopathic arms dealer posing as a humanitarian billionaire. Enter House Laurie in an especially vile role. He shares executive producer status with Hiddleston—and they have given themselves prime cut roles.
Master espionage writer John LeCarre even appears in a cameo in this film, as a restaurant patron subjected to Hiddleston’s agent having his crotch grabbed in a rather brazen dinner scene.
If you like cloak and dagger, LeCarre does it with a Smiley face. You can’t tell if or when Hiddleston’s hero has turned from good guy to bad. However, the scenes between Laurie and him grow increasingly entertaining with menace and charm.
In today’s cartoon superhero market, there is scant room for intelligent characters and complex plots, but those who want room service from Tom Hiddleston may be the recipient of super-service. This actor has grown from his Wallendar second-banana status to second banana Viking god to first-banana spy.
Be forewarned: the 5-part series ends with a comebacker that requires a promised second-season of episodes.