'The Night Manager': John le Carré's work comes to the small screen again

A TV adaptation of 'Night,' which stars Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, is the newest program to be based on the work of author le Carré. The miniseries aired in Britain in February.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
'The Night Manager' stars Tom Hiddleston.

A new take on the stories of author John le Carré arrives with the new miniseries “The Night Manager,” which debuts on April 19.

“Night” is a co-production between AMC and the BBC. The miniseries aired in Britain beginning in February and is now making its way to the States.

The series stars Tom Hiddleston of “I Saw the Light” as Jonathan Pine, a former member of the military who is recruited by the government to become acquainted with Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), an arms dealer. 

The TV production also co-stars Elizabeth Debicki, Tom Hollander, and Olivia Colman.

Deadline writer Nancy Tartaglione noted that the show had a “terrific run” in Britain. “As far as new UK series go, this one ranks up there with the first seasons of shows like ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Happy Valley’ in terms of how it grabbed British viewers and kept them hooked through to an explosive finale,” Ms. Tartaglione wrote. 

Le Carré’s works have previously been the source of critically acclaimed and popular movie or TV productions, including multiple adaptations of his novel “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” the most recent of which garnered actor Gary Oldman an Oscar nomination for best actor. 

The "Night Manager" production also shows the continuing popularity of miniseries, as broadcast and cable networks experiment with season lengths and "event" programming. Earlier this year, A&E, Lifetime, and History aired an adaptation of "War and Peace," while next month will see the same group of networks debut a new version of "Roots."

The "Night Manager" series takes place in the present day and Colman’s character, who works for intelligence, has been changed from a man to a woman for the adaptation. “When le Carré wrote the novel, [espionage] was a very male world,” executive producer Stephen Garrett said during the Television Critics Association winter press tour, according to USA Today. “Burr was written as a man. We felt, for a modern audience and to reflect the world as it is, we needed a woman in a powerful position in the story. Le Carré embraced the idea.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Hiddleston said of taking on the role of Jonathan, “What I found fascinating about Jonathan Pine is there is a tension between a very calm exterior and a turbulent and chaotic interior. He’s someone who has a great amount of vulnerability and huge amount of doubt.”

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