Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

The Night Man­ager Sun­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117) John le Carre keeps pro­duc­ing best­sellers. His 1993 novel The Night Man­ager was trans­lated into 20 lan­guages and sold more than a mil­lion copies in the US alone. This $50 mil­lion-plus, six-part se­ries is a con­tem­po­rary adap­ta­tion of the story in­volv­ing spies, crime, love and re­venge. It starts with the night man­ager of a Cairo ho­tel, for­mer Bri­tish sol­dier Jonathan Pine (Tom Hid­dle­ston), try­ing to calm guests as a protest rages out­side. Fred­die Hamid (David Avery) is head of a fab­u­lously rich Egyp­tian fam­ily. His mis­tress, Sophie Alekan (Aure Atika), asks Pine to pho­to­copy some doc­u­ments, which turn out to be a list of lethal weapons — enough to start a war. Pine, of course, alerts the Bri­tish em­bassy, which leaks to Hamid, who beats up Alekan. What gets me at this point is the lack of ho­tel se­cu­rity. Poor Pine seems to be fly­ing solo. He plans to fly Alekan to safety in Lon­don but quickly learns that the Hamids and arms dealer Richard Roper (Hugh Lau­rie, above) have im­por­tant friends in White­hall who won’t do any­thing to up­set the wealthy in­vestors. This is not good news for Alekan. When Pine moves to the front desk of a swish ho­tel in the Swiss Alps, who should check in but Roper? Olivia Col­man ( Broad­church) pops up as in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tive An­gela Burr, who re­cruits Pine to in­fil­trate Roper’s world. It also stars Aus­tralian ac­tress El­iz­a­beth De­bicki (see page three).

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