Almost four years removed from his brilliant portrayal of the pain medication-dependent, unconventional, misanthropic medical genius, Dr. Gregory House, the greatness of Hugh Laurie returned to the small screen this past year in the brilliant series, The Night Manager, Series one of the BBC television adaptation of John le Carré’s novel starred Laurie alongside Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, Katherine Kelly, Tom Hollander and Russell Tovey.
Published in 1993, The Night Manager is the author’s most recent work to be adapted for television following decades earlier efforts including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Smiley’s People, A Perfect Spy and A Murder of Quality. The Night Manager tells the story of Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston), a British soldier turned luxurious hotel night auditor. Pine crosses paths with a French-Arab woman named Sophie with ties to Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), an English black marketer who ‘specializes’ in weapons.
The woman provides Pine with incriminating documents, which he forwards to a friend in British intelligence. After Sophie winds up dead, Pine is recruited works with intelligence operatives (Colman) and goes undercover as part of a sting operation against Roper to avenge Sophie’s death. Although, their new found relationship goes well in the beginning, Roper later smells a rat and calmly warns Pine, “You step out of line and we’ll make you howl for your mother.” Somehow, I totally believe him.
The $64K question since the end of series one has been whether or not there would be a series two. The Emmy and Golden Globe winning spy drama is facing a bigger uphill climb than either of your parents faced daily as they walked to school in the snow when they were young. First and foremost, the fact that the source material’s author, John le Carré, has “never allowed his characters to go off-book,” said series executive producer Stephen Garrett.
While virtually everyone on both sides of the camera would welcome getting the Night Manager band back together, all are in agreement that series two will happen if and only if the feel it’s as good or better than series one. Officially, everyone at this point are simply in the ‘conversation and thought’ stage of the game. Almost a year ago, both Laurie and Hiddleston ruled out a second series feeling that the le Carré was complete. It was Laurie in April 2016 that said, “It’s based on a novel, we’ve got to the end of the novel and John le Carre has yet to write another novel, so in cold practical terms, no, we’re done.”
Thankfully, it’s April 2017 now, not April 2016 as Mr. Laurie seems much more favorable towards a second series. In a rather cheekily ominous tone reminiscent of Dr. Gregory House, referencing his character Richard Roper, “You don’t see me die…”