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April 17, 2016

The Brainerd Dispatch - Today's Entertainment Magazine

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2 • April 17 - 23, 2016 • Brainerd Dispatch By Jacqueline Spendlove TV Media I f "Game of Thrones" has taught us anything, it's that some sto- ries just can't be told in two hours, so don't even try it. These days, TV is the medium you turn to if you want to do a book justice in its translation to screen. Two big-screen attempts at John le Carré's "The Night Manag- er" have failed to get off the ground, but the new six-part TV miniseries has been a huge hit across the pond. By all accounts, the British espionage drama, adapted from the 1993 novel, is more than deserving of the longer format needed to flesh out its sto- ry and characters. Now, North American audiences can get a taste of the juicy spy series. "The Night Manager" is set to debut Tuesday, April 19, on AMC. Airing on BBC One in the U.K., the series premiered in February to more than 10 million viewers, and has received heaps of praise in re- views. Le Carré's best-selling novel — his first post-Cold War work — has been updated with a present- day setting and boasts a fantastic cast, most of whom you'll proba- bly recognize. Tom Hiddleston, best known for playing Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies, leads the cast of "The Night Manager" as former British soldier Jonathan Pine. Fol- lowing service in Iraq, Pine re- treated into a solitary life as a nighttime hotel manager, but ev- erything changes when he's ap- proached by Angela Burr (Olivia Colman, "Broadchurch"), who runs a London enforcement agen- cy. Pine soon finds himself drawn into a world of crime and espio- nage as he's tasked with infiltrat- ing the inner circle of international arms dealer Richard Roper, played by Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie. English actor Laurie has had a long and often comedic career in film and television, but American audiences may best recognize him as the curmudgeonly and acerbic Dr. Gregory House in "House." He dons his not-such-a-nice-guy hat again as Roper, who's described as "the worst man in the world," de- spite his charm, philanthropy and good breeding. His one weakness is his son, and in saving the boy's life, Pine earns Roper's trust and a place in the home Roper currently shares with his willowy lover, Jed Marshall (Elizabeth De- bicki, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," 2015). There's a lot Pine has to con- tend with as he feigns his way into the criminal underworld, not the least of which is Maj. Lance Corkoran (Tom Holland- er, "Rev."), Roper's right- hand man and "fixer." He's fiercely loyal to Roper and doesn't trust Pine in the slightest, and his determina- tion to expose the spy as a fraud proves a constant challenge for the protagonist. Moral ambiguity plays a big part in the sto- ry, as Pine must essentially become a criminal himself in order to get the job done. "Because Roper gives his mon- strosity and the evil things he does a kind of logic, a glamor, there are moments when Pine teeters on the brink of the dark side, when you wonder which way he will go," Laurie told Stuff. "The audience has to judge for themselves where Pine and Roper come close to crossing the line in opposite directions — where Rop- er might plunge the dagger into his own chest and where Pine might become the very thing he set out to destroy." Laurie knows what he's talking about. A longtime admirer of le Carré, he's been a huge fan of the book for more than 20 years, and has long desired to be involved in bringing the story to the screen. Of course, in this type of project, there's always the risk that diehard fans of the book will decry any de- viations from the source material, but showrunners have handled these inevitable changes well. "We did depart from the novel in some ways," director Susanne Bier told Radio Times, "but we as- sured David Cornwell [le Carré's real name] that these changes would be viable and would still follow his important goal — to hold true to the substance of the original story." For his part, the author has had a solid involvement with the proj- ect — besides a blink-and-you'll- miss-it cameo role. Additionally, his son, Simon Cornwell, is one of the show's executive producers. So if nothing else, the material is in good hands. Indeed, the show has been ex- tremely well received, with The Huffington Post and others calling it "James Bond for the small screen." It might just mean even bigger things for Hiddleston's fu- ture as well, with the actor's name being bandied about as a poten- tial to play the next 007 on the big screen. In the meantime, however, love for "The Night Manager" has been strong enough to warrant mur- murings of a potential second sea- son. Nothing's confirmed, but le Carré is reportedly involved in dis- cussions to that effect with the BBC, as a second season would re- quire him to write new material that would allow the series to ex- tend beyond the scope of his origi- nal work. For now, though, it remains to be seen whether the series will enjoy the same success with North Amer- ican audiences as it has across the pond. Tune in when "The Night Manager" makes its U.S. debut Tuesday, April 19, on AMC. By the book John le Carré's best-selling spy novel comes to AMC Cover Story this week Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Debicki, as seen in "The Night Manager" "Your One-Stop, Locally-Owned Medical Supply Company." FREE Delivery in our service area! • 8-5:30pm M-F, 9-12 Sat. 206 W. 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