Postcard from Night Manager

I've been watching the Night Manager on Foxtel, and I'm impressed.

It was a bit odd at first seeing Hugh Laurie as a bad guy after Black Adder and House , but he does a superb job. Completely out-shines Tom Hiddleston, which is a pity in a way, as Hiddleston is no mean actor himself. Olivia Coleman from Broadchurch is there doing an excellent job as an unappreciated UK intelligence agent completely disregarded by the "big boys" in London.

The locations are excellent, from up-market hotels to a high-end holiday villa in the Spanish islands. They contrast particularly well with the sparse unheated office that Coleman and her team have to suffer in London. And that itself contrasts with the smart MI6 buiding on the Thames that always features in modern spy movies. Laurie's character lives the high-life as a humanitarian on the surface, but an arms dealer in reality.

Three episodes down and three to go. No-one actually gets hurt in the third episode, but the tension builds so well. You're waiting for one of Laurie's bodyguards to do something unsavoury, particularly Tom Hollander.

I've long had a problem with the portrayal of arms dealers as evil incarnate. They're voluntarily in a business that profits from misery on a large scale, but so are the officially sanctioned arms companies that sell to politically acceptable end-users. Western governments sell to any right-wing government without looking at their human rights record, and the Eastern block do the equivalent to those who follow their political preference without recognising human rights exist. The main "evil" perpetrated by the indpendents is that they're not under government control.

It's not the selling, it's that we can't tell you who to sell to.

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