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TV CRITIC’s CORNER

Opening up le Carre

Tom Hiddleston in “The Night Manager.”
Tom Hiddleston in “The Night Manager.”Des Willie//The Ink Factory/AMC

The Night Manager 10 p.m., AMC

The John le Carre movies have been pretty good, including “The Tailor of Panama,” “The Constant Gardner,” and the 2011 version of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” But le Carre stories are rich enough to open up into miniseries, and AMC’s “The Night Manager” proves that once again. It’s a really enjoyable adaptation, and none of the six episodes feels like filler.

Some hardcore le Carre fans might find “The Night Manager” a little too James Bond-ish, and a little lacking in challenging, ironic resolutions. But as a lively, beautifully filmed miniseries, it’s perfectly entertaining.

It helps that there are a few good, layered performances in the British import, most of all by Hugh Laurie as bad guy Richard Roper, arms dealer and all-round billionaire creep. On the surface, he is all civilized calm and charm. Underneath, he’s ruthless, greedy, and abusive. In a way, he’s the opposite of Laurie’s best-known role, Dr. House, whose gruff exterior masked a life-saving genius.

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Tom Hiddleston is fine – if a little shallow – as the hotel night manager, Jonathan Pine, who is recruited by the British government to spy and winds up going undercover in Roper’s entourage. Pine is beautiful and clever, and it seems as though Roper is going to trust him. As they visit glorious locations together, including Majorca, Pine gets to insinuate himself into Roper’s circle and get a pretty tan in the process.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com.