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It has been a busy week, without much time to indulge in cultural pleasures, but I did have a chance to watch the first episode of the highly touted British series, "The Night Manager," which now is running on AMC. Based on a 1993 novel by John le Carré, the series stars Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine, a former solider and hotel night manager who finds himself in the unique position of being able to help MI6 take down an arms dealer, played by Hugh Laurie.

Based on the initial viewing, I can vouch for "The Night Manager" as being a worthy addition to all the great television series that recently have graced US audiences. The acting is first rate, the show has movie-like production values (moving from Egypt to London to the Alps), and the direction, by Susanne Bier, keeps the cat-and-mouse game driving forward with methodical, deliberate suspense. The hardest thing to know at this point, as in all great spy stories, is who is the cat and who is the mouse.

There are five more episodes to come, and I'm looking forward to them. And yes, for those who keep track of such things, it is fair to suggest that "The Night Manager" serves as a long and effective audition for Hiddleston to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

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