Alex Rider

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Alex Rider would seem to be an average teenage boy living in England. Although “average” may not be the best description for him.

Much like Liam Neeson’s character in Taken, Alex possesses a particular set of skills. Skills that allow him to pick locks, beat up men twice his age and even withstand torture. It’s not exactly clear how he attained this skillset, but it is clear that MI6 (the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service) wants to utilize it.

Alex might’ve been able to stay off MI6’s radar, but after his uncle was killed in a “car crash,” he simply couldn’t let the matter lie. Uncle Ian was strictly by-the-book when it came to rules, and he certainly wasn’t the type to break traffic laws, let alone die in a wreck caused by speeding.

So, a little investigating here, a little following there and just like that, Alex discovers not only that his uncle worked for MI6 but that he was killed on the job while investigating a school called Point Blanc.

MI6 is impressed with Alex’s talent, and truly, they might have released him into his caretaker Jack’s custody (who helped Ian raise him after Alex’s parents died), but they still need information on Point Blanc. And what better way to infiltrate a school than to send a student undercover?

Point Blank Shots

Alex Rider is based on the spy novels by Anthony Horowitz. Back in 2006, the books were adapted for the big screen in the film Stormbreaker, which was rated PG. But this new series premiering on IMDb TV (which is free with ads) is a little more grown up–and not necessarily in a good way.

For starters, there’s quite a bit of violence. Even though most of the bloodshed is kept offscreen, “Point Blanc” refers to more than just a clever name for a school. And before MI6 agrees to recruit Alex, they put him through a series of tests in which he is tortured using methods usually reserved for traitors and terrorists. (And their questionable methods regarding them using a child as a spy is something that is debated throughout the season.)

Language is also an issue with the s-word and other harsh profanities making a few appearances. We find instances of underage drinking (and alleged drug use, as well). And even though Alex doesn’t have a love interest at this early stage, he’s clearly interested in girls and we sometimes see questionable outfit choices from those young ladies.

Overall, the show is probably a little too intense for younger audiences—which makes sense since it seems geared more towards tweens and teens. However, much like MI6 needed to evaluate whether or not Alex could handle being sent on a mission alone, families with kids in that target audience may need to evaluate whether or not Alex Rider is appropriate for viewing.

Episode Reviews

Nov. 13, 2020: “Episode One”

When Alex’s cautious uncle is killed in a car crash, he suspects that there may be more to Ian’s death than meets the eye.

Someone is shot and killed. A man dies after falling down an elevator shaft. Another man in shot in the arm. Alex beats up a man and breaks his nose. A police officer tells Alex that his uncle’s body is too damaged to be seen.

Someone hacks into a computer system. Alex breaks into his school after hours to retrieve his best friend’s cell phone (which was confiscated after he pulled the device out in class). He gets grounded by his uncle, but later sneaks out of the house to attend a party. People lie. A video shows a boy slamming a cake into his dad’s face at a press conference. We later hear that he was sent to a school for troubled youths. MI6 scares Alex by pretending to have his caretaker, Jack, deported back to America (where she is from) and Alex sent into foster care.

Underage teens drink at a party. One girl vomits on a boy after drinking too much. Someone compares the LGBTQ community to mutants. We hear a few uses of the s-word, as well as “h—,” “b-llocks” and “p-ss.” Christ’s name is misused. We see the word “douche” on someone’s social media account.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Latest Reviews

Animation

Animaniacs

This rebooted, late-‘90s cartoon “classic” is a lot like the original—including the subtle ways it pushes the envelope.

Comedy

Saved by the Bell

This Peacock reboot corrects some problems from the beloved 1990s sitcom—but adds a few others.

Drama

Virgin River

This show has become a sensation on Netflix—and it’s cleaner than some. But before you walk into this small town, know that not everything is fit for families.

Crime

Big Sky

For a show that tries so hard to be unpredictable, we’re sure exposed to plenty of very predictable issues.