callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

TV watch: RSC & Alex Rider

Yesterday evening, I decided to see what Culture in Quarantine could offer me in the way of entertainment. As usual, it took me fifteen minutes to get the iPlayer up and running and to persuade it to play what I wanted to watch. I picked Macbeth but oh dear, after a few minutes I decided I hated the production and that instead, I would watch Amazon’s new Alex Rider series, based on the books by Anthony Horowitz. I read one of the books a while ago, just to see what they were like. I suppose they’re aimed at young teens but hey, a good book is a good book and I enjoyed it.

The first episode in the TV series is based on the book Point Blanc. No expense had been spared in making an exciting title sequence before we actually met Alex, an orphan who lives with his uncle. Alex is a perfectly normal teenager only more agile, intelligent and brave than most. One evening he goes to a party with a friend and returns home to flashing blue lights and the news that his uncle has been killed in a head-on car crash. He’s full of shock and grief but also, suspicion. His uncle was a safe driver who never exceeded the speed limit. There is no record of him in any London hospital or morgue. Alex decides, rightly, that he has been lied to. Remembering that his friend’s phone is still in his uncle’s car, he uses it to track the car to an old warehouse, knocks out the chap who’s there to stop just such an intrusion and finds the car and a bunch of men in suits. Secret Service people. Alex learns how his uncle really died (or thinks he does). The head honcho is impressed by Alex’s resourcefulness and blackmails him into ‘doing a job for us.’

You can tell a series is good when the second episode starts to play and you resist watching it because you want to enjoy it another time rather than bingeing. Recommended for those who like spy stories full of betrayals, dirty work and danger.

Tags: anthony horowitz, television

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