'Alex Rider' TV Series: Which of the Book Series is the New Amazon Prime Video Show Based On?

Alex Rider is getting another chance at a screen adaptation. Fourteen years after Alex Rider: Stormbreaker failed to launch a movie franchise, Amazon Prime Video U.K. has relaunched the teen spy for a new generation, with The White Queen's Otto Farrant taking the role previously held by Alex Pettyfer.

The Alex Rider book franchise by Anthony Horowitz has so far run to 13 novels. However, rather than pretend that the Stormbreaker film never happened, the series, which is streaming now in the U.K. and coming soon in the U.S., will start things from the plot of Point Blanc, with some elements of the debut novel added in to give some back story to the orphan spy.

The official Amazon Prime Video summary for the show highlights which elements the show took from Stormbreaker. It reads: "When Alex Rider learns that his uncle Ian has been killed in the line of duty as a British spy, everything changes for this otherwise normal teen. He is approached by MI6 who reveals that Alex has been unknowingly trained since childhood for the dangerous world of espionage. Alex reluctantly goes undercover and discovers a plan which he will have to risk his life to stop."

alex rider amazon prime
Alex Rider (played by Otto Farrant) on his way to the Point Blanc school Amazon Prime Video

Speaking to Radio Times, Horowitz said of this: "This series, we very carefully stuck to Point Blanc; we obviously have to go into the origins of what happens, which we've slightly changed from sort of the books and from past stories, but it is still the same beats, it is still Ian Rider, it is still – the most important thing is, no he [Ian] wasn't a bank manager, he was a spy."

However, the majority of the series is set in the French Alps, where Alex is investigating high-profile murders in the elite Point Blanc school. In the book, this is a sort of reform school for the sons of billionaires, but in the show the school is more co-ed, with a new female character called Kyra (played by Marli Siu) one of the pupils.

The synopsis for the second book in the Alex Rider series reads: "Investigations into the 'accidental' deaths of two of the world's most powerful men have revealed just one link: both had a son attending Point Blanc Academy - an exclusive school for rebellious rich kids, run by the sinister Dr. Grief [played by Haluk Bilginer in the show] and set high on an isolated mountain peak in the French Alps. Armed only with a false ID and a new collection of brilliantly disguised gadgets, Alex must infiltrate the academy as a pupil and establish the truth about what is really happening there."

The Amazon series has some differences, however, from the novel. For one, fans should not expect so many gadgets like the Harry Potter book with the tranquilizer dart and exploding earring. Writer Guy Burt told the Radio Times: "I suppose it's fair to say that we've been pulling it slightly away from the gadgets and gloss of James Bond, and more towards grittier reality that you might actually believe."

Alex Rider is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video U.K.

Update 6/8/20: This article was updated with information on streaming availability.