Everything The Show Changes From The Book


The Amazon Prime spy thriller series Alex Rider has been met with positive reviews so far. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an aggregate score of 85%. The series is an adaptation of the novel series by Anthony Horowitz. The eight-episode first season is mostly based on the first two books, Stormbreaker and Point Blanc.

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The series has already been renewed for a second season which is set to focus on the events of the fourth novel Eagle Strike. Skipping the third novel is an interesting decision but hopefully, there is a good reason for that. Like every other series, there are a couple of changes the series made, and here are the key ones.

10 Introduction To Alex’s Uncle Ian

Andrew Buchan as Ian Rider

The first installment in the series of novels never documents any interactions between Alex and his uncle Ian. It begins with Alex Rider finding out that Ian has died in a car crash. He finds out that Ian was not a banker as he always claimed, but an MI6 agent. He also discovers that Ian didn’t die in an accident. He was shot several times.

The Amazon Prime series handles things a little bit differently. Ian is shown interacting with Alex a few times before he gets killed. The MI6 agent is then tasked with investigating the death of a New York businessman who has been killed by Russian agents. Before he does so, he gets killed.

9 The Manner In Which Ian Gets Killed

Otto Farrant in Alex Rider

In the first Alex Rider book (Stormbreaker) it is revealed that Ian Rider was shot by the assassin Yassen Gregorovich as he was driving from the Stormbreaker facility. Ian had been in the facility to find out more about the project.

Ian’s death doesn’t happen the same way in the Amazon Prime series. In it, it’s revealed that he was shot outside his car. However, it’s still Yassen Gregorovich that sends him to the afterlife. A high-speed chase involving Ian and Yassen could have been much cooler but the writers chose otherwise.

8 How Alex Locates Ian’s Car

Alex in Alex Rider

In the books, a curious Alex seeks to find out how Ian really died. He makes efforts to locate the car he was driving. He uses a directory inquiries book to find the wrecking yard where the car was dumped.

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The way Alex finds the car in the series is different. He takes his best friend Tom’s phone and uses the Find My Phone app on it to try and locate Ian’s phone. The app directs him to the wrecking yard and he makes his way there using a bicycle. Since the book was released in the year 2000, the switch from directory book to the app is undoubtedly meant to keep up with modern times.

7 How The MI6 Gets Alex To Work For The Agency

Alex Rider in TV Series

After finding out about Alex’s talents, MI6 agents Alan Blunt and his deputy, Mrs. Tulip Jones, try to get him to work for the agency. They tell him that if he does not co-operate, his legal guardian Jack Starbright will be deported and their house will be sold. In addition, he will be placed in an institute.

In the series, the threat isn’t just verbal. Social service and immigration agents actually show up at Alex’s home to deport Jack. It’s only after Alex agrees to do as asked that the agents are called off.

6 Michael Roscoe’s Killer

Otto Farrant as Alex in Alex Rider

In Point Blanc, an assassin who simply goes by the name The Gentlemen kills Michael Roscoe after being ordered to do so by Dr. Hugo Grief. Roscoe is killed after he begins suspecting his son Paul’s strange behavior. The Gentleman makes a hologram of an elevator floor and when Roscoe steps inside, he plummets to his death.

Events in the series begin in a similar manner. However, it’s the assassin Yassen who is sent to kill Michael Roscoe. He controls the elevator remotely, causing Roscoe to fall to his death.

5 The Drugging Scene

While heading to Point Blanc Academy in the books, Alex and Stellenbosch make a stopover at the Hotel du Monde in Paris where the helicopter refuels. During dinner, Alexis gets drugged and falls unconscious. He is then taken to a lab where he is stripped naked and examined. Samples of his fingerprints and hair are then taken.

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In the series, Alex arrives at Point Blanc Academy first before getting drugged. While brushing his teeth, he passes out. He is then grabbed and taken to a lab to be prepared for the mission.

4 Tom’s Existence

Brenock O'Connor as Tom

Despite the fact that Alex’s best friend in school, Tom Harris, appears in the series, he isn’t in the first two books that Season One is based on. Tom first appears in the fifth book in the Alex Rider series titled Scorpia.

In the books, Alex becomes friends with Tom after he rescues him from bullies at Brookland School. Alex soon tells Tom that he is working for MI6. Tom goes on to appear in the sequel novels Scorpia Rising and Nightshade.

3 Dr. Greif’s Beliefs

Haluk Bilginer as Dr Grief

Dr. Greif is the villainous headmaster of the Point Blanc Academy who loves the color red. The books state that he is a former South African national. He is also a racist person who was in full support of the Apartheid regime. Greif is possessed with imposing his own will on the world’s population.

In the series, Dr. Greif’s beliefs are slightly different. He is a Neo-Nazi who considers Hitler a hero. He also draws inspiration from the infamous book Mein Kampf. Stellenbosch has similar beliefs too.

2 New Female Characters

Alex and Ayisha in Alex Rider

The series adds a couple of female characters that never existed in the books. At Point Blanc Academy, Alex has a few female classmates that include Laura, Kyra, and Sasha. Kyra stands out the most, thanks to her unique computer hacking skills as well as her mastery in making sandwich toasts.

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Viewers can also recall how Alex’s crush on a girl named Ayisha in the series. She doesn’t appear in the books either. Alex’s chances with her are ruined by his own clone in the eighth episode.

1 Dr. Greif’s Death

Alex Rider in Amazon Alex Rider

The book version of Dr. Grief dies at the Point Blanc Academy. Alex spots him trying to escape in a helicopter. To prevent him from getting away, Alex drives a snowmobile up a ski jump in typical Bond fashion and makes it collide with Grief’s moving helicopter. He jumps off just in times as Grief is engulfed by the flames.

In the Amazon Prime series, Greif is killed by Yassen Gregorovich in London to hide the identity of his true employers. The assassin causes Grief’s car to break down before gassing everyone inside and walking away.

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Updated: November 29, 2020 — 3:30 pm

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