Exploding Rubik’s-Cubes, a yo-yo grappling hook, acne cream that dissolves metal… Readers of Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling Alex Rider books will be all too familiar with the outlandish gadgets used by the teen spy.
But it looks like Amazon Prime Video’s new TV adaptation of the second novel in the book series, Point Blanc, will be dispensing with all things gimmicky, in a bid to win over older viewers.
Speaking on-set to RadioTimes.com, Horowitz said that the show’s creators were all keen to steer clear of “childishness”.
“There aren’t many gadgets in this at all, we’ve rather pulled back on the gadgets, because the gadget side of it makes it young again, you know if you’ve got a Rubik’s Cube that blows up, which is in one of the books, or the exploding ear stud… it gets a little bit back to childishness again,” he said.
He continued, “Look at this set, it’s meant to feel realistic, its not meant to feel like a secret lair. It’s not silly. Absolutely not [like a young James Bond], I think that’s exactly what we’ve managed to avoid, which is great. Of course that’s where my inspiration for the books began, but for me Alex’s world is its own world, and I was very careful to try and avoid in the books you know basically ripping off Fleming.”
Vicky McClure (Line of Duty), who plays Mrs Jones in the series, agrees that the TV show is more grown-up: “I hadn’t read the books [and] when I was told about the script, I assumed it would be quite childlike, and then I read it and was quite shocked at the amount of action and you know, there’s guns and all these things in there.”
Horowitz’s first Alex Rider book, Stormbreaker, was previously adapted into a film starring Alex Pettyfer, but the author claims that the small screen is now the perfect location for the beloved character (now played by Mrs Wilson’s Otto Farrant).
“The format of television suits it much better in a way, certainly now – I think I would not want to be competing with a $200 million Marvel adventure film. I think we’re in a very comfortable arena,” he said, before adding, “That said, the production values are fantastic, you wait to see some of the stuff they’ve done with the skiing [later in the TV series].”
He also said that the show will aim to appeal to everyone, explaining, “You cannot make television at this sort of price level for just a kid audience, or for even for a teen audience, it’s got to be a wide audience.”
Alex Rider will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the UK on 4th June, with all eight episodes available for UK Prime members to stream. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.