Podflix & Chill
Podflix & Chill

Episode 5 · 1 year ago

Alex Rider - IMDBtv

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ever wonder what it is like to be a spy? In this episode, Andrew breaks down the new IMDBtv series Alex Rider, available to stream direct on IMDB.com or Amazon Prime Video. Alex Rider is based on the series of YA novels written by Anthony Horowitz, which Andrew was a huge fan of growing up. If you are enjoying the show, don't forget to hit subscribe and share with your friends!

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Hi, I'm and drew, a self proclaimed TV junk join me on my journey to watch as much original content from these streaming services as I can. I'll give you insight into the shows that you just don't have the time to watch. Fair warning, this show will most likely contain spoilers, so if that's not your thing, turn back now. If you don't mind spoilers, let's dive in. Welcome to Pod flicks and chill. What's going on, guys? Welcome to yet another episode of Pod flicks and chill. I am your host, Andrew, and I'm extremely excited today to be talking about the IMDBTV series Alex Rider. Now, before I dive into a plot summary of the show, you guys are probably wondering what I am DB TV is, and, as best I can tell, it is not a separate streaming platform. You do not have to pay a monthly premium to access all the content. All you have to do is go to Imdbcom, search the title you want to watch and if there's a watch now button underneath the title, you can click it and watch it right from the website. I have no idea if they have any other original TV shows or films I'd really didn't do the research into it because when I heard about Alex rider dropping to streaming, all I cared about was finding out how I could watch it. So Alex Rider, for those who don't know the series, is summarized as such the adventures of a teenage spy on his missions to save the world. So Alex riders a fourteen year old kid who gets recruited by British government to become a spy. The first season of the show and they've already green late a second season. The first season follows the plot of the second book. So Alex Rider...

...is a series of novels that was written by author Anthony Horowitz, and the first novel was written in two thousand it was a book called Storm Breaker. The next year the second book, point blank came out. In April of two thousand and twenty, the thirteen Alex rider novel came out. So it's still very much popular and prominent and relevant and they decided to adapt it to the small screen and take it right to streaming, which I think was a brilliant choice, because they did a two thousand and six film for Storm Breaker and it was God awful. In fact, I didn't even see it, but the trailer was enough to make me not want to, and it apparently got really bad reviews. So they came to a small screen adaptation, which I think suits the plot of the book better. So I'm going to read the summary for point blank. The novel point blank is the second book in the Alex Rider Series written by British author Anthony Horwitz. That's not the summary. Let's get into the summary. Alex almost lost his life on his first spy mission, so he is now reluctant to work for M sixteen again. He wants to enjoy being a teenager. M Sixteen convinces Alex to join them, however, and the young spy is immediately enrolled in an elite international all boy prep school called point blank in France. So first things first, right, m sixteen, not my six probably for legal reasons, but I like the reference. The tongue in cheek there. Anthony Horowitz does this throughout the books with the names of the female characters that Alex interacts with. So we have one who makes an appearance in point blank named Fiona Friend, AKA phone, a friend and Alex's girlfriend in later novels, Sabine a pleasure, Aka it's been a pleasure, and that's just a hardcore reference to James Bond right there. I mean like, if you are a James Bond Fan and you're like a teenager getting into these books, then it's just a nice little reference...

...to James Bond, which is what these novels set out to be. And in fact Anthony Horowitz has written the number of James Bond titles. He's also written a number of Sherlock Holmes titles to so I like the tongue in cheek reference is there. In the books you see Alex get access to a lot of very cool gadgets that are kid based, but along the same fantastical ridiculousness that you see in the James Bond Universe in the show. However, what I do like that they did, and what the showrunners talked about about the show, was that they wanted to really ground it and make it feel like it could actually happen in modern times. So we don't get a lot of the cool gadgets that Alex got in the books, but I will liken it to sort of the grounding that you see in the Daniel Craig bond films. Right. Everything prior to Daniel Craig, Pierce brosn in and before felt in a sense sort of fantastical. We get these cool gadgets and I think the Pierce Bras and are Braun really bond really hyped this up, but you get sort of this like outlandish feel to the different things happening and Daniel Craig's bond really takes that and sort of grounds it and makes it believable. And they, the show runners, did a fantastic job with the Alex Ryder series of making it believable and say hey, this could actually happen in real life. So in the show the M sixteen organization is not named. It's an unnamed version of British secret intelligence. They even tell Alex at one point that Misix finds information, we act on it or we know what to do with it or whatever the line is. But that's the that's the organization that recruits Alex...

...and since this is based off this second book, this is obviously Alex's first mission in the TV series. So we have a little bit of exposition in the first episode where we set up Alex as a character. We meet his uncle Ian, who we find out is a spy for this organization and we meet Alex's best friend Tom and IAN gets killed. Alex investigates the death because he doesn't believe that Ian was in a car accident because he was speeding. According to Alex, he always drove like a grandmother, so it didn't make sense to him. So he investigates the death and finds out that Ian was actually a spy for the British government and the organization winds up recruiting Alex to help them investigate the point blank academy. And the reason they need Alex is because this school is for troubled teenagers of some of the world's most elite people. So you have, you know, captains of industry in finance and entertainment and arms trafficking and farming, and they all have spoiled Bratt kids who have been sent off to point blank to change and to graduates of point blank come back completely different and their parents begin to get suspicious and they wind up mysteriously murdered. So they need somebody on the inside and that's Alex, so they send him in undercover. He agrees, not because he wants to be a spy but because he wants to find out why his uncle Ian was killed. So he just wants to do this one mission for them, find out why his uncle was killed, for investigating it and call it and then he's out. And that, in a nutshell, is the plot of Alex Rider.

If you've ever thought about starting a podcast, let me tell you about anchor. Anchor is a free tool that makes it incredibly easy to get started with your new podcast. In fact, it's what I use. With anchor, you can record and edit your show directly from your phone or computer. They will distribute your show to major podcast platforms like apple podcast and spotify for you. You can even monetize your podcast with no minimum listener requirement. Oh and did I mention it's free. All you have to do to get started is download the free anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM. That's an Choer DOT FM anchor. It's everything you need to make a podcast in one place. I want to talk a little bit about the actors in this series because at first I have to admit I thought there was nobody famous in this show. I didn't recognize anybody from anything else, and I really liked that about the show because it didn't take me out of it. When they did the two thousand and six storm breaker, you and McGregor played Alex's Uncle Ian, and you got to remember two thousand and six you and McGregor's coming off of three star wars films playing Obi Wan Kenobi, and I guarantee you if I had seen that in theaters I wouldn't be thinking hey, that's Ewan McGregor, that's that's Ian Rider, I'd be thinking hello there and I'd be thinking Obi Wan Kenoby. So you know, I don't think necessarily that big name actors are always the way to go all the time. So we have the character of Alex riders portrayed by Otto Ferrant who I've never seen anywhere before, but I got to tell you he is Alex Rider. I think he did a fantastic job portraying the character and all of the complexities of that character. Here's a kid who's pained by his uncle's death, who sort of wants revenge, who's extremely co confident and kind of a ladies man, but at the same...

...time he also doesn't want the spy life, he doesn't want to be a secret agent, he just wants to be a normal kid and that is apparent back and forth throughout the entire eight episodes of the first season. Then we have his best friend, who is a joker. He's a comic book Nerd, he's a aspiring film director and they really use him as sort of a personific cation of Alex's questioning becoming a spy and I really liked that they did that. So his best friend is named Tom Harris. He's not a character that we see in the original point blank book, but he shows up later on in the novels, in the Book Scorpia, and he's still Alex's best friend. He's a little different in the books, but that's that's irrelevant. He's one of the only people that knows about Alex's spy life. And Tom Harris in the series is played by actor Brennick O'Connor. Now again, I didn't recognize him watching the show. In doing episode prep for the podcast I discovered and then realized that he is the same kid who stabs John Snow in the heart at the end of season five of game of thrones. So if you're a geot fan, you know that at the end of season five the nights watch turns on John Snow and kills him before he comes back to life, obviously, and the kid that delivers the final blow to John's heart is actor Brennick O'connor, playing the character Ali. So I didn't realize that at first, but I thought that was really cool. We have another geot alum in Alex Rider and that is Stephen Delane, Aka Stannis Barrathian. Again, I didn't realize that Stannis was in the show either. It might be because his character, Alan Blunt in Alex Rider has a full on beard and like long slick back hair, and Stannis was always looking disheveled because you know,...

...nobody wanted him to be the next king of the seven kingdoms. So I didn't recognize him at first. But that's the other like big name that I noticed out of this show. I didn't recognize any other actors or actresses. That's not to say that they don't have prominent roles in England or their respective countries, but I just didn't recognize them from anything. But I thought the acting was done superbly. I think everybody was extremely well cast and I'm excited to see them return for season two, because this show is already been green light for a season two and you might think that's quick for a show that just premiered in November here, but it was actually released internationally over the summer. This is a show that was undergoing production in two thousand and nineteen and it was released in international markets in June, so it just didn't hit US streaming services until November thirteen. But it's already been green light for a second season. I'm excited to see where they go with it. I think, think, think, think that they're going to do either the plot of Eagle strike or arch angel, if you're familiar with the books. The way they outlined the plot of this first season here, as I said, it followed the plot of the second book, but they brought in elements from another book called Scorpia, and Scorpia is the name of an underground criminal organization that has a very unique interest in Alex, which they sort of set up at the end of the season. But then they leave you on a cliffhanger and then the plot of the Scorpia books sort of divulges that a little bit more. I think of make the most sense to go eagle strike or Archangel, because those are the two books that precede Scorpia in the novels and you get a little bit more Scorpia information out of those books before diving fully into the Scorpia plot, and I think that would make the most sense for a season two,...

...diving into a little bit more of a Scorpius subplot while establishing Alex and his relationship with the British secret intelligence and then, if it gets renewed for a season three, just going full fledged Scorpia. I think that's what they're going to do and in fact, when I was looking up facts about the Alex Rider series here, they did say that they were planning on Doing Eagle strike as the second season of the show, which should be cool because that features like a VR video game that sort of gets out of hand and then in the book Alex Get put through an actual real life version of the video game. We're like, if he dies, he dies. It's not a it's not something where his advata part can respawn. So I'm curious to see if they follow that plot in the second season because again, they really wanted to ground everything and make it believable for the series and while that's a little fantastical, I just think it'd be cool to see in real life, because you know that, like we're getting those advancements in V are in real life and you never know, maybe they can chalk it up to some some futuristic tech. But I thought the acting was great. I think the production was great. They didn't overuse CGI, they didn't overuse green screen, and I mean Sony Pictures. Television was involved and if you guys are aware of them, they partnered with Apple TV plus on a couple of different TV shows there. So the budget for those TV shows for those seasons was like three hundred million, like two hundred fifty two three hundred million. So I have to imagine this was probably in the ballpark of like a hundred fifty to two hundred and fifty. It was very cinematic, lots of practical effects. One of the things I enjoyed the most was, even though we didn't get gadgets from...

Alex, we got a couple of scenes that were ripped like right off the pages of the book, which was Alex Fashioning a snowboard out of an ironing board to escape from the school because, as I said, they're they're set up in the French Alps, middle of nowhere, twenty miles to the nearest town. Alex has to engineer a snowboard out of an ironing board and races way down the mountain chasing, you know, trying to get away from the guards that are chasing him, and that's the scene that ripped right out of the pages of the book. I love it. Again, there's no gadgets, but that's okay. The one gadget that Alex does have doesn't work and it's an encrypted like it's an MP three player with an encrypted text device, but they jam the signal the whole time so he doesn't really get to use it. But the funny thing when they were handing it to him was they say, you know, to access the the encrypted service, just go to music playlists. New Kids on the block, and he's like who are they, and they're like exactly, nobody's going to look there. So there were fun moments that are there for older fans such as myself who might have grown up reading the ALEX rider novels. But I liked the fact to that it is accessible to a younger crowd, like a teenagers or like early teens or late teens. There's not excessive blood or Gore anything there's gonna Knife violence, which are going to have in a spy thriller, but the camera always either pans away or takes a really long shot, Long Wide Shot, whenever there's a stab or a gunshot taking place, so you never actually see the the blood or the Gore, and I think that makes it accessible to the younger audience, but again still keeping it dark and brooding enough for an older crowd to get into it as well and to appreciate the storyline. I thought the...

...introduction to the show was beautifully done. It is very reminiscent of the bond films. You see the the Silhouette of Alex's character running through different scenarios. You see different clips of the show throughout the opening credits, and even the music is very like guitar rock driven, ambient, like reverb vocals. It's very, very bond. I don't know the name of the song though, unfortunately, so somebody knows let me know. But yeah, it's just a young teenage bond and how cool is that? Again, who didn't want to be a secret agent or something fantastic like that when they were growing up? I think this series does a great job in making that believable. Even if that would never happen, they make it believable in this show and they keep you engaged every single episode and I really enjoyed that about it. I'm going to give this show a four, point five out of five chill points, and the only reason they're not getting a perfect score from me is because there's a moment during that snowboard chase where Alex is running from the guys on the snowbikes and they're literally like five feet from them, from Alex, and they miss every single shot with their machine gun. I mean, I get that they have to to further the plot forward because you can't kill off the main character, but I mean, come on, like they must attended training at stormtrooper academy or something. But yeah, four point five chill points out of five. Let me know what you guys think about the show. Did you like it? Did you not? Are you going to watch it or are you not? Did you guys ever read the books? If so, let me know, because I can't be the only one who's read these books. And that's the show. Guys, I really appreciate you tuning in. Remember...

...to hit that subscribe button so you stayed notified for when I post new episodes. New Episodes Drop Thursdays. This week was a special week. We had two episodes dropping, but it'll usually be one episode every Thursday. So keep an eye out, hit that subscribe button, share the show with your friends if you think, if you think you know somebody who's going to like the content that we bring forth every week. Let them know it's out there, let them know it exists and, as always, you can follow us on instagram and twitter at pod flicks and chill. It's pot flicks, the letter end and chill. We'd love to hear from you, guys. Send us a message, let us know what you're streaming and what you want to see us cover on a future episode of the show. Until next time, I'm your host, Andrew, and this has been pod flakes and chill.

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