Amazon Prime Video’s new teen spy series Alex Rider adapts the novel Point Blanc, the second in Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling book series.
While the story may be familiar to some fans of the books, some of the characters have been updated for modern times – and some have been newly created for the TV series.
Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters in Alex Rider. You can also read the entire book series here.
Otto Farrant plays Alex Rider
Who is Alex Rider? A seemingly ordinary teenage schoolboy who has been raised by his uncle, a banker named Ian Rider, following the death of his parents.
However, after Alex is told that Ian has been killed in car crash, his suspicions are aroused and he begins to investigate – only to discover that his home life has all been a lie, and that his supposedly dull uncle has been secretly training him for a career in espionage.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Otto Farrant revealed that his version of the character will be somewhat different from the books: “[In the show] he’s more of an outsider, he’s not the most confident with girls, he’s the most smooth talker, he’s not even the best spy.”
Where have I seen Otto Farrant before? Although this is Farrant’s first leading role, he’s no stranger to the small screen. He’s previously starred alongside Ruth Wilson in the drama Mrs Wilson, and has also appeared in War & Peace (as Petya Rostov), Marcella (as Evan Jones), and The White Queen (as Thomas Grey), among other projects.
Vicky McClure plays Mrs Jones
Who is Mrs Jones? Mrs Jones is a British secret service agent who is assigned the role of Alex Rider’s handler. She strongly disagrees with her boss Alan Blunt’s motives and frequently questions why they’re employing an untrained teen spy.
“She [Mrs Jones] does have her issues with him [Blunt] yeah,” Vicky McClure told RadioTimes.com. “I think there’s a certain amount of respect there, but she questions his decisions as much as she can.”
On her character’s relationship with Alex, she said: “[Her] relationship sort of grows with Alex in so much as, she has a job to do, but then there is the element of wanting to – she is also given the job to be his handler, and when that comes, the human side of it, that he’s a young boy being put in really horrific situations, you can see towards the end that she cares about him at least.”
Where have I seen Vicky McClure before? Line of Duty fans couldn’t fail to recognise the actress as AC-12 officer Kate, but she’s also starred in numerous other dramas, including the This Is England film and TV franchise (in which she plays Lol), Mother’s Day, Broadchurch (as Karen White), and the recent one-off drama I Am Nicola.
Stephen Dillane plays Alan Blunt
Who is Alan Blunt? The head of a ‘sub-division’ of MI6, he was Ian Rider’s boss. He makes the controversial decision of blackmailing Ian’s bereaved teenage nephew, Alex Rider, into working for him.
Where have I seen Stephen Dillane before? You’ll likely recognise Dillane for his role as Stannis Baratheon in the HBO epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones. He’s also recently starred in Netflix’s The Crown (as Graham Sutherland), Outlaw King (as King Edward I), Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour (as Viscount Halifax), and has starred in films like The Hours and Spy Game.
Ace Bhatti plays John Crawley
Who is John Crawley? An employee at the mysterious sub-division of MI6 where Alex Rider’s uncle worked before his death.
“I’m [John Crawley is] Blunt’s right hand man, so at first I’m a little bit suspicious of Alex,” Ace Bhatti told RadioTimes.com, “but as he [Alex] does his stuff, I think slowly I’ll grow to admire him, because he does some pretty cool stuff.”
Where have I seen Ace Bhatti before? Bhatti played PCC Rohan Sindwhani in the BBC drama Line of Duty (although he and Alex Rider co-star Vicky McClure never shared the screen). He’s also starred in the likes of Bend It Like Beckham, EastEnders, Three Girls, No Offence, and the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Brenock O’Connor plays Tom
Who is Tom? Tom is Alex Rider’s eccentric best friend, who lives a few streets away from him.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Brenock O’Connor said of his character: “Tom is that kid in school who thinks he’s the only person that’s discovered cool music, or cool films. He walks in, goes, ‘Yo have you seen this film, it’s really niche, no one knows it, it’s called Pulp Fiction…’ I think he just tries a little too hard to be cool and relevant.”
He added: “Tom was just a joy to play. You just get to take the mickey out of Otto [Farrant, who plays Alex] the whole time, it’s great… [The two characters are] longtime childhood best friends, they’ve grown up together.”
Where have I seen Brenock O’Connor? The young actor is best known for playing Night’s Watch recruit Olly (who meets a grisly end) in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but he’s also cropped up in plenty of other TV shows, including Derry Girls, Dickensian (as Peter Cratchit), The Split, Living the Dream, and the film Vita & Virginia.
Haluk Bilginer plays Dr Greif
Who is Dr Greif? A scientist who works at Point Blanc, a school in the French Alps for troubled, rich children.
Where have I seen Haluk Bilginer before? The Turkish actor and International Emmy award winner played Mehmet Osman in EastEnders, and has starred in both TV and film, including Halloween, BBC drama Spooks, Persona, and The International.
Ronke Adekoluejo plays Jack Starbright
Who is Jack Starbright? Ian Rider’s American housekeeper, she’s been studying for a degree alongside caring for Alex.
Where have I seen Ronke Adekoluejo before? The actress has starred in three Michaela Cole projects: Netflix’s Been So Long, Chewing Gum, and Black Earth Rising. She’s also starred in Doctor Who, NW, the film Christopher Robin, and Ready Player One.
Andrew Buchan plays Ian Rider
Who is Ian Rider? Alex Rider’s uncle, he claims to work for a bank – but his real job is something far more exciting.
Where have I seen Andrew Buchan before? Buchan has played grieving father Mark Latimer in the past three seasons of Broadchurch. He’s also starred in Genius (as Henri Matisse), The ABC Murders (as Franklin Clarke), Garrow’s Law, All The Money In The World (as John Paul Getty II), and more recently as Andrew Parker Bowles in Netflix’s The Crown.
Marli Siu plays Kyra
Who is Kyra? A new character not in the original book, we meet Kyra at the school Point Blanc.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, series writer Guy Burt said: “We’ve also introduced a character who’s not in the book, called Kyra, [she] is a girl at Point Blanc, the school where Alex gets sent. And… my vision for her was to have somebody who pretty much immediately doesn’t buy Alex’s cover story. So she sees through him.”
Where have I seen Marli Siu before? The actress has starred in Our Ladies (as Kylah), Run (as Kelly), Grantchester, and Anna and the Apocalypse.
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. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide. You can also buy the 10-book collection here.