'Alex Rider' Season 2 Review: Otto Farrant, Toby Stephens impress in teen spy-thriller's return

'Alex Rider' Season 2 just ensures that the series can spawn as many sequels as the books will allow.


                            'Alex Rider' Season 2 Review: Otto Farrant, Toby Stephens impress in teen spy-thriller's return
Otto Farrant as Alex Rider (IMDb)

Whatever doubts 'Alex Rider' Season 1 posed prior to its release, it quashed with extreme prejudice. The reception was a stark contrast to the disappointment the movie 'Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker' was. Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor, and Damian Lewis may have spearheaded the movie, but there was nothing it could do to sway the Alex Rider novels fans. The 2020 reboot, in the form of a TV series starring Otto Farrant as the titular spy was different. It had potential, it was slick, stylish, and dark — just the tone Anthony Horowitz used in his books. 'Alex Rider' season 2 just does better.

Season 2 takes some time to get going. There's a lot of trouble taken to establish the setting Alex (Farrant) is in after his maiden spy adventure at Point Blanc and his best friend Tom (Brenock O’Connor) is still his most salty, goofy, yet trustworthy pal. Toby Stephens as baddie Damian Cray still shows shades of the villainous Gustav Graves from 'Die Another Day'. He's a gaming guru with intentions to decimate the world in his own twisted way. Guy Burt comes in as the screenwriter again and this time, Alex needs his friends, Tom and Jack Starbright (Ronke Adekoluejo) with MI6 staying in the shadows.

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There is a potential love interest for Alex in Charithra Chandran's Sabina Pleasance, a no-nonsense CIA spook in Jo Byrne (Rakie Ayola), Yassen Gregorovich (Thomas Levin)  returns as Alex's nemesis. And this time the stakes are higher, the danger that's deadly enough to kill, and although the series differs quite a bit from the source material, Eagle Strike, there's still much to watch out for as the series switches gears by the episode. 

The cast is diverse. The tone fluctuates between dark and intensely dark and the London shown is very much the London of the books. Cold, icy, very English, and at the same time the gadgets that made the book a hot favorite does justice even though they're a little too good. But if building credibility was one of the missions, safe to say, the series has done it.

'Alex Rider' Season 2 just ensures that the series can spawn as many sequels as the books will allow. With more than ten books to choose from, Burt ensured that there was enough world-building in Season 1 and continues to structure Alex's world in the new season in such a way that season 3 can take off seamlessly. This series impresses and is definitely worth the watch.

'Alex Rider' Season is streaming on IMDb TV.