Full Name: Alex Cranston
Nationality: Canadian
Organization: NISA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert de Lint, Virginia Thompson, Kevin White
Time Span: 2010 - 2011


Alex Cranston is an agent with the NISA.

That acronym stands for the National Intelligence and Security Agency, a Canadian spy organization responsible for keeping the country safe from all manner of bad things and people.

The name given this collection of misadventures, InSecurity, is such a terrific name as it reveals a couple of key points in one word. First, Cranston and team are very much involved in the Security line of work, defending their beloved Canada from all sorts of nasties. Second the word fits for the mood most of Canada would likely be in if they watched this group go about doing this defending.

We are told in one blurb that the adventures follow "secret agent Alex Cranston and her team of spies as they juggle dates, terrorists, pets, ex-boyfriends and the safety of the nation. The only thing harder than protecting the country is protecting themselves from their own insecurities."

Another description of Cranston and her group says that they make up "a team of incompetent spy-catchers" which sounds pretty harsh and seems unfair, at least up until you watch them at work, in which case it seems not so bad. For example, in our first meeting as Cranston is inside a facility learning about uranium shipments to Iran, her team is outside in two cars getting confused about which codename belongs to whom and whether mixing names from different fairytales is really allowed. It is summed up nicely by one of them (Jojo) with "you all are morons". 

I gave Cranston the starring role in this entry in the compendium because she is the leader of the group and therefore deserving the most attention but she is not the head of the division. That position belongs to Peter McNeil, a handsome and (sometimes) suave leader who projects an aura of confidence as he blithely goes about his leading - proof yet again that looks can be deceiving. Knowing that someone like McNeil was going to lead you that day is grounds for pulling the covers back over your head and pretending to still be asleep.

And then there is Cranston's team.

Claude Lesage - a White male operative. A French Canadian, Lesage is by far the oldest of the group and is an experienced operative who is obviously quite happy to take the assistant leader position and let Cranston call the shots. His appreciation of and desire for coffee is impressive.
Benjamin N'udu - a Black male operative. A former agent with the Ligerian Secret Service, he moved to Canada because of staying home was not such a good idea any more. N'udu is best described as 'deranged' at times and homicidal at others.
Jojo Kwan - an Oriental female operative. Kwan is a genius and an experienced scientist and without a doubt the sanest of those in Cranston's team - except when she isn't.
Burt Wilson - a White male operative. A very inexperience and incompetent agent, watching him in action begs the questions of a) how did he ever manage to survive training school, let alone pass, and b) what did Cranston do to deserve having to have him on her team?


Number of Episodes:24
First Appearance:2010
Last Appearance:2011

Natalie LisinskaAlex Cranston [ 1-2 ]
William deVryPeter McNeil [ 1-2 ]
Richard YearwoodBenjamin N'udu [ 1-2 ]
Remy GirardClaude Lesage [ 1-2 ]
Grace Lynn KungJojo Kwan [ 1-2 ]
Matthew MacFadzeanBurt Wilson [ 1-2 ]

According to Wikipedia, this Canadian series ran for two seasons on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 2011. The first was 13 episodes shown in the first three months of the year, The second aired in the final three months with another ten adventures. Preceding them was a pilot. It likely would have been kept going except for "budget cuts from the 2012 Canadian federal budget".

Again according to that source, the pilot was felt to be too "niche" so it was retooled to give it more of a 24 feel.

1 B Team
Episode Pilot, first aired 04/27/2010
Director: Robert De Lint
Writer: Kevin White

Alex Taylor, a team leader at the Canadian Intelligence and Security Establishment, is tasked to spy on an unemployed shoe salesman who is potentially a Chechen operative.

2 The Doctor
Episode S1-1, first aired 01/04/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writer: Jennifer Whalen

Alex Cranston, a team leader at the National Intelligence and Security Agency, is held captive by uranium smugglers. When NISA agents notice her missing, they attempt to rescue her relatively unharmed, while an interrogation specialist — her old high-school classmate Randy Nussbaum — extracts valuable information.

3 Keeping Up With The Laslovs
Episode S1-2, first aired 01/11/2011
Director: Jeff Beesley
Writers: Kevin White, Jennifer Whalen

Thinking that they are their new neighbors, a Russian couple in possession of stolen Canadian submarine plans unwittingly invite Alex and Peter, who are tasked with retrieving the plans, into their home for vodka. While keeping tabs on the situation, the other team members are caught by uninvited Russian guests.

4 View To A Nursing Home
Episode S1-3, first aired 01/18/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writer: Jennifer Whalen

After an attempted bombing of the National Arts Council by a right-wing terrorist group known as the """"Ottawa Eight"""", the team runs surveillance on the terrorists responsible from the ideal location — the nursing-home room inhabited by Alex's grouchy grandmother.""

5 The Ligerian Candidate
Episode S1-4, first aired 01/25/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Kevin White, Dylan Wertz

Due to post-hypnotic suggestion, N'udu is sent to kill his old friend Masud, a former Ligerian Secret Service agent, and the very man that NISA is protecting at a familiar safehouse.

6 Recycle After Reading
Episode S1-5, first aired 02/01/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writers: Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen

After a booze-filled night out with Alex, Peter discovers the Jericho file no longer in his possession. As these documents contain crucial information on all NISA undercover agents, the team is tasked to recover them before they can be made into a young schoolgirl's art project.

7 Return of the Deadeye
Episode S1-6, first aired 02/08/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writers: Max B. Reid, Adam M. Reid

Tasked with assassinating a Spanish assassin, the team becomes desperate as their various plans fail to work. Upset that he wasn't included, Claude goes rogue.

8 Spies on Ice
Episode S1-7, first aired 02/15/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Max B. Reid , Kevin White , teleplay)

Burt retrieves nuclear secrets from the car of Dr. Ho Lung, a North Korean spy attending his son's hockey try out. Alex and Peter pose as the parents of Peter's son in order to buy Burt time.

9 The Kwan Identity
Episode S1-8, first aired 02/22/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writers: Kevin White, Dylan Wertz

JoJo goes undercover as the girlfriend of a Chinese drug dealer who is supplying a neo-Irish Republican Army group with explosives to blow up Queen Elizabeth II. When Alex backs her car into JoJo, she begins to believe that she is Vivian, her undercover alias. The team needs JoJo to continue her work, but Vivian is less than agreeable.

10 El Negotiator
Episode S1-9, first aired 03/01/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Kevin White, Tim Polley

Alex's night off is interrupted when the party she and the team are attending is taken hostage by Mexican terrorists who demand that Canada's government release a member of the group. While Peter makes unsatisfactory attempts at hostage negotiation, N'udu is shot, and the NISA agents are discovered.

11 The Ghost
Episode S1-10, first aired 03/08/2011
Director: Jeff Beesley
Writers: Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen

Claude's old friend, Joshua """"The Ghost"""" Crane, a known master of evasion who left NISA eight years ago, is captured with a USB drive that implicates him as being connected to Somali terrorists. However, while the team learns that the group's leaders' names are actually Arabic translations of popular Middle Eastern dishes, he proves the flaws in NISA's security.""

12 Going Dutch
Episode S1-11, first aired 03/15/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writers: Kevin White, Dylan Wertz

Alex fears that the Dutch Secret Service has reprogrammed Burt, whom the team must exchange for a captured Dutch spy, to serve as a mole against Canada.

13 Get Cranston
Episode S1-12, first aired 03/22/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Rebecca Addelman, Jennifer Whalen

When a crazed killer targets Alex, NISA must sift through hundreds of suspects but fails to catch the would-be assassin — a university classmate, Penny Cryer, whose nose Alex had broken while playing volleyball.

14 Death By Birthday
Episode S1-13, first aired 03/29/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writer: Kevin White

Alex's birthday takes a turn for the worse when someone sends her a card containing highly concentrated anthrax powder, which is set to kill the entire team (with the exception of Burt) inside of four hours.

15 Agent Oo La La
Episode S2-1, first aired 10/03/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writer: Mike McPhaden

Claude learns that his coworkers have been making fun of his fashion when WikiLeaks releases information on NISA. A series of polygraph tests to find the mole worries Burt, as he is dating the test administrator's girlfriend. Alex attempts to calm the nerves of an informant.

16 The Gift of Life
Episode S2-2, first aired 10/10/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Kate Hewlett, Kevin White

Alex dons a disguise to gain the trust of a pregnant suspect. Burt is saddened by a friend's declining health, causing N'udu to offer a kidney.

17 The Spy Whisperer
Episode S2-3, first aired 10/17/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Tim Polley, Kevin White

While under anesthesia, Alex expresses a personal interest in Peter. Meanwhile, after Burt finds a birth certificate for him, N'udu seeks to take advantage of the time he has left.

18 The Spy Who Fed Me
Episode S2-4, first aired 10/24/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Jenn Engels, Kevin White

Alex's mother undermines her authority at NISA. Burt learns about 'stakeout make-out' when he is tasked on a stakeout with JoJo.

19 Anger Management
Episode S2-5, first aired 10/31/2011
Director: Ron Murphy
Writer: Jenn Engels

The team is on each other's case when Peter doesn't credit Alex for her role in a secret operation, Claude overhears Burt complaining about him to a psychiatrist, and N'udu suspects Jojo of harboring anger.

20 Spies of a Certain Age
Episode S2-6, first aired 11/07/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Matt Kippen, Kevin White

N/A A visiting tech specialist leads Alex into a night of quickly regretted drunken debauchery. Meanwhile, a slip-up complicates Claude and Burt's rural road-trip.

21 Spy Bites Dog
Episode S2-7, first aired 11/14/2011
Director: Jeff Beesley
Writer: Denis McGrath

Jojo tries to help Alex overcome her dog problems. Claude resents N'udu over his apparent wealth. Peter feels the need to prove his manliness when he learns that Burt used to wrestle.

22 Agent Ex
Episode S2-8, first aired 11/28/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writers: Matt Doyle, Kevin White

In attempt to gain intel, JoJo dates an ex of Alex, troubling Burt. As JoJo's relationship becomes less than professional, Alex's resurfacing feelings bother JoJo and Peter. Claude feigns interest in N'udu's homeland to gain intel of his own – strategies for beating a video game.

23 The Spy, the Friend and her Lover
Episode S2-9, first aired 12/05/2011
Director: Jeff Beesley
Writers: Tim Polley, Kevin White

An old college roommate visits Alex, and hooks up with N'udu at Alex's condo. The upcoming wedding of two NISA employees stirs JoJo's feelings toward Burt.

24 I Spy Peter
Episode S2-10, first aired 12/12/2011
Director: Robert DeLint
Writer: Tim Polley

JoJo poses as Claude's mail-order bride, Alex investigates Peter under suspicion of unauthorized dealings with a Russian agent, and Burt wastes N'udu's tickets to a soccer game.


It is not an unusual opinion in this world that those in government are a bunch of idiots. Not those in charge, mind you; those people are thought to be corrupt. No, I'm talking about the average worker bee in the hive of bureaucracy - it is that group that are considered either airheads or buffoons or the like. 

This show brought those people to life in a delightful - albeit scary - way. Not everyone is an idiot in this group but they each have their own idiosyncrasies such that the group, well, you know.

And that made the show a hoot to watch. I never saw it when it first came out but did catch it streaming and enjoyed it a lot.


My Grade: B


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