Missing Reacher? Here are 6 muscular thrillers while we wait for season 2…

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(Image credit: Amazon)

Not every literary creation is lucky enough to get a second chance on screen, but that second chance has proved to be a charm for Jack Reacher. 

After two modestly successful but critically-panned movies with Tom Cruise in the title role, it's now fair to say that author Lee Child's bestselling series has finally found its groove on TV with Reacher

Child has written 24 novels in the series, and co-authored two further novels with his brother, with a new one on the way in October. In each of them, we follow Jack Reacher, a former US Army major and military policeman who, after leaving the army, decides to roam the United States taking odd jobs and somehow always finding himself investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. 

Many fans of the books never took to Cruise in the role, largely on account of the actor's height. Cruise is five foot-seven and, on the page, Reacher is six foot-five. When he was asked about the height difference at the time, Child said there was no actor with that stature who could play Reacher effectively. Clearly, at that point, he'd not been introduced to Alan Ritchson. Ritchson isn't quite Reacher's height (he's six-foot two), but the man is built like an armoured tank and as wide as a cruise ship. He dominates, literally, every scene he is in. 

The Prime Video series adapts Child's first book Killing Floor, and finds Reacher arriving in the town of Margrave, Georgia at the exact moment that the small US town is reeling from its first major crime in 20 years. Wrongly framed for the crime, Reacher clears his name and reluctantly agrees to help local police, which is just as well, because bodies keep turning up. 

Audiences loved it and a second season is booked in, which will go into production in the fall. With that in mind, it'll be 2023 before we see Ritchson in action again. 

So, while you wait for more thrills and wince-inducing fight scenes, we thought we'd help and recommend six muscular thrillers to tide you over...

Jack Ryan

A photo of actor John Krasinski as he plays Jack ryan

(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

Jack Ryan has enjoyed a similar journey to Reacher, though his spell on the big screen lasted much, much longer, 

The character is the creation of late author Tom Clancy and has been the subject of 21 novels with over 100 million copies sold. He has been portrayed previously in movies by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine before being rebooted for TV by John Krasinski and Prime Video in 2018. 

Krasinski's Ryan is a former Marine veteran, who now works as a financial analyst for the CIA. Happy to sit behind his desk and run numbers, Ryan constantly finds himself drawn into the firing line. 

The show has a similar sensibility to Reacher in that its heroes and villains are clear cut and there's no ambiguity in Ryan's motivation. He's the good guy and he's taking down the bad guys all across the world. That said, the show is tremendous fun, well put together and Krasinski is a great leading man. 

Season three is on the way soon, with a fourth and final one confirmed to follow. 

Where can I stream it?

Prime Video (Worldwide)


Best Hulu shows Justified

(Image credit: Hulu/FX)

A much-loved, dust-in-throat, uncompromising drama, Justified ran for six well-received seasons from 2010 to 2015. 

Based on Elmore Leonard's books, the show stars Timothy Olyphant as Marshal Raylan Givens, a cowboy hat-wearing lawman who's expelled from Miami law enforcement after killing a criminal in broad daylight. 

Needing a fresh start, Given sent back to his hometown in Kentucky, where he deals with more small-time types of crime – not to mention his childhood friend, Walton Goggins' unpredictable and fiery Boyd Crowder.

Too trigger-happy for his own good, Givens keeps running into all kinds of trouble. 

Much like Reacher, Olyphant's loves taking the law into his own hands and is a real no-nonsense man of action. If you enjoyed Reacher's antics, you'll love Justified. 

Where can I stream it?

Hulu (US), Prime Video (UK, Australia)

In From The Cold

In From The Cold

(Image credit: Netflix)

This dynamic drama scored over 85 million hours of viewing time across the world in its first two weeks on Netflix, but the streamer has yet to greenlight any more of it. Which is strange, as it's really, really good. 

Created by Adam Glass, whose credits include Criminal Minds and Supernatural as well as a number of Marvel comics, In From The Cold follows Margarita Levieva's Jenny Franklin, a single mother in suburban New Jersey. 

Her life is turned upside down when the CIA arrests her and forces her to confront her long-buried past as highly trained, bio-engineered Russian agent Anya Petrova and become an asset in the battle to stop the influence of Russia's underworld drug trade. 

Hard-hitting, action-packed and addictive, this deserves both a second season and your attention. 

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (Worldwide)



(Image credit: Cinemax)

One of HBO's most underrated shows, Banshee ran for four seasons from 2013 to 2016. 

Set in the small town of Banshee in Pennsylvania Amish country, the shows stars Antony Starr, a master thief who leaves prison after a 15-year stretch and assumes the identity of Lucas Hood, a recently murdered sheriff. Now with a badge in his hand, Hood wants to resume his old life. But it turns out that he picked the wrong town to try and start over...

Violent, bloody, searing and ever-so gripping, this is a tale tailored made for Reacher lovers. 

Where can I stream it?

HBO Max (US), NOW (UK), BiNGE (Australia)

Pieces Of Her

Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote as Laura and Andy in Pieces of Her

(Image credit: Mark Rogers/Netflix)

Toni Colette and Bella Heathcote spearhead this intriguing action-drama. 

Heathcote plays Andy, a teenage girl on a Saturday afternoon trip to the mall with her mother, Laura. When the pair find themselves caught in a deadly mass shooting at a local diner, Laura suddenly turns into John Wick and eliminates the gunmen. This sudden revelation changes everything for Andy and brings out a number of characters from her mother's past, a past that's clearly nothing like Andy imagined. 

A familiar yarn, but one told in a full-throated and gripping manner, and with some brilliant action sequences. 

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (Worldwide)

The Terminal List

The Terminal List

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Prime Video's lavish new military thriller has been monstered by critics, but we're including it here as it's scored a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's clearly struck a chord with viewers. 

The show, which is led by Jurassic World: Dominion star Chris Pratt, is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Carr and follows Pratt's Lieutenant Commander James Reece, a US Navy SEAL who is left bereft after his platoon is ambushed while on a covert mission.  

Reece is the only survivor from the mission, and, as he tries to piece together the truth about what happened, his version of events doesn't match up with the account given by the Navy's top brass. So, naturally, the beginnings of a deadly conspiracy start to form. 

It's a chest-thumping drama, again with clear cut heroes and villains. For us, it doesn't have Reacher's panache or sense of style, but lots of people have fallen in love with it. Maybe you will too?

Where can I stream it?

Prime Video (Worldwide)

Tom Goodwyn
Senior Entertainment Editor

Tom Goodwyn is TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He oversees TechRadar’s coverage of the best TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…