Theme Times – Will The Real Jack Ryan?

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Season 2


Tom Clancy By Gary Wayne Gilbert

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Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American novelist best known for his technically detailed espionage and military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books were sold. His name was also used on movie scripts written by ghostwriters, nonfiction books on military subjects, and video games. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and vice-chairman of their community activities and public affairs committees.

Clancy’s literary career began in 1984 when he sold The Hunt for Red October for $5,000.  His works The Hunt for Red October (1984), Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991) have been turned into commercially successful films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, Chris Pine, and John Krasinski have played Clancy’s most famous fictional character, Jack Ryan. Another well-known character of his, John Clark, has been portrayed by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. Tom Clancy’s works also inspired games such as the Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell series. Clancy died on October 1, 2013. Since his death, his Jack Ryan series has been continued by his family estate through a series of authors.



I have been a Tom Clancy fan for many many years, and so a fan of the character Jack Ryan. Last night Suze and l finished watching Netflix’s Season 2 ‘ Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’ with John Krasinski. Afterwards and then seeing if there was to be a season 3, we discussed the Jack Ryans and which we thought was the best to date out of all of them who have played the character?

We both agreed that we considered John Krasinski  to be the best and l then said that l happened to like all of them for different reasons in their portrayal of Ryan, equally as much as liked the various James Greer’s – although for me, the best was James Earl Jones the one who was with Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin.

However we then wondered who thought what? So, are you a Jack Ryan fan? A Tom Clancy fan? A James Greer fan or a fan of all three like me? Who do you think is the best Ryan, and the the Best Greer to date?


1 – The Hunt For Red October – 1990

CIA analyst Jack Ryan thinks Soviet nuclear submarine commander Captain Marko Ramius is planning to defect but only has a few hours to find him and the submarine.

Alec Baldwin – Jack Ryan

James Earl Jones – Adm.  James Greer.

2 – Patriot Games – 1992

When former CIA agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) hampers an IRA terrorist attack in London, he kills one of the terrorists. The dead man’s brother, another member of the group named Sean Miller (Sean Bean), is arrested but quickly escapes. Vowing revenge against Ryan, Miller travels to the United States, where he forces Ryan’s wife (Anne Archer) and daughter (Thora Birch) into a car accident that badly injures them. This convinces Ryan to rejoin the CIA in order to track down Miller.

Harrison Ford – Jack Ryan

James Earl Jones – Adm.  James Greer.

3 – Clear and Present Danger- 1994

Jack Ryan uncovers an illegal operation against drug cartels within the CIA. Caught in a web of conspiracies, he must now risk his life and his career in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Harrison Ford – Jack Ryan

William Defoe – John Clark

James Earl Jones – Adm.  James Greer died of pancreatic cancer

4 – The Sum of All Fear – 2002

Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst needs to stop a terrorist group from planting a nuclear weapon at a football match in Baltimore, before they cause damage.

Ben Affleck – Jack Ryan

Lieb Schreiber – John Clark

Morgan Freeman – William Cabot

This film was not part of the the first three films and was ‘supposed’ to be the commencement of a reboot.

5 – Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – 2014

Jack Ryan, a second lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, travels to Russia to check on a businessman named Cherevin. However, he ends up uncovering a dangerous terrorist attack plot.

Chris Pine – Jack Ryan

Fifth film in the Jack Ryan series but classed also as a reboot.

Jack Ryan’s character ….

John Patrick Ryan, Sr. KCVO is a fictional character created by author Tom Clancy and featured in his Ryanverse novels, which have consistently topped the New York Times bestseller list over 30 years. Since Clancy’s death in 2013, four other authors have continued the Ryan franchise and its other connecting series with the approval of the Clancy family estate: Mark Greaney, Grant Blackwood, Mike Maden, and Marc Cameron.

The son of a Baltimore police detective and a nurse, Jack Ryan is a former U.S. Marine and stockbroker who becomes a civilian history professor at the United States Naval Academy. Ryan later joins the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst and occasional field officer, eventually leaving it as Deputy Director. He later served as National Security Advisor and Vice President before suddenly becoming President of the United States following a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol. Ryan went on to serve two non-consecutive terms and mostly dealt with international crises in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Jack Ryan has been portrayed in film adaptations by actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. The Jack Ryan film series have an unadjusted worldwide gross revenue of $788.4 million to date, making it the 57th highest-grossing film series. John Krasinski is the fifth and latest actor to portray Ryan in the Amazon Prime web television series of the same name, which premiered on August 30, 2018.

Jack Ryan has been featured in 21 novels which have been written by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney, Mike Maden, and Marc Cameron. Clancy solely wrote most of the novels up to 2010, from which his next novels were co-written with Greaney and Grant Blackwood. After Clancy’s death in 2013, Greaney and Cameron took over the character in their own respective contributions to the franchise; Maden briefly featured Ryan in his own entries in the spin-off Jack Ryan, Jr. series.

  • The Hunt for Red October (1984)
  • Patriot Games (1987)
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
  • Clear and Present Danger (1989)
  • The Sum of All Fears (1991)
  • Debt of Honor (1994)
  • Executive Orders (1996)
  • The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
  • Red Rabbit (2002)
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)
  • Dead or Alive (2010)
  • Locked On (2011)
  • Threat Vector (2012)
  • Command Authority (2013)
  • Full Force and Effect (2014)
  • Commander in Chief (2015)
  • True Faith and Allegiance (2016)
  • Point of Contact (2017)
  • Power and Empire (2017)
  • Line of Sight (2018)
  • Oath of Office (2018)
  • Enemy Contact (2019)

6 – Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – 2018 – present

Author Tom Clancy introduced the character of Jack Ryan in a series of books before Ryan headed to the big screen in several films. Now the former U.S. Marine is featured in an episodic series for the first time, with John Krasinski portraying Ryan in this Amazon original thriller that centers on Ryan as an up-and-coming CIA analyst. He is thrust into a dangerous field assignment for the first time and uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication. That launches him into the middle of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.

John Krasinski  – Jack Ryan

Wendell Pierce – James Greer

So there we go folks! Now to the fans of Tom Clancy, Jack Ryan and James Greer – which ones are your favourites?

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10 thoughts on “Theme Times – Will The Real Jack Ryan?

  1. I adore these stories and films. My fave actor playing Jack is Harrison Ford and also James Earl Jones. I also like the series with John K. The second season I binge watched like a good book and think it was better than the first season, both very enjoyable. It’s like Batman, I prefer the original actor, Michael Keaton best.

        1. Pleasure – that’s going to be fun to write up, l am still thinking on all the Batman’s which one l found the best – l might have to agree with you about it being MK 🙂

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