Is Reacher Season 2 Inspired by a True Story?

Image Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

In Prime Video’s ‘Reacher,’ we follow the titular character on different missions where he tries to solve tricky cases with high stakes. Each season brings a new mystery to Reacher’s table, and so far, things have been quite personal for him. In the first season, he spent his time looking for the people who killed his brother. In the second season, he, joined by the other members of 110th, solves the murder of one of their own, as they discover that all of them are the targets of the killer.

One of the things that sets ‘Reacher’ apart is the diversity of its characters and how they and the plot look like something that could happen in real life. Does this mean it is based on a true story?

Reacher Season 2 Brings Its Own Twist to the Source Material

Image Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

‘Reacher’ is based on a series of novels written by Lee Child, featuring the titular Jack Reacher. Every season adapts a different novel in the series. For the second season, ‘Bad Luck and Trouble,’ the eleventh book in the series, serves as the source. The title of the book is based on a blues song by Johnny Winter, which is an interesting choice because in the show, Reacher repeatedly expresses his love for the blues music. For author Lee Child, it made sense to use blues songs for the titles of his books, considering how well they fall in line with Reacher’s nature. According to him, these songs have few words, but the listener knows exactly what the song is about. The same is true for Jack Reacher’s character as well.

First published in 2007, ‘Bad Luck and Trouble’ was an instant bestseller. The creators of the series saw it as a perfect way to continue Reacher’s story in the second season in a way that builds upon what we already know about him rather than begin everything from a clean slate. According to Child, the first season was focused on showing the personal aspect of Reacher’s history, about his childhood, his parents, his brother, and the events that influenced him at an early age. The second season is more about his time in the military, focusing on his professional life and showing a different chapter of his story.

For the most part, the show remains faithful to the book, but there are some things that had to be tweaked to update it for a contemporary setting. For example, in the book, the events take place in Las Vegas and California. In the show, however, the setting is transferred to New York and its surrounding areas. The series also updates the technology and the central motive of the villain to make the issue seem more relevant rather than dated.

Image Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

It’s not known whether Lee Child turned towards any real life events to concoct this particular story. He has spoken about his writing process and revealed that he often lets the mystery unfold by itself rather than planning everything in advance, which keeps him on his toes, just like the audience. Considering that he had written ten books before this one and has written around ten more since, we can say that he comes up with the ideas on his own, though it’s obvious that he draws on relevant events at the time to make the subject matter more pertinent.

As for Reacher himself, the writer revealed that he wanted a character that was unlike the run-of-the-mill detectives popular in crime fiction at the time. He didn’t want a character who was alcoholic, traumatized by his past, or just miserable due to one or the other aspect of his life. He wanted someone uncomplicated, who had his own flaws and follies but was still a pretty normal and decent guy.

The way he is crafted, Lee Child describes Reacher as somewhat of a “knight errant,” a cowboy in the Wild West who enters new territory and becomes its savior, but not without dealing with the baggage of some past issues or past connections that are not immediately in sight. This is also where Reacher’s nomadic lifestyle comes into the picture, making him the mysterious stranger who remains shrouded in mystery for the most part.

The author also revealed that he based some parts of Reacher on himself, like his tall stature and his inability to see injustice happen in front of him. All of this shows that while Reacher and his story might be fictional, the author of the book and the writers of the show have infused it with enough dose of reality to make it seem as believable as possible to the audience.

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