|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
|The 4400 character|
|Created by||René Echevarria
|Portrayed by||Peter Coyote|
|Occupation||Executive at Haspel Corporation|
Dennis Ryland is a fictional character on the USA Network science fiction The 4400 portrayed by Peter Coyote. He was the original supervisor and director of NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) during season one.
Ryland was close friends with agent Tom Baldwin for many years. The two worked together at the FBI, and Ryland arranged for Tom to transfer with him to NTAC; this would damage their relationship, as Tom left after only 5 months to investigate the circumstances surrounding his son Kyle's comatose state. Ryland reinstates Tom into NTAC in the Pilot episode, recognizing that Tom is still one of his best agents, and partners him with Diana Skouris.
During season one, Ryland is constantly portrayed as sympathetic to the 4400 and darkly amused when he informs Skouris and Baldwin that it's their job to resolve the mystery of the 4400's new-found abilities. However, as soon as Orson Bailey demonstrated his power of telekinesis, Ryland secretly ordered a separate investigation into the cause of the paranormal abilities, and possible methods of curtailing them.
When a 4400 began to compel others to commit murder, Ryland ordered that the incomplete promicin inhibitor be used, in order to safeguard the country.
During the final episode of season two, Ryland is arrested for his involvement for the production and administration of the Promicin inhibitor to unsuspecting returnees. He is put on trial because of the inhibitor scandal and T.J. Kim of the Nova Group causes Ryland's lawyer to attack him. The attempt fails and a hospitalized Ryland is later attacked by the telepath Gary Navarro. In season three he begins working as the leader of a privately owned company, Haspel Corporation, a defense contractor aiding the NSA in the tracking of the Nova Group, a terrorist organization of 4400 returnees.
His prime motivation is based on his belief that the existence of civilians with 4400 abilities is a danger to the country, and works to limit the use of supernatural abilities created by promicin to the military and the government.
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