From blower-uper of big vechicles & buildings and loud noises & cliches, Michael Bay, comes The Last Ship, a 10 episode tv series about the lone American Navy ship that is fighting the battle to find a cure to a global pandemic that threatens to wipe out humanity. While the viral pandemic has wiped out almost 80% of the population, The USS Nathan James was out at sea in the Arctic away from the rest of the world and under ordered radio silence while on a secret mission taking two scientists who are conduction experiments and searching for the origin of the virus. None of the ships 213 men & women including the captain, are aware of the true nature of the mission until the end of the 4 month period and them trying to return home. They find that almost all of the world governments no longer exist and only a small handful of US politicians are running things back home. The series is based mostly on the 1988 novel of the same name by William Brinkley, with a nuclear war being replaced by the pandemic scenarios.
The tv series stars Eric Dane as CDR Tom Chandler, commanding officer of the USS Nathan James, Rhona Mitra as Dr. Rachel Scott, a paleomicrobiologist, Adam Baldwin as CDR Mike Slattery, executive officer of the Nathan James, Charles Parnell as CMC Hugh Jeter, the ship’s senior enlisted advisor, Sam Spruell as Quincy Tophet, a paleomicrobiologist, Travis Van Winkle as LT Danny Green, leader of a Naval Special Warfare Unit team aboard the Nathan James, Marissa Neitling, as LT Kara Foster, an officer working in the Combat Information Center & Christina Elmore as LTJG Alisha Granderson, Communications Officer. Prime among the supporting cast & recurring stars is John-Pyer Ferguson asTex, a private security contractor who joins the crew at Guantanamo Bay. Why on earth is Ferguson not made part of the main cast when he has so much to do and infact is the prime entertainment with his wise cracking and hitting on Dr. Scott from the 2nd episode onwards I shall never know!
Hindering the journey back by the Nathan James crew is a rogue Russian military ship led up Admiral Konstantin Nikolajewitsch Ruskov who wishes to get the cure for the virus and reign over what remains of the human population by controlling it’s supply. Unknown to the crew of the Nathan James, Ruskov has a spy on board albeit being forced to do so against his will. The Russians have Quincy’s wife & daughter hostage on their ship and use that as leverage to get him to smuggle the original strain of the virus & research done so far back to them. However Quincy is caught and he confesses to what he has been doing so far. The crew decide to get the scientist’s wife & daughter back and plan a trade but instead sneak a team of marines into the Russian ship and get the hostages back, losing only one marine in the bargain. With the help of a Caribbean girl they find on a ship and who is naturally immune to the virus, doctors Scott & Tophet are finally able to create a cure. After testing on monkeys they caught on an island, they conduct the test on several of the marines and lose one female crew member in the process – but the cure is found!
US Navy (armed forces in general) praising, waving the American flag in a not so subtle way and filled with cliches that is hard to count. An episode is dedicated to Chandler & co being held by and then going back to rescue a Latin American village from their mob slave masters! Oh bad everyone else and hero US Navy! There is a blatant “God” & “Christianity” undertone in the show – “Amen, brother!” (I told you! Cliches a plenty) like the Navy & America is completely christian. Would it have been too much to ask to have some Hindu, Muslim, Arabs, Jews and yes some atheists in the mix? The Russian villains seemed to be outdated and that’s what you get for following a novel that was written before the end of Communist block. Sigh! Positives, cast is pretty good as are the special effects and production values which are Hollywood movie worthy. 7 outta 10 so far!