Michael Bay has devoted several years to spinning gripping tales of indistinguishable giant robots punching each other and somehow resisting the urge to murder Shia LeBeaouf and Megan Fox. That sort of thing takes a toll on a fella. It’s understandable that Bay would want to take a vacation into the world of television. And if that vacation could involve a project that has plenty of potential for flag-draped slow-motion patrio-porn and explosions, so much the better. Thankfully, he found just such a project with The Last Ship, which he’s developing for TNT. Now a few new details have leaked to give us some hints of what to expect from The Last Ship.
The Last Ship is based on a 1989 novel of the same name by William Brinkley (no, not the Quaker Oats/diabetes/Cocoon guy, that was Wilford Brimley). It’s about a U.S. Naval vessel that survives a global catastrophe is faced with figuring out what to do about that whole apocalypse thing. Bay is producing the series, with Jonathan Mostow (he of Terminator Salvation) in the director’s seat.
The folks over at io9 got their hands on a script for the project and have posted some character descriptions, as well as a tidbit about the nature of the global disaster, which is changing from that of the book. In Brinkley’s original version, it’s your garden-variety nuclear apocalypse. For the series, it’s being changed to a global pandemic. That makes sense, given that the threat of a pandemic is a bit more timely and a bit less Cold War than the nukes. It also would help with the show’s ongoing storylines, since it means the crew could be exposed to the disease every time they make port.
I’ll probably give the show a chance when it airs, but one thing does strike me the more I read about it. It seems to tread on a lot of the same thematic territory as ABC’s Last Resort. Given that that show is already one of my favorite new shows of the season, Last Ship will have to be pretty damn good to not just seem like the not-as-good version of Last Resort