While director Michael Bay has been breaking the box office with his bombastic filmmaking style for quite a while now, he hasn’t done that much on the TV front. That may be about to change, as TNT has given a pilot order to a Bay-produced post-apocalyptic naval drama called The Last Ship.
The pilot was written by Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane, based on the 1989 novel of the same name by William Brinkley. The Last Ship focuses on the crew of a U.S. naval destroyer that is at sea when a global thermonuclear war breaks out. Realizing they may be among the only survivors of the catastrophe, the crew of the USS Nathan James begins searching for a safe harbor or other survivors. Along the way, the ship’s captain must deal with dwindling morale, desertions by crew members, and a bleak future.
Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, told the Hollywood Reporter:
The book The Last Ship is a gripping page-turner that has all the makings of a terrific television drama, including a great premise, memorable characters, intense situations and heart-racing action. We believe this show will take viewers on a thrilling ride and fits perfectly with TNT’s expanding line-up of original dramas. We look forward to working with Michael Bay and The Last Ship‘s outstanding production team.
The concept behind The Last Ship has potential, and while we’ve seen plenty of post-apocalyptic stories on TV before, the naval element adds a different twist as well as the potential for a variety of settings. Apparently the book involved several interesting scenarios the series could explore, such as an uneasy partnership with a surviving Russian sub and the crew realizing they may have to start breeding like rabbits to ensure the survival of the species.
As for the writers, Steinberg’s longest-running gig was as a writer/exec producer on the procedural Without a Trace, but he was also a consulting producer on NBC’s short-lived but intriguing Kings. Kane spent several years on The Closer, and also wrote episodes of Alias and Keen Eddie back in the day. Their credits don’t detract from my interest in The Last Ship, they also don’t make it a guaranteed watch. I’m definitely intrigued, but it’s a long march from pilot order to series pick-up. We’ll see if The Last Ship has what it takes.