Michael Bay isn’t exactly a low-key producer. Although I love blockbuster spectacles, I pretty much loathe the Transformers franchise. After all, action doesn’t serve a purpose if the characters aren’t likable (or realistic), and that’s a lesson Bay has apparently learned with his new apocalyptic drama, The Last Ship. Color me impressed because this is one heck of a confident and ambitious pilot.
With a global pandemic at its center, The Last Ship centers on the crew of the USS Nathan James as they struggle to find a cure. Although the premise is appropriately high-concept and mysterious, Ship’s greatest strength lies in its fantastic leads. Eric Dane was a standout on Grey’s Anatomy, capably balancing humor and drama, and it’s awesome to see him finally headline his own show. As for Rhona Mitra, not only is she beyond gorgeous, but she’s a remarkably charismatic actress with a slew of memorable roles to her name. Here’s hoping she gets to kick some ass eventually (a long shot seeing as how her character is sort of a pacifist), because the actress has proven herself to be more than adept with physicality in the past. All in all, I’m eager to see the dynamic between Commander Tom Chandler and Dr. Rachel Scott evolve as the series progresses.
And now let’s discuss the production values. I know Michael Bay is famous for his astounding set-pieces, but nothing could have prepared me for the incredible action on display in the pilot. Every single pulse-pounding frame is exceptionally realized, and I never once found myself taken out of the proceedings thanks to cheap CGI (I’m looking at you Once Upon A Time). The cinematography does a fantastic job of creating a real sense of urgency and dread throughout. Suffice to say, The Last Ship looks like a blockbuster film, and that’s praise one can so rarely shower on a television show.
What excites me most about The Last Ship is the fact that I have absolutely no idea what the series will look like week to week. Will most of the show take place on the ship itself as our protagonists jump from point A to point B? Will there be a pit-stop in every episode? Can the show possibly sustain its momentum? I’m extremely curious to find out.
Impressive production values and fast-paced storytelling make The Last Ship pilot a thrilling affair.