Last Resort: “Captain” – Premiere Episode Review ‘The Hunter Becomes The Hunted’
If you enjoy conspiracy dramas and nautical thrillers such as “The Hunt For Red October”, ABC’s Last Resort will certainly pique your interest. Created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Karl Gajdusek, Last Resort is a refreshing change of pace from the plethora of crime procedural and medical dramas dominating prime time network television. Cinematic in visual scope and storytelling, Last Resort is poised to become the most highly acclaimed new television show debuting this fall.
The ambitious story of Last Resort could be taken right out of the pages of a Tom Clancy novel. The USS Colorado is a four billion dollar Ohio-class nuclear submarine armed to the teeth with torpedoes, tomahawks and 18 trident nuclear missiles. In addition to producing its own air and power, the USS Colorado is equiped with a prototype that can mask its magnetic signature. When an authenticated fire order intended to annihilate millions of Pakistani is received on a secondary channel designed to be used only in the event DC command is taken out, Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and executive officer Lt. Commander Sam Kendall (Scott Speedman) are faced with a paramount moral dilemma.
There are many interesting elements at play in the premiere episode entitled “Captain” which will strike a chord with viewers. The tension between obeying the chain of command which is deeply indoctrinated in officers and following one’s own moral compass forms the core of the first and second act. After refusing orders, 150 American men and women of the USS Colorado escape to and occupy the fictional exotic island of Sainte Marina, declaring itself a sovereign nation with the nuclear capacity to secure its independence and decimate their enemies at will. On the home front, the U.S. president is facing an impeachment vote and Washington is revealed to be corrupt at the highest levels of office. For a nation dealing with the erosion of personal freedoms, disillusionment of government and a highly scrutinized foreign policy, Last Resort zeroes in on themes that hit close to home as well as political issues abroad in an incredibly entertaining manner.
The success of any ensemble drama relies on engaging character dynamics and the proficiency of the respective actors. Actor Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street) infuses Cpt. Chaplin with an understated charisma and a gravitas that commands immediate respect. There’s a weight to his performance that lends credibility to an otherwise implausible premise. Second-in-command is XO Sam Kendall played by a likable Scott Speedman (Underworld, Felicity). Speedman’s comfort zone is evident in a flashback scene with his teary-eyed wife (Jessy Schram) lamenting her husband’s impending tour of duty aboard a submarine. It will be intriguing to watch Speedman come into his own as a convincing commanding navy officer and lead actor as the series progresses. The show’s other main characters include navigator Lt. Grace Shepard (Daisy Betts), NATO scientist Sophie Girard (Camille de Pazzis), Navy Seal James King (Daniel Lissing), defense contractor Kylie Sinclair (Autumn Resser), Sainte Marina islander Tani (Dichen Lachman) and the nefarious Julian Serrat (Sahr Ngaujah).
In an interview with Buddy TV , co-creator Gadjusek explains, ” We think of it as a large dramatic epic adventure, if you will. Although the military intrigue and the political intrigue is a huge sort of juicy part of our show. Hopefully, it will lead to some great mysteries and some great thriller tension moments.” Ryan adds, “Another kind of threat is the population on the island, the people who are on the island when they arrived. There can be people there who are not thrilled with the presence of these people who view them a little bit as an occupying force endangering them. And as a result, they’re going to look for relief in dangerous ways that will provide some stories.”
The series premiere bristles with an urgency and confidence that most other shows take a couple of seasons to attain. As promising as the show may be, we have to keep in mind that the most time and money is spent on the pilot compared to any other episode produced. On top of that, how each episode will play out and if the conspiracy element of the show can be sustained remains to be revealed. If Last Resort can deliver on the exciting formula of action, adventure, military and political drama without relying on television tropes, the future will be very bright for this show.
Posted on September 27, 2012, in Last Resort, Television and tagged Andre Braugher, Last Resort, Last Resort Premiere Episode, Last Resort Preview, Last Resort Review, Last Resort TV Show, Scott Speedman, Shawn Ryan. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.