First, watch this trailer. Then, read on for some background on how a fictional destroyer will try to save the world next year:
Wedged between signature special effects from Michael ( “Transformers”) Bay and close-ups of Capt. Tom Chandler (Eric “Dr. McSteamy” Dane) is the plot of “The Last Ship,” based loosely on the 1989 William Brinkley novel of the same name.
In the TV version, which will air on TNT in the summer of 2014, the destroyer Nathan James ends four months of radio silence off Antarctica only to find out the world’s been ravaged by a global pandemic. Cities are burning, governments have fallen and the world’s only salvation could come from a paleomicrobiologist (yes, it’s a thing) played by Rhona Mitra who happens to be hitching a ride on the destroyer.
Got all that? While the title and ship’s name are the same, the plot is a departure from Brinkley’s Cold War-era novel, which featured nuclear Armageddon instead of a pandemic, with the same unpleasant outcome.
The Navy assisted “Last Ship” producers in making the pilot, with some scenes filmed aboard the destroyer Halsey in San Diego in November. Halsey’s now in Hawaii, which would seem to rule out future shoots; the director of Navy Office of Information West, which handles the fleet’s Hollywood dealings, declined comment on future Navy involvement with the show.
Look for some more details on “The Last Ship” and other Navy-themed TV projects in Monday’s print edition of Navy Times.