Some of the best shows on TV these days are on cable. The Last Ship is one of those shows. Make no mistake, this is not a procedural or a comedy or anything like that. This is a serialized action/adventure drama. Everything about it is top notch, from the writing to the acting to the visual effects.

The show is based on the 1988 novel of the same name by American author William Brinkley. The pilot was written by Hank Steinberg, Without a Trace show-runner and writer of the acclaimed 61*, and Steven Kane, a writer known for AliasAmerican Dad! and Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is executive produced by Michael Bay. From here on out, there be spoilers, so this is your last chance to abandon ship!

LAST3The premise during the first season was that the USS Nathan James was on a secret mission in the Arctic when a virus struck, wiping out 80% of the world’s population. The ship then tried to make its way home, but of course that couldn’t be an easy task. Season two dealt with discovering the cure and fighting domestic terrorists known as immunes, who as the name suggests were immune to the virus.

The show features an ensemble cast headed by Eric Dane (McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy). He stars as Commander Tom Chandler of the US Navy, Captain of the USS Nathan James. Until the end of season two, Rona Mitra (Lara Croft from 1997-1998, actress Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, The Number 23) starred as Dr. Rachel Scott, the virologist responsible for figuring out the virus. The chemistry between the two was undeniable, even if it was never presented as romantic.

LAST4The rest of the cast is filled with familiar faces to those of us who love movies and TV. The biggest supporting cast member is probably Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly, Independence Day). I absolutely loved him on Chuck and I love him here. He is both hilarious and intimidating at the same time.

The next biggest actor would be Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D actor Maximiliano Hernandez. Additionally, there are several actors from the Transformers series, San Andreas, Jarhead, Beauty and the Beast, The Maze Runner, Sons of Anarchy, and Desperate Housewives. Most of the cast is recognizable, even if you don’t know their names.

LAST5My absolute favorite character, who I’m incredibly disappointed to not have seen yet this season, is Tex. He is played by John Pyper-Ferguson (UnforgivenSuits, Burn Notice, Caprica). His character was tough, runny and bad-@$$! If he doesn’t come back in season three I am going to be too upset for words! He was the heart and soul of this show. If there was an every man type character it would be him.

The show manages to pull off the big action sequences just as well as it does the quiet character moments. It manages to find the right mix of humor and seriousness needed for the end of the world as we know it. With a writer from American Dad! and the creator of the Transformers movie series, this show could have gone off the rails in the worst way possible. Instead it managed to be a fantastic post-apocalyptic series that toes the line between science fiction and science fact.

The premise for this season seems to be the distribution of the cure, an impending war with China and the new world order which includes pirates and or course bureaucratic dysfunction at home. As long as it maintains the action, humor and spectacular writing it had in the first two seasons it will be fantastic! If you want a well written, big budget show that feels like a feature film broken down into episodes this is the show for you!

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