HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Last Ship: The Complete First Season
HTS Overall Score:84
A show produced by Michael Bay. I think that says it all. I didn’t know that going into the series, but coming out the other end I can honestly say “yeah, I’m not surprised”. The amount of action pumped into a standard broadcast television show is very much indicative of the Bay’s hand in the pie. Not to say that’s a bad thing, as good action oriented TV shows are hard to find. Most of the time the budget is blown way before the action scenes get to the good stuff and we’re stuff with a few minutes of action every 3-4 episodes. “The Last Ship” just sneers at that mentality and sticks 2-3 good action scenes in EVERY episode. The show suffers from a little bit of first season jitters and some cheesy dialog here and there, but overall is a wildly entertaining series that certainly has me looking forward to the start of season two this June.
The USS Nathan James, an American destroyer, is out on a secret war games testing run for over 4 months in the Arctic, only to come out of radio silence to the realization that the world is nearly dead. It seems their entire mission was a farce. The weapons test was a cover, as the Nathan James mission was to house a civilian mission to find a cure for a super virus that has killed over 2/3 of the world’s population while the mission was underway. Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane, who is just JACKED for the show) is now faced with the grim possibility that he is one of the last surviving U.S. warships out there. Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra), the scientist that he’s had on board all these months is the world’s only key to survival, as she was sent to the Arctic to study the origins of this super virus and develop a cure. With the survival of the world at stake, Commander Chandler, his crew of navy officers and Dr. Scott, have to combine forces and work to create a vaccine aboard the Nathan James, one of the last places on Earth that is virus free, and evade the rest of a desperate world, who will do whatever it takes to get that vaccine for themselves.
The crew of the USS Nathan James face a lot more than just the threat of getting sick. While they have to dodge infected zones and try and survive the disease, they also have to face the rest of the world, many of whom are just trying to survive in this chaos. With no governments really left, no world militaries in play, rogue agents are taking control of armaments and if they find out about the cure, will do anything to get it, and profit from it. Commander Chandler and the rest of the crew have to battle ex drug lords, Al Queda members, even run from a crazed former Russian Admiral who has the weight of his own warship at his command. Along the way they’ll pick up new friends and allies. Tex (John Pyper-Ferguson), a merc with a sarcastic mouth and a penchant for shooting things, A Jamaican girl who is a bit more than meets the eyes, and a few others to round out an already motley Navy crew.
“The Last Ship” has a few hiccups along the way, mainly due to the show finding its footing. A few episodes here and there that feel a little awkward, as if the actors are trying to find out just how to portray their character, but after the first half of the 10 episode season, they settle into their characters and the show itself puts all 4 wheels on the road. Pieces of information that was left out in the first half gets revealed in the second, broadening the scope and breadth of the plot line, and allowing for some really fun things ahead in season 2 (if my suspicions are correct). Rhona Mitra does a solid job as Dr. Scott, and Eric Dane (who as I said before is JACKED for this role) cigar chomps his way through the season. He’s brusk, he’s tough and he’s a complete bad mamba jamba in command. Adam Baldwin (who also has dropped a bit of fat weight and SERIOUSLY bulked up) adds a nice flair as the hulking XO. Everyone loves Jayne from “Firefly”, and he blends his character from “Chuck” and “Firefly” to create a brooding character who snaps a few wisecracks before he beats an enemy’s skull in.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=46938[/img]“The Last Ship” comes to Blu-ray on 2 BD-50s and framed in your standard 1.78:1 television aspect ratio and looks simply stellar. Digitally shot, as with most modern shows, the best way to describe the look of the series is “natural”. Colors look extremely realistic, with very little, if any, color grading which allows for a very clean and natural look. The bright greens of the Nicaraguan jungle pop off the screen, and the bright blues of the ocean shimmer in the sunlight. There’s a few bits where the night time shooting adds some digital noise to the picture, but those aren’t very common. Most of the time the image looks razor sharp and full of incredibly fine detail, from the close up facial shots, to the long shots of the destroyer itself. Blacks are deep and inky, and only in those really really dark shots do you see the digital noise and a teensy bit of crush.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=46946[/img]Most TV shows aren’t wildly immersive and rather front heavy, but “The Last Ship” has the blessing of being a very action oriented show. The dialog itself is clean and certainly the show can be a bit front heavy during those quiet moments of dialog, but those are punctuated by many sequences of gunfire and hand to hand combat where the surround channels are reverberating from the sound of the gunshots, and echoing as an elbow smashes a Russian officer’s face in. the score adds a lot of tension to the show and always makes you feel as if you want to salute the screen itself as the navy men risk life and limb for this fictional world. LFE is deep and pounding, as I noticed my sub amps were constantly flickering with activity, whether that be augmenting the score, or adding some serious weight to all those action scenes. Definitely top tier.
• Character Profiles
• 2014 Comic-Con Panel
• The Navy and the USS Halsey
• Making of The Last Ship
• Prequels: Origin of the Virus
• The Last Ship Details
• Inside the Episodes
“The Last Ship: The Complete First Season” isn’t a perfect show, I almost gave it a 4/5 rating, but had to drop it down to 3.5/5 due to the first half trying to find its nice, but it certainly is an action packed ride that kept me VERY entertained. Too many shows are lax on the action and too heavy on serialized plots. “The Last Ship” keeps a very short 10 episode season, but packs a lot of stuff into that season, with tons of action, a decent amount of drama and a solidly serialized story line that kept me guessing until the end. The disc specifications itself are top notch, as the audio and video are stellar, and I was very impressed with the amount of extras on the 2 disc Blu-ray set. Definitely recommended if you like Military action shows.
Starring: Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin, Rhona Mitra
Created by: Steven Kane, Hank Steinberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1, French DD 2.0
Runtime: 440 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 9th 2015
Buy The Last Ship: The Complete First Season On Blu-ray at Amazon
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