HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Last Ship: The Complete Third Season
HTS Overall Score:78
Honestly, I’m a little shocked that “The Last Ship” has been renewed for a 4th and 5th season (shot back to back by all accounts), and not because I don’t enjoy the show. Mostly because it’s a show that has Michael Bay as the executive producer, and is a full-blown action show. A combination that screamed “2 seasons max before TNT cancels the show” like most other action series). I wasn’t expecting much when I reviewed Season One HERE, but I ended up loving the show despite it being a macho man cliché, riding off of a novel by William Brinkley. Sure, I will fully admit that the show isn’t heavy in the depth department, but it is plain FUN, with good leads and decent enough budget to make visceral to the viewers. I never was able to review season 2 for everyone due to a slight mishap in shipping last year, but I have caught up and have to admit that season three is a still a strong contender.
I can’t help but give away a FEW spoilers form previous seasons, but bear with me, I’ll make them as miniscule as possible. As well all know, Season One had the USS Nathan James and her crew coming home from war games in the arctic only to find out that the world had been ravaged by a plague that was almost unstoppable. Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and his men come out of their “hibernation” only to find nothing but ravaged wasteland and pirates. If they come on land they’ll get infected, and if they stay out at sea they won’t survive long. Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) is the only hope for the world as she tries to synthesize a vaccine. A vaccine which actually WORKS. Heading home the USS Nathan James and her crew find that “home” is not really home anymore. The United States has been shattered and rogue groups have taken over the oval office, sparking a war against their own kind for the better part of season 2.
After the shocking conclusion of season 2, and the death of one of the leads, things have settled down. Tom Chandler has been given a new mission, a mission of ambassadorship to the new republic of China, while his XO, Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin) is given command of the Nathan James. While Chandler is in China, all hell breaks loose as the new president turns on his new American allies and Slattery and some of his crew get ambushed and captured by Japanese pirates over in Vietnam. Now, with both Chandler and the Nathan James in peril, they have to somehow get back together and find out what is going on. A mission that will test them, but not only that, reveal that there are still snakes in the bedchamber back home in a coup that will have the crew of the Nathan James back to doing what they do best. Kicking butt and taking names.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=97218[/img]Season 3 takes on a slightly different tone than the previous ones. The last couple years humanity was fighting against the Red Flu, a disease that was killing the world in record speed. Now it’s much more “typical” with powers and allies creating greedy bargains and vying for strength in a world that is ripe for the taking. Naturally there’s less of the sci-fi “virus scare” that was present earlier, but the show is still in love with military lingo, lots and LOTS of heavy weaponry and navy operators who can match SEALs in everything but name. Short and to the point, this is still a show that shows Michael Bay’s involvement to a T. Things blow up, and people get shot while our heroes get to live to fight another day.
Now the weak spot of the season comes down to the fact that this IS more of your typical stuff. The villains are much more standardize instead of a virus, and the show’s creativity starts to fade in that department. What made “The Last Ship” unique was the premise about the disease. Take that out of the picture (or at least mostly out of the picture) and the show starts to feel more generic as it competes with every other post-apocalyptic show out there. Luckily it’s never too bad and the show is still wildly entertaining if you like to see things go boom and people fighting left and right.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=97226[/img]Season 1 of "The Last Ship" came out on 2 BD-50s, but it was only containing 5 episodes per disc and actually looked REALLY good. Season 2 upped it to a full 13 episodes, but spread them out over 3 discs, although WB didn't exactly utilize all of the space that go around. However, Season 3 has followed the new pattern of putting more episodes per disc and has reduced them back to 2 discs again, albeit with an extra episodes. This means that the discs have taken a mil hit to clarity and have added compression issues over the first season (and even a little bit over the 2nd). The show still looks VERY nice for the most part, with bright open areas with natural lighting. clarity is overall impressive, but if you A/B between season 1 and season 3 then you'll notice a little bit of fine detailing is lost due to the compression. Also, in dark scenes the compression brings in some digital noise that gets a little bit annoying. Past those issues, I don't think the show looks bad in any way shape or form. It's a clear digitally shot image and that allows for greater leeway with compression, and apart from some compression artifacts that show up here and there, the show is more than capable of pleasing me.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=97234[/img]"The Last Ship" has ALWAYS had a stellar 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track to enjoy for the previous 2 seasons, and season 3 is no different. This is an action show, first and foremost, so be prepared for lots of bass and a wildly kinetic surround experience. There are quite a few moments where the mix goes front heavy, but those moments don't last long and we get to enjoy heavy gunfire, drones roaring overhead, and the sound of the U.S.S. Nathan James tearing it up with artillery fire. The score is intense powerful, adding lots of LFE to the mix and having me just crank up the audio system and let her rip. For a TV show you usually don't go above a 4/5 rating, but "The Last Ship" manages to turn this into a Michael Bay style auditory extravaganza (he IS an executive producer on the show).
• Inside the Episodes
• Seasons 1 & 2 Recap
• From America's First Fighting Ship to the Last Ship
• Behind the Curtain
With two seasons left of the show (I really hope they end the show in season 5 instead of trying to stretch it out adnauseum) “The Last Ship” is still one of the more highly entertaining series that I’m able to watch year after year. There’s not a whole lot of depth to the show, but Kane and Steinberg do a great job of making a big dumb action movie fit into a TV framework and not get cancelled after the first season (a shocker, right?). This season felt a bit more strained than the previous 2 years, but the leads all do a good job with the macho man (and woman I might add) persona’s that they have been given, and I still am having blast with one of the more under rated popcorn shows on right now. The audio is stunning and the video is rather good, but the extras have thinned out since the show started. Solid watch all around and still recommended by me.
Starring: Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin, Charles Parnell
Created by: Steven Kane, Hank Steinberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish, French DD 2.0, Japanese DD 5.1
Runtime: 572 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 2nd 2017
Buy The Last Ship: The Complete Third Season On Blu-ray at Amazon
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