The Last Ship Review: A Clever, Action-Packed, Military Thriller

TNT’s new series The Last Ship is sort of like The Hunt for Red October meets The Walking Dead. [...]

The Last Ship Review

TNT's new series The Last Ship is sort of like The Hunt for Red October meets The Walking Dead. It has the apocalyptic feel of The Walking Dead, while mixing in the intensity and military intrigue of The Hunt for Red October. got an early preview of the first three episodes of The Last Ship, and while we'll have more extensive recaps after each episode airs, we wanted to give fans a non-spoiler review of the series.

The gist of The Last Ship storyline is that a mysterious disease is ravaging the world, unbeknownst to the crew of the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan, who thinks they are doing top-secret military maneuvers and baby-sitting paleomicrobiologist Rachel Scott. However, Scott is actually secretly working to identify the primary strain of the virus.

The premiere episode of The Last Ship is packed with action sequences and stunts worthy of a big budget summer blockbuster. The series is executive-produced by Michael Bay, and many of the scenes have the feel of something one might see in one of Bay's movies. However, the pilot episode was actually directed by Jonathan Mostow, who also has a few action films in his background (Terminator 3, U-571).

In the early previews we received, TNT noted that some of the visual effects were still in raw form, but we couldn't tell it. The visual effects are far and above superior to what one would expect to see in a typical TV drama. The scenes were filmed aboard working Navy destroyers, helicopters, attack boats, and bases, and it makes for a very realistic looking show.

In the first episode, it's the action and visual effects that will likely hook viewers. The characters and background stories are just in the beginning stages, but it's also immediately obvious that the show has been well cast. Eric Dane is perfect as Captain Tom Chandler, and Rhona Mitra fits very well into the role of scientist Rachel Scott. Together, Dane and Mitra bring a high level of charisma and energy to the show.

The second episode delves more into the characters and creates a real sense of danger. It's in the second episode that the show bears some resemblance to The Walking Dead. The episode divides the main cast members up into small groups, and there is a sense that no one is safe from death. On The Walking Dead, the survivors often find the living to be just as big a threat as the zombies. It's a similar situation on The Last Ship, where other people put in a difficult situation can prove just as deadly as the virus.

However, it's the third episode where the show really hits its stride and delivers an intense, edge of your seat military thriller. In the third episode, The Last Ship evolves from a really good action story with solid acting into something special. The third episode is where The Last Ship delivers a quality script worthy of comparison to The Hunt for Red October.

The Last Ship premieres on Sunday, June 22 at 9 PM ET on TNT.