PRESS TOUR: 'The Shield' creator brings 'Last Resort' to ABC

Saturday, 28 July 2012 09:30 AM Written by 

For Friday's TV Q&A and other news and views posts about TV, visit the Tuned In Journal index page.


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Of all the fall pilots in development this spring, on paper ABC's "Last Resort" was the most intriguing both in plot and because I respect the show's creative auspices. It was written by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") and stars Andre Braugher ("Men of a Certain Age") as a U.S. submarine captain who goes rogue after getting an order to nuke a foreign country through unusual channels. Eventually the sub crew takes over a tropical island, hence the title.

But then I watched the pilot and I was a little underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, it had some fantastic moments and I'll give it another shot but there were also a few painful-to-watch scenes involving a military contractor employee played by Autumn Reeser who uncovers some sort of government conspiracy involving the nuke order sent to the sub. A press conference for the series gave me hope that I'll be able to get back on board.

Read more after the jump. ...

At an ABC press conference Friday, Ryan said the show will go in different directions in future episodes.

"You know, there's going to be a Tom Clancy aspect to this show, the way there was in the pilot, every episode," he said. "TV is about characters, and so it will come characters first. We've described this ... not as a show about war, but it's a show about people in a time of crisis. So in the same way that 'Casablanca' and 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Reds' and 'Doctor Zhivago' were personal character stories about people in the middle of crisis, that's what we're hoping to do in a weekly series."

Co-creator Karl Gajdusek said the show will continue ask the question of Braugher's character: Are his actions leading a band of rebels towards something new and idealistic and great and pure, or is this more the Colonel Kurtz side, which is a fear and something that will be wrestled with?

"And one of the things that we hope to embrace without ever being on a political soapbox is what power is," Gajdusek said. "And it's one thing to be captain of a submarine.  It's another thing to all of a sudden become captain of an island.  It starts to sound a little bit like a president or a king and what that is."

Braugher sees his character generally in an admirable light.

"He is a patient, loving, optimistic, disciplined man, that the safety and the flourishing of this crew, that the protection and the following through with his mission is of utmost importance," he said. "Now, doing the right thing and protecting your crew are not necessarily the same thing, you know, and that another captain would follow the order. And Marcus Chaplin follows legal orders. So there is a weight of history that comes into play in being the man who fired on Pakistan, and getting it right is of utmost importance. And so the character will be transformed in the future. Knock wood, that will be a long future."

Here's the show's trailer:

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.