The Last Ship Series Premiere Review: “Phase Six” (Season 1, Episode 1)


The Last Ship made its premiere on TNT last night, laying the groundwork for a World War Z-esque story (minus the zombies), but it may not have been the epic television event that viewers were expecting.

Although this show was pegged as must-watch TV, the pilot episode, “Phase Six,” failed to deliver anything overwhelmingly original, leaving viewers with an unsettling feeling of deja vu. The Last Ship is maddeningly predictable from start to finish, from the secretive scientific excursion down to the final inspiring speech. If the show has any chance in succeeding, it’s going to have to pull out some major plot twists – and quick. Other than that, there isn’t much that The Last Ship has to offer that viewers haven’t seen before.

The show centers around the idea of a pandemic that through human interference has rapidly spread across the world, crippling organized government as a whole and leaving 80% of the population dead or dying. One ship, however, managed to remain (against all odds) safe from the widespread havoc wreaked by the virus – and more than that, blissfully unaware of the present state of the planet. Safe aboard the ship is (to keep the World War Z comparison going) the Brad Pitt figure, in this case a female doctor, who has the vast knowledge and skill set to produce the cure, therefore saving what’s left of the world.

The cast of The Last Ship, made up of a combination of familiar faces and unknown actors, give performances that are altogether lacklustre. The interactions between characters, although strategic, lack chemistry and seemed forced. There’s a scene about a quarter way into the episode where Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) are arguing which had the potential to set the tone for their relationship, except it falls completely flat about 15 seconds in, despite the well-delivered parting line, “I’ll take a rain check on the tea.” There were several other moments scattered throughout the pilot that could have been pivotal to establishing a base line for how different characters relate as well, yet the show failed on the follow through.