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Friday, September 28, 2012

Just watched the first episode of LAST RESORT

This blog's regular readers know that I do not keep up with television very well. The number of series that I've watched on a routine basis can be counted on one hand. And until last year there were never two that I watched concurrently during a season: those being Doctor Who and The Walking Dead.

But I might have to make a lot more room on my DVR, if last night's premiere of Last Resort was any indication.

ABC's new series follows the crew of a (fictional) United States Navy intercontinental ballistic missile submarine, the U.S.S. Colorado. Minutes into the pilot episode and amidst a ship-wide celebratory tradition for crossing the Equator, the Colorado receives orders to fire its nuclear warheads at Pakistan. The thing is, the orders did not come through official channels, but through a secondary channel. When Captain Chaplin (Andre Braugher) demands hardcore confirmation of the launch order, all hell breaks loose: the Colorado is fired upon by another U.S. Navy vessel and believed destroyed. The United States government blames Pakistan for attacking the Colorado and promptly launches its nukes. With World War III dawning, Captain Chaplin surfaces his ship off the beaches of Sainte Marina in the Indian Ocean and promptly takes over the island (which includes a handy-dandy NATO communications station). Chaplin then puts out an ultimatum to the world: Sainte Marina is an independent state under his command and anyone coming within 200 miles of the place will get fired upon.

He isn't bluffing. And to prove it he launches one of the sub's missiles at the United States.

There are moments which stretched credulity: I mean, could a submarine surface with such surgical precision beneath a rubber raft? To say nothing of a sub sitting on ocean rock bottom. But even so, I found myself surprisingly immersed and captivated by the premise and execution of Last Resort's first episode. With the crew of the Colorado on their own and trying to prove their innocence while figuring out who sent the launch order, it's like The Fugitive as envisioned by Tom Clancy. The ensemble casting also reminds me somewhat of Lost (look for Robert Patrick as one of the Colorado's officers), along with the narrative split between the outside world and an island locality which threatens to bring out the worst (and best) of its inhabitants.

All in all, I found it a satisfying episode. One that will warrant me keeping an eye on Last Resort for at least the next few weeks to see if it merits regular watching.


Clive said...

“I’m Captain Marcus Chaplin of the USS Colorado. A short time ago my submarine was ordered to fire four nuclear ICBM’s at Pakistan. These orders came through a secondary less secure network, with million of lives at stake I requested confirmation of the order to be sent to the normal and proper channel. In response an American attack sub the USS Illinois fired on us and left my crew for dead, at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. From our submarine we have watched as the fabric of trust between it’s government and it’s people have been torn, and when this boat dear to question why a nation without the capability to directly harm the homeland was to be destroyed, elements of that government tried to kill the 150 volunteer sailors on my boat. And then these same elements continued on their course, our first strike unprovoked, we’ve all born witnessed. We’ve commandeered the NATO early warning station of the Island Saint Marina, from this facility we can see the movements of all the worlds military’s. We are in control. I am declaring a 200 mile no man’s land around this island effective immediately. As for myself and the men and women of the USS Colorado. We love our country. We would gladly die for what it represents, but we do not recognize or obey a government that tries to murder it’s own. If the current United States executives or any other nation violates this perimeter we have seventeen more nuclear missiles aboard and we will not hesitate to unleash fiery hell upon you. I give you my word. Test us and we will all burn together. You’ve been Warned!”

Damn this is already a great show!!!!!!!! Good review Chris.