TV Drama Review: “The Last Ship”
By Kyohei Yamato
Have you ever seen the TV drama series “The Last Ship?” This drama is very similar to what the world is experiencing now with the new Covid-19 coronavirus. The Last Ship is a TNT television series based on the 1988 novel of the same name by William Brinkley.
The U.S.S. Nathan James, which appears in the novel version of “The Last Ship,” is 142 meters long, 18 meters wide, has a draft of 8.2 meters, and can travel at a maximum speed of 38 knots. It is equipped with two 61-cell Mk.41 VLSs (Vertical Launch System), for a total of 122 cells, each carrying 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a 200-kiloton warhead, 28 in each of the front and rear VLSs.
The main character, Tom Chandler (played by Eric Dane), is Lieutenant Commander and later captain of the U.S.S. Nathan James, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer which is on a top-secret mission in the Arctic Ocean to help Dr. Rachel Scott (played by Rhona Mitra), who is a virologist studying birds. Captain Chandler's squadron, which had been sailing alone for four months without any radio contact due to its top-secret nature, soon completed its mission.
When the ship was finally ready to return, the mission was suddenly postponed and the reason was kept secret. When the ship is suddenly attacked by the Russians, with Dr. Scott as the target, the captain questions Dr. Scott and is told a shocking truth. During the four months they were out of contact a mysterious virus spread around the world, killing 80 percent of the human race.
In fact, Dr. Scott had been assigned a top-secret mission by the US to develop a vaccine. With their country and army no longer functioning, Chandler and his friends are completely isolated and set off on a lonely voyage to complete the vaccine in order to save the human race from extinction.
After much hardship, the crew of the U.S.S. Nathan James, led by Captain Chandler, finally succeeded in developing a vaccine. In order to save humanity, they return to their homeland to mass produce the vaccine, but they found a society where Amy Granderson, a former government official, reigns supreme.
After witnessing the devastation, Chandler and his friends decide to take up the fight to save the human race. In addition, the Ramsey brothers, British military officers who are aiming for a world with only immunized people, boarded the nuclear submarine Achilles and attacked them. There was a fierce battle between the destroyer Nathan James and the nuclear submarine Achilles over the vaccine.
In season 3, vaccines are finally reaching the world, and while the mood is peaceful, many people are dying in Japan. Nathan James travels to Asia to investigate whether the virus, which was thought to be immune to mutation, has mutated, or whether China has a monopoly on many vaccines.
On the way, the ship makes a stopover in Vietnam, but the crew is kidnapped by someone. At the same time, the plane of the US representative visiting China is chased by someone, and the president is assassinated at the White House. The highlight of the film is the fact that the enemy may actually be someone familiar.
Crops are dying one by one from the virus. The crops were turning red as people bled to death from the viral infection, and the virus was threatening to starve people all over the world within a year, much faster than expected. Then there was a ray of hope. In the Svalbard World Seed Storage Facility, there was a plant that was immune to this virus.
Nathan James goes to the Middle East to get the seeds, but while he is there, someone steals them. It is up to Nathan James to stop someone from using these seeds to control people's emotions, and to retrieve them.
There is an attack by a computer virus. Suddenly a computer virus hit the Navy computers and all of them stopped booting. A Naval academy student who had expected the attack to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Navy, became a member of the crew in order to find a solution.
There is a standoff between South American countries involved, and one man tries to bring them together to attack the United States. Nathan James tries to de-escalate the situation by going around the South American countries and getting them on his side, but due to betrayal, he is unable to solve the problem. The highlight of the film is how he manages to overcome these difficulties.
This TV drama has 5 seasons with 56 episodes. You can enjoy the exciting and thrilling developments. It is especially recommended for those who like contemporary battle scenes. It is also something that could happen in today’s world (similar to, but worse than, the Covid-19 pandemic) so please watch it.