Friday, September 28, 2012

"Last Resort" (ABC): a submarine left to sort out the world on its own


I’m not sure the “mystery” of what must have happened in Washington will hold for an entire series, as on ABC’s “Last Resort” created by Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek, which opened with its Pilot (“Captain”) on Sept. 27.

When a submarine, the USS Colorado, receives an order to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan from a backup channel in the Antarctic (set up to be operational only in Washington is nuked), Captain Chaplin (Andre Braugher) naturally wants confirmation through normal channels. Washington then hands over command to the gold-leaf XO (Scott Speedman) who doesn’t want to obey either.  Pretty soon, the sub is attacked by friendly fire – but somehow manages to surface. Meanwhile, onboard computers show Pakistan has been annihilated anyway.

The sun beaches at an island (all too conveniently equipped with a NATO satellite base) in the Indian Ocean to sort things out. 
   
The modern Navy does have women serving, equally, with no apparent tensions (a lot was made about submarine life during the 90s debate on gays in the military). 

At the end, the submarine fires a missile that lands in the Ocean east of Washington DC, to make a point. The script doesn't mention that an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) effect would happen over a wide area (see coverage here of "Revolution"). 
  
The show lacks the verve of “SeaQuest DSV”, which I recall from the 90s (it had a teenage scientist and a loquacious dolphin on board).

ABC’s link for the show is here.


The “Crossing the Equator” celebration early in the episode is probably realistic.

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