Pilot Perception: Last Resort

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Last Resort, ABC (or GlobalTV for our Canadian readers), Thursdays at 8/7c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Chicago Code) and Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me), and they executive produce it along with Marney Hochman (Terriers, The Chicago Code). Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Green Lantern) directed the pilot.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Last Resort stars Andre Braugher (Homicide), Scott Speedman (Felicity), Daisy Betts (Persons Unknown), Dichen Lachman (Being Human), Daniel Lissing (Crownies), Sahr Ngaujah (House of Payne), Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family), Jessy Schram (Falling Skies), and Robert Patrick (The Unit), among others.

The Premise: When a U.S. navy submarine asks for confirmation of orders that come through non-standard channels and tell them to destroy Pakistan, the crew is declared rogue enemies and another navy vessel tries to destroy them. So the crew heads to a tropical island, where they declare themselves a sovereign nation and try to figure out what’s happening back in DC.

A Taste:

What Works: Taken just as a pilot, this was definitely the highest-quality one I’ve seen so far this year. It was extremely well-made and made me feel like I was immediately immersed in the fascinating worlds of the sub and then the island. The acting was good, and the characters had enough history and interpersonal dynamics to make me really eager to see more of them. Andre Braugher, especially, is a strong, charismatic lead. I want to know how things will turn out for him and his men on the island, but the pilot also got me very interested in the central mystery of what’s going on in DC.

What Doesn’t: There were a lot of characters and, especially since many were wearing similar uniforms, I had a little trouble keeping them straight at the beginning. Other than that, this was a really fantastic pilot . . . but I’m not convinced that it will work as a series. If this were a movie or miniseries, I’d be all in with no reservations. But I just can’t picture how this could be a long-running series. What would be happening in season five? This pilot was so good, though, that I’m willing to hang in and see, and hope it surprises me.

Our Favorite Line: “I understand there may be some cultural differences here, so I’ll translate. When someone from where I’m from calls you ‘friend,’ they don’t consider you one.”

You Might Like This If you like strong, character-driven action shows or political and military intrigue. It also reminded me a lot of Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, except of course it takes place on a real ship rather than a spaceship.

If You’re Interested: Last Resort premieres on ABC and GlobalTV tonight (Thursday) at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

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