On June 21st, TNT’s action-packed summer drama, The Last Ship, returns for a second season. The series follows a group of survivors aboard the US Navy vessel, the USS Nathan James, after a deadly virus wipes out a huge percentage of the human population. The second season picks up where the first left off – with the ship overrun and the crew fractured. Now that they’ve docked in America, the crew quickly realizes that the country they’ve returned to is not the same one they use to call home.
Saturday at WonderCon, series producers Jack Bender, Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane joined cast members Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin, Travis Van Winkle, Charles Parnell, Jocko Sims, John Pyper-Ferguson, and Christina Elmore on stage to premiere new footage and tease what fans can expect from season two. The panel kicked off with a first-look at the new season two trailer, which you can check out below.
- They didn’t want to drag out the process and story path to finding the cure. Now that Dr. Scott has the cure, the challenge of season two becomes mass-producing and disseminating the cure.
- The other major challenge of the season is rebuilding America. Season two takes a tour around America, and the country they’ve come back to is very different from the country they called home. What exists now is more reminiscent of post-war reconstruction era America, the nation is fractured, and you will see both the good and bad of how people responded to the plague. The ship represents what America was and what it can be.
- Season two has an increased 13-episode run (the first season had 10 episodes).
The cast and crew of The Last Ship have a close working relationship with the US Navy. They have naval technical advisors to help keep the series accurate, and many of the cast members trained on amphibious assault crafts. It is important to everybody involved that the series honors the ethos of the Navy.
- On that note, the producers were quick to point out that while the first season was heavily centered on the naval officers, season two will feature more of the enlisted and demonstrate that heroism can come from any rank. “We’ve seen a lot of the people who run the Navy, but we need to see the people who make the Navy run.”
- Executive Producer Jack Bender, who has also directed multiple episodes, said the biggest challenge of directing The Last Ship is, “getting it done, and getting it done up to our standards”, Any show with this kind of scope balances intimacy of character with the scope and “the Michael Bay of it all”. He also pointed out that every episode is different and has a different balance – some will be action heavy, and some are driven by character moments.
Alfre Woodard, who plays Lt. Granderson’s mother, will have an antagonistic presence in season two. We got a sneak peak at a confrontation between the mother and daughter, and momma Granderson isn’t even close to giving up her power. Lt. Granderson is conflicted because she’s family, her mother’s doing crazy things, but she’s not an evil woman. However, the mission comes first.
- We also got a look at at what’s going on since Nathan James has been commandeered. The panelist pointed out that the crew knows their ship inside and out, which will play a huge advantage in reclaiming it. That is immediately obvious when XO Slattery is locked in the chart room. Seconds after the captors lock the door, he’s escaped through a hidden hatch. Things are looking a little worse for Lt. Foster. Her captors known about the pregnancy and are going to use the uborn child’s cells to build a vaccine. The footage cuts as a gigantic syringe hovers over Kara’s pregnant belly.
- Lt. Burke will find a love interest this season – no easy feat, because he’s all about the mission.
- On the future of Danny and Kara’s relationship, Van Winkle said that it’s a matter of getting back to the ship so they can find some normalcy amidst the chaos. Then it becomes a matter of the question – what are we going to do with a child in this broken world?
Master Chief doesn’t bother with the affections of the flesh. Nathan James is his girlfriend.
- The new enemy this season is those who filled the power vacuum in the wake of the plague. If you were naturally immune, you would have the run of the place. Now that the crew of the Nathan James is bringing a cure, they will lose their power. To the naturally immune, the cure might be an enemy.
- There’s also a matter of survivor’s guilt. If someone’s entire family died and they were naturally immune, they might justify it as destiny, or that they have a higher calling ordained by god.
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Here’s the official synopsis for The Last Ship season 2:
Based on William Brinkley’s popular novel, The Last Ship chronicles a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoided falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now, Captain Tom Chandler (series star Eric Dane) and his crew must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors. The Last Ship is slated to launch its second season on Sunday, June 21, with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).