When it comes to TV shows, Shawn Ryan’s typically known for procedurals with a hint of serialization. Shows like The Shield, Terriers and Lie To Me are a fair blend of both. From the description of his latest TV venture, Ryan is thinking much further outside the box.
I’m a fan of TV writer Shawn Ryan’s work, but I should probably admit that I have yet to watch The Shield or The Unit. They’re on my TV to-do list. I hopped on board the Ryan train for Terriers, not realizing at the time that I was already a fan of his work, as he was a producer on Angel. Ryan served as an executive producer on FX’s shortlived Terriers, and was the creator of the unfortunately equally short-lived The Chicago Code. Will he have more luck with the pilot he’s working on for ABC?
According to Deadline, Ryan has teamed up with feature writer Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me) for a pilot called Last Resort. In a recent tweet, Ryan posted a correction that the title is just Last Resort (no "The") and credits Gajdusek for the initial idea for the show. The final points of the production deal are still being worked out. The name alone has me intrigued, but the plot is nothing like anything Ryan’s done in the past:
“The Last Resort is described as a big swing and massive in scope. It is a thriller set in the near future when the country is very fractured and revolves around the crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine who become hunted after ignoring an order to shoot nuclear missiles. They escape to a NATO listening outpost where they publicly declare themselves to be the world's smallest nuclear nation with 24 nuclear warheads. The show will explore the society the fugitives create, the natives they meet and how what they've done affects the group and its unity.”
Let’s get the obvious Lost comparisons out of the way, and then shove them aside. Despite possibly ending up on the same network, should this pilot go to series, it sounds like the military and political aspects of the premise will be giving this story it’s own unique flavor. So, sure, it’s set on an island, but Lost wasn’t the first story about a group of people forming a society together while marooned on an island. From a sociological perspective, the plot and character possibilities that come with taking a group of characters and cutting them off from the rest of the world are virtually limitless. The premise for Last Resort shows definite potential in that respect.
Ryan seems to see the potential in utilizing the current political climate as part of the plot of the show, stating. “It also allows us to examine what is going on in this country in micro form.” It’ll be interesting to hear more about this pilot as things continue to develop.