Though he's better known for his feature work, Michael Bay has been branching out into television lately. Starz's Black Sails is set to debut in January, and TNT's upcoming new drama The Last Ship just received a series order at the cable channel. Bay is attached to both projects. As the trailer reveals, the drama focuses on a global pandemic and the captain of a ship which plays host to a lab where a possible cure is being developed.
TNT announced today that they've given The Last Ship a 10-episode order. The series is being executive-produced by Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon). Without a Trace's Hank Steinberg is on board to be the showrunner. He wrote the pilot along with Steven Kane, who's also executive producing.
The story opens with a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoids falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now the crew and its captain must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors.
The series stars Eric Dane as Navy captain Tom Chandler. Rhona Mitra plays Rachel Scott, a strong-willed, intelligent and fearless paleomicrobiologist who's assigned to work on Chandler's ship, the U.S.S. Nathan James. She's been assigned to investigate the cause of the billions of deaths around the world. And you may have spotted Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck) in the trailer. He plays Slattery, the ship's second-in-command who doesn't always agree with Chandler's calls. He also worries about his family back home. Something tells me fans of Firefly will appreciate seeing Baldwin back on a ship, even if it isn't Serenity. Tracy Middendorf plays Darien Chandler, the captain's wife.
The Last Ship is one of numerous virus-outbreak projects in the work. Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore is making Helix for Syfy, and Guillermo del Toro has The Strain in the works for FX. The latter project is still at the pilot stage, and from the sound of it, has a vampire-twist, which should set it apart, just as the ship setting may set The Last Ship apart. Either way, it seems outbreaks are all the rage these days, and now we can add The Last Ship to the list.
TNT aims to get the series on the air in 2014.