The Last Ship returns to TNT this summer and it picks up right after last season’s cliffhanger, with the crew of the naval destroyer, ‘Nathan James’, turning their attention to Asia. After a pandemic has killed off most of the earth’s population, the crew find out that the Chinese leader has been stock piling the cure to the deadly plague instead of distributing it to the people of the region.
The show, which stars Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy), Bridget Regan (Agent Carter), Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck), Travis Van Winkle (Heart of Dixie), Marissa Neitling (Leverage) and Jocko Sims (Masters of Sex), is set to premiere on TNT June 12th.
Series star Sims and co-creator Hank Steinberg, were at WonderCon to talk about the upcoming season, season arcs and how it’s determined what character is getting the axe!
Is Carlton in Asia?
Jocko Sims: Yes. Initially we hear that one of our supposed allies in China has the virus, but he’s not distributing the way that he should. So, the president sends Chandler to the summit to find out what’s going on. And while we’re on that mission, just like in every other season, things happen and other mini missions form. There is one, obviously that we can’t talk about that I’m really excited about but a huge thing happens and it’s so cool.
Hank Steinberg: They go to Asia and needless to say they get into some trouble and have to get themselves out of trouble and Lieut. Perkins is a big part of that.
Jocko Sims: In reading the scripts, I felt, more so than seasons one and seasons two, I felt this pulse of excitement and fear. Having lost some characters the first couple of seasons, you feel like that could happen at any moment this go around and it’s an eerie feeling. It’s really exciting. You don’t know what’s gonna happen.
Hank Steinberg: It’s a dangerous world out there and that’s how we keep the audience on their toes. You have to lose people on the way for them to feel like every time they go out there you don’t know what could happen. And so we’ve had to lose some of our favorite characters and some of favorite actors in the process but it’s what keeps the show feeling real.
How do you determine what characters are getting the ax?
Jocko Sims: It’s whoever bugs him the most. [laughs]
Hank Steinberg: Yeah, it’s a good way to keep order on set. Makes people come in on time, knowing their lines. [laughs]
First of all, the shifting dynamics when you lose important people it creates new pressures for people on the show. It gives them emotional things to react to. How do we decide? We decide based on what feels right for the story and obviously if are gonna lose someone we also want to make sure that the audience is going to care. So, it’s usually people that the audience is invested in so that it lands.
How far in advance do you know what’s gonna happen to your character? Do you know the season arc?
Jocko Sims: Not really. I love being at this point in the season, and right now, we’re filming episode 11 now, but come episode 6,7,8, 9, 10, I’m just excited to know what’s gonna happen next. By that point, I’m just a fan of the season. I wait patiently and that script comes maybe a week, two weeks before we start filming that episode and just like everyone else, I’m like, “What’s happening?” I can’t put the script down.