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ABC cancels Last Resort. Will it find another home?

ABC’s Last Resort Cancelled

ABC’s political/military thriller Last Resort has been cancelled; after its original run of 13 episodes, the series will disappear from the primetime schedule.

Set in a near future in a U.S., Last Resort stars Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplain, commander of the nuclear submarine Colorado. Ordered to fire the sub’s nukes at Pakistan, Chaplain refuses, setting off a chain of events that lands the sub and its crew in direct confrontation an off-the-rails U.S. agenda. The now-rogue sub finds sanctuary on a small Pacific island while Chaplain and his officers try to find a way to peacefully come home. The U.S. government (or at least the part of it in power) has no interest in the crew’s safe return to the U.S., even to face a court martial panel. That sub and those crew members are the smoking gun, proving the U.S. government government has gone rogue. 

The controversial political and moral themes of Last Resort have made the series a rare bird on network primetime, and perhaps the series is better suited to cable, where it might have been given the time to find an audience. The scheduling also has not helped. With its 8:00 p.m. ET time slot, the show has to compete with mega hit series X-Factor and The Big Bang Theory

Last Resort is a drama for adults; it’s political overtones of an America we no longer recognize and a setting in the very near future, make it a cautionary tale, and perhaps a bit too unsettling for some, given our current fractured political climate. The personal drama with its tension between the Island’s residents and the crew — and the crew amongst themselves make for good drama as well, but also raising some interesting questions about loyalty, patriotism, ethics and morality.

I am sad to see Last Resort go. It deserves a bigger audience, and who knows? Perhaps it will find one on cable or in the brand new world of new media.

I don’t know if the show’s creators have completed the scripts for all six of the remaining episodes, but if they haven’t, I hope they re-craft them to draw the series, if not to a conclusion, at least to a reasonable break point. If we get that, we can bookmark it, shelve it, and hopefully get the chance to take it out once more, should the series get a new life down the line in some form. 

In the meantime, you can catch Last Resort at 8:00 p.m. Thursday nights on ABC. And in a coincidental bit of programming, Jessy Schram who plays Christine Kendal on the show, will be my guest Monday night on Let’s Talk TV LIVE, so, if you’re a fan of the series, tune in and show your support.

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books.Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

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